The timing is tight, but this itinerary packs a trio of Belize's best destinations into 1 week. It allows for a chance to visit a major Maya ruin, snorkel on the barrier reef, ride an inner tube on an underground river, and relax a bit on the beach.

Day 1: Arrive and head to San Ignacio
Arrive in Belize City and pick up a rental car for the drive to the Cayo District. Stop at the Belize Zoo or for a cave tubing adventure near Nohoch Che’en en route. If it’s a hot day, cave tubing is a great way to cool down, while the zoo is perfect for rainy days (and times when water levels don’t allow tubing). Settle into one of the hotels in San Ignacio or one of the lodges located out on the way to Benque Viejo. For dinner, be sure to treat yourself to the creative cuisine offered in the beautiful outdoor eating area of La Ceiba.

Day 2: Cross the border to see Tikal
Wake up early to cross the border into Guatemala for a day trip to Tikal, where you can explore a vast ancient Mayan city. This will be an all-day adventure, which will be just enough time to see the main highlights. Take it easy when you get back, as tomorrow will be another early day.

Day 3: Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave Tour
If you want to get up close and personal with Mayan history, there is no more exhilarating way to do so than the extremely popular ATM cave tour. It involves hiking, wading, and squeezing through tight spaces, but the reward is burial sites over 1,000 years old, preserved skeletons included. Because cameras are not allowed inside the cave, taking this trip yourself is the only way you’ll get to see the wonders inside.

Days 4, 5, & 6: Fly to the Cayes
Before heading back to Belize City, stop by Pop’s Restaurant for a breakfast of their famous fry jacks. Then head for the cayes, dropping off the car before boarding an airplane—the view is   from above. Choose between Caye Caulker, with its intimate, laid-back charm, and Ambergris Caye, with its wider choice of hotels, resorts, and restaurants. A whole range of activities and adventures awaits you at both. From either location be sure to try the snorkel trip to Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark-Ray Alley. On another day, you’ll want to visit Koko King if you’re on Caye Caulker or go for a longer, bumpy golf cart ride to Not-So-Secret Beach on Ambergris Caye. And the best nightlife in these parts is to go out with American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) crew, searching for crocodiles by the light of their eyes. That alone may make it worth picking San Pedro/Ambergris Caye over Caye Caulker.

Day 7: Going Home
Return to Belize City in time for your international connection. If you have time, stop off at the Belize Tourism Village for some last minute souvenir hunting.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.