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Introducing Belize

Belize is a nature-lovers paradise. This tiny Caribbean nation (it's home to fewer than 500,000 people) not only has the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, it's also home to a whopping 94 protected areas that include marine reserves, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and archeological sites. This country has it all, from Mayan ruins and windswept atolls to jungle rivers and indigenous villages. 

When is the best time to visit?
The high tourist season occurs between December and May, which is the dry season in Belize. During this time the sun is out and there's less rain than from June through November. Diving conditions are stellar, with visibility around 60-100 feet (18-30 m), and the pleasant weather means great conditions for other outdoor excursions like riverboat trips and hikes around Mayan ruins. There is a bit of a shoulder season in July and August, when the rains slightly abate and the jungles and forests are teeming with wildlife. Learn more

Where should I go in Belize?
Divers and snorkelers should head straight to Belize's barrier reef, which stretches 180 miles (290 km) along the coast. There's an abundance of marine reserves and dive spots here, from the famous Blue Hole and Turneffe atolls to the waters around Half Moon Caye and Tobacco Caye. Beyond diving, other aquatic activities include kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and swimming with sharks and rays. 

On the mainland, you can enjoy a leisurely boat ride down the Moho River while listening to the calls of green macaws and howler monkeys in the trees. There are also more Mayan archeological sites in this country than you might expect, with some of the best being Altun Ha, Lamanai, and Xunantunich. Some of these ruins date as far back as 1500 BCE. 

How many days do I need?
The short answer: fewer than you'd think. Because of Belize's small size (it's just 8,867 sq. miles), you can experience both mainland and island highlights in as few as five days. With more time you could visit many more archeological sites and islands. And in two weeks you can do it all, from swimming with sharks, diving at various atolls, relaxing in beach bungalows, dining with indigenous families, and enjoying nature hikes, boat rides, and tours of Mayan ruins. Learn more

Getting around Belize
Driving is a good bet on the mainland. As for the reef, water taxis and ferries run to most of Belize's main islands and dive sites, as they are relatively close to shore. Some major islands, like Ambergris Caye, have their own airstrips and are serviced by small propeller planes. Note the cost of an inter-island flight is significantly more expensive than traveling by boat.

Explore trips by duration: 5 days · 7 days · 10 days

Belize Tours & Itineraries

Get inspired by trips other travelers have loved
Kayaks on the beach waiting for your next paddle
Map of Islands of Belize: Tobacco Caye & South Water Caye - 7 Days
Islands of Belize: Tobacco Caye & South Water Caye - 7 Days

On this seven-day tour of Belize's best islands, you'll spend time discovering underwater marine life while enjoying the pristine beaches. Begin at the Tropical Education Centre, where you'll embark on a nocturnal tour of the Belize Zoo. Then, head to Tobacco Caye to start exploring the mangroves and coral reefs. The trip continues to South Water Caye, where you can swim, snorkel, paddleboard, and dive your way through the Southern Barrier Reef.

Sea kayaking on Glover's Reef
Map of  Discover Belize: Rainforests, Ruins & Reefs - 10 Days
Discover Belize: Rainforests, Ruins & Reefs - 10 Days

Spend 10 days discovering Belize's greatest outdoor gems. Start out at a lodge in the heart of a rainforest. Then, spend some time in a Maya village, followed by a few days paddling and camping along the Moho River. Venture into the jungle, tour the Maya ruins of Lubaantun, and take a tour of a chocolate farm. The trip concludes with several days of free time to explore Glover's Reef Atoll—paddling, kayaking, and snorkeling at your leisure.

Cabana life at Tobacco Caye
Map of Rainforest & Reef Exploration in Belize - 7 Days
Rainforest & Reef Exploration in Belize - 7 Days

Spend one week discovering two different sides of Belize. Check in to your ecolodge within Mayflower Bocawina National Park, and enjoy a few days of adventuring in the rainforest—go zip lining, bird-watching, rappelling, and more. Then, head to Tobacco Caye, part of the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, and enjoy some time on the pristine beaches. Laze in a hammock on your over-the-water deck, go snorkeling around the Southern Barrier Reef, and spend some time paddling and kayaking surrounded by the fresh ocean breeze.

Maya ruins in Xunantunich
Map of Experience Belize: Glover's Reef & Maya Caves - 7 Days
Experience Belize: Glover's Reef & Maya Caves - 7 Days

This seven-day adventure combines the best elements of Belize—the inland exploration of Maya ruins and rainforest caves, along with several days to discover the remote coral atoll of Glover's Reef. Perfect for active families and couples of all skill levels, this itinerary offers the flexibility to relax, paddle, snorkel, dive, and sea kayak, depending on your preference.

Discover the underwater world off of Belize
Map of Belize Wildlife, Mayan Ruins & Reef Tour - 9 Days
Belize Wildlife, Mayan Ruins & Reef Tour - 9 Days

Spend nine days exploring some of the best of Belize. Upon arrival, head to Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary to do some birding and view the native wildlife, along with exploring two different Mayan ruins. Next, take a water taxi to the Lighthouse Reef Atoll, and spend the next few days snorkeling, paddling, and relaxing beachside. Then, enjoy a final night on the town in Belize City.

Half Moon Caye
Map of Belize Lighthouse Reef Adventure - 7 Days
Belize Lighthouse Reef Adventure - 7 Days

The seven-day adventure begins with an overnight at Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, then heads out by boat to Lighthouse Reef. You'll explore the Lighthouse Reef atoll—a tropical marine park and designated UNESCO World Heritage Site—via various snorkeling and paddling opportunities. Spend five nights at your Half Moon Caye Basecamp, which offers both guided and independent excursions, and end your trip with a night in Belize City.

Make the Most of Your Time in Belize

Have a fixed number of days? Maximize the things to see and do during your visit
Overlook Tobacco Caye from a beach bungalow in the middle of the Belize Barrier Reef
How Many Days to Spend in Belize

In a week, you can enjoy the best of Belize, from its world-class diving to the inland Maya ruins. Stay longer to explore all of this tiny Afro-Caribbean nation as you visit...

See marine life on a snorkeling or scuba diving adventure around Belize's many cayes, like this harmless nurse shark
Map of 10 Days in Belize - 3 Unique Itinerary Ideas
10 Days in Belize - 3 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With 10 days in Belize, you can cover three to four destinations. Consider a classic route of caves, Maya ruins, and snorkeling around Ambergris Caye, or spend time in the Cayo...

Belize Travel Advice

Read our detailed insights to make sure you have the best trip
Underwater Belize
Belize in April: Travel Tips, Weather & More

Belize in April is the perfect time for an island getaway. Diving and snorkeling conditions are ideal, the coastal breezes offset the higher temperatures, and marine wildlife is...

Our Latest Belize Content

Discover unspoiled beaches and barrier reefs on a weeklong trip in Belize
Map of 1 Week in Belize - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
1 Week in Belize - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas

With one week in Belize, you can spend three days each exploring the Maya ruins around San Ignacio and the Caribbean waters around Caye Caulker on a highlights tour. Alternatively, if you're a marine life enthusiast, San Pedro and Placencia are excellent bases for snorkeling excursions. Other options include an off-the-beaten-path adventure with a three-day stay in Hopkins Village and a fast-paced trip that includes time in Guatemala's Tikal National Park and Antigua.

Spot wildlife like white-fronted parrots as you explore Belize
Map of Best of Belize & Guatemala - 7 Days
Best of Belize & Guatemala - 7 Days

Belize is a bucket-list traveler destination, if only because it's home to the Western Hemisphere's second-largest barrier reef. Over seven days, you'll explore this reef and Belize's white-sand coral cayes (islands) on snorkeling tours while enjoying relaxing beach time. Afterward, hop the border into Guatemala for tours of the ancient Maya ruins at Tikal before winding down on the cobbled streets of Spanish colonial Antigua.

Swim with exotic marine life, like sea turtles, in the Caribbean waters around Caye Caulker
Map of Belize Discovery Tour: Natural Wonders & Maya Culture - 7 Days
Belize Discovery Tour: Natural Wonders & Maya Culture - 7 Days

Travelers with a taste for the Caribbean shouldn't sleep on Belize. This Central American nation packs a punch in the form of its offshore barrier reef, which is the largest in the Western Hemisphere. You'll have plenty of time during this seven-day adventure for epic snorkeling tours and hops around postcard coral islands, but first up is a memorable journey deep into the jungle for nature hikes, visits to ancient Maya archaeological sites, and tours of mysterious river caves.

Belize Travel Maps

Get the lay of land, and understand distances between the places you want to visit
Map 5 Days in Belize - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
5 Days in Belize - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
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Map 10 Days in Belize - 3 Unique Itinerary Ideas
10 Days in Belize - 3 Unique Itinerary Ideas
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Map 2 Weeks in Belize & Guatemala - 3 Unique Itinerary Ideas
2 Weeks in Belize & Guatemala - 3 Unique Itinerary Ideas
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Meet our Local Travel Specialists

Experienced travel agents with a passion for Belize
Travel specialist Eduardo Celada
active 7 hours ago

Eduardo Celada

My passion for showing the beauty of Guatemala began when I was traveling in Guatemala as a tourist in my own country. After working in several hotels and other tourism related businesses, I...

read more...
Travel specialist Chris Gwinner
active 8 hours ago

Chris Gwinner

I am passionate about adventure travel and feel very lucky to be able to share that passion with others through Old Town Outfitters. I'm originally from Savannah, Georgia but have been living...

read more...
Travel specialist Catherina Tittaferrante
active 11 hours ago

Catherina Tittaferrante

I create personalized tours based on our travelers' passions to show them the real Guatemala. I take care of logistics, organizing and confirming every single detail needed to make your experience...

read more...

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Trip Reviews for Belize

The latest reviews by travelers who booked their trip on kimkim

Belize and Guatemala - Great trip
Belize | Mar 30 - Apr 8, 2024

S
Saba D.
Holly Springs, NC | Reviewed on Apr 13, 2024
We had a great time with Tomas and Michael in Belize. The tour guide in Guatemala gave us a good suggestion to do the tour at 4 am instead of later in the day bcoz the temperature was very high ( 101) and that helped us a lot!
Overall a great experience!
Read more

We had a great time with Tomas and Michael in Belize. The tour guide in Guatemala gave us a good suggestion to do the tour at 4 am instead of later in the day bcoz the temperature was very high ( 101) and that helped us a lot!
Overall a great experience!

Hotel Reviews
Black Rock Lodge
San Ignacio

Best experience ever! The staff is fantastic and the hotel is so close to nature- great way to disconnect!

Authenticity & Character
Location
The location is beautiful but the 6/7 mile long road going to the lodge can be improved.
Staff
Best experience ever- everyone was super nice!
Cleanliness & Comfort
Ramon's Village Resort
San Pedro

Paradise!

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Jaguar Inn Tikal
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Issue with water supply and fan in the summer heat
Jaguar Creek Lodge
Cayo District, Belize
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Staff is good but they can help with lugging the bags to the rooms especially if the room is far away from the reception. No one offered to help us
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) caves day tour
Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) caves day tour
San Ignacio
Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
He could have planned for the tubes to be at the cave and not for us to carry it along the way. We saw other guides doing that and even offering to take family pics - he didn’t even ask
Transport
Cacao Farm & Chocolate Making Tour
Cacao Farm & Chocolate Making Tour
San Ignacio

Very enriching experience!

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Explore Tikal National Park
Explore Tikal National Park
San Ignacio
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
He charged us extra money for the 4 am tour
Transport
Canopy Tour in Tikal National Park
Canopy Tour in Tikal National Park
Belize
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Awesome staff
Transport
Hol Chan/Shark Ray Alley - from Ramon's Village
Hol Chan/Shark Ray Alley - from Ramon's Village
Belize

Dream come true!

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Best staff - so helpful and made me and my daughter so comfortable
Transport
Local specialist: Eduardo Celada
Eduardo
Eduardo Celada
Local specialist in Antigua, Guatemala | Replied on Apr 13, 2024

Thank you for all this feedback, we do not doubt that this will help us to get more folks interested in this impressive route.

Thank you for taking the time to leave us your review !!
I'm thrilled you had a great time on the Program activities you and I built for this unforgettable tour. Knowing that you had a great time with our team guiding you around the country is very helpful. Be sure to spread the word to your friends and family, the more people know about Guatemala the better. Hope to see you back again soon, cheers!

Amazing time in Belize
Belize | Mar 18 - Mar 23, 2024

Kathryn
Kathryn F.
Ashburn, VA | Reviewed on Apr 02, 2024
My 19yo daughter and I had a great time on our trip to Belize. Chris listened to everything I wanted and planned a perfect itinerary. We enjoyed horseback riding to the Maya site Xunantunich. Our guides Jose and Carla were knowledgeable and accommodating. Jose helped me get to the top of the pyramid as I’m afraid of heights. I’m so glad I did it—the view was amazing! We also enjoyed cave tubing en route from San Ignacio to San Pedro. It was beautiful and we saw a family of howler monkeys... Read more

My 19yo daughter and I had a great time on our trip to Belize. Chris listened to everything I wanted and planned a perfect itinerary. We enjoyed horseback riding to the Maya site Xunantunich. Our guides Jose and Carla were knowledgeable and accommodating. Jose helped me get to the top of the pyramid as I’m afraid of heights. I’m so glad I did it—the view was amazing! We also enjoyed cave tubing en route from San Ignacio to San Pedro. It was beautiful and we saw a family of howler monkeys right above us along the riverside. Last, we snorkeled with nurse sharks and rays in Hol Chan. Our guide Carlos showed us a number of cool sea creatures like eels and an arrowhead crab. Our accommodations at Falling Leaves Lodge and Ramon’s Village were comfortable and clean. Thanks to Chris we were able to enjoy an upgrade to an ocean view room at Ramon’s which we appreciated. Last, our driver between sites, Derek, was always prompt and made getting around feel easy and safe.

Hotel Reviews
Falling Leaves Lodge
San Ignacio

Pool and poolside snack bar was under construction but will add a lot to the experience.

Authenticity & Character
The gardens were beautiful . Room was small but comfortable and clean. Shower hot.
Location
Proximity to Cahal Pech Maya site; being at the top of the hill limited dining and activity options
Staff
Paula and Kevin were great. Pointed out plants and a toucan in the garden. Some restaurant staff were not always welcoming
Cleanliness & Comfort
Ramon's Village Resort
San Pedro
Authenticity & Character
A little touristy in character but still beautiful and comfortable. The clean beach and chaise lounges were appreciated.
Location
Right on the beautiful turquoise water.
Staff
Friendly and lots of good suggestions
Cleanliness & Comfort
Bedding and pillows could use replacing.
Activity Reviews
Horse Riding Tour of the Xunantunich Maya Ruins
Horse Riding Tour of the Xunantunich Maya Ruins
San Ignacio

Guides Jose and Carla were great. Horses were well behaved. Site was amazing. Jose helped me with the climb—so kind.

Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Hol Chan/Shark Ray Alley - from Ramon's Village
Hol Chan/Shark Ray Alley - from Ramon's Village
Belize
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Transfer from San Ignacio to Belize City with Cave Tubing Tour en Route
Transfer from San Ignacio to Belize City with Cave Tubing Tour en Route
Belize
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Chris Gwinner
Chris
Chris Gwinner
Local specialist in Antigua, Guatemala | Replied on Apr 02, 2024

Thank you for the review Kathryn, we really enjoyed reliving your experiences in Belize through all the pictures. I'm so glad to hear you overcame some personal challenges on the trip and enjoyed the views from atop the pyramid!

It was our pleasure to host the two of you and thank you again for choosing to travel with us in Belize. Our team had a great time with you and we hope to see you again in the future. Spread the word to your friends and family, the more people know the better!

Two wonderful weeks in Belze....
Belize | Nov 28 - Dec 12, 2023

belinda
belinda m.
Denver, CO | Reviewed on Jan 21, 2024
We spent two wonderful weeks in San Pedro, San Ignacio and Guatemala with one other couple. Our vacation was arranged by Eduardo. Eduardo took care of everything for us. During our vacation he kept in touch with me to make sure all was going well. He genuinely wanted to make sure we had a good trip. One thing I greatly appreciated was that for most of our tours Eduardo planned them for just the four of us. We were very lucky to NOT be part of the big groups. Being this was our first... Read more

We spent two wonderful weeks in San Pedro, San Ignacio and Guatemala with one other couple. Our vacation was arranged by Eduardo. Eduardo took care of everything for us. During our vacation he kept in touch with me to make sure all was going well. He genuinely wanted to make sure we had a good trip. One thing I greatly appreciated was that for most of our tours Eduardo planned them for just the four of us. We were very lucky to NOT be part of the big groups. Being this was our first time to Belize we were really unsure of where to go and what to expect. Our transportation was all pre-arranged which took a ton of stress off of me. Our first driver, (Cameron) was waiting for us at the airport and took us to the water taxi to get us to San Pedro. He was full of conversation and pointed so many things out on our way. He was wonderful. We started our vacation in Belize on San Pedro. We stayed at Tres Cocos Resort. This is a very clean resort. The staff, be it office or grounds, they were all so nice and went out of their way to help us. We went night snorkeling and also did a whole day snorkel with Inland and Sea Adventure (Eric and Maya). We had a really good time going to Hol Chan, Shark Ray Alley, and Caye Caulker for lunch. We were able to see manta rays, sea turtles, mannatees, and lots of different fish. The water was a little rough which made for the water being murky and having to deal with alot of human "trash". The tour company was wonderful. They made sure that we all had a really good time and of course safety was number one. The main transportation to get around San Pedro is a golf cart. Do know that the roads are full of pot holes and very rough. We ate at a couple different restaurants that in my opinion are worth mentioning: 1. for dinner Caramba 2. for breakfast Tres Cocos Waffles and Smokehouse. One thing to be prepared for while on the island: Things are very expensive. For example a pound of butter was $21.95 BZE. After spending 5 days on San Pedro we headed inland. Our next destination was San Ignacio. On our way there we again had Cameron as our driver. We learned so much from him. We made a stop to do a river tubing tour. Our guide for this tour was Victor. He was always talking and sharing his knowledge. I do wish that he had slowed down a little as my husband and I were a tad slower on the walk to the river and we missed out on most of his conversation. We also felt that we were rushed during the tubing part of the tour. Not sure we would do this again, but perhaps the kayaking instead. While in San Ignacio we stayed at the "Falling Leaves Lodge". I can't say enough good about this lodge. I absolutely loved it. ALL of the staff were so friendly and helpful. We ate breakfast there every morning, delish... One of the chefs is Mo. He personally came out of the kitchen at every meal to make sure that we had enjoyed everything. Paula (the manager) is the most wonderful person. She went out of her way to make our stay memorable. She really should be proud of her staff. The grounds are well kept and it is a very beautiful layout. The pool was not finished when we were there (December 2023), but it was being worked on between rainy days. We definitely will be staying with them on our next trip. On a side note there is a ruins that is just a walk from Falling Leaves Lodge: Cahal Pech. This is a self guided tour, but definitely worth it. A most interesting tour was the Cacao Farm and Chocolate making. If you want to know where chocolate really comes from and not a "Willy Wonka tour" this tour is for you. Adrian took us to the small farm where the cacao trees grow and then his family demonstrated how the Mayans make chocolate back in town at their shop. One tour that you do not want to miss is the ATM cave tour! There are many different comments on this tour about it being hard, and what you can bring with on the tour. I am 58 years old, not in the best shape: I did it!! You do have to cross 3 "river spots", but there is a big ol' rope to hang on to. There is a bit of swimming, but most of it is "walking" through the water. There is climbing on and through rocks (water shoes are a must). There is one spot where you have to climb up rocks, but there are so many helping hands in the groups to help, everyone makes it up and also down. Our driver, Hugh, stayed with the van and had a most delicious lunch waiting for us. Now as to what you can bring on this tour: Nothing, no wet bag, water, camera or anything. The guide carries it all in their bag. The one thing that you will need is an old pair of socks that you can throw away. You can bring a change of clothes as you will get wet. But that is left in the van. After you get to the top of the one climbing spot you may NOT wear shoes, that is where the socks come into play. Our guide here was Gonzo. Talk about a great guide, he is the best! Our next couple days were spent in Guatemala, heading to Tikal Lodge. Our driver to the border was again Hugh. As always he is so pleasant and full of knowledge as he is a retired tour guide. He made sure we got into Guatemala without trouble and found our connecting ride and guide. At the border on both sides there are many currency exchangers waiting to make sure you have Guatemalen money. Do make sure you get small bills not just large ones as the small shops aren't always able to make change. On our way to Tikal Lodge we stopped for lunch. Please know that Spanish is the main language in Guatemala so ordering lunch was a bit of a challenge since we don't speak Spanish. After lunch we headed to Yaxha Maya Ruins. This is an out of the way ruins. But boy is it worth seeing. Our guide, Oliver, was hoping that we would be able to see the sunset here, but due to the incoming rain, we missed out on that. This is one place that we got to see the howler monkeys and various birds. One suggestion I have is to leave earlier than 10 a.m. from San Ignacio if you are heading to Guatemala to do this tour. The travel time is a bit long due to ALL the "potholes" and rough road. We stayed at Jungle Lodge Tikal while in Guatemala. This was a clean lodge But... be prepared for no hot water, they shut the lights and electricity off at 11 p.m. (as they are basically off grid) in the rooms, the only internet is at the lodge not in your room, the restaurant is fair (it seemed that they were out of things on the menu and usually things we wanted to order) and again they only speak Spanish which makes things difficult. The staff wasn't overly friendly either. We were scheduled to have a free day in Flores on our own. Had it not been for our guide, Oliver, offering his services for the day it would not have been such a fun day. Again, we don't speak Spanish and it would have been a struggle without him. His helpfulness with the language barrier was most appreciated. He also took us places that we never would have known about, such as a wood carving school where the students are able to sell their projects and get the money, the animal sanctuary (Arca's) and another off the beaten path ruins. Our main reason for going to Guatemala was the sunrise tour at Tikal National Park. The nice thing about staying at Jungle Lodge Tikal is for the sunrise tour you're right there to start the walk to the temple. So with that in mind we would over look some of the down sides and stay here again so that we are right there for the sunrise tour. One thing to bring is a flashlight or even better a head lamp so your hands are free. One thing we wished is that we had allowed a couple days for Tikal, as our guide told us that about 2-3 days is what you need to see it all. We really didn't get to see much of Tikal because we didn't realize it was such a huge ruins. After getting back to Belize the next day we did a horse riding tour of Xunantunich Maya Ruins. This was alot of fun with our guides, Elio and Miguel. You get to see a bit of different scenery off the beaten path . One thing to remember this is a half day tour so there is no lunch provided. We ended our vacation with a Cooking Class in San Ignacio at Marie Sharp's Tourist Center. This was a blast! We were taken to the market by William (our instructor). He shared alot of information about San Ignacio while at the market. We all pitched in and helped prepare our lunch which was very tasty chicken, rice, bread pudding and other tasty things. This was a hands on cooking class. One thing to remember about Belize and Guatemala even though you go during the "dry season" this does not mean it won't rain. We found this out on many days. Our vacation was incredible! Alot of the credit goes to Eduardo for planning things out so well. We can't wait to start planning our next visit to Belize and Guatemala.

Local specialist: Eduardo Celada
Eduardo
Eduardo Celada
Local specialist in Antigua, Guatemala | Replied on Jan 26, 2024

Hola Belinda,
I want to thank for your words. I make feel happy because i know you and I built a great experience and of course that you enjoyed and you will remind this forever. I will be alway happy to assist you with the destinations we promote.
I'm highly glad you had a great time on the Program activities you and I built for this unforgettable tour. Be sure to spread the word to your friends and family, the more people know about Guatemala the better. Hope to see you back again soon, cheers!
Cheers,
Eduardo