Ka'ana Resort - Local Attractions
Tikal (“City of Echoes”) is the largest known City remaining from the ancient Maya civilization and was considered the greatest metropolis in the Maya Kingdom. It holds ruins comprising over 3,000 astounding structures set in 55 square kilometres / 21 sq miles and situated in Guatemala’s largest protected area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Your tour day will begin with a 6:30am “Tikal Breakfast” and prompt departure at 7am. You will then get to compare the border towns of Benque Viejo in Belize and Melchor de Mencos in Guatemala. On the ride to the Tikal ruins in Guatemala you will already see the differences in the two countries. Views along the transition can vary from wild pigs and exotic birds in flight to Mayas dressed in traditional clothing and carrying over-sized water pots on their heads.
Tikal is the best understood of any of the large lowland Maya cities, with a long dynastic ruler list, the discovery of the tombs of many of the rulers on this list and within the city are fine examples of the discovered temples and courtyards of these rulers, as well as many residential complexes. Your expert tour guide will impress you with an extensive knowledge of every aspect of Maya life as it existed from before 1,000 BC until it fell after 1,000 AD.
Take a gentle amble through the rainforest primary growth and hear the famous Howler monkeys. Sightings of Spider monkeys are possible as well as Toucans and other exotic birds. Lunch is served in one of the local eateries before heading back to the luxury of Ka’ana.
The rewards of this phenomenal experience are absolutely worth the journey. Whether you solely want to go to Tikal or combine this with other tours, we can customize the experience to meet your needs. Contact us today to arrange for your Tikal Maya ruins tour.
The ancient Maya ruins of Xunantunich ("Maiden of the Rock" pronounced: “Shoe-nan-too-nitch”) are accessed by a short crossing on the Mopan River on a hand-cranked chain ferry which leads to the temples, courtyard and museum. The hills were first occupied between 400 BC and 200 BC and it wasn’t until 600 AD that Xunantunich was first used as a ceremonial site making the entire site some 1400 years old.
The Xunantunich ruins are located on a natural limestone ridge offering outstanding views over the surrounding villages and into Guatemala, this major Maya ceremonial centre features several major temples. The largest pyramid “El Castillo” has been partially excavated and explored and therefore your climb to the top is broken half way to admire the West Friese, a stunning example of Maya artisans at work. Your expert guide will explain in great detail the culture and beliefs of the Maya, and you will see the ancient ball court where the Maya warriors often lost their heads whether they were the victors or losers!
Once on top of the Xunantunich Maya ruins you will have a chance to take in the stunning views as a 360 degree panorama of the surrounding mountains and valleys opens up before you. The climb and descent are taken slowly and with caution but the efforts of the climb are well worth the rewards.
Stop on the way back at a traditional market in Succotz on the Mopan River, offering local crafts made from cloth, slate, wood, fabrics and other natural products.
Whether you want to only go to Xunantunich or combine this with other tours, we can customize the experience to meet your needs. Contact us today to arrange for your Xunantunich Maya ruins tour.
Soar through the sub-tropical jungle canopy from treetop to treetop and gain a bird’s eye view of the rainforest below. A thrilling adventure, there are 5 runs at heights ranging up to 80 feet off the ground, culminated by rappelling down from the last treetop to the ground for that final adrenaline rush.
Guests are “outfitted in seated cable gear” and helmets by their guide, and will be instructed on how to traverse from platform to platform and reassured of the numerous safety features implemented. The first run is the shortest distance, much like a test run, and if anyone does not want to continue they can exit at this point. Any type of sports clothing and most shoes are acceptable (no flip flops or shoes that will drop off while in the air). Make sure and bring a camera to capture the enjoyment!
Crystal Cave in Belize is one of the most exhilarating caves in the greater region. The initial climb to reach the start of the cave tour is steep and heart pumping and the scenery is lush rainforest.
After a 60 minute hike you arrive at the entrance of the cave and here the real fun begins. You will be descending up to 600 feet into a stunning cave system. Pick your way along sheer rock faces, slide down mud ramps. Crystal stalagmite and stalactite formations litter the caves and the cathedral cave sections are mind-blowing. If you are up for it this will be a highpoint of your Cayo adventure cave experience.
The Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) cave tour begins with a 45 minute trek that includes wading across 3 rivers to get you to the “Cave of the Stone Sepulcher”, one of the most impressive caves in the Maya Lowland. Located in the heart of the Belizean rainforest in the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve, this cave was a sacred place to the Maya of Belize, who first began to use the entrance during the early classic period. In later years the Maya traveled deeper into the Cave to conduct their ceremonies.
The ATM cave system consists of a series of chambers, ending in a large Cathedral where sacrificial ceremonies once took place. Here lie those individuals sacrificed to the gods of the underworld known as the Xibalba (pronounced shi-bal-ba). Visitors to this cave have the opportunity to travel into the Maya past and witness a living museum where the skeletal remains and artefacts can be viewed in their original context.
Whether you want to only go to the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) cave or combine this with other tours, we can customize an experience to meet your needs. Contact us to arrange for your Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) cave tour today.
Barton Creek Cave Canoeing
You arrive at Barton Creek Cave after an enjoyable drive across rivers, jungle trails, orange orchards, through the Mennonite Community of Barton Creek – be sure to have a smile and a wave for the horse drawn buggies.
Hidden within this small Community, are the remnants of an ancient Maya civilization silently waiting to be explored in the cool, dark watery underground caverns of Barton Creek Cave, which was a center for ritualistic activities including human sacrifices, fertility rites and bloodletting. Stretching nearly two miles underground, this ancient wonder can be explored only by canoe. Drift along and marvel at the glittering stalactites and stalagmites, some 50 feet (15 m) in length. Littered with the eerie remains of human bones, centuries old clay pots, some in perfect form, and tiny remnants of cultural Maya artifacts.
Take a plunge in the cold underground river if you dare for a truly incredible experience. Whether you want to only go to Barton Creek Cave or combine this activity with other tours, we can customize an experience to meet your needs. Contact us to arrange for your Barton Creek Cave tour today.
The Belize Zoo
The Belize Zoo is a unique stop for animal lovers. Here one can see more than 125 different types of animals which are native to Belize. The zoo is set around 29 acres of tropical savanna and provides a natural setting for all the wildlife. One will learn about all the unique qualities of these creatures as well as the importance of protecting their natural habitat. With a chance to view Jaguars, Tapirs, Howler Monkeys, and Margays, this stop should not be missed. The Belize zoo is located an hour away from Ka’ana enroute to Belize City. And for a truly unbelievable experience, you can go into the Jaguar cage and hand feed “Junior” a young jaguar who was taken into the zoo when his mother was shot and who is fast becoming the star of the zoo.
Belize is home to the rare Orange Breasted Falcon and this expedition will take you to one of only 13 locations in all of Central America where you can witness these magnificent birds in their natural habitat. Whilst this is the highlight of your Belize birding experience your guide will also explain about the medicinal uses of the plants on the trail as well as pointing out a plethora of interesting birds, wildlife, flora and fauna including numerous species of Orchid which grow abundantly in the rainforest.
Hike trails vary according to the fitness level of the guests and the sinkholes can be as deep as 400 feet. The Falcon perches high on a dead tree or cliff and then swoops down on unsuspecting prey of birds and bats. The hunt and kill are dynamic to watch and include bursts of speed, swooping, short bursts of incredible accelerating to clutching prey in its talons before disappearing into the canopy below.
After the jungle hike guests get to relax at the convergence of two important rivers, the Macal and the Mopan. These two rivers combine to form the Belize River, the longest river in Belize.
Our small group sizes mean a more personalized and flexible Belize bird watching experience for you and less impact on the fragile environment. Our experienced guides have escorted hundreds of birders and nature enthusiasts over the years.
Guided rides traverse the trails of the Chaa Creek Nature Reserve through sub-tropical broadleaf forest and open meadows. As you ride along, your naturalist guide will explain the ecology and natural history of the area as well as point out the various tropical plant and wildlife species that are native to the reserve. Your ride will also take you by several unexcavated ancient Maya archaeological sites of which there are over 70 located within the reserve.
Optional rides to the Chaa Creek Maya Farm may also be arranged as well as off-site rides to the Cahal Pech Maya Temple Site in San Ignacio.