Belize to Tikal: Reefs, Rivers & Ruins of the Maya

Discover the vibrant reefs of Belize and the dramatic Maya ruins of Tikal on a comprehensive land-and-sea expedition.  Sail aboard the newly built 100-guest National Geographic Quest to snorkel, kayak and stand-up paddleboard along the Mesoamerican Reef, the largest reef in the Northern Hemisphere.  Then venture to Tikal to explore stone temples swathed in rain forest and teeming with wildlife.

Mar 5 - Mar 13, 2019  (9 Days)

from $5,760 per person, double occupancy

For more Information

(415) 597-6720

Tuesday, March 5
Depart U.S. / Guatemala / Embark Ship

Arrive in Guatemala City and connect to a charter flight to Puerto Barrios, where you’ll embark National Geographic Quest. (D)

Wednesday, March 6
Monkey River & Laughing Bird Caye National Park, Belize

Board Zodiacs this morning and explore one of Belize’s coastal rivers in search of toucans, green iguanas, and other wildlife. This afternoon, anchor near one of the cayes within Laughing Bird Caye National Park. Snorkel, kayak, or try stand-up paddleboarding. Certified scuba divers may opt to join a reef dive (at an additional cost). National Geographic Quest (B,L,D)  

Thursday, March 7

Spanning more than 200 miles, the Belize Barrier Reef offers countless opportunities for exploration by ship and ashore on one of the many cayes. Don mask, fins, and snorkel or paddle a kayak on a turquoise lagoon. Conditions permitting, have a beach barbecue lunch or dinner ashore. National Geographic Quest (B,L,D)

Friday, March 8

Devote your morning to exploring Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, internationally recognized as the world’s first jaguar reserve. Hike one of the many nature trails with your naturalists, photograph colorful tropical plants, scan the forest for its abundant birdlife, and be on the lookout for the tracks of deer, tapirs, wild cats, and other wildlife. Afterward, stop at a traditional Maya handicraft center. This afternoon, take a Zodiac cruise along the mangrove channels of one of Belize’s coastal rivers. Internationally acclaimed drumming group, the Garifuna Collective, performs this evening. National Geographic Quest (B,L,D)

Saturday, March 9

Snorkel, dive, kayak, and stand-up paddleboard inside the fringing reef that surrounds Lighthouse Reef Atoll. This lagoon is dotted with hundreds of coral patches and is known for its high diversity of corals and fishes. National Geographic Quest (B,L,D)  

Sunday, March 10

Disembark this morning for a charter flight to Flores. Lunch at a picturesque restaurant overlooking Lake Petén Itza, before transferring to the Hotel Camino Real Tikal. Check-in on arrival, then take an optional bird-watching walk with your naturalists, or a sunset boat ride on the lake. Hotel Camino Real, Tikal (B,L,D)

Monday, March 11

Today is dedicated to exploring Tikal, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the largest and most impressive archaeological sites and urban centers of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization. Delve deep into Maya history and architecture as you explore the many temples, including Temple I, which rises 154 feet from the jungle floor, and the North and South Acrópolis. Hotel Camino Real, Tikal (B,L,D)

Tuesday, March 12

Visit Yaxhá, the third largest ruin in the Maya world, beautifully situated on a ridge overlooking Yaxhá Lake. One of the few Maya sites still known by its Mayan name, “green waters,” Yaxhá is spread out over nine plazas. This little-visited site contains hundreds of structures, dozens of stelae, multiple pyramid temples, and ball courts. Stop at a traditional Guatemalan restaurant for lunch today. Hotel Camino Real, Tikal (B,L,D)  

Wednesday, March 13

Depart on a charter flight to Guatemala City this morning, where you’ll connect to international flights home. (B)

Antigua, Guatemala: March 13 – 15

Explore the picturesque historic city of Antigua, Guatemala, with its stunning backdrop of Volcán Pacaya; Spend two nights at the beautiful Camino Real Antigua Hotel; Visit a Guatemalan coffee plantation; Peruse the exhibits of one of Guatemala’s finest museums. Monastery of La Merced, the Main Plaza, and Arco de Santa Catalina. In the late afternoon, you’ll have the option to visit a jade factory and the local handicraft market; tour of a Guatemalan coffee estate;  a feast of traditional Guatemalan fare such as plato chapin, puyazo, salimbuco and pepian, at the Posada don Rodrigo, followed by a traditional dance performance, accompanied by live marimba music.

Exploring Costa Rica: Cloud Forest to the Caribbean: March 13 – 21
Fly to San Jose, Costa Rica, and head to Tarcoles River, adjacent to Caracara National Park, to see a wide variety of birds and American Crocodile.  Then it’s on to Curi Cancha, a private reserve in the heart of the Monteverde Cloud Forest, where you’ll visit a farm practicing sustainable agriculture and traditional sugar processing.  Take a boat across Lake Arenal to stay at an elegant hotel surrounded by gardens with stunning views of Arenal Volcano.  Walk the Arenal Hanging Bridges, strung more than 3 km through the rain forest canopy.  Visit Tortuguero, a spectacular lowland forest on Costa Rica’s northeast coast to stay in private bungalows raised above the forest floor.  Spend two days exploring Tortuguero National Park in small boats.

Prices are per person, double occupancy unless indicated as solo.

CAT. 1                 $5,760
CAT. 2                 $6,180
CAT. 3                 $6,600
CAT. 4                 $7,030
CAT. 5 SUITE      $8,180
CAT. 1 SOLO       $8,640
CAT. 2 SOLO       $9,270


Sample Airfares (subject to change)
Miami/Guatemala City/Miami: Economy from $475
Business from $1,050
Charter Flight (Flores/Guatemala City): $275

Special Offer:
Book by Oct 31, 2018
and receive FREE ROUND-TRIP group airfare between Miami / Guatemala City, or save $350 as an air credit.

Expedition Costs Include:
Five nights’ accommodations aboard ship; three hotel nights in Tikal at the Hotel Camino Real Tikal; 8 breakfasts, 7 lunches & 8 dinners; all nonalcoholic beverages aboard ship; charter flights to/from Puerto Barrios (Santo Tomás), Guatemala; shore excursions, sightseeing, entrance fees, and special access permits; use of kayaks, paddleboards, and snorkeling gear; transfers to and from group flights; tips (except to ship’s crew), taxes, and service charges, and services of a ship physician, the expedition staff and local guides.

Not Included:
International air transportation (unless otherwise indicated); charter flight from Flores to Guatemala City; meals not indicated; extensions; scuba diving; passport, visa, immigration fees; travel protection plan; items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages, email, voyage DVD, and laundry. Gratuities to ship’s crew at your discretion.

Extension Cost: $790, per person, based on double occupancy
Single Occupancy: $910 per person
Included:  Two night’s accommodations at the Camino Real Antigua Hotel; 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches & 2 dinners; excursions; sightseeing; transfers to and from group flights; tips (except to ship’s crew); services of expedition staff, all taxes and service charges.

Cost: $4,590, per person, based on double occupancy
Single Occupancy: $5,220 per person
Included:  Two night's accommodations at Costa Rica Marriott in San Jose, 2 nights in Monteverde at a family-owned retreat, 2 nights in an elegant hotel in Arenal, and 2 nights at Aninga Lodge in Tortuguero ; 8 breakfasts, 7 lunches & 8 dinners; excursions; sightseeing; transfers to and from group flights; tips (except to ship’s crew); services of expedition staff, all taxes and service charges

What to Expect

The Belize and Guatemala program is active and calls for participants to be in good health. Some of the shore excursions involve a good deal of walking on rocky trails and sometimes on uneven and slippery terrain. However, several sightseeing options will be offered, such as a choice of walks ranging from easy to more strenuous. Guests will be briefed on these option a day prior, so they can assess and make their decisions on which options suit them best.

To confirm your place, an advance payment of $750 per person is required at the time of reservation and is payable by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, or check.

Final Payment
Due no later than 90 days prior to departure.

Cancellation Policy
Number of Days Pre-trip        Per Person Cancellation Fee

120 or more days                    $350
119-90 days                             Advance payment cost
89-60 days                               25% of trip cost
59–45 days                              50% of trip cost
44–0 days                                No refund

We strongly recommend that you purchase a travel protection plan.

Trip Insurance
We strongly recommend that you purchase trip cancellation insurance. In the event that you must cancel your participation in a travel program, trip cancellation insurance may be the only source of reimbursement. Information will be sent upon registration and can be viewed Travel Insurance Services website.

We require membership to the Commonwealth Club to travel with us. People who live outside of the Bay Area may purchase a worldwide membership. To learn about membership types and to purchase a membership, visit our membership page or call (415)597-6720.

The Commonwealth Club of California and our tour operators and suppliers act only as agents for the travelers with respect to transportation and arrangements, and exercise every care possible in doing so. However, we can assume no liability for injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity in connection with the service of any automobile, motorcoach, or any other conveyance used in carrying out this program or for the acts or defaults of any company or person engaged in conveying the passenger or in carrying out the arrangements of the program. We cannot accept any responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to delay or changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike, war, quarantine, force majeure or other causes beyond our control. All such losses or expenses will have to be borne by the passenger as tour rates provide arrangements only for the time stated. We reserve the right to make such alterations to this published itinerary as may be deemed necessary. The right is reserved to cancel any program prior to departure in which case the entire payment will be refunded without further obligation on our part. No refund will be made for an unused portion of any tour unless arrangements are made in sufficient time to avoid penalties. The Commonwealth Club of California accepts no liability for any carrier’s cancellation penalty incurred by the purchase of a nonrefundable ticket in connection with the tour. Certain other provisions concerning, among other things, limitations of the Company’s liability for loss of property, injury, illness or death during the voyage will be provided to all guests prior to final payment, and to prospective guests upon request. Prices listed in this brochure are as of publication date, and are subject to change.

Commonwealth Club of California-CST# 2096889-40 AHI: CST Registration No. 2028271-20. Fla. Seller of Travel Reg. No. ST-33300 Iowa Seller of Travel No. 520 Ohio Seller of Travel Reg. No. 8889139. Washington State Seller of Travel Reg. No. 601-820-781. PARTICIPATING AIRLINES-all IATA and ARC Member Carriers.