Some trips inspire and enlighten and have you talking for years to come. One such trip that may have that effect is operated by Belize’s premier tour operator, Island Expeditions, offering a seven-day/eight-night cockscomb Whitewater Expedition for a limited time only. This extraordinary journey combines river rafting through the cockscomb Jaguar Reserve, the world’s first and only jaguar reserve, and exploring an ancient Mayan cave system in Belize’s tropical rainforest, all adding to what could be the adventure of a lifetime.
Beginning in the jungle, trip participants will explore Belize’s lush interior with an emphasis on discovering its Maya past. A visit to the Cave of the Stone Sepulcher is reached hiking a rainforest trail and wading through rushing creeks. Inside a blackened cave, participants will enter a chamber where light beams illuminate an astonishing array of Maya artefacts - ceramic bowls, vases, stone tools, carved slate altars and eerie calcified skeletons of what are believed to be sacrificial victims dating back almost 1,700 years to the classic Maya period.The trip then ventures into the village of Maya Centre at the base of the 102,000 acre cockscomb Basin Jaguar Reserve which supports the highest concentration of jaguars north of the Amazon Basin. Here participants will learn about the history of the park through the eyes of Mayan villagers. Then, they are off for a day and a half, 15-mile hike through the reserve to the Upper Swasey River where an incredible whitewater river-rafting journey awaits. For the next three days, participants will paddle in inflatable kayaks through exciting rapids and float calm forest green pools as they are drawn deeper into the beauty of the surrounding rainforest. Each bend in the river brings a new discovery: abundant wildlife, delicate and rare orchids and flocks of scarlet macaw. These days will be spent paddling, swimming in clear mountain pools, hiking up side creeks and enjoying some of the most beautiful riverside camps imaginable.At the conclusion of the exciting river adventure, participants will be rewarded with luxury accommodations at a resort on the Caribbean Sea and a grand seafood feast and party - the perfect ending to a truly epic journey.The cockscomb Whitewater Expedition is only available from January 26th - February 3rd, February 9th - 17th, and February 29th - March 9th of 2004. The cost of the trip is US$1,699.00 per person, and includes all meals, accommodations and transfers, unlimited use of Island Expeditions’ equipment and professional guide services (both North American leaders and Belizean guides).