Tour along the scenic Golden Stream River and snorkel at the reef

Ridge to Reef

  • Minimum: 4 guests per tour
  • Maximum: 6 guests per tour
  • Duration: 8 Hours
  • Price: $175 USD per person (includes lunch)
  • Booking: 1 week in advance required


  • If traveling by bus from Punta Gorda, the cost is $5 USD round trip.
  • Inquire about private transportation. We will gladly assist.   

Discount is available for Groups of 10 or more

Tour Overview

Transition from lush forest ecosystems to emerald teeming reefs. Spot wildlife along the scenic Golden Stream River and snorkel the southern tip of the world’s largest living Barrier Reef System.

Paddling down Golden Stream with a Ya’axché Ranger is a great way to experience one of the key rivers in the Maya Golden Landscape. You will be part of an official Ya’axché patrol of the 15,441 acre Golden Stream Corridor Preserve through private protected lands which exits at the mouth of the river.

Not only will you be able to experience what our rangers patrol and look for along the river banks but you will also have the opportunity to paddle through broadleaf jungle that transitions to mangrove swamps and multiple biodiversity research sites. As you paddle down Golden Stream, you will learn to detect wildlife and assist in patrolling for evidence of illegal activity within the reserve. You will develop your identification skills of various tracks, such as jaguar, puma, and tapir and of calls like the Montezuma’s orependola and howler monkey. Visit a camera trap and discuss how rangers use cameras to track the presence of wildlife in this remote area.

Upon reaching the mangroves at the mouth of the river, a second boat awaits to take you on the last leg of your trip to West Snake Caye, where you will have lunch and snorkel. You will get to see boa constrictors, migratory and shore bird species, and various coral reef fish species at West Snake Caye.

You should prepare to get a bit wet and may have to carry your canoe over shallow areas. This tour requires being sure footed in the water but is less strenuous than many of our hikes.

Ridge to Reef tour are subject to river conditions during the dry and wet seasons. If planning a tour during April/May and July/August, please contact us to check availability.

Fitness level: Moderate


We are more than happy to amend the itinerary to meet your needs based on your time and length of stay in the Toledo District, southern Belize.

  • 9:15am – Arrive at Ya’axché Field Station, Golden Stream Corridor Preserve
  • 9:30am – Tour begins
  • 12:00pm – Lunch at the West Snake Caye
  • 3:30pm – Tour concludes in Punta Gorda

Click this link for directions to the Field Center at Golden Stream Corridor Preserve.

We Recommend

  • Boots, water shoes or sandals with straps that you don’t mind getting wet. Flip-flops and shoes that are not attached to your feet are less than ideal as they can be carried away easily by the current.
  • Non-aerosol, eco-friendly bug spray
  • Eco-friendly sunscreen
  • Dramamine for motion sickness
  • Lightweight, long pants and a long-sleeve shirt with the option of a t-shirt or other quick drying shirt.
  • Hat with rim and/or bandana
  • Bathing suit and towel
  • Even if you choose not to swim, you may get a bit wet so a bathing suit or other quick drying clothing is ideal.
  • A wet bag or ziplock to keep items you do not want to get wet
  • Binoculars and a camera if you care to get a closer look and record some of your sightings
  • Water and a snack

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