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Maya Reef Explorer Arrival Notes

On Arrival in Belize 
 
The Belize International Airport (Phillip Goldson International Airport—airport code BZE) is small and easy to navigate.  You will disembark your plane directly onto the airport tarmac and will be directed to the terminal building and Immigration.  After your passport is stamped, you collect your bags and move through the customs area.  The whole process can take up to an hour, but is usually much quicker than that.  After completing your check-in, porters are standing in clear view and are ready to assist you with your bags if you wish, but it is a very short distance to where we meet you.  Please be aware the porters are not employed by the Airport Authority, they can be pushy and they charge $1US for each bag - you are not obligated to use their services.
 
Rendezvous

"I will be arriving into the Belize international airport on the scheduled Day 0 of my Maya Reef Explorer tour."
An Island Expeditions’ representative will be at the International Airport to meet you on Day 0 of your tour.  Meeting arrangements are based on your international flight arrival time as confirmed with our Canadian head office.  After passing through Customs, immediately exit the Airport building to your right and your IE representative will meet you just outside of the doors.  Please be patient as road conditions and late arrivals of international flights may cause delays.  We are aware of all our guests’ flight arrivals however, if our driver has not yet arrived to meet you within fifteen minutes of arrival, please contact our Dangriga office at 522-3328 or 522-0078 to let us know your status and for any rendezvous updates.  Please dial the operator at 115 and request station-to-station collect when calling our Dangriga office.
 
As trip participants will be arriving on different flights throughout Day 0, we have arranged transport to the Biltmore Plaza Hotel as a pleasant and comfortable place to wait for those who have arrived on earlier flights than other group participants.  On arrival please let the front desk know you are with Island Expeditions and that you are not staying with them that night.  There is a lovely inner courtyard with a restaurant, bar, and swimming pool (so have your swimsuit handy).  Typically, we will have gathered all trip participants by 4-5pm and be heading on our way to the Bird's Eye View Lodge. 
 
1:00-1:30 pm - The first vehicle will depart the International Airport between 1 - 1:30 pm to the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel where you will be able to relax by the pool, have a drink at the outdoor bar, eat a meal, and wait for the rest of the guests to arrive.  If you arrive earlier than this scheduled pick-up and do not want to wait at the airport for the driver, please feel free to take a cab to the Biltmore Hotel.  The approximate cost is $60 BZE ($30US) for a taxi into Belize City from the airport.  Please be sure to call our office in Dangriga and let us know where we will find you.  Please be sensitive to the needs of the hotel as their first priority is for their overnight guests.  On arrival take a moment to say hi at the front desk and let them know you are waiting for an IE vehicle pick-up.  Any questions regarding the trip and scheduled pick-ups should be directed to our office in Dangriga, not the Biltmore front desk.  Departure from the Biltmore Hotel to our first night’s accommodation will be at approximately 4-5pm. 
 
“I have been looking for flights and all I can find are flights arriving in the evening.”
For those people who have flights arriving later in the day (after 4pm), you will need to arrive into Belize City the day before the scheduled Day 0 meeting day.  This year we have seen some flights arriving into Belize City as late as 7pm.  For those travelers requiring an extra night, we recommend the Belize Biltmore Plaza so we can meet you in the lobby the following day by 4pm.  Please contact our office for assistance with such arrangements.
 
“I will be arriving into Belize earlier than Day 0” or “I will be arriving into Belize by car”.
Whether traveling independently before your trip or arriving by any port other then the International Airport, please be at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel (Mile 2 ½ Northern Highway, Tel 223-2302) by 4pm or earlier on Day 0 of your tour.  Our representative and vehicle will be arriving from an International Airport pickup sometime between 4-5pm.  It is difficult to give an exact time, so please be patient as late arrivals of international flights may cause delays.  If you are traveling in Belize in advance of your trip we recommend you call our office in Dangriga prior to Day 0 to confirm you have in fact arrived and will be at the Biltmore Hotel on Day 0.
 
Departure from Belize
Your trip finishes at the Belize Biltmore Plaza, 2 1/2 miles north of Belize City where we stay on the last night of the trip.  Dinner on this evening and any subsequent meals are not included in your itinerary.  We usually arrive in from the cayes late in the afternoon and you’ll likely be tired from a full morning of paddling, swimming, and snorkeling. The Biltmore is a comfortable and convenient location to end the trip as you are only 15 minutes from the International Airport the following morning. Depending on when your flight departs you can arrange with the hotel front desk for a taxi (it’s always best to confirm the fare in advance) to take you to the international airport.  We always recommend checking with your fellow travelers to see if you can share a ride to the airport.  For those trip participants who will be traveling to other parts of Belize, Belize City is the transportation hub of the country and you can get to anywhere in the country from there.  Please let us know your plans for post-trip arrangements and we will be happy to advise you on your best options.