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Setting & Trip Route
On this adventure we experience the very best that Belize has to offer.
From Belize International Airport you will board a domestic flight to the coastal Garifuna town of Dangriga where you will spend your first night.
The next morning we travel by motorboat to Glover's Atoll - a remote ring of corals and small islands rising from the deep waters of the Caribbean. Glover's Atoll, with an unparalleled diversity and abundance of marine life, offers some of the best snorkeling in Belize. Our island Basecamp is the perfect setting from which to actively explore the surrounding waters which contain over 700 patch reefs. The waters of Belize have long been known as the richest in the Caribbean and Glover's Reef is one of the best in Belize!
After our exploration of the Barrier Reef and Glover's Reef Atoll we return to the mainland and travel into the rainforests of southern Belize. The Bocawina Reserve where this part of the trip takes place, has five waterfalls within hiking distance of our lodge. The population is primarily Maya. Scattered small villages border the green hills rising into the highest peaks of the Maya Mountains. Linking the communities, there is one main road called the Southern Highway. Most of the road has been paved in the last few years, bringing change to the area in the form of increased trade, electricity to villages and more small scale tourism development.
Leaving our jungle eco-lodge in Mayflower Bocawina National Park, we travel by van and four-wheel drive to our river put-in. We begin our river journey by teaching river safety and paddling techniques before kayaking into some of Belize's most remote and pristine wilderness. Once on the water, we are immersed in the experience of traveling by day and camping at night in the tropical rainforest.
Our last night's accommodation is at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City where we enjoy a dip in the pool, a comfortable room, and a hot shower. The next morning you are free to make your way back to Belize International Airport or to travel further in Belize.
Thirty-six miles offshore lie a group of tropical islands, cradled within a turquoise lagoon and surrounded by a living coral reef. Glover’s Reef Atoll, considered one of the richest tropical marine environments in the entire Caribbean is protected as a Marine Reserve and is a designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Atoll is 32 km long by 12 km wide, encompassing a turquoise clear shallow lagoon with an estimated 850 coral heads and pinnacles rising to the surface. On the eastern edge of the atoll, five postcard perfect sand cayes fringed with coconut palms, lie atop the reef crest. The prevailing Northeasterly Trade winds blow across hundreds of miles of open sea before reaching the atoll where the swells break and dissipate in foaming white surf. This east wall of the atoll is breached in three places by channels, allowing for a tidal flow of water into the lagoon that sustains one of the most diverse coral ecosystems in the Caribbean.
At our Basecamp, perched on the white sand shores of Southwest Caye - with stunning views facing east over the main reef crest and the open Caribbean Sea - we are ideally located for snorkeling, sea kayaking and kayak sailing, diving, and fishing. Led by guides who are skilled marine naturalists, fishermen and kayakers, your experience at Glover’s is a blend of adventure, island culture, tropical vacation, and learning. The remarkable abundance of life and the simple beauty of this richest of tropical marine environments leaves its mark on all those who are fortunate enough to visit.Belize Broadleaf Tropical Rainforests
Bocawina Reserve - The year-round growing season, plentiful precipitation and millennia of evolution has yielded the area with a tremendous biological diversity and rare beauty. This rich nutrient cycle supports a diverse range of plant life, where huge buttressed Ceiba trees to the smallest of fungi thrive. High above the forest floor is the enchanting world of the broad-leafed canopy. The canopy may tower 100 ft or more, with massive hardwoods like Santa Maria, Mahogany and Sapodilla trees forming a broad canopy, and in turn supporting many species of Epiphytes (air plants). This habitat provides for a unique community of wildlife, with many species spending most of their life inhabiting the roof of the rainforest.
Large tropical birds are frequently sighted. We see toucans with their oversized bills flying from one fruiting tree to the next. High overhead loud squawking alerts us to the presence of scarlet macaw. Once in view, the size of the bird and the splendor of their red and blue plumage is unmistakable. There is also a multitude of falcons, hawks, and vultures scavenging and hunting from the sun bright upper canopy down to the mottled light of the forest floor. Also found in the southern Belizean rainforest are a number of bizarre mammals. The largest of these is Belize’s national animal, the Baird's tapir - locally known as the mountain cow. It has a large hippopotamus- like body and a long snout, much like the famous aardvark. The tapir, along with the white-lipped and collared peccary and the jaguar, are some of the larger mammals that inhabit the river valleys and forests where we travel.
Maya Mountains and Peten Lowlands - Just hours away from the sun-bright Barrier Reef, some of the richest rainforests in all of Central America thrive. Tropical rainforests cover only 7% of the planet, yet harbor over 50% of the earth's species and are considered the oldest intact ecosystems on earth. Once you enter the forest - wildcats, toucans, flocks of scarlet macaw, and troupes of howler or spider monkey may be encountered at any time. Small wonders are everywhere, like delicate orchids that bloom for only a few hours in the year.
It used to be that travelers to the region rarely ventured far from the coast; the interior was little known - a hinterland of the imagination, with impenetrable jungles and tales of lost Mayan cities. Only recently, Belize has gained a reputation for the stunning beauty and wildlife that lies hidden amongst the mountains, rainforests, and rivers. The most exciting Mayan ruins and ceremonial caves require careful planning to reach. As varied as the land are the activities we engage in: river travel with both calm jungle floats and wild, fun whitewater rides. In the rainforest - caving, hiking, birding, and photography all make for one-of-a-kind experiences.