My husband and I had never been for a tropical holiday before. We love kayaking and enjoy camping in many different areas, but this was the first time we have had warm waters and winds in February. Jorge, our driver/guide, was wonderful despite some problems with the van. He quickly found us another van and gave us an introduction to Mayan culture and ruins while we waited for replacement. We started this part of the trip at Cahal Pech Village Resort. Our cabana had a thatched roof, a hammock on the porch and a comfortable bed. There were palm trees with iguanas outside our cabana. The first night we met our fellow Island Expedition participants and had dinner.
After breakfast the next day we had an amazing time with Jorge and William at the Mayan Cave, Che Chem Ha. We started out at William's property and had a wonderful hike through the jungle where he pointed out various plants, allowed us to taste termites, explained how some plants can be medicines, showed us how to make a poison dart. It was fascinating. Then we arrived at the cave and explored it and saw the pottery and ceremonial sites that remained. After that we went to his parents' farm where we ate a delicious lunch and chatted with his mother and various family members. From there we went to the Mayan site of Cahal Pech because the river was too high to visit Xunantunich. For dinner we went into San Ignacio and had a wonderful dinner at KO-OX-HANNAH’S Meat Shop Bistro & Deli as recommended by our guide. The next day after a wonderful drive on the Hummingbird Highway we went by boat to Southwest Caye. On the first day we had a wonderful lunch and practiced wet exits. By the second day, we had yoga first thing in the morning, followed by kayaking and snorkeling. All the days were amazing. I did yoga every morning, kayaked and snorkeled everyday, paddleboarded one afternoon (a first for me that I would like to repeat), sailed a double kayak and a single kayak one day, sailed a double a second day and generally had a wonderful time. Every day we had a morning and an afternoon activity and occasionally we had a choice of activities. Once we had to cut short our kayaking because of a storm, but otherwise the weather cooperated. Both Sue and Budge were very accommodating and very capable. They were clearly experts at all the activities we did and very capable instructors. Miss Cynthia and Freddie provided us with wonderful meals. Our conversations with the guides at the meals and during happy hour were very enjoyable. My husband and I would both love to return to Belize in the future.
We came back! Second time with IE! This trip was dampened by lots of rain, but the guides made sure that we still each had a great time. You cannot blame IE for the weather. Weather caused enough disruption that we substituted a trip to the Mayan Ruins for the float down the river of caves. Safety first - the river was too high. Fighting the weather, the guides were always adapting and providing great substitutes. We got some very personal cultural education from our guides about growing up in Belize where they all have mixed blood and fantastic cultural history. We even got a lesson in the Mayan counting and arithmetic system. Rain didn't stop snorkeling, kayaking and fishing! All the accommodations were great, evn though we all wanted a hot shower after the week!
What a phenomenal experience.
When considering this trip, we were looking at either Costa Rica or Belize. In reviewing tripadvisor comments on both destinations I became overwhelmed with options, opinions & possibilities. My brother, who had been to both countries suggested we start with Belize and use the company he's used twice - Island Expeditions. He's not one for 'tour groups' (and nor are we), so his recommendation was intriguing. I looked at their website and their trips and then talked to Lesley and Brendan at IE. We booked the Glovers Reef trip, and after discussion with them added Bocawina for 2 nights, and then added on a stay at Hopkins Village at the end. Along every step of the way of planning, Lesley was super helpful. Lesley booked Beaches & Dreams in Hopkins for us and all the transfers except one, and booked the flight from Dangriga to Belize city. For the pre-planning, their website was excellent - giving us all the information about what to pack (so glad we packed what they suggested!), etc.
During our trip EVERY transfer was perfect. Every driver/guide we had was friendly and informative. We stayed in 5 different places over 2 weeks and the timing & trip distances, were just as they had outlined. No time was wasted. For an adventure trip in a brand new country for us (with 2 kids), it couldn't have gone more smoothly and efficiently.
We never felt like we were a 'group being corralled' - we were never in a big group. We always had individualized attention. On our first 'leg' we went to San Ignacio. Along with one other lovely family of 4, we went to Chechemha cave & toured with the man who found the cave himself, in 1987. A very special experience. On Glovers, there were just 18 of us, and for each activity there were only 8-10ppl at max. The snorkeling there was like swimming in an aquarium. Bernaldo (mr. B), Budge, Mike & Steve were all fantastic. So informative, caring, funny and attentive. We had great new experiences, and learned so much about the nature around us and the culture of the country. Our kids, 11 &13, absolutely LOVED their time at Glovers - so much so, that when we went to Bocawina afterwards, one of my kids cried, because she missed our guides and new friends we'd made at Glovers.
Going to the Bocawina Jungle afterwards, turned out really well. We went ziplining (which really was amazing in the jungle) and did the hike to Antelope Falls with a guide. Our kids weren't heavy enough to be able to do the rappelling, but the hike and the swim in the waterfall pool was wonderful. Our guide Winston was very informative. We also had an AMAZING guide for a night walk and an early morning bird walk (as well as our transfers at Bocawina) - Mario Teul. He knew everything about birds and animals and helped us see things we never would have seen or understood on our own. We ended in Hopkins Village, which was so lovely & relaxing, staying at Beaches & Dreams. Really enjoyed being able to use bikes to go into town for shopping & lunches. People everywhere were so friendly - wonderful town!
Everywhere, we felt safe & enjoyed being able to talk/interact with locals about their country and culture.
The trip really was perfect & worry free - not something we likely could have accomplished easily on our own.
I highly recommend using Island Expeditions! I only wish I could use them in other countries.
Reviewing my five days on Glover’s Reef with Island Expeditions defies the use of ordinary adjectives.
Living on the beach in a roomy, comfortable tent with all of Belize’s natural beauty a step away was sublime. Glover’s Reef was everything I imagined a UNESCO World Heritage Site to be and more. The easily accessible pristine reefs are teeming with an amazing variety of fish and invertebrate life, a real treat for snorkelers. The cayes revealed their individual complements of bird and plant species. Mike and Jazz clearly love Belize’s natural treasures. They brought it all alive for the guests, sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm for the reef environment freely.
I went on some spectacular SCUBA dives on the east wall of the of the Belize Barrier Reef with the wonderful people at Isla Marisol, our next door neighbors on Glover’s. The wall is a stunning ecosystem, hidden beneath the water a few hundred yards from the beach.
Our group was treated to beautiful meals, made from scratch from fresh Belizian ingredients. Annette fed us, body and soul, with delicious, nutritious offerings. Each meal was a celebration. The highlight was a family style meal on a beautifully decorated table featuring foliage and flowers from our home base, Southwest Caye.
The heart of Belize, particularly Garifuna culture, were given life by Mike. Learning about Belize in the context of its people and culture added dimensions to my appreciation of this special place.
Belize is embedded in my soul. It’s a special place on earth, rich in history, culture and natural wonders. I’m so happy to be a three time visitor, each time with Island Expeditions!
With a planet like this, who needs heaven?!
I had the most amazing adventure vacation and would highly recommend for anyone who wants to enjoy Belize at its finest. The accomodations, food, sporting equipment and knowledge of the guides was completely outstanding. We became a family with our fellow adventurers and now have life long friendships! Thank you Island Expeditions
Guides are amazingly knowledgeable, funny, interested.
Good food that is different every night.
Activities are diverse and top of line interesting.
Glover reef is beautiful, the corals are in good shape.
Tropical Ed. Centre was a great place to meet.
The whole organisation is very professional.
We highly recommended this trip for children.
We had an extraordinary time at Glover's Reef. We had a seamless transition on this second part of our trip from Lighthouse Reef to Glover's Reef because we left it to the experts at IE! Glover's Reef has excellent patch reefs where we had fantastic snorkelling opportunities. We also enjoyed kayaking, SUP, fishing, Yoga, delicious food and all at a spectacular base camp on the edge of the Reef. What more could you ask for?
Our trip with Island Expeditions was fantastic. The arrangements were perfect, the guides friendly and knowledgeable with a great sense of humor. Snorkeling at Glover's Reef was the best we ever had. The beach cabanas were comfy, the setting gorgeous. I would highly recommend Island Expeditions for your trip to Belize.
The guides were fabulous! Leonard was so kind and full of information, whether on the road or on the water; Kyle was wonderful on the paddle board, especially with our 7 yr. old daughter, his playfulness and ease and fun with games with the kids saved us; Juan Carlos is truly superb in his conveying information and making us all feel as passionate about Belize as he is; Michael was great - funny with his reggae jam and positive attitude; Ven shared with us some of his Mayan culture and was so quick with a smile; and Bernaldo was so competent and well-informed and made us all feel we were in such good hands. Congratulations to you for having such great and diverse individuals leading the trip. Thank you and well done!
Amazing food. so delicious! The chefs were wonderful about accommodating our family's food issues and they were welcoming and fun.
I found the country incredibly interesting with its history and mix of different cultures. I feel like we got a really wonderful introduction and learned a lot. Weather was great!
I never thought that I would stand on a paddle board at the age of 60! But I did and had fun. I have now sailed in a kayak. I wasn't sold on the idea of cave tubing, but it turned out to be a great experience. Being Gluten Free, I cannot believe the number of gluten free desserts that were made for me. I did not lose any weight on this trip. The people in Belize on this trip and apart from it were so helpful....it appears to be a country that is relatively safe for a woman to travel around in (with the exception of Belize City itself).
I've never felt so prepared for a trip. Absolutely loved the packing list and opportunity to ask questions during the phone call a week before my trip! Phenomenal food. I was so grateful to have a special meal prepared just for me on curry night. I will never forget the presentations of the meals by Lady D and CY, or the opportunity to eat the barracuda caught by Taiga during our groups fishing trip.
We are a family of 5 and we went to Glovers Reef over Christmas. We had an outstanding time during our trip. We really enjoyed all the activities on the island including snorkeling, kayaking, standup paddling and fly fishing. The food was simply outstanding and the staff was very good at programming activities and being able to accommodate all of our family with ages from 9 to 51 years old.
The trip from start to end was most enjoyable. We started out adding an extra day to see ALTUN HA - a Mayan ruin. It was costly [$60/per person for a family of 4 for a morning taxi tour ] but well worth it. It seems that this type of trip attracts people who automatically get along - we soon became a close knit family! The caves were amazing, so much more than we ever could have dreamed of. Our guide JC was excellent. The Belize Zoo is a great experience for young and old alike, all the animals are indigenous and in appropriate settings. Our accommodations were simple but comfortable and pleasant. The trip to Dangriga lets you see a little of the inland countryside. Seeing the island -where we were staying for the next 5 days - as we were coming nearer in the boat it was''love at 1st sight". It is a charming place - little white tents under palm trees. We had everything we needed - a great cook Bol, 3 patient guides and lots of sunshine. The outings to snorkel, etc. were wonderful. We all adjusted well to the environmental bathroom facilities. There was great sadness when we had to return to the ''real world ''and now we share our great memories.
The trip was excellent, very well organized and the guides were all very friendly and extremely helpful. Our 12 year old son really enjoyed the variety of activities. Overall, we all enjoyed and would highly recommend it.
The Glover's Reef trip was amazing. The setting was beautiful and the kayaking was great. I so enjoyed seeing so many different types of fish and rays. We even saw a turtle swimming by. I also tried two new things - paddleboarding and sailing a kayak. The guides were unbelievably warm, helpful, knowledgeable and personable. The food was delicious!! I was a little hesitant going on the trip because I was traveling by myself but I had nothing to fear. The other members of the group were so welcoming and interesting that I made lifelong friends. Glover's reef was one of my best trips.
This trip was so much fun. Kayaking, paddle boarding, fishing and lots of snorkeling. Not to mention tubing thru a cave in the dark! A great trip with variety of activities. On top of this was great food - don't worry about bring snack food, you will not need it. Wish my whole family could have joined us.
Island Expeditions has friendly knowledgeable staff. The food was excellent and loved the presentation at every meal. Good organization of daily activities. I will be planning another Island Expedition trip!!
We were thrilled to discover Island Expeditions. Upon our return, we felt that we had really connected with the people and the land. Of all the travelling I have done, this was one of the best experiences.
My kids, who had never snorkeled or kayaked before, are already campaigning to go on another Island Expeditions trip. We all had a fabulous time.
We LOVED our time, we will definately be doing another trip with Island Expeditions. The staff impressed us in so many ways and the experiences were dreams come true...ten years in the saving and making. Thank you!
We were not expecting the quality of the cuisine to be so amazing. A true creator. Loved the presentation before every meal. Loved that the staff were so happy and got along with each other. Loved that it was Belizean, local food.