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greg holloway
From:
victoria BC canada
Trip Date:
2017-01
5
Your rating: 5

challenging: how to write a review that is totally credible yet truly expresses what a wonderful wonderful experience this was? see answers below.

Why did you choose to travel with Island Expeditions?:
My wife and I previously did the paradise islands outing -- loved it. And further online research about IE's lighthouse reef outing.
What was the highlight of your trip?:
this is nuts. how many pages am i allowed? OK, #1 i came for snorkeling and that was absolutely everything -- and more -- that i hoped for. 1000% awesome -- the topography of corals, fish of every sort and colour, moray eels, sharks (harmless), octopi, lobsters, sponges, ... the guides and their support were wonderful. we didn't kayak a whole lot but it was good. we didn't try out SUP as it was always a bit windy. but the time was as full as full could be. including morning yoga -- for novice like me. meals. ah meals, or feasts. 3 a day. our chef was wonderful. i repeatedly complained that one of my goals was to lose weight but chef bols firmly said no way. the overall camp deserves mention; it's very well set up and run. lots of good work. again though my focus was snorkeling, as i've done in lots of places around the world. but i'm ready to say this was my lifetime best snorkeling ever. thanks, roo, sue, clint (guides) and everyone of the IE lighthouse team!
What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
absolutely a lifetime experience. they will make it good for novices as well as seasoned adventurers. a really really good "deal"!
Julia Dyck
From:
Kelowna, BC Canada
Trip Date:
2017-01
5
Your rating: 5

Half Moon Caye is truly a paradise. I spent 9 days enjoying the island with its warm breeze, beautiful sunrise with frigates flying overhead. I had a wonderful time snorkeling off the island, kayaking and kayak sailing. I like the morning walk to the bird tower to see the Red Footed Bobbie and Frigate birds nesting. The home cooked meals and dessert are excellent. Beautiful island, warm blue water, palm trees, sand and friendly Belizean staff make a perfect vacation.

Why did you choose to travel with Island Expeditions?:
The staff are professional, well organized and take the time to teach you skills needed for the activities.
What was the highlight of your trip?:
Snorkeling with a million sardines at Coral Garden. I must have been there a half hour watching the sardines all around me and one big barracuda checking out his dinner. Kayak sailing to Long Caye was an amazing day.
What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
Wonderful and fun experience. Just do it!!!
Barbara Hynes-Tomczyk
From:
Minnesota
Trip Date:
2017-01
5
Your rating: 5

The beauty of the setting, the people, the camping folks from around the world, the sea, the sun, the breeze, the birds, the food, the drums and celebrating, the beach, the fish . . . what more can I say? A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

Why did you choose to travel with Island Expeditions?:
A friend told me about this and said she'd love to go, but couldn't find anyone to go with. I replied, "You just have."
What was the highlight of your trip?:
There are too many to put them all, but here are a few: Dawn at the bird tower watching their behavior as the sun rose. Meeting incredible locals who were genuinely fun, interested, and terrific with people. The incredible beauty of the reef and being in that gorgeous water for HOURS every day. Lying in the hammock at night and feeling as if the moon and stars were only two feet above. The amazing food that Annie provides. Beauty, wonder and magic. It felt almost spiritual the entire time.
What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
Even if you have doubts (I am 67 and disabled) DO IT! Incredible experience.
Sandy and Mary MacDonald
From:
Kamloops BC
Trip Date:
2016-01
5
Your rating: 5

This was a wonderful trip. The guides were very attentive, knowledgable, and aware of us at all times. We really enjoyed the snorkelling and found the accommodations suited us perfectly.

Why did you choose to travel with Island Expeditions?:
Our friends had been there before and were returning
What was the highlight of your trip?:
The snorkelling and yoga
What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
Get a container to avoid the long trek at night to the toilets! We spent extra nights before the trip at Crooked Tree and that was wonderful.
Barb Stevenson
From:
Cochrane Alberta Canada
Trip Date:
2016-02
5
Your rating: 5

This was our first trip to Belize and we went with 8 other friends in their 70s. It was wonderful. It is funny that it comes up as a "resort" as in fact it is 10 high wall tents on a wooden base and good beds inside. One walks to the composting toilet ( clean and efficient) dodging the hermit crabs on the pathway. The food is superb..Even after 8 days we were still getting wonderful papaya and pineapple and fresh salads. It is totally off grid and 2 hours away from the mainland by a big boat. Once there, you are away from it. Early morning with a yoga lesson on the beach at sunrise, then on to the activities of the day. Everything is weather dependent and we were very lucky: enjoying fabulous snorkelling. The Blue Hole is the best snorkelling I have ever done, including the Galapagos, the Great Reef,Hawaii and Malaysia. We kayaked, tried paddle boards and one day rigged sails on our kayaks and sailed to the next reef. They are very safety conscious. We always had two guides with us in the water and one nearby watching from a boat. Yes we pushed ourselves a bit and were challenged--but enjoyed every minute.
Others who we met that had been on Ambergris Caye and Glovers Reef were complaining of mosquitoes and sandflies. We didn't have that problem. Audubon was on the reef as it is where the red footed boobies nest and the frigate birds nest. The birds were there in February so it was also a treat. The company is Island Expeditions that runs the trips; a Canadian company.

Room Tip: this is an adventure camp--not a resort. All rooms are oceanfront!!!

Why did you choose to travel with Island Expeditions?:
went with friends who had been the year before
What was the highlight of your trip?:
the Blue Hole snorkle followed by the magical yoga mornings
What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
Do it...you are never too old!!
Robert Sadowski
From:
Worcester MA USA
Trip Date:
2016 03
5
Your rating: 5

I spent 5 days on Half Moon Caye and had the best time of my life. This trip exceeded my expectation of adventure, natural beauty and relaxation. Excellent food was prepared by Oliver and Anna. The Blue Hole trip had world class snorkeling and views of the coral. My pictures were like the ones on National Geographic TV . I recommend future guests to rent an underwater camera for some excellent underwater pictures.

Why did you choose to travel with Island Expeditions?:
Great reviews and found in local newspaper Telegram and gazette Worcester MA
What was the highlight of your trip?:
Blue hole diving and underwater pictures
What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
Rent an underwater camera before you go only $70 for a week
Bart Richwine
From:
Pennsylvania
Trip Date:
2016-04
5
Your rating: 5

Plenty of activities. Great staff. Tasty Food. Lots of opportunities to learn. Equipment in good shape.

Why did you choose to travel with Island Expeditions?:
My wife traveled with IE in the past and had a great experience.
What was the highlight of your trip?:
Opening a coconut with a machete
What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
Wear long sleeves and long tights while snorkeling to protect from the sun. Way easier than sun screen plus it's safer for the reef and the sea life.
Kestutis Stakauskas
From:
Tucson, AZ
Trip Date:
2016-02
5
Your rating: 5

SSSnorkeling Blue Hole

What was the highlight of your trip?:
S
Donna Erving
From:
Anchorage, Alaska
Trip Date:
March 2
5
Your rating: 5

Great time snorkeling and spending time with friends! Water was beautiful and also enjoyed stand up paddle boarding and kayaking! Helpful and informative guides. Would definitely go again!

Why did you choose to travel with Island Expeditions?:
Friends were on a repeat adventure and asked us to join them!
What was the highlight of your trip?:
The snorkeling!
What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
Pay attention to the travel!
Antoinette Foster
From:
Connecticut
Trip Date:
2016-2
5
Your rating: 5

This was an amazing vacation. The island was beautiful. The colors of the water was breathtaking and the activities were exciting and fun. The staff were very friendly and professional. They made the activities fun and made sure you were safe. I loved the kayaking and snorkeling expeditions. This was a trip and vacation I will never forget.

Why did you choose to travel with Island Expeditions?:
Recommended
What was the highlight of your trip?:
Experiencing the Reef and snorkeling for the first time in my life. I loved the early morning Yoga.
What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
This is a fantastic vacation filled with beauty and adventure. Comfortable, but be willing to forgo hot water and electricity.
Rory Lesperance
From:
Toronto area
Trip Date:
2016-02
4
Your rating: 4

Oh my GOD. After an overnight visit to Crooked Tree Lodge we found ourselves at the docks just outside of Belize City. We loaded up on an expertly captained 40 sea cruiser. Getting there was quite the ride - 55 miles east - 2.5 hours - we crossed "the blue" - about an hour of 3000 ft deep seas - in 25 MPH winds outta the NW. IF YOU DO NOT LIKE RISK this is not for you. This was the craziest part of the journey. We arrived in what I would simply call paradise. PARADISE! It is a small caye surrounded by the reef protected warm and crystal clear shallow waters of the Caribbean Sea. We were greeted by an amazing staff - Pablo, Daton, Jill, Andi, Ann the cook, Dane the cook, Rodney, Bryan...all made the 21 of us feel at home. We were shown our accommodations and oriented in a calm and methodical manner to whatever was going on during the week. The snorkeling was incredible....world class...all guided expertly by the team. Kayaking was minimal due to high NW winds. Paddle boarding was minimal too. Visiting the Red Footed Booby nesting grounds was a daily event. Frigate birds nest there too. This was the Jurassic Park neck of the caye....complete with scorpions, iguanas, hermit crabs, rats (yes, rats) and some incredible little geckos. The trip to snorkel the Great Blue Hole was 20 minutes...but worth the visit. THE FOOD WAS TERRIFIC...no complaints...fresh and tasty. That is all I want to share because you must experience this jewel and make it yours. You must

Why did you choose to travel with Island Expeditions?:
Recommended by good friends. Looked like our thing.
What was the highlight of your trip?:
Snorkeling
What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
Understand your personal tolerance for risk.
Angela
From:
Oregon
Trip Date:
2016-04
5
Your rating: 5

My second trip to Lighthouse Reef was even better than my first awesome trip. Kayak sailing is always the highlight of my trip. It was amazing. There were great snorkel trips with a variety of sea life. This was my first time night snorkeling and visiting the blue hole. The chef (Bol) and his team made fantastic meals from scratch and took time to address all of my food allergies. Love you Bol!
Each time I come, I wish that I could stay longer. Some people stayed over for a second week. I think that they had the right idea. Maybe next time…

Why did you choose to travel with Island Expeditions?:
I originally chose Island Expeditions, because they do trips for REI. Now I choose them, because I know I will have a great trip.
What was the highlight of your trip?:
Kayak sailing
What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
I have done the Getaway and the Adventure trips. Take the longer trip if you can swing it. You will be glad for the extra days..
George Harauz
From:
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Trip Date:
2016-03
5
Your rating: 5

This trip was an excellent antidote to the sterile, packaged getaways at resorts. It was active and engaging, the guides were excellent, and the meals were superb!

Why did you choose to travel with Island Expeditions?:
I have always enjoyed kayaking and wanted to do so in a warmer clime.
What was the highlight of your trip?:
Kayak-sailing, fishing, and watching the nurse sharks come for the fish-cleaning.
What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
Go with the flow. be prepared for the unexpected. For us, it was the constant high winds.
jacquie Parker
From:
California
Trip Date:
2016-04
5
Your rating: 5

This trip met my expectations so perfectly, that the day before my planned departure, I asked if i could stay on Half Moon Caye, I felt as if i had joined a family. Every staff member was beyond friendly and knowledgeable; this is primitive camping at its most luxurious. i will do this trip again, and again. thank you!

Why did you choose to travel with Island Expeditions?:
I found them through an online search
What was the highlight of your trip?:
the snorkeling, the friendly guides
What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
Don't bring much!
Jim Conte
From:
San Francisco
Trip Date:
2016-01
5
Your rating: 5

A friend and I were looking for a holiday that would give us adventure, exercise and relaxation, and Island Adventures provided all of that an more. Incredibly well organized by an experienced and friendly staff, we snorkeled, SUP'd and ocean kayaked on this beautiful Island for a week. The food was delicious, the accommodations comfortable and clean. Looking forward to doing it again.

Why did you choose to travel with Island Expeditions?:
It was recommended through a biking organization I had used before.
What was the highlight of your trip?:
Ocean kayaking trip.
What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
Try all of the activities offered: Even if it's a first-time for you, the staff is very experienced, patient and helpful in teaching you how to do it.
Darcye Cuff
From:
North Vancouver, BC, Canada
Trip Date:
2016-02
5
Your rating: 5

We had a great trip this past February with Island Expeditions. Everything we had looked forward to was better than expected. On the Maya World Extension we excited about the number of bird sightings we had; in addition we very much enjoyed the lodge and our fellow guests- the staff was very courteous, helpful and clearly proud of their home.

The trip to Lighthouse Reef was wonderful - we loved the reef and the fact that we had it to ourselves much of the time. But we also loved sharing the reef with the boobies and frigate birds. They were nesting and hatching chicks which was very special to watch over our week there. Our undersea neighbours were fascinating as well. So many colourful fish, barracuda, shark, turtles and coral. As with the Maya world portion of our trip the Island Expeditions staff were amazing; always helpful, always concerned to ensure we were enjoying our holiday. They were all very special people, and I very much appreciate how much of themselves they gave. Their qualities reflect so well on the Belizean people! I would not hesitate to recommend Island Expeditions to anyone, and hope that I may return again.

Why did you choose to travel with Island Expeditions?:
Island Expeditions was known to us from 20 years ago! It took that long to get the right circumstances to make the trip.
What was the highlight of your trip?:
Hard to decide, but top of the list was the diving, snorkeling and other activities in or on top of the water. Also totally enjoyed yoga on the beach each morning!
What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
Make the trip! I wish I would have stayed a bit longer...
scott kaplan
Trip Date:
2016-02
5
Your rating: 5

Wonderful trip away from the world. The staff were knowledgeable and enthusiastic no matter what the activity. I enjoyed snorkeling the most and the reefs offered an abundant variety of sea life that rivaled anything I'd ever seen elsewhere. We had a great time with the fellow travelers in our group.
the food was delicious and satisfying. We are true Belizers now.

Why did you choose to travel with Island Expeditions?:
Recommended by friends
What was the highlight of your trip?:
Snorkeling. Too bad I couldn't have the lobsters for dinner
What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
Take the 8 day stay instead of 6 to get everything in.
Juanita Olson
From:
Victoria BC
Trip Date:
2016/02
5
Your rating: 5

The Lighthouse Reef Adventure is popular for a reason and that is nature at it’s finest. The rookery with the Red-footed boobie birds and magnificent frigate birds are a joy to encounter. As well, the snorkeling at the aquarium is divine. When weather does not permit a trip to the aquarium IE has a back up plan. This time we snorkeled by Long Caye. It is all so amazing. Island Expeditions is so organized, experienced, friendly and thorough. We had another great adventure. This was our third expedition with IE and would repeat in a heartbeat.

Why did you choose to travel with Island Expeditions?:
We found IE when surfing online in 2008. That was our first trip. We like their vision and connections to the people and culture of Belize along with the expedition adventure tour aspect. This was our third and fourth time. We did a double adventure. We were impressed again.
What was the highlight of your trip?:
Everything! We love being outdoors in nature in the sunshine and exploring and participating in snorkelling and kayaking in particular.
What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
Island Expeditions is worth it and let them handle all aspects of the trip!
Laura Henchman
From:
Mexico
Trip Date:
201-03
5
Your rating: 5

Some of the kindest people you will ever meet clearly are from Belize.  The weather in March is warm and perfect.  Nice breezes and broken clouds keep you from too much heat.
The Bird's Eye View Lodge was FANTASTIC.  The Belize Biltmore Plaza was PERFECT!  Half Moon Caye Basecamp will stay in my heart forever!
All guides were awesome, but I have to single out Jack for his leadership, knowledge and ability to challenge and inspire the guests.  Bryan for his love of finding & sharing the joys of underwater.  Dayton for his ability to make ALL of us laugh and enjoy our time together.  Pablo for his calmness, leadership and knowledge of the sea and Terence (Roo) for his quiet humor as still waters run deep!
The food was FANTASTIC - thank you ladies for delicious, cooked with love meals!  Thank you for all the work your team did to make such an amazing adventure for us to share together.  FUN, FUN, FUN!!!

Why did you choose to travel with Island Expeditions?:
You offered the trip that looked the best and seemed to have a VERY good reputation.
Anthony Hodsman
From:
Ontario
Trip Date:
2015-03
4
Your rating: 4

This was our second trip to Belize so we found the country and it's people as welcoming as we had experienced the first time.  Lighthouse Reef is very insulated from the world - part of its essential charm.  Indeed it's a wonderful 'soft' adventure destination; actually it exceeded our expectations! All of the staff are clearly very proud to be working for Island Expeditions.
We would have liked to spend more time at the Crooked Tree Lodge as it was well worth the detour.

Why did you choose to travel with Island Expeditions?:
From one of the guides - Jack Wylde. Island Expeditions offered a combination of kayaking, snorkeling and a unique (remote) destination to find an active vacation destination appropriate to our age and physical fitness. Your other options are pretty neat too!
What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
When you stop at the store, don't forget to purchase extra beer!

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