As we celebrate 30 years, we wanted to take a moment and look back at the three decades we have been in Belize. In 1987, we were one of the first adventure travel companies to develop our unique brand of trips in Belize, that combined education and adventure on the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere.
The Early Days - Exploring the Belize Barrier Reef
As we began exploring Belize and offering paddling trips, we were memorized by the beauty and diversity of the Belize Barrier Reef. This area is considered to be the most diverse section of the entire Mesoamerican Reef system. Our primary area of exploration was within the Southwater Caye Marine Reserve which is also a now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. This marine reserve covers 47,702 hectares of mangroves and tropical cayes. The reserve is dominated by the barrier reef and supports a rich diversity of tropical life.
We knew we had found a special area and it was the perfect paddlesports playground. Paddling in the Southwater Caye Marine Reserve also provides an ideal way to access the many world class snorkeling sites.
We also offer a year-round adventure to the Southwater Caye Marine Reserve on our Rainforest & Reef Explorer package. This trip also includes a stay in Belize’s tropical rainforest at the Bocawina Rainforest Resort.
Sea kayaking and snorkeling on the Paradise Islands Trip
The Second Decade - Discovering the Remote Atolls of Belize
As we pioneered sea kayak and snorkel trips on the Belize Barrier Reef our curiosity and sense of adventure led us to offering paddling trips to the then little-known Glover's Reef Atoll. A decade later it would also become both a treasured National Park and be recognized as a United Nations World Heritage Site.
In 2003, we opened our newest basecamp on Half Moon Caye, Lighthouse Reef. With its rare beauty and astonishing marine life, we knew it would become known as a world-class sea kayak and snorkel destination. Half Moon Caye is well suited for families with ample beach snorkeling and trips include visiting the The Great Blue Hole both of which are designated as Natural Monuments and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Located almost 60 miles offshore from the mainland, this is the most remote of all the marine reserves in Belize and can be difficult to reach. But with Lighthouse Reef, the journey is always worth it.
Lighthouse Reef Basecamp on Half Moon Caye
The Last 10 Years - Venturing Inland to the Jungle, Rainforest Rivers and Remote Mayan Villages
In the last decade we ventured into the interior rainforests of Belize. At this time, this area was less traveled and largely unexplored. On our first exploratory trips of the inland rivers and jungle, we knew this was a unique area and unparalleled for wildlife viewing, whitewater kayaking and spectacular scenery. We explore this pristine area on our Epic Belize trip.
Whitewater kayaking on the Moho River
During the last decade we also realised that Belize was a very special place to travel at any time of the year. We began offering year round trips to Belize for all levels of travelers. One of our favourite areas to visit year-round is the Mayflower Bocawina National Park. We were proud to become partners of a beautiful eco-lodge in the heart of the national park - Bocawina Rainforest Resort. Staying at the resort, allows guests to journey through 7,100 acres of Maya Mountain wilderness and enjoy hiking, zip lining, cave tubing, bird watching and exploring Mayan ruin.
Bocawina Rainforest Resort
We’ve always known since the beginning how delicate and beautiful the Belize Barrier Reef system is. We will continue to provide ongoing financial support to organizations that are actively involved with protecting the coral reefs, wildlife management, education and advocacy for sustainable development in Belize. We are excited to continue to educate people from all over the world on how important this marine environment is.
Celebrate 30 Years With Us
Over the next three months in February, March and April - Island Expeditions will be celebrating this major 30 year milestone with 30% discounts on trips booked to Belize, with new winners announced every week; also included are chances to win gear package giveaways, Amazon Kindle E-readers and even a free lunch at popular restaurants like Olive Garden, Red Lobster and the Keg Steakhouses
For more information and details visit: www.islandexpeditions.com/30