Xunantunich Ruins, Archeological Mayan Cave, then out to the island Basecamp and white sand cayes of Glover’s Atoll for paddling, snorkeling and reef exploration
Glover’s Reef and Mayan Caves combines an inland exploration of Mayan ruins and rainforest caves with the opportunity to explore and stay on a remote coral atoll.
Glover’s Reef is part of the world famous Belize Barrier Reef, a protected marine park and designated world heritage site thirty-six miles off the shore of mainland Belize. Perfect for active families and couples of mixed abilities, this adventure Basecamp offers flexibility and choices in daily guided activities, so traveling companions can do things together or separately.
- Stay at a unique, Adventure Basecamp on Southwest Caye, a remote 13 acre island. Sleep in comfortable tent-walled cabanas and dine on fresh seafood, tropical fruit and local fare
- Kayak or SUP around this pristine group of tropical islands set within a turquoise lagoon
- Snorkel some of Glover’s 700 patch reefs in its thriving coral reef system
- Fly fish for bonefish or tarpon on the saltwater flats and adjoining deep waters
- Venture inland for a Mayan ruin and cave exploration through lush rainforest
Meals: Dinner is included on this night
Arrive at the Belize International Airport, where you will be met by an Island Expeditions' representative and transferred to Cahal Pech Village Resort - a picturesque lodge carved out of the land with a grand vista overlooking the town of San Ignacio and the rolling hills of the Cayo District in Western Belize. This is an ideal starting point for the adventure that awaits. This is the day to get in tune with the rhythms of Belize and acclimatize to your new tropical environment. Transfers from the airport, lodging and dinner are included.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, (Dinner On Own in San Ignacio)
A full day of adventure and exploration. The first mission is to venture into the jungle to explore the underground archaeological site of the Chech’Em Ha Cave system. You’ll hike a half an hour through the rainforest, and up into a multi-chambered series of caves rich with geological formations, ancient ceremonial altars, Maya artifacts and relics. After an hour and half in the cave, we hike further downhill to lunch served by our hosts in a spectacular setting overlooking the Macal river valley. The next adventure is the ancient Mayan ruins of Xunantunich. It’s a short drive and then you will cross the Mopan River on a hand-cranked ferry. Situated on the banks of the river, you will travel back through centuries to the world of ancient kings, temples, plazas and the renowned ball courts of this ancient city. In the evening you can stroll into San Ignacio, meet the local people, and enjoy dinner on your own in the town.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
You’ll depart early in the morning and drive the scenic Hummingbird Highway through the Rainforest to the coastal town of Dangriga. Here you board a charter boat to our remote Basecamp on Southwest Caye. Southwest Caye is located in the Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve. Upon arrival, you’ll receive an introduction to your new environment before settling into your ocean view tent cabana. Our guides will then conduct professional instruction to teach you the fundamentals of sea kayaking, snorkeling, and tropical water safety. After training, enjoy a paddle to a nearby patch reef and start exploring some of the 700 snorkel sites Glover’s Reef Atoll has to offer.
Glover’s Reef is one of the most spectacular marine environments in Belize and offers the best kayaking, snorkeling, and diving in the Caribbean. Due to its isolation from the mainland, the waters are exceptionally clear with a rich reef ecosystem.
Our itinerary is flexible in order to accommodate individual and group preferences. Activities include paddling, snorkeling the inner and outer walls of the reef, SUP and learning to sail a kayak. In the mornings and evenings, we host informative sessions on a range of topics. This allows our guides to share their vast knowledge of Belize, its unique marine environments, and the local culture with you. Guests who prefer a more leisurely pace can always take time to kick back in a hammock and relax with a good book!
Meals: Breakfast, Packed Lunch
Many guests choose to wake up early on this final morning and enjoy a coffee on the dock for the last time. Watch the sunrise over the atoll before enjoying a hearty breakfast. Your boat charter usually departs around midmorning to take you back to the mainland, arriving at approximately noon. Your trip finishes in the Garifuna town of Dangriga, and our helpful staff will assist you with connecting to the next leg of your journey.
Travel note: For travelers who will be leaving Belize on Day 7, international connections out of the country require a departure after 3:00pm. To connect with Sunday afternoon departures from Belize a short domestic flight is required. This flight is from Dangriga to the Belize International Airport - please contact our office for details. For guests who would like to spend an extra night in Belize we offer a Flight & Hotel Package.
Please note all itineraries are subject to change depending on weather or safety considerations. Flexibility as our guest and as an international traveler is the key to an awesome experience.
Glover's Reef Atoll
Glover's Reef is protected as a Marine Reserve and is a designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Atoll is 20 miles long by seven miles 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 post-card 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 snorkelling, sea kayaking and kayak sailing, diving, and fishing. Led by guides who are skilled naturalists, fishermen, marine biologists, 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 staggering beauty of this rich tropical marine environment leaves its mark on all those who are fortunate enough to visit.
Glover's Reef Atoll is One of three coral atolls offshore of Belize. Glover's Reef was named after the English pirate John Glover who used this remote offshore ring of islands and coral reefs as a base from which to raid Spanish merchant ships during the 17th century.
The shallow waters offshore of Belize with their innumerable coral reefs, mangroves, and small islands were ideal waters for pirates and buccaneers to hide their raiding ships after plundering Spanish galleons laden with riches destined for the Old World. Today, the attractions found within the atoll (20 miles long by seven miles wide) are the clarity of the water and the remarkable profusion of marine life. In 1993 the atoll was declared a marine park and 25% of the area and lagoon was protected from fishing and harvesting. To continue the conservation efforts to preserve this extraordinary environment the site was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1996. We travel and explore this area by sea-kayak, paddling and sailing the shallow 82 square mile lagoon. The reefs of Belize have long been known as the richest in the Caribbean and Glover's Reef is the best in Belize!
Yoga By The Sea - Awaken your mind, body, and spirit in Belize through the gentle practice of yoga in stunning natural surroundings.
For the early risers and the stiff-legged, this one's for you. We have been offering guided yoga sessions on select Basecamp departures for over a decade now, and our only regret is that we didn’t do it sooner! Yoga and Caribbean sunrises are a match made in heaven. Moving through a restorative yoga session is a perfect way to unlock the body for the day of paddling and snorkeling that lays ahead. For the serious yoga practitioners, we're offering a dedicated yoga retreat on Southwater Caye for the very first time in collaboration with Shawna Zylstra of Gypsy Souls Yoga.