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Lighthouse Reef Getaway

Lighthouse Getaway

A five day remote safari-style Basecamp adventure exploring the rich coral reefs and white sand cayes of Lighthouse Atoll

A five day remote safari-style Basecamp adventure exploring the rich coral reefs and white sand cayes of Lighthouse Atoll

5 Days / 4 Nights
When: Weekly, December through May
Starts: Belize City
Ends: Belize City
Group size: 6-22 people per trip. 2-6 guides per trip.
Accommodations: Lighthouse Reef Basecamp, Half Moon Caye
Activities: Stand-up Paddle Boarding Snorkeling Sea Kayaking (Paddling) Sea Kayak Sailing Scuba Diving Fishing Birding Yoga
Extensions:  This trip combines well with the Rainforest Canopy Extension, the Maya World Extension.  Visit our combining trips page for more suggestions and info.
US: $1349
Can: $1599
Includes taxes and fees. Per person based on double occupancy.
(Single supplement information.)
Snorkel Lighthouse Reef
About the Trip

The Lighthouse Getaway allows you to explore and stay on remote Lighthouse Reef Atoll, a Belize national treasure. 

Lighthouse is a tropical marine park and designated world heritage site located fifty-five miles off the shore of the Belize mainland and only accessible by boat charter. Spend four nights at our unique, all-inclusive Adventure Basecamp on Half Moon Caye - a National Monument managed by the Belize Audubon Society. This trip is well suited for families and couples of mixed abilities, offering a choice of guided activities on the reef and the flexibility for traveling companions to do things together or separately. 

  • Explore this pristine coral atoll, renowned for its abundant and diverse marine life and unparalleled sea kayaking, snorkeling and Stand Up Paddleboarding. 
  • Enjoy five days of luxury Basecamp living - sleep in comfortable, waterfront tent-walled cabanas; enjoy fresh, family-style meals; choose from daily guided reef activities. 
  • Snorkel the Blue Hole - an underwater cave and sinkhole in the middle of Lighthouse lagoon made famous by legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau. 
  • Visit Half Moon Caye’s red-footed booby colony - a protected nesting site and home to 4000 birds.

Start Date

End Date

Day 1
Accomodation: Lighthouse Reef Basecamp on Half Moon Caye
Meals: Lunch & Dinner

To start the first day of your trip, you’ll meet your Island Expeditions guide at 8:30am in the lobby of the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel. Your guide will escort you to a boat launch for a motor charter to Lighthouse Reef Atoll. Imagine traveling by sea through mangrove ranges and white sand cayes before traversing Belize’s predominant Barrier Reef. This seafaring journey will take you through the inner lagoons of Turneffe Atoll and 20 miles of open sea before reaching Lighthouse Reef Atoll. Your final destination is located at the furthest edge of the Belizean Reef System, 55 miles offshore and offers an experience you’ll never forget. In ideal weather conditions, this motor charter takes approximately two hours. Upon reaching Half Moon Caye (an island at the southern end of Lighthouse Reef Atoll) your guide team will orient you to your newest island setting. After settling into your accommodations and having lunch in an open-air dining pavilion, you will be taught some key sea kayaking and paddling techniques by your guides. You’ll then head out for your first sea kayaking and snorkeling adventure!

Lighthouse Reef Basecamp on Half Moon Caye
Days 2-4
Accomodation: Lighthouse Reef Basecamp on Half Moon Caye
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Early risers may want to go for a swim, do some yoga - or just grab a cup of coffee and watch the tropical sunrise. After a healthy Belizean breakfast, everyone gathers to plan the day’s activities. The waters of Lighthouse Reef Atoll are exceptionally clear with a fabulously rich reef system, which offers some of the best kayaking, snorkeling, and diving in the Caribbean. Throughout your stay, you’ll have an opportunity to try a variety of activities as you explore this remote and magical part of Belize. Snorkeling at the ‘Aquarium’ is often a favorite guest activity. This location has a profusion of tropical fish and towering coral formations uncommon to other locations. You’ll also be taken on another snorkeling excursion to the renowned Blue Hole, made famous by the legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau. The Blue Hole is an underwater cave and sinkhole in the middle of the Lighthouse lagoon. In the mornings and evenings a favorite guest activity is to walk to the red-footed booby colony to watch the birds come in from the sea to feed their chicks.

Kayak at Lighthouse Reef
Day 5
Accomodation: n/a
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

For your last day at Lighthouse the choice is yours - don a mask, snorkel, and fins to explore your favorite patch reefs; or simply enjoy walking the island trails. For a slower pace, you can swing in a hammock or beachcomb along the island’s beaches. After lunch, a motorboat charter picks everyone up for the return trip to the mainland, arriving late afternoon.

Snorkel on Lighthouse Reef Atoll

Lighthouse Reef

From the Air, Lighthouse Reef Atoll is a Dazzling island necklace of white sand cayes encircling a sapphire blue lagoon   

On the extreme edge of the Belize reef system, miles beyond the main barrier reef, these isolated atolls support the greatest diversity of reef types and marine life. Formed over millennia, the coral reefs grew on top of the inundated Maya Mountains as sea levels rose (some 10,000 years ago as the last ice age retreated) and eventually formed an oval shaped wall of corals around a shallow sand and coral lagoon. Stunningly beautiful islands, a sheltered lagoon brimming with life and the dynamic interaction between the outer reef, open seas and inner lagoons are the prime attractions of our atoll basecamp on Half Moon Caye. 

To get to Lighthouse, we travel by boat beyond the main barrier reef, past Turneffe Atoll – some fifty-five miles east of the mainland where the underwater walls of Lighthouse atoll rise 3000 feet from the surrounding depths of the sea. The inner protected lagoon provides a rare underwater habitat for snorkelers with miles upon miles of shallow, warm waters studded with corals and where the lagoon drops off to the open sea, precipitous walls, undersea ridges, canyons, tunnels and valleys brimming with life are the deeper realm of scuba divers. Long difficult to access and out of reach for kayakers and snorkellers, Island Expeditions has pioneered the first-ever basecamp at Lighthouse Reef where we sleep in spacious walk-in tents, each with an ocean view. You may begin your day with a morning yoga class, and after each day’s activities our open-air dining pavilion and lounge is the perfect place to relax in comfort with fine meals, splendid company and conversation charged with the excitement of the day’s adventures.

Click for a PDF Lighthouse Reef Getaway Trip Itinerary


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About the Route

We catch our motor charter to spectacular Lighthouse Reef, one of only four coral atolls in the Caribbean, and home to the famous Blue Hole. 

In 1972, Capt. Jacques Cousteau and the intrepid crew of the Calypso explored and filmed this incredible atoll, showing its amazing underwater diversity to the world for the first time.

In partnership with the Belize Audubon Society, Island Expeditions Co. has established an Adventure Camp within the Half Moon Cay Marine Reserve, opening up for the first time this spectacular wilderness to adventurers.