Belize Glover's Reef & Mayan Caves Multisport

From: $1,899

per person dbl occ

Dates: Jan-Dec - see all dates

Total Days: 8

Activity Level: 2

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Price:

2013/2014

$1,899

2014/2015

$1,899

Additional Fees

Single supplement: $250

Airfare from Dangriga to Belize City: $85

Trip Dates:

2013/2014

  • Mar 2–9
  • Mar 9–16
  • Mar 16–23
  • Mar 23–30
  • Mar 30 – Apr 6
  • Apr 6–13
  • Apr 20–27

2014/2015

  • Nov 16–23
  • Nov 23–30
  • Nov 30 – Dec 7
  • Dec 7–14
  • Dec 14–21
  • Dec 21–28
  • Dec 28 – Jan 4
  • Jan 4–11
  • Jan 11–18
  • Jan 18–25
  • Jan 25 – Feb 1
  • Feb 1–8
  • Feb 8–15
  • Feb 15–22
  • Feb 22 – Mar 1
  • Mar 1–8
  • Mar 8–15
  • Mar 15–22
  • Mar 22–29
  • Apr 5–12
  • Apr 12–19
  • Apr 19–26
Group Size: 6-20

Activity Level: 2

Activities:

  • Sea Kayaking (paddling and sailing)
  • Snorkeling
  • Stand Up Paddleboarding
  • Hiking
  • Mayan Cave Exploring

Accommodations:

2 nights forest cabana; 5 nights luxury beach camping

Trip Highlights

  • Discover the paradise of Glover's Reef Atoll, off the shore of Belize
  • Make your Belize trip an adventure with hiking, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, and snorkeling
  • Explore a lush rainforest while floating a river; marvel at cave formations
  • Stay on a private, 13-acre island base enjoying tropical fruit and fresh seafood
  • Add on our Maya World extension for superb wildlife and bird viewing

Thirty-six miles offshore of the Belize mainland lies a group of tropical islands cradled within a turquoise lagoon and surrounded by a thriving coral reef. Glover's Reef Atoll, one of the richest tropical marine environments in the Caribbean, is home to world-class snorkeling and diving; the perfect paradise for a relaxing vacation.

Our private island base of over 13 acres is perched on the southern edge of the atoll with a dramatic view facing east over the main reef crest and the open Caribbean. Based out of this comfortable field camp, we are fully equipped to spend six and a half days sea kayaking, snorkeling, diving, and fishing. A leisurely float down a rainforest river and a visit to a fantastic limestone cave reveal rich diversity and intriguing Mayan culture.

After our adventures each day, we reward ourselves with a bounty of fresh seafood, island baking, tropical fruits, and decadent desserts!

REI Adventures shares non-exclusive departures with our travel partner, Island Expeditions Co. Extend your trip with our 3-day Maya World extension for unforgettable birding and wildlife viewing.

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 - Welcome to Belize! Discover the best little zoo in the world.
  • Day 2 - Hike through a lush rainforest before embarking on a cave exploration.
  • Days 3-7 - Set off for Glover's Atoll to kayak and snorkel this rich reef system.
  • Day 8 - One last snorkel or paddle before heading back to mainland Belize.

See full itinerary

Trip Itinerary and Details

Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.

  • Day 1 - Welcome to Belize! Discover the best little zoo in the world.

    Your trip begins today in Belize City, Belize. Arrive at the Belize International Airport where you will be met by an Island Expeditions representative and transferred to the Tropical Education Center, adjacent to the Belize Zoo. Here we are able to explore the surrounding savannah forest through their network of interpretative trails and wildlife viewing platforms. There is also a great interpretive center, which details the diverse ecology of Belize, and is an ideal starting point for the adventure ahead. After settling into our rustic forest cabanas, we have a chance to meet our fellow travelers over dinner. Dinner included.

  • Day 2 - Hike through a lush rainforest before embarking on a cave exploration.

    Start your day with a short early morning drive along the Hummingbird Highway to the River of Caves area of Belize. Walk a short trail through lush rainforest to the cave entrance. Travel on inner tubes for a three hour float and hike underground through a limestone cave system rich with amazing cave formations including massive crystallized flow stone formations, stalactites, and stalagmites. Return to the Tropical Education Center in the afternoon. Enjoy the unique Caribbean Pine Savanna Interpretive Trail. Later we have the privilege to participate in a unique wild cat rescue program that involves rescuing jaguars that would otherwise be killed for predating on livestock. A senior Zookeeper leads you through the jaguar tunnel and shares his insights on the program. After an up-close encounter with Buddy (trained as the ambassador), you will get a much different jaguar experience when Fieldmaster is let out of the tunnel! While the rescued jaguars cannot be returned to the wild, they can be retrained for a new life overseas. These reformed jaguars are placed as ambassadors in US zoos, where they generate awareness and support for big cat conservation. All meals included.

  • Days 3-7 - Set off for Glover's Atoll to kayak and snorkel this rich reef system.

    We depart early in the morning by charter boat to our private Basecamp on Southwest Caye at Glover's Reef Marine Reserve. Once we arrive we receive an introduction to our new environment before settling into our ocean view tent cabana. Next our guides give us professional instruction in the fundamentals of sea kayaking, snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding and water safety in the tropics. After the instruction, enjoy a paddle to a nearby patch reef and start exploring some of the 700 snorkel sites Glover's Atoll has to offer. Glover's 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 fabulously rich reef system. We spend the days exploring the atoll with both single and double kayaks rigged for sailing.

    Our itinerary is flexible to respond to individual and group preferences and abilities. Activities include sea kayaking, snorkeling the inner and outer walls of the reef, stand up paddleboarding and learning to sail a kayak. In the mornings and evenings we host informative sessions on a range of topics, providing an opportunity for guides to share their knowledge of Belize, the marine environments, and the local culture. Those guests that prefer a more leisurely pace can always take time to kick back in a hammock and relax with a good book! All meals included.

  • Day 8 - One last snorkel or paddle before heading back to mainland Belize.

    Many choose to wake up early this morning, enjoy a coffee on the dock and, for the last time, watch the sunrise over the atoll before enjoying a hearty breakfast. Our boat charter departs mid-morning back to the mainland with an estimated arrival around noon in Dangriga where the trip finishes. Any extra luggage that you have stored at our Operations Base will be made available for you to repack. Unless otherwise requested REI Adventures will arrange a flight for you from Dangriga to the Belize City International Airport. To allow enough time for the boat ride from basecamp to the mainland, picking up bags you have left behind and your flight from Dangriga to Belize City, you need to schedule flights out of Belize City after 2:00 pm on the last day of the trip. Breakfast and boxed lunch included.

Note on Itinerary

Although we do our best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.

Air Travel

Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate the trip.

Price Includes

All accommodations; all meals as noted in the daily itinerary; airport transfer from the Belize airport on Day 1 only; transportation within Belize; local English-speaking guides; kayaks and gear (life vests, paddles, dry bags, etc.); stand-up paddleboards; South Water Caye Marine Park fees; Glovers Reef Marine Park fees; government taxes.

Not Included

Airfare to Belize, flight from Dangriga to Belize City; departure taxes; guide gratuities; items of a personal nature; beer and soft drinks on Glovers; excess baggage charges or insurance of any kind.

Payment and Cancellation Policy

A special cancellation policy applies to all Belize trips. Please note that the cancellation policy is stricter than REI Adventures’ standard policy. Final payment is due 60 days before departure for regular season and 90 days prior for holiday dates. The following change and cancel fees apply:

Regular season departures (Jan 2 to Dec 14)
91+ days prior to departure – $200 penalty
61 to 90 days – full deposit is non-refundable
41 to 60 days – 50% of trip cost
0 to 40 days – 100% of trip cost

Holiday season departures (Dec 15 – Jan 1)
91+ days prior to departure – $400
61 to 90 days – 50% of trip cost
41 to 60 days – 75% of trip cost
0 to 40 days – 100% of trip cost

Qualifications

This trip is rated as Easy Active [2]. It is suitable for people of all ages who enjoy an active, adventurous, and educational vacation. We provide thorough expert skills instruction during our trips—no previous experience is needed to participate.

Weather

The climate of Belize is sub-tropical. Although we will be traveling during the dry season, the infrequent “northerly” can blow down from the Gulf of Mexico, bringing with it cooler temperatures and rain. Inland conditions can change quickly with afternoon thunderstorms and heavy rainfall commonly occurring. Typically, temperatures range from 70 - 100° F with high humidity during the day, dropping at night to 70 - 80°F. From December to May, conditions are usually clear, sunny and warm. December is generally cooler.

Accommodations

On our arrival into Belize, we overnight the first two nights in our forest cabanas at the Tropical Education Center (TEC). Here we are able to experience first-hand the wondrous tropical wildlife of Belize at the Belize Zoo. At the TEC there is also a fantastic interpretative center with a network of trails and wildlife viewing platforms perfect for exploring the pine savannah setting.

On Days 3 through 7 at Southwest Caye, we are "base camping," sleeping in tent-walled cabanas. These spacious safari-style tents have ample headroom to walk around and are on raised wooden floors with double or single beds. On the island we have a fully equipped kitchen, fresh-water collection system for drinking water, access to fresh-water showers, and modern composting toilets, as well as a large dining area and a resource library lounge.

Fly-fishing

There is now a $25bz ($12.50 USD) fishing license for fly-fishing within the reserve at Glovers Reef. New regulations require that all fishing is catch and release, and that anglers use barbless hooks. Please contact our office for more details.

Single Travelers

If you are traveling alone and specifically request single accommodations, you will be asked to pay the single supplement fee. If you wish to share accommodations, we will assign you a roommate if one is available. If a roommate cannot be found, you will be asked to pay a reduced single fee, which is half of the full single supplement. Please be advised that there are a limited number of single accommodations available.

General Information

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and pre-departure information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).

We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.

Belize Glover's Reef & Mayan Caves Multisport Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. This gear list has been created to help you in choosing your equipment for the trip. Try to bring only what is necessary, as this will help you and the field staff.

Weather

The climate of Belize is sub-tropical. Although we are traveling during the dry season, there can be the infrequent “northerly” which blows down from the Gulf of Mexico, bringing with it cooler temperatures and rain. Inland conditions can change quickly with afternoon thunderstorms and heavy rainfall commonly occurring. Typically, temperatures range from 70 - 100° F with high humidity during the day, dropping at night to 70 - 80°F. From December to May, conditions are usually clear, sunny and warm. December is generally cooler.

Gear Checklist

Provided Gear
  • Kayaks and paddling gear (for sea and river)
  • Tents
Official Papers
  • Valid passport
  • Airline itinerary and confirmation
Luggage
  • Duffel bag or soft-sided suitcase (wheels and retractable handle are fine) sturdy and large enough to hold clothing and gear
  • Passport security pouch or belt
  • Daypack
  • Luggage tags and luggage locks
Outerwear
  • Waterproof, breathable rain jacket
Footwear
  • Lightweight day hikers or running shoes
  • Sport sandals for kayaking and caving - toe protection is recommended
Clothing
  • Lightweight fleece or wool sweater
  • T-shirts
  • Long-sleeve shirt(s), quick-dry
  • Hiking shorts, quick-dry
  • Hiking pants, quick-dry
  • Hiking socks
  • Underwear
  • Swimsuit(s)
Clothing Accessories
  • Sun hat
  • Bandana(s)
Kayaking Accessories
  • Small personal dry bag for camera, personal items, etc. (10 lt.)
Travel Accessories
  • Mask, fins, snorkel (a must)
  • Water bottles, 1-quart size or hydration pack
  • Sunglasses and retainer strap
  • Sunblock and lip balm
  • Insect repellent (20-100% Deet)
  • Caladryl or some anti-itch lotion to ease bug bites
  • Personal first-aid kit
  • Ear plugs
  • Toiletry kit (please only biodegradable soaps and shampoos)
  • Hand sanitizer gel
  • Headlamp/flashlight with extra batteries (necessary for caving portion)
  • Beach and/or bath towel (a must)
  • 2-3 garbage bags – serves as extra water-proofing & keeps wet gear separate from dry
  • Watch with alarm or travel alarm
Optional Accessories
  • Camera, memory cards, spare batteries & charger
  • Reading and writing materials
  • Small binoculars
  • Field guides
  • Laundry detergent for hand washing /universal sink stopper
  • Handywipes
  • Ziploc bags for easy storage
  • Favorite energy snacks and drink mixes
  • Paddling gloves
  • Mesh bag for snorkel gear
  • Fishing rod and tackle
  • Wet suit (water temperatures in Dec. and Jan. can be cool)
  • Foot powder (for shedding sand after your feet have been wet all day)
  • Aquasocks

Things to Consider

  • Please remember to always pack essential items such as your passport, money, eyewear, hiking boots, a pair of shorts/shirt/fleece top/sandals and medications in your carry-on baggage, in case your luggage is delayed.
  • Cotton is wonderful in warm weather. However, once it becomes wet, it will drain your body heat. Bring wool or synthetics such as Capilene, MTS and Thermax.
  • Bring clothing that is light in weight and color, which ventilates and protects you from the sun. It is always good to have a lightweight, long-sleeve fleece or synthetic top, especially for the evenings.
  • Always test your layers before a trip. Your outer layer should fit easily over the inside ones without binding and bunching up.
  • Stuff sacks are great for sorting gear. Use different sizes/colors to differentiate contents.
  • Plastic bags are the key to keeping clothing and gear dry. Use Ziploc bags to keep wet clothes separate from dry clothes.
  • If you wear prescription glasses, use a safety cord and bring an extra pair if possible. Contact lens wearers should also bring an extra set, or bring eyeglasses for a backup.
  • Space for luggage is limited. Pack lightly, fitting all clothing into one duffel bag. During the day, plan on carrying a small daypack with sunscreen, water bottle/hydration system and camera.

Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
REI AdventuresBelize Glover's Reef & Mayan Caves Multisport
 
4.7

(based on 12 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Food (12)
  • Activity level (11)
  • Guides (11)
  • Well organized itinerary (11)
  • Quality equipment provided (10)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Avid adventurer (6), Casual adventurer (4)
        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Active adventures (10), All the details planned for me (9), I liked the itinerary (9), Destination (7), Commitment to sustainability (4)

      Reviewed by 12 customers

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      (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Remote island immersion

      By Nomanisan

      from Seattle, WA

      About Me Avid Semi-Adventurer

      Site Member

      Pros

      • Activity Level
      • Beautiful reef environs
      • Food
      • Guides
      • Quality Equipment Provided
      • Warm island breezes
      • Well Organized Itinerary

      Cons

      • Hot tents
      • Sand Flies

      Best Uses

        Comments about REI Adventures Belize Glover's Reef & Mayan Caves Multisport:

        The "Reef And Caves Multisport" trip description was the key draw for us (50-something couple & teenage daughter). The itinerary was well-planned to provide good diversity of outdoor Belize while emphasizing the remote reef atoll experiences. Plus a short roadway tour of interior Belize between the two main parts of the itinerary.

        Read and heed the comments of other travelers taking this trip, with special thanks to Barrett for his 2012 travel log.

        The most memorable mainland activity was the cave tubing. Lots of fun, and very relaxing, but we tubed at a low water period so maybe the current is more challenging at other times. Everything you bring on the fairly easy hike to the river for the tubing is subject to immersion. Your footwear will get wet. Water shoes (Teva, Keen, etc.) make more sense than boots (I see no need for hiking boots at any point in this trip), and flip flops may flip off. Leave day packs and dry clothes in the shuttle bus.

        We thoroughly enjoyed the island activities and setting. The snorkle-accessible reefs were very healthy. A couple folks took advantage of the SCUBA opportunities with the other outfit sharing the island, and they reported that the deeper reefs were even better. We enjoyed the kayaking, but we own our own at home so we were adequately conditioned. Some of the first-time kayakers were challenged, especially when the wind came up, but the guides were very helpful. Kayak sailing was a new experience.

        Take the sun exposure seriously. Long sleeve synthetic tops were the rule. I used a thin (1.5 mm) wetsuit for a complete head-to-toe sun block on the water, but most others didn't. Water temp was ~80 degrees F; very nice for snorkeling, but I was glad for the full body covering. Wide brim hats, or neck gaiters, were helpful.

        Major "con" #1: biting flies and mosquitoes. Other reviewers seemed to avoid these but we didn't. Our trip the second week of April was ~3 weeks after the last rain, but may have come after a big bug hatch.

        Major "con" #2: the safari tents used on the island got very hot in the full sun and took all night to cool down. Breezes were nice, and constant, but sleeping was still somewhat uncomfortable. No electricity so no fans.

        I had hoped to be able to do a little hand laundry with liquid camp soap after a few days, but this was not realistic. Rinsing opportunities only. Good clothes lines between the tents.

        The abundance and quality of the Glover's Reef food was impressive given the modest kitchen. Not quite gourmet, but tasty, and usually fresh & local. Pretty good breakfast coffee too.

        The guides and staff were cheerful, helpful, knowledgable, and enthusiastic about sharing Belize.

        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Active Adventures, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
        • Why did you choose this trip?:
        • Combination of tropical setting and diverse activities
        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
        • Remote island setting, plus mainland cave tubing
        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
        • Understand what this trip is about: other vacationers in Belize may be at comfy resorts, but you are roughing it in natural settings.

        (11 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Notes from a gear aficionado

        By Barrett who wears a kilt

        from Houston Texas

        About Me Avid Adventurer, Family Traveler, Gear Freak

        Site Member

        Pros

        • Food
        • Kayak Fleet

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about REI Adventures Belize Glover's Reef & Mayan Caves Multisport:

            Notes from a gear aficionado on the family vacation in Belize

            The basics of the trip were two days inland and five days offshore – the actual outfitter was a company called Island Expeditions and we booked it through REI (Island Expeditions is also the Belize outfitter for National Geographic). As a bit of color to the company, we spent a couple of days with the founder in country – he is a tall, lanky Canadian with the most excellent stories of 'the early days' driving from Canada to Belize festooned with equipment hanging off a van and trailer.

            Our trip was nine guests – we made up four (maw, paw, 13 year old-going-on-30 son and 11 year old never-met-a-stranger daughter) and there was only one other kid on the trip – nine-year old Dalton.

            The first two days were with Juan Carlos on the mainland. We had some time at the nature preserve by the zoo, tubing in a cave (which was worth doing), zip-lining (I'm partial to this setup – they were double cabled on all the runs and they did not freak out when I rode a couple of runs upside down), dinner in a local restaurant and a night trip to the zoo. Some people will not like the zoo because the animals are pretty habituated (to be fair, most of the animals are rescues from being domestic "pets"), but it was pretty cool to actually touch a jaguar's paw as she pressed up against the fence.

            We were in permanent structures with a cot/mattress. If you are used to a backpacking tent and an inflatable pad, it was very high end. Bathrooms down the path – but flush toilets and hot private showers.

            In addition to the generic gear list, I have the following observations. Binoculars were used – medium small size. This is not the occasion to lug around the big 50mm, but I would go more than the pocket binoculars. The list said hiking boots. We did not encounter anything that was not easily handled by keens.

            My piece de resistance for this phase (and similar situations) is a laser point – a high output 'astrological' laser that you can see in daylight. This device has helped the kids find more birds and animals than I can remember – instead of describing the second fork in the big tree, you just follow the green dot. Also, the really high-powered ones provide very cool illumination of the water around a crocodile swimming at night.

            The trip to the island involved a good bit of driving on a road in Latin America before getting to the point where we embarked on a boat for the island. There was a lot of interesting communication over concern about stuff getting wet in the boat on the trip out. Could happen, but all the wrapping in plastic bags was overkill for our experience. Trip out was something over an hour. Rough in parts – but in a small open boat most people took it more like a roller coaster ride. Based on the advice most people bundled up in rain jackets, but none of the guides did.

            The island was fabulous. The stars were really amazing – maybe the best I have ever seen. We were in tents made of plasticized canvas with wood floors and cots with mattresses. Plenty of windows in the tent and near constant breeze coming off the ocean. Composting toilets and the best bet for fresh water rinsing was the MSR dromedaries they put on a rack by the main building where they would get warm from the sun. Fresh water management is a core element of existing that afar out, so showers were neither hot nor long.

            Two unexpected high points – food and kayak fleet. Despite the activity, I gained weight. Really excellent food. Also, I was expecting a couple of beat up, old Ocean Kayaks. Most of the boats were Necky models that I recognized. Half the doubles were fiberglass – older, refitted boats, but most of the refit hardware was Seaward and the local guy refitting the boat is an artisan.

            After the obligatory kayak wet exit practice and orientation snorkel so the guides decided we were not totally incompetent, there was plenty of kayaking and snorkeling. One day of organized fishing on the small motorboat – I did lots of fishing on my own.

            We have done a number of trips like this and we find the better companies are better because they find guides who like what they are doing. This was no exception – they were interesting individuals who spent time with everyone and really enjoyed being there. This included organizing hermit crab races and facilitating coconut harvesting with the kids.

            As far as risk, I found the trip pretty benign. The most concern I had was on the night snorkel when a scorpion fish was spotted (venomous fish that looks sort of like a rock). On the one hand, you don't get to see something like that very often. On the other, it was my 13 year old that spotted and identified it, and we were sort of surrounding the fish in the three feet of water under the pier when the situation became fully apparent. Not unlike spotting a rattlesnake on a hike, just a little closer than you had hoped. Everything ending uneventfully (and hey, how many people have actually been in the water looking at a scorpion fish at night).

            On the subject of venomous fish, most people will recognize a lionfish when they see it. What they may not know is that it is an invasive species that is reeking havoc from the Carolinas to Panama and professional guides are working to eradicate them. So our guides speared quite a few with Hawaiian slings. The preferred use is to feed them to moray eels (we did not get to see this, but I am told it is amazing/terrifying to watch the eel feast) trying to habituate the morays to eating them because the moray's can stand the venom. Properly cleaned, you can eat them (we did) and they are a pretty decent fish. There is movement to get them on restaurant menus. Had I known, I would have taken a sling and participated (which the guides would have been fine with given my experience level – probably not a great idea if you don't have much time in the water and/or no experience spearfishing).

            For some more gear geek notes, I brought my big Texas hat, which was a mistake. The big brimmed ball cap with a cape worked much better. Check out fly-fishing stores. Also those buff neck gaiters are a good idea. Water bottles better than bladders (camelbaks) because we were using them in the kayaks/boat a lot.

            Never put on a short sleeve shirt. Two regular long sleeve shirts (I got by with cotton), plus a long sleeve rash guard and something you might wear in the evening like a linen shirt. I was also mostly in long pants. REI sells a lot of workable stuff, but you might also check out a company called Rail Riders and people who cater to the bonefish/fly fishing the flats crowd.

            You need to cover your feet – lots of coral bits. I used a pair of flip-flops and a pair of keens. I also had neoprene bootees that go with my diving fins and a pair of wading boots. You only need the wading boots if you are going to be hard-core fishing in the flats – these were not sand, there was a lot of eelgrass and a lot of coral debris.

            On fishing – the fishing that the guides directly support is hand line fishing off the boat. Gloves are a requirement for this. Some people were getting by with bike gloves that they also used for kayaking. Kayaking gloves would be fine. Buff makes fishing specific gloves, which were also good for this application. I took both fly and spinning tackle as well – nothing remarkable from that experience. For the boat, the spinning tackle should be heavier than you think – mostly bottom fishing and trolling – 50 pound line and wire leaders. We landed a vast array of stuff.

            Snorkeling was amazing. Great visibility. I got a really good photo of a tarpon I have up as my screen saver. We did do a night snorkel, so you want bring a dive light. My team wore only skin suits – more for sun protection than anything else. Some people put on wetsuits. If you are typically cold, I would consider taking at least a shorty. Wetsuits are something they have a challenge procuring locally, so you might consider donating an older or too small wetsuit. Definitely take your own mask/snorkel that you know works for you – their gear room is not extensive. I used one of the new Nikon ruggedized cameras. Generally worked great (how I took the tarpon picture) but did get some condensation inside. The whole family tried the new split fin style of fin this trip and they were universally preferred to the solid fins.

            The island only has power a couple of hours in the evening when the generator is running. You can charge electronics. No electric in the tents – you get a kerosene hurricane lamp for light, so you may want small battery operated lantern. Headlamps were used for getting around and hermit crab hunts.

            We had virtually no bug problems, but I observed a lot of lizard and they are eating something. We also had wind almost the whole time. The guides did mention problems with the "hairless tailed coconut squirrel" and strongly suggested that all food products be stored in metal binds in the main building. [If you are struggling with that, we are talking about rats]. We never saw a "squirrel" or any evidence of one.

            There were plenty of cloths lines (the support lines for the tents are interconnected, so they are parallel to the ground about 7 feet high) and the wind-dried things pretty quickly. Keep in mind that it is very humid and when I say that it dried things, I do not mean that crisp from the oven effect that you get with your electric dryer at home. Given time in that environment, paper products will fray (look at their bookshelf in the main building) and nothing gets dry in the way our climate-controlled appliance-driven experience back home provides. But I find it a great part of the experience – the cloths had an authentic sea breeze scent to them and seemed to have a slightly different texture. If you really need full dryness, some people suggested talc powder or corn starch for feet, etc. We did not bring any and I think you would need it stored in an air tight bag. I wear a kilt/skirt part of the time to be sure I am staying dry enough (and a big advocate of the kilt for this reason – I mean, isn't obvious which sex needs more freedom down there).

            And for the adults, a note on alcohol (eye roll from my wife that I include this). They depend on the bar at the dive resort on the other side of the island for pretty much everything except the night's ration of either rum punch, local wine or local beer. On our week, the bar was closed to us because of a private event at the dive resort. At my request, the guide procured an extra case of beer (which definitely upped the tip). So if you want anything special in the way of liquor, probably a good idea to bring it. Also, it is apparently difficult to get any liquor except local rum at reasonable prices – I got this info at the end of the trip when I offered the guides any of my stuff that I could easily replace and they couldn't get in Belize. The immediate response from the American guide was liquor other than local rum – any time he has a friend or family member visit, he has them stock up at duty free on the way through customs to supply him.

            While we still have a fairly long bucket list, we are considering a return trip. Probably not the full prepackaged deal, but some more time on the island. Very isolated, despite sharing the island with the dive resort. Great snorkeling, great stars, great food.

            • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
            • Active Adventures, Traveled with them before
            • Why did you choose this trip?:
            • Close, worked for everyone in the family
            • What was the highlight of your trip?:
            • Food, marine life
            • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
            • See comments on gear, etc
             
            4.0

            Great trip!!!

            By KrisE

            from Oregon

            Pros

            • Activity Level
            • Exceeded Expectations
            • Food
            • Group Camaraderie
            • Guides
            • Quality Equipment Provided
            • Well Organized Itinerary

            Cons

              Best Uses

                Comments about REI Adventures Belize Glover's Reef & Mayan Caves Multisport:

                Only 2 negative comments: we had no time at the TEC to hike the trails, every minute was accounted for. And there was no fresh fruit with meals at TEC. Too many positive comments to list!! The guides on the caye were fantastic - knowledgeable, safety-conscious, friendly, helpful. The food on the caye is 5 star!!!

                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                • I Liked the Itinerary
                • Why did you choose this trip?:
                • We've been to Belize before but due to lack of time to plan a trip we chose a tour.
                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                • Snorkeling, the amazing guides, & the food on the caye
                • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                • Pay attention to the list you'll get of things to take - they're not wrong!

                (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                variety without being overwhelming

                By mjgate

                from Atlanta, GA

                About Me Avid Adventurer

                Site Member

                Pros

                • Activity Level
                • Food
                • Group Camaraderie
                • Guides
                • Quality Equipment Provided
                • Well Organized Itinerary

                Cons

                • Accommodations

                Best Uses

                  Comments about REI Adventures Belize Glover's Reef & Mayan Caves Multisport:

                  Bed on Glover's reef was very hard and even painful to sleep on. Tents leaked and it rained every night. Rats on the island get into your tent. Food was excellent, staff was terrific, activities were at a good pace and everyone could participate at their discretion.

                  • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                  • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Safety, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                  • Why did you choose this trip?:
                  • Timing of trip, location, activities.
                  • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                  • ziplining, scuba diving, learning about the country.
                  • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                  • You do NOT need hiking shoes - was a waste of space in my bag. You DO need garbage bags to keep clothes dry on the boat ride and have your flashlights handy when you arrive, not burried in your suitcase. You CAN rent snorkel gear if you don't have it, you just need to arrange in advance with Island Expeditions.

                  (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  You Better Belize It!

                  By Ellina

                  from San Francisco, CA

                  About Me Avid Adventurer

                  Pros

                  • Accommodations
                  • Activity Level
                  • Exceeded Expectations
                  • Food
                  • Group Camaraderie
                  • Guides
                  • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                  • Quality Equipment Provided
                  • Well Organized Itinerary

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about REI Adventures Belize Glover's Reef & Mayan Caves Multisport:

                      Bring books, your paintbrush, anything you've been meaning to catch up on...because there will be time. Lose the watch if you can bare it, I didn't bring one, had no cell or computer. Never knew what time it was or what day it was. Just went by the sun...

                      "hmm it looks like hammock surfing time!"

                      "Afternoon nap time.."

                      Conk Horn "oh, time to eat :o)"

                      • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                      • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                      • Why did you choose this trip?:
                      • Hidden Gem in the Caribbean Sea...
                      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                      • TOO MANY!!! Spelunking! Catching my own dinner. The reef. Learning to do a 360 in a kayak. Kayak sailing. and OMG the FOOD, so amazing everyday all day!
                      • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                      • Bring extra sunblock. People began running out on the 7th day. I reapplied 5+ times a day and it saved my skin! MUST BRING a long sleeve rash guard for snorkeling/kayaking. Your arms are in the sun all day kayaking, sailing, and you don't want a bare back while snorkeling either. Bring two, unless you are ok with washing your clothes because it will reek after a few days.

                      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Unbelizable!!

                      By G Atlanta

                      from Atlanta, Ga

                      About Me Casual Adventurer

                      Site Member

                      Pros

                      • Activity Level
                      • Exceeded Expectations
                      • Food
                      • Guides
                      • Quality Equipment Provided
                      • Well Organized Itinerary

                      Cons

                      • Brackish water showers

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about REI Adventures Belize Glover's Reef & Mayan Caves Multisport:

                        This trip is fantastic. The guides are truly great. Most were local people, well educated, with just the right amount of knowledge as to history, culture, Mayas, marine biology, conservation, and the sports with which they each helped us. At the same time, they were never in your face, nosy, never hurried you, they were there if you needed them and not there if you did not. They just seemed to magically be there at the right place and the right time when you needed/wanted them. Despite group size (20!), we never felt herded or lost in the crowd. Most fellow travelers shared outdoor interests and had the right attitude, which made everything run very smooth. Being on time is important (but it was not an issue for anyone in our group).

                        The location, Belize, was amazing. Little developed country that felt safe, honest, and warm. The zip-lining and cave tubing were a lot of fun and you always felt very safe. The Caye (key/island) accommodations at Glover's Reef were amazing – it is a privately, locally owned island that was not being used by anyone else, so our group had it all for itself. The kayaks and other provided equipment (like hammocks!) were in very good shape. Snorkeling and fishing one of the world's greatest barrier reefs (second only to Australia's Great Barrier Reef) was an experience like no other. The not so great part were the showers, which had showerheads that basically sprayed against the wall – but you can fix that by taking a small bucket or bowl to shower with you, collecting water there, and then pouring on self. Feel guilty saying that as it's not that big of a deal, but it is an inconvenience for people with long hair.

                        Overall, everything we expected, wanted, needed, and more.

                        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                        • All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Fit for family adventure, I Liked the Itinerary
                        • Why did you choose this trip?:
                        • We wanted to have a family adventure with our 8 yr old daughter and this trip seemed a perfect balance between safety-guidance and adventure. It was.
                        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                        • Tough to pick just one: tubing through caves, exploring the reefs, drinking a beer under a straw hutch in the ocean, kayak sailing....
                        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                        • Bring everything on gear list and be mentally ready to let go of comforts of a hot shower and flushing toilets!!

                        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Awsome Trip

                        By Gorpgobbler from Wyoming

                        from Cheyenne, WY

                        About Me Avid Adventurer

                        Pros

                        • Activity Level
                        • Exceeded Expectations
                        • Food
                        • Group Camaraderie
                        • Guides
                        • Well Organized Itinerary

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about REI Adventures Belize Glover's Reef & Mayan Caves Multisport:

                            We had a phenomenal time on this trip! It was everything we thought it would be and more. The guides and service were outstanding. I would definately recommend this trip.

                            • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                            • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                            • Why did you choose this trip?:
                            • It encompassed everything that we wanted to do on a trip to Belize
                            • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                            • The snorkeling was phenomenal. It really felt like we were swimming in an aquarium.
                            • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                            • The accomodations on the Cayes are a little on the primitive side so if you are looking for 5-star luxury accomodations with A/C this is not the trip for you. Also, you don't need to bring extra snacks with you like it was recommended. The food was fantastic and more than enough to keep you going.

                            (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Must Go to Belize!

                            By Susan the Snowshoer

                            from Denver, CO

                            About Me Casual Adventurer

                            Site Member

                            Pros

                            • Accommodations
                            • Activity Level
                            • Exceeded Expectations
                            • Food
                            • Group Camaraderie
                            • Guides
                            • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                            • Quality Equipment Provided
                            • Well Organized Itinerary

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                                Comments about REI Adventures Belize Glover's Reef & Mayan Caves Multisport:

                                The guides from [...] (Bernaldo, Mike, and Dave) were so fantastic. Bernaldo and Mike are native to Belize, and their passion and knowledge of their country is amazing. Dave was also great and very knowledgeable. The cook, Marta, was fantastic about accomodating food allergies and made super delicious food. The snorkeling and kayaking were awesome. There were options for those more and less experienced. There is always the option of opting-out to enjoy the beach. No pressure for participation. Very accomodating and patient guides. I could not have asked for a better vacation. Thank you!

                                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary
                                • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                • A friend and I choose this trip to introduce her to the wonderful outdoors. It was perfectly paced for her as a beginner kayaker and snorkeler. Also we wanted a beach vacation that was more than laying on the beach.
                                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                • The highlight of this trip was staying on Glover's Reef Atoll. So incredibly beautiful. It is paradise and more.
                                • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                • Expect camping on the beach. Expect no A/C in some areas (the breeze off the ocean is perfect). Expect high temperatures and humidity and know that you will be more comfortable once you're at the beach. Nothing is ever truly dry so make sure you pack quick-dry and not cotton.

                                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                4.0

                                Amazing Honeymoon

                                By elizascott

                                from Seattle, WA

                                About Me Avid Adventurer, Honeymooners

                                Pros

                                • Activity Level
                                • Food
                                • Group Camaraderie
                                • Guides
                                • Kayaking
                                • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                                • Quality Equipment Provided
                                • Snorkeling
                                • Well Organized Itinerary

                                Cons

                                • Accommodations

                                Best Uses

                                  Comments about REI Adventures Belize Glover's Reef & Mayan Caves Multisport:

                                  It was fun to do the two touristy things (cave-tubing and zip-lining) and see a bit of the interior of Belize. We visited Mayan ruins on our own and I am really glad we did. The five days out at Glover's Reef was the perfect length of time! The food and fresh bread were great!! The accommodations were close together and you could hear the nature noises as well as the other tents. Thankfully everyone is very thoughtful and we had no trouble with noise.

                                  • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                  • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
                                  • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                  • We knew we wanted Belize and snorkeling, but we didn't want the standard tourist hotel and beach. Combined with a week of travel on our own, this was a perfect trip for us.
                                  • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                  • A different snorkeling and kayaking destination each day. AMAZING, fresh and varied food for each meal.
                                  • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                  • Lots of Bug Spray and Sunblock. Even if you aren't susceptible to sunburns, I recommend long pants and shirt for snorkeling.

                                  (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                                   
                                  5.0

                                  Best Vacation Ever!

                                  By red_rover

                                  from Virginia

                                  About Me Avid Adventurer

                                  Pros

                                  • Activity Level
                                  • Exceeded Expectations
                                  • Food
                                  • Guides
                                  • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                                  • Quality Equipment Provided
                                  • Well Organized Itinerary

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                      Comments about REI Adventures Belize Glover's Reef & Mayan Caves Multisport:

                                      This trip was the most enjoyable vacation I've ever taken! It was so great to have everything planned out for you. Each day, you didn't have to figure out your transportation, what or where to eat, organized activities, etc. Everything is planned out for you! You can choose to relax by the beach or be active the entire time. The guides are exceptional and made the trip so much fun. A word to those who have not traveled in large groups - just keep in mind you will be with 10-20 strangers the entire time. You eat meals together, travel together, do activities together, etc. So, if you're looking for some alone time this is not the trip. This being said, I did meet some incredibly wonderful people in our group!

                                      The accomodations on this trip are that of camping, so keep that in mind and travel light. The weather was absolutely perfect during my trip in March. No rain, really comfortable temperatures, and the humidity didn't seem high. Overall, a really wonderful experience!

                                      • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                      • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination
                                      • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                      • I chose this trip due to the high level of paddling opportunities, the beautiful location, and the longer trip length.
                                      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                      • The highligh of this trip was snorkeling. It was my first time and we were able to see so many incredible under sea creatures.
                                      • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                      • Be prepared to shower in brackish water - the only fresh water available is for drinking. No need to bring lots of snack - the food is delicious and there is plenty of it. A waterproof camera is a good idea. Pack long-sleeve, quick-drying clothing you can wear to protect frome the sun.

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                                      Maya World Extension

                                      Activity: Wildlife viewing

                                      Want more of Belize? The Maya World Extension is a great compliment to your Belize adventure. It provides a unique opportunity to see parts of the Mayan world that you may not experience. The extension can be added on before or after your island trip.

                                      Highlights include:

                                      • Exploring the Mayan city of Lamanai which was occupied for over 3,000 years and is one of the most charming of all Mayan sites in Belize. Current residents include howler monkeys and toucans.
                                      • Boating through the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary which provides a special opportunity for viewing, close at hand, the astounding diversity of birds and wildlife for which Belize is renowned.
                                      • Visiting the Mayan site of Altun-Ha and seeing the 54' high "Temple of the Masonry Altars".
                                      • Finish your day star gazing from the patio deck of your comfortable Belizean lodge located on the shores of the Crooked Tree Lagoon.

                                      Days: 3

                                      Price: from $649 per person

                                      Hide Details

                                      Maya World Sample Itinerary

                                      Sample Itinerary

                                      Note: For trip members who are doing this extension at the end of your Belize tour, your trip guide will advise you of the meeting time and place in Belize City.

                                      Day 1: For those beginning their Belize adventure with the Maya World Extension, please arrive at the Belize International Airport by 4 p.m. today. You will be met by a Bird's Eye View Lodge representative and transferred to the Birds Eye View Lodge, in the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary. After checking into our accommodations we have a chance to meet our fellow travelers, explore the nearby Creole village and settle into the rhythm of 'Belize Time'.

                                      Meals: Dinner

                                      Day 2: After a nice breakfast the group departs for the Mayan Ruins of Lamanai. This day of exploration includes a complete guided tour, visiting the many temples, plazas, palaces, and museums within the park boundaries.

                                      Once we have had a chance to tour the ruins, we depart Lamanai by boat for a scenic ride into the Crooked Tree area where we have tremendous birding and wildlife opportunities: Iguana, Parrot, Toucan and even Morlet's Crocodile can be seen along the banks of the New River Lagoon. Upon arriving on the shore, we transfer overland for 45 minutes to Crooked Tree Village. We overnight at Birds Eye View Lodge, along the banks of the Crooked Tree Lagoon.

                                      Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

                                      Day 3: With an early morning coffee and binoculars in hand, we enjoy the waking wilderness and many hundreds of birds feeding along the shores of the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary Lagoons. The protected area was created in 1984 primarily to preserve resident and migratory birds, and consists of a network of inland lagoons, swamps and waterways that shelter one of the world's largest flying birds, the jabiru (jabiru mycteria.). After breakfast we enjoy a morning boat tour in the lagoons. We'll return to the lodge for lunch. Afterwards, we'll have time to relax and gather our bags before departing to the Mayan site of Altun Ha. Considered one of the major Mayan ceremonial centers of Belize, Altun Ha also functioned as an important trading center between the interior and the Caribbean Sea during the classic period (250-900 AD). However, Altun Ha has been dated as far back as 600 BC. Within the site, there are more than 275 structures and there are up to 250 to 300 unexcavated mounds..

                                      We return to Belize City around 4:00 pm. Those that have done their Mayan Extension at the beginning of their program in Belize will continue from here to their first night accommodations. For those travelers that are doing their Maya Extension at the end of their Belize tour you will be dropped off at the Belize International Airport or the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City to continue with your independent travels. Arrangements can be made to take flights out of Belize City by 2:00pm for these guests.

                                      Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

                                      2013/2014 Price

                                      REI Member: $649 double occupancy; $799 single occupancy.

                                      Prices Include

                                      Meals from dinner on Day 1 to lunch on Day 3, accommodations, transfers and tours described in the itinerary; professional guiding services.

                                      Not Included

                                      Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks; items of a personal nature; gratuities; insurance of any kind; international flights & airport departure tax; extra costs due to late arrivals and other circumstances beyond our control.

                                      Single Travelers

                                      All single travelers must pay the single rate.

                                      Accommodations

                                      On the nights of Day 1 and Day 2, we will be staying at Birds Eye View Lodge, situated on the water's edge of the Crooked Tree Lagoon. This comfortable Belizean-style hotel offers private baths and lakeside views. The rooftop deck and bar atop the lodge is a perfect place to catch the evening breeze and reminisce over your recent discoveries.

                                      Payment and Cancellation Policy

                                      Full payment is due 60 days prior to departure. The following change and cancel fees apply:

                                      31 to 60 days – 50% of trip cost

                                      0 to 30 days – 100% of trip cost

                                      Qualifications

                                      This trip is rated Easy Active [2]. It is suitable for people of all ages who enjoy an active, adventurous, and educational vacation. We provide thorough expert skills instruction during our trips—no previous experience is needed to participate.

                                      Keep in mind that although this is a van-escorted and boat-oriented trip, you will be hiking a fair amount each day in warm, humid conditions. Also for those that choose, climbing the Mayan temples can be steep. Engaging in walking, running and aerobics for cardio-vascular fitness are good ways to be in shape for this trip.

                                      Days: 3

                                      Price: from $649 per person

                                      Show Details

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