Belize Lighthouse Reef Kayaking

From: $1,899

per person dbl occ

Dates: Mar-Apr - see all dates

Total Days: 9

Activity Level: 2

Reserve This Trip

1-800-622-2236

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Monday–Friday,
7 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time

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Price:

2014

$1,899

Additional Fees

Single supplement: $300

Trip Dates:

2014

  • Mar 15–23 Sold out
  • Mar 21–28 Sold out
  • Apr 4–12
  • Apr 12–20
  • Apr 18–26
  • Apr 26 – May 4 Sold out
Group Size: 6-18

Activity Level: 2

Activities:

  • Kayaking
  • Snorkeling
  • Stand Up Paddleboarding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Diving (optional)

Accommodations:

1 night lodge; 6 nights luxury basecamp, 1 night hotel

Trip Highlights

  • Discover Lighthouse Reef, dubbed "the Aquarium" by Jack Cousteau
  • Explore this region, rife with coral and marine life, by paddleboard, kayak and snorkel
  • Stay at a luxury base camp with ocean views; dine on fresh fruit and seafood
  • Add on our Maya World extension for superb wildlife and bird viewing

Some 50 miles off the Belize mainland, beyond the Barrier Reef and past Turneffe Atoll, coral islands rise from the sea. Shimmering with white-sand cayes and lush, green groves of coconut palms, this lagoon provides a rare underwater habitat for snorkelers, with miles upon miles of shallow waters rich with coral.

Lighthouse Reef, made famous by legendary underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau, has become known amongst divers as the "Aquarium," renowned for its sheer abundance of marine life, crystal clear waters, and thriving coral reefs. We sleep in spacious walk-in tents where every window has an ocean view, and after each day's activities—kayaking, snorkeling, and diving—our open-air dining pavilion provides the perfect place to relax in comfort with fine meals and splendid company.

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 - Begin your Belize adventure in Crooked Tree Village.
  • Day 2 - After incredible wildlife viewing, head out to our luxury basecamp.
  • Days 3-5 - Explore the waters and reef surrounding Half Moon Caye.
  • Day 6 - Visit the Blue Hole, named "the Aquarium" by Jacques Cousteau.
  • Day 7 - Discover Lighthouse Reef's density and diversity of corals and fish.
  • Day 8 - Enjoy one last snorkel before saying goodbye to this slice of paradise.
  • Day 9 - Depart for home.

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 - Begin your Belize adventure in Crooked Tree Village.

    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 Birds Eye View Lodge located in the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary. After checking into our accommodations, we have a chance to meet our fellow travelers and enjoy a fine meal, and as time permits, explore Crooked Tree Village, one of Belize's oldest Creole settlements. Dinner included.

  • Day 2 - After incredible wildlife viewing, head out to our luxury basecamp.

    Coffee is served at sunrise, and with binoculars in hand, we enjoy the waking wilderness and many hundreds of birds feeding right in front of the lodge along the shores of the Crooked Tree lagoons. After a healthy Belizean breakfast, we'll embark by boat to explore the area. Throughout the sanctuary, we have tremendous birding and wildlife opportunities: iguana, turtle, parrot, ibis and Morlet's crocodile are frequently seen. Later in the day, we'll drive along the old Belize Road to the sea where we board our motor charter that takes us through white sand cayes and mangrove ranges, then past the main barrier reef to Lighthouse Reef Atoll, at the furthest edge of the Belize Reef System, 60 miles offshore of the mainland. On reaching Half Moon Caye, your guide team will orient you to our new island setting and settle you into your accommodations and camp. You can then enjoy a late lunch and an afternoon snorkel or kayak around Half Moon Caye. All meals included.

  • Days 3-5 - Explore the waters and reef surrounding Half Moon Caye.

    Due to it's isolation from the mainland, the waters of Lighthouse Reef Atoll are exceptionally clear, with inspiring scenery and a fabulously rich reef system that offers some of the best kayaking, snorkeling and diving in the Caribbean. To begin, the guides provide instruction, teaching the fundamentals of sea kayaking, snorkeling, stand up paddleboarding and safety in the tropics.

    Over the next few days we have many options to explore, including a shipwreck that looms just north of the caye. In 1971, a ship named the Ermlund lost power during a storm and was deposited on the reef by a large wave. This 4000 ton rusted wreck sits silent as a landmark and is one of many shipwrecks in the area that serve as a constant reminder of the hazards of navigating these waters. We also have ample opportunities to learn from our guides about the marine reef ecology and the island's mangrove and interior forest habitat that spread over the park's 45 acres. Many species of birds nest on the island, including a 4,000 red-footed booby colony for which the Audubon Society has built a series of viewing platforms to intimately observe the many nesting sites. And, of course, we always have the option of hanging out in a hammock with a good book and a cold drink! All meals included.

  • Day 6 - Visit the Blue Hole, named "the Aquarium" by Jacques Cousteau.

    The "aquarium" is today's big adventure. We pack a hearty lunch and our snorkel gear in our kayaks and paddle with motor support. This dive spot is known for it's profusion of fish and towering coral formations. We return home, stopping at the Halfmoon Wall for a spectacular drift snorkel over the undersea cliff of the atoll.  All meals included.

  • Day 7 - Discover Lighthouse Reef's density and diversity of corals and fish.

    Today, we paddle along the protected waters of the southern reef to Long Caye where we have a chance to snorkel some of the atoll’s best patch reefs. After a full day of exploring, we return just in time for a wonderful seafood dinner prepared by our cooks.  All meals included.

  • Day 8 - Enjoy one last snorkel before saying goodbye to this slice of paradise.

    For our last morning at Lighthouse, the choice is yours. Don a mask, snorkel and fins for a visit to a favorite patch reef, enjoy walking the island trails, a last visit to the red footed booby colony or beach comb along the island beaches before the motor charter arrives to pick us up for the return boat trip back to the mainland. We transfer to the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel where we can enjoy a fresh shower and a swim in the pool. Breakfast and lunch included.

  • Day 9 - Depart for home.

    Breakfast and transfer to airport are on your own today.

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 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; Half Moon Caye Marine Park fees; government taxes.

Not Included

Airfare to Belize, transfer from Belize City to airport; departure taxes; guide gratuities; items of a personal nature; alcoholic beverages and soft drinks; dive gear & scuba diving fees; 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
31 to 60 days – 75% of trip cost
0 to 30 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 Day 1 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 bath and lakeside views. On the second level, there is a deck and bar which is the perfect place to catch the evening breeze and reminisce over your recent discoveries.

On Days 2 to 7 we will be sleeping in tent-walled cabanas on raised wooden floors. These spacious, safari-style tents with single or double beds have ample headroom for walking around.

On the final night we will be staying at the Belize Biltmore Hotel in Belize City. This comfortable, modern hotel located 5 miles north of town features a central courtyard with a swimming pool where you can relax and unwind.

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 Lighthouse Reef Kayaking 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.

Gear Checklist

Provided Gear
  • Kayaks and paddling gear
  • Tents and bedding
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
  • Sport sandals for kayaking
  • Comfortable walking shoes for travel and/or Maya extension
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
  • Caladryl or some anti-itch lotion to ease bug bites
  • Sunglasses and retainer strap
  • Sunblock and lip balm
  • Insect repellent (20-100% Deet)
  • Personal first-aid kit
  • Toiletry kit- (please only biodegradable soaps and shampoos)
  • Earplugs
  • Hand sanitizer gel
  • Watch with alarm or travel alarm
  • Headlamp/flashlight with extra batteries
  • Beach and/or bath towel
  • 2-3 garbage bags – serve as extra water-proofing & keeps wet gear separate from dry
Optional Accessories
  • Camera, memory cards, spare batteries & charger
  • Reading and writing materials
  • Small binoculars
  • Field guides
  • Laundry detergent for hand washing /universal sink stopper
  • Ziploc bags for easy storage
  • Handy wipes
  • 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.
  • Pack lotions that can help ease itching from bug bites.
  • 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 Lighthouse Reef Kayaking
 
4.8

(based on 10 reviews)

90%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Activity level (9)
  • Food (9)
  • Group camaraderie (9)
  • Guides (9)
  • Exceeded expectations (8)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Avid adventurer (5), Casual adventurer (5)
        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Active adventures (9), Destination (8), I liked the itinerary (8), All the details planned for me (6), Travel with like-minded outdoor enthusiasts (6)

      Reviewed by 10 customers

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      Displaying reviews 1-10

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      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Absolutely unimprovable!

      By West Seattle Doug

      from Seattle, WA, USA

      About Me Avid Adventurer, Excellent Swimmer, Mid-level Kayaker

      Site Member

      Pros

      • Accommodations
      • Activity Level
      • Belize Culture Insights
      • Exceeded Expectations
      • Food
      • Group Camaraderie
      • Guides
      • Lack Of Bugs
      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
      • Scenic Beauty
      • Well Organized Itinerary

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about REI Adventures Belize Lighthouse Reef Kayaking:

          Really loved meeting the Belizean staff (especially Amelia and Bol) and learning about the Garifuna, Maya, and Creole cultures. Food ample, healthy, and delicious. Wonderful kayaking and snorkeling. Blue Hole was awesome, as was the sail-kayaking to Long Caye. Good-spirited group with no bad apples. Lots of laughs and smiles.

          As a gay couple we were prepared to travel somewhat discreetly out of respect for what we thought might be traditional Belizean cultures. We needn't have worried. Our very first night we were presented with a nice honeymoon basket of local foods and products, and were received with applause by all the guests and staff. The entire week was 100% friendly and comfortable. Gay travelers should not hesitate to take this trip, as long as you are fit and adventurous.

          One of the other group members had been to many other cayes off of Belize and said that Lighthouse Reef / Half Moon Caye has the best reputation for being bug-free. We certainly found this to be the case. This was the 6th time this man had taken this exact REI tour. That says it all!

          • 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?:
          • After researching the cayes off of Belize I became convinced this was by far the best way to see Lighthouse Reef
          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
          • Perfect weather, Belizean staff, kayaking and snorkeling, incredible food, everything done for us!
          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
          • I would not wait a second--go. This was a perfect vacation.

          (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          good trip but some things to consider

          By travelling-girl

          from San Francisco, CA

          About Me Avid Adventurer

          Pros

          • Accommodations
          • Activity Level
          • Group Camaraderie

          Cons

          • Fell Short of Expectations

          Best Uses

            Comments about REI Adventures Belize Lighthouse Reef Kayaking:

            Overall I had a good trip and enjoyed my time in Belize. I felt the price of the trip was reasonable. Rooms were rustic but right on the water with a beautiful view. We opted out of a couple of activities and just relaxed on the hammock by the water. I'm not the kind of person who needs hairdryers and hot showers, but if you are make note that most of the cabins lack hot water and electricity.

            On the downside, I'm not clear I understand the value REI provided on this trip. They basically collected my trip forms and turned me over to another tour operator. On two separate occasions REI mislead me about the number of people enrolled in the trip. When I called about my first choice date I was told the trip was nearly full and I should put a deposit down right away. I did and then two days later was told the trip had only two people and was not confirmed for departure. I then switched my date. I was ultimately told there would be four people on the trip. It turned out that the tour operator combined our trip with a few others and we ended up having more like 12 people. I didn't mind the extra people but was expecting a reasonably accurate answer to my questions. Also, there was not great coordination around the initial pick-up in Belize. The experience probably would have been better if I had just signed up with the tour operator and communicated directly with them.

            Although I had a good time, I didn't always feel the trip was as well organized as I would expect. There seemed to be a lot of chaos at times when we were out on activities and equipement wasn't also available for everyone. We had some weak swimmers and once or twice I was worried that our guides had lost track of a couple of people.

            I would also recommend waterproof sunscreen, a hat and a rashgaurd or light wetsuit for snorkeling, particularly for people who are prone to sunburn.

            • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
            • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
            • Why did you choose this trip?:
            • Seemed like a great way to relax, snorkel, kayak, see the kayes.
            • What was the highlight of your trip?:
            • Seeing an octopus and two sea horses. Sea kayaking. Side trip to caves.
            • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
            • This is a great trip if you want some great kayaking opportunities, decent snorkeling and varied locations. It's likely Lighthouse Kaye has more colorful snorkeling but we still saw some interesting and fantastic wildlife on our trip. Be flexible and expect the unexpected. Bring snacks. Wear sunscreen.

            (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Beyond Fabulous

            By happygirl

            from Denver, CO

            About Me Casual Adventurer

            Site Member

            Pros

            • Everything
            • Exceeded Expectations
            • Food
            • Group Camaraderie
            • Guides

            Cons

            • None

            Best Uses

              Comments about REI Adventures Belize Lighthouse Reef Kayaking:

              Food was wonderful. Guides were hardworking, helpful, and knowledgeable. There is a fantastic variety of sea life to see when snorkeling. Island Expeditions is committed to providing a safe, happy, and wonderful experience for all participants!

              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
              • Active Adventures, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary
              • Why did you choose this trip?:
              • I have wanted to go to Belize to snorkel for approx. ten years. This trip gave me the opportunity to do so with knowledgeable guides.
              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
              • It was all highlight!
              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
              • Embrace all of the opportunities that present. Have a sense of adventure and positive attitude. Get to know your guides and fellow travelers.

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Great vacation experience!

              By Pamela Beason Author

              from Bellingham, WA

              About Me Casual Adventurer

              Site Member

              Pros

              • Activity Level
              • Food
              • Group Camaraderie
              • Guides
              • Quality Equipment Provided

              Cons

              • Need to hike to toilets

              Best Uses

                Comments about REI Adventures Belize Lighthouse Reef Kayaking:

                Loved that the island was a bird sanctuary and that we snorkeled around the famous Blue Hole. The food was fantastic! We all got bruises learning self-rescues in the kayaks, but it was worth it. Nightly treks to the toilets got a bit old, but I appreciate that they were modern composting toilets. Oh, and you will occasionally see and hear rats both in your tent and out, so if that freaks you out, better pack the tranquilizers.

                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                • Active Adventures, Commitment to Sustainability, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                • Why did you choose this trip?:
                • I am a hiker/kayaker/snorkeler/hike/scuba diver, so this trip was great for me. I am also an author and always looking for great settings and plot lines for my books.
                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                • Seeing three kinds of eels in the tidepools on Half Moon Caye. And my fellow travelers helped me concoct a variety of scenarios for a future mystery.
                • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                • A lycra diveskin makes a great coverup while kayaking and snorkeling. Embrace the fine white sand: it will be with you 24 hours a day for the week. Bring flashlights for your nightly hikes to the composting toilets so you don't trip over the multitude of hermit crabs along the way.

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Paradise

                By gussycat

                from Minneapolis, MN

                About Me Avid Adventurer

                See all my reviews

                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 Lighthouse Reef Kayaking:

                    The greatest things about this trip were:
                    --Willingness of guides/trip leaders to provide a range of opportunities to snorkel/kayak. I loved having the chance to do both sunrise and sunset kayak and snorkel as well as other activities in between.
                    --The people. Everybody (guides, travelers) seemed to really enjoy the opportunity to meet new people, learn from one another, and enjoy some adventure. They also had the greatest attitudes...not one complainer!

                    • 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, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                    • Why did you choose this trip?:
                    • Had been to Belize before with REI and wanted to try another location. Based on our previous trip, we knew it was the type of warm weather vacation we were looking for...active but with plenty of time to relax in an idyllic setting.
                    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                    • The snorkeling and the people (guides and traveling companions). And the FOOD...it was wonderful.
                    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                    • If you like being outdoors, and prefer rustic conditions to 5-star, this is the trip for you. Pack plenty of sunscreen and swimming gear...test your snorkeling mask BEFORE you get to Belize....and bring an open attitude to trying new things, meeting new people, and enjoying whatever each day brings regardless of weather.

                    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Perfect combination-relaxation&activity

                    By CATHERINE BARRETT

                    from Denver, CO

                    About Me Casual Adventurer

                    Pros

                    • 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 Lighthouse Reef Kayaking:

                        The snorkeling is amazing and we did it almost every day. We had many fun snorkeling and kayaking outings but also plenty of time to spend reading in the hammock! The food was EXCELLENT. I really appreciated the talks the guides gave about the sea life and Belizean culture-they were very knowledgeable and interesting

                        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                        • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Recommended by a Friend
                        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                        • Fabulous snorkeling!
                        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                        • Water socks were useful because the beaches have a lots of coral and can be hard on your feet.

                        (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        A Wonderful Experience!

                        By Garrobo

                        from Freeland, WA

                        About Me Avid Adventurer

                        Site Member

                        Pros

                        • Accommodations
                        • Activity Level
                        • Exceeded Expectations
                        • Food
                        • Guides
                        • Once in a Lifetime Experience

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about REI Adventures Belize Lighthouse Reef Kayaking:

                            We spent a total of three weeks in Belize and this was the highlight. The staff was wonderful. The food was amazingly good considering the remoteness. Plenty of fresh fruit, fish and shellfish.

                            • 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?:
                            • It was a chance to visit a remote atoll island. Besides a couple of Belizean Coast Guard and Belize Audubon Society employees, nobody else lives on the island. After 2pm, all the day-trippers are gone and you have the island to yourself. The Red-footed Booby/Magnificent Frigatebird colony was a plus.
                            • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                            • Too many highlights to count; Snorkling on remote reefs and The Aquarium and the Blue Hole, sunrises and sunsets, the seabird colony, migrating North American birds, the food was fabulous!
                            • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                            • Wear plenty of sunscreen and cover up! Not a problem for us, but some travelers may not appreciate the fact that there is no freshwater shower during the dry season.

                            (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This!

                            By Amanda in MD

                            from Riverdale, MD

                            About Me Avid Snorkeler, Casual Adventurer, First Time Sea Kayaker

                            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 Lighthouse Reef Kayaking:

                                Our guides were fantastic! James, Andy and Glenn went out of their way to make each day unique and enjoyable. They were flexible with the itinerary based on the weather and our group preferences. We also had the option to start each day with yoga as the sun came up. In addition to activities such as snorkeling, sea kayaking, etc., we were treated to wonderful talks from the Belize Audobon Society, and from our guides regarding the Belizean culture, coconut palms, coral and fish. This trip is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience!!

                                • 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?:
                                • I have always wanted to visit Belize, and was interested in camping on an island with rare birds (Red-Footed Booby).
                                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                • The snorkeling was fantastic!! Regardless of where you've snorkeled before, the coral and fish here are second to none. Our walk-off snorkels were the best and the visibility was perfect. However, I think the night snorkel was my favorite because I had never done it before and it was an amazing experience to see lobster walking on the ocean floor.
                                • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                • Unless you have special dietary needs, don't bother bringing any food or snacks...the meals are superb and the fresh-caught fish is such a treat. The sun is intense and I found that a long-sleeve rash guard worked to keep me from burning while kayaking and snorkeling. Also, a wide brimmed hat is key.

                                (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                Surpassed expectations

                                By DianeL

                                from Seattle, WA

                                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 Lighthouse Reef Kayaking:

                                    This trip sold me on the REI experience since I had previously been an independent traveler.

                                    We were a diverse group but had similar interests; concern for stewardship of nature and adventurous spirit seemed to be something we all shared.

                                    All the guides were incredibly well informed and tirelessly enthusiastic.

                                    Great food, facilities (gotta love those composting toilets), and lots of activites a la carte made for a comfortable and easy going itinerary. No rush, no fuss. Just my style.

                                    Oh, and this island is known for being BUG FREE.

                                    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                    • Active Adventures, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                    • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                    • Looking to getaway.
                                    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                    • Caving was challenging and rewarding, everyone helped each other. Camping on the beach and waking up to the sunrise on a pristine island was perfect
                                    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                    • This is the best of Belize, and from what I have heard, the least exploited for the tourist industry now rampant on some other islands.

                                    (48 of 48 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Oh My God!

                                    By GregBoz

                                    from Pleasant Prairie, WI

                                    About Me CamperPaddler, Casual Adventurer, Still Water Kayaker

                                    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 Lighthouse Reef Kayaking:

                                        O.K. there is no room service, but the food is great, locally grown, and plenty of it. The sand will rub your feet raw if it gets trapped in your shoes, so wear any footwear that allows it to escape. Bring an underwater / waterproof camera. This is an Audubon sanctuary and the island is self-sufficient, it can't be any more green for you eco-minded folks, there is electricity at night when they start the generator but only for a few hours, so bring a lot of batteries, or your charger. We were asleep by 9 p.m. and up with the sun, to hot coffee & breakfast.

                                        Oh, No Bugs, the 10-20 mile an hour winds sweep them on there way, so I had no need for the 100% DEET I brought. Sun was hot but not unbearable in early April when I was there. Use the Neutrogena 70 spf, everyone burrowed mine! Wear a thin rash-guard shirt, Long Sleeve, when snorkeling. Speedo's or bikini's may be the fashion at some resorts, but if you don't want to spend a few days hiding in the shade due to sunburn, you will need to cover-up!

                                        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                        • Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Quality Organization, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                        • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                        • Always wanted to visit the Caribbean.
                                        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                        • Blue Water, White Sand, Swimming in a real aquarium.
                                        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                        • If your looking for 8 days in another world, but the space shuttle is full, this is the place to be!

                                        Displaying reviews 1-10

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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. This extension is best added before the Lighthouse Reef Adventure and includes two extra nights at the Bird's Eye View Lodge.

                                        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

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