Belize Paradise Islands Kayaking

From: $1,699

per person dbl occ

Dates: Jan-Dec - see all dates

Total Days: 7

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:

2013/2014

$1,699

2014/2015

$1,699

Additional Fees

Internal air (approx.): $85 from Dangriga to Belize City

Single supplement: $350

Trip Dates:

2013/2014

  • Mar 8–14
  • Mar 15–21
  • Mar 22–28
  • Mar 29 – Apr 4
  • Apr 5–11
  • Apr 12–18
  • Apr 19–25
  • Apr 26 – May 2
  • May 3–9
  • May 10–16

2014/2015

  • Nov 8–14
  • Nov 15–21
  • Nov 22–28
  • Nov 29 – Dec 5
  • Dec 6–12
  • Dec 13–19
  • Dec 20–26
  • Dec 22–28
  • Dec 27 – Jan 2
  • Dec 29 – Jan 4
  • Jan 3–9
  • Jan 17–23
  • Jan 24–30
  • Jan 31 – Feb 6
  • Feb 7–13
  • Feb 14–20
  • Feb 21–27
  • Feb 28 – Mar 6
  • Mar 7–13
  • Mar 14–20
  • Mar 21–27
  • Mar 28 – Apr 3
  • Apr 4–10
  • Apr 11–17
  • Apr 18–24
  • Apr 25 – May 1
  • May 2–8
  • May 9–15
  • May 16–22
Group Size: 6-12

Activity Level: 2

Activities:

  • Kayaking
  • Snorkeling
  • Stand Up Paddleboarding
  • Wildlife Viewing

Accommodations:

Forest cabana, 1 night; Island lodges, 5 nights

Trip Highlights

  • Discover tropical Belize's Barrier Reef islands by kayak and snorkel
  • Explore uninhabited islands, coral reefs, mangroves, and myriad aquatic life
  • Stay in island lodges and enjoy fresh meals of local seafood
  • Add on our Maya World extension for superb wildlife and bird viewing

Those seeking the thrill and excitement of a sea kayak journey combined with all the comforts of a beach front lodge need look no further. REI's Paradise Islands Adventure is a great choice brimming with sea, sun, and snorkeling at a world-class destination: the Belize Islands' Barrier Reef.

Travelling via top-of-the-line expedition sea kayaks, we paddle between small cayes in the newly formed South Water Caye Marine Park. Each day we explore uninhabited islands, pristine coral reefs, rich fishing grounds, and labyrinthine mangrove channels. Each trip begins with a thorough introduction to sea kayaking and snorkeling; no previous kayak experience is required.

Come unwind and join an unforgettable adventure in Belize!

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! Settle into your forest cabana.
  • Day 2 - Travel through the Maya Mountains before visiting our first island.
  • Day 3 - Paddle by the lagoons and reefs of the South Water Caye Marine Reserve.
  • Day 4 - On to South Water Caye. Hoist the sails for a little kayak sailing!
  • Day 5 - Discover the reef from a kayak or through your snorkel mask.
  • Day 6 - Paddle to Billy Hawk Caye to enjoy incredible off-shore snorkeling.
  • Day 7 - Depart out of Dangriga, Belize today.

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! Settle into your forest cabana.

    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 in the late afternoon to the Tropical Education Center, adjacent to the Belize Zoo. After settling into our forest cabanas we have a chance to meet our fellow travelers over dinner. At the Tropical Education Center, you can explore the surrounding savannah forest through their network of interpretative trails and wildlife viewing platforms. There is also an interpretative center, which details the diverse ecology of Belize, and is an ideal starting point for the adventure ahead. Dinner included.

  • Day 2 - Travel through the Maya Mountains before visiting our first island.

    Waking up to the sounds and scents of the tropics is a refreshing change - with the chatter of parrots and parakeets flying overhead and the fresh morning air reminding you that you've arrived in paradise. After breakfast, we travel the Hummingbird Route through the Maya Mountains to meet up with our motor charter waiting to take us to our first island on the southern Barrier Reef. We'll introduce you to safety in a tropical marine environment and then begin with teaching the fundamentals of sea kayaking, including safety, group and self rescues and touring techniques. Enjoy a swim, explore the island shoreline and then after a tasty Belizean lunch we begin our journey paddling over top submerged coral reefs, turtle grass beds and through narrow mangrove channels to reach our first night's accommodations. We'll land our kayaks right in front of our lodge on Tobacco Caye, settle into our accommodations and then enjoy drinks and dinner. All meals included.

  • Day 3 - Paddle by the lagoons and reefs of the South Water Caye Marine Reserve.

    Situated right on the barrier reef in the heart of the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, we are ideally positioned to explore the surrounding reefs and cays. Start with a steaming mug of coffee and fresh tropical fruits, then enjoy an early morning swim or paddle before breakfast. On site, we have stand-up paddleboards for your use, which are ideal for exploring the calm protected waters right around the caye where our lodge is. Our focus for the morning will include snorkeling at the Tobacco Caye cut and the outer reef walls. Our first snorkeling session begins with thorough instruction and demonstration - we teach all skill levels, beginner and advanced techniques alike. In the afternoon we'll paddle to nearby cayes to explore the sheltered lagoons and mangrove channels returning in the evening to Tobacco Caye. All meals included.

  • Day 4 - On to South Water Caye. Hoist the sails for a little kayak sailing!

    Looking south with our gaze following the line of breaking waves along the barrier reef crest we can see the next island we'll be traveling to today– South Water Caye. After packing our kayaks with our personal gear start our day on the water with an introduction to kayak sailing. From here, we'll paddle and sail our kayaks along one of the most beautiful sections of the entire reef system. The waters are shallow and clear and we'll see a tremendous variety of marine life including southern stingrays, eagle rays, grouper, nurse sharks and more. We'll land our kayaks on the beach, check into our accommodations, enjoy an ice cold drink and explore the island before dinner-- then maybe try a little bone fishing action on a fly rod or even a nighttime snorkel session on Southwater cut. All meals included.

  • Day 5 - Discover the reef from a kayak or through your snorkel mask.

    We have plenty of time to kayak, snorkel, fish and enjoy the scenery and marine life of Belize. We explore different regions of the reef including the inner and outer walls, patch and fringing reefs, mangrove ranges and protected lagoons. As we explore by kayak, our routes often cross those of the fishermen who make their living from the sea, good company for us and a fascinating insight into a way of life very different from our own. All meals included.

  • Day 6 - Paddle to Billy Hawk Caye to enjoy incredible off-shore snorkeling.

    For our last day on the cayes we will paddle to Billy Hawk Caye (in the Blue Ground Range), a Garifuna fishing camp. We enjoy a local Belizean lunch at the camp, followed by an afternoon of snorkeling. We return to Southwater Caye in time to enjoy a drink and maybe take in the sunset. In the evening we'll celebrate our final night together with a farewell dinner and island festivities. All meals included.

  • Day 7 - Depart out of Dangriga, Belize today.

    After an early breakfast, our water taxi takes us back to the mainland and the town of Dangriga, where the trip finishes. Any extra luggage that you have stored at our Operations Base will be made available to 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 charter boat from the cayes to the mainland, picking up bags you have left behind and your flight from Dangriga to Belize City you should schedule flights out of Belize City after 12:00 pm on the last day of the trip. Breakfast 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; Government taxes.

Not Included

Airfare to Belize, flight from Dangriga to Belize City; departure taxes; guide gratuities; items of a personal nature; alcoholic beverages or soft drinks; excess baggage charges or insurance of any kind. NOTE: Flight from Dangriga to Belize City is not included in the tour cost, but the cost of this flight is collected by REI Adventures and arrangements are made and pre-paid in conjunction with your tour booking.

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 will be spending the night at the Tropical Education Centre in our Forest Cabanas. Our cabanas are situated in a serene tropical pine forest setting. Bathrooms and showers are situated in a separate building in the Forest Cabana complex. The Education Centre harbors Belize's largest collection of tropical animal specimens, a fantastic Interpretative Centre, and has a great network of trails and wildlife viewing platforms perfect for exploring the pine savannah setting. While out on the cayes we kayak between islands along the Southern Barrier Reef and stay in small Belizean owned lodges. Facilities include running water and fully serviced bathrooms where we stay. We stay a total of 5 nights along the eastern edge of the Barrier Reef. On the final morning after breakfast we take a water taxi back to the mainland in time to make your flight connections home or connect with the next stage of your trip. NOTE: You will be carrying your personal equipment and clothing in waterproof bags which go into the hatches of each kayak. You will be supplied with several 20 litre waterproof bags for this purpose.

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 Paradise Islands 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 (for sea and river)
  • Dry bags (2-20 litre bags)
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
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)
  • Hand sanitizer gel
  • Watch with alarm or travel alarm
  • Headlamp/flashlight with extra batteries
  • Thin beach towel
  • Earplugs
  • 2-3 garbage bags – serves 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 Paradise Islands Kayaking
 
4.8

(based on 16 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Guides (13)
  • Food (12)
  • Activity level (11)
  • Group camaraderie (11)
  • Accommodations (10)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Casual adventurer (8), Avid adventurer (6)
        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Active adventures (13), All the details planned for me (11), Destination (10), I liked the itinerary (10), Commitment to sustainability (7)

      Reviewed by 16 customers

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      Displaying reviews 1-10

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      5.0

      Island Expeditions ROCK!

      By TracyCar

      from OK

      About Me Casual Adventurer

      Site Member

      Pros

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

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about REI Adventures Belize Paradise Islands Kayaking:

          The guides, Karm, Rocky and first timer Del were all very qualified, helpful, kind and there to assist in all your needs to ensure that you have a wonderful experience. Great group of folks!
          The sail kayaking was an impressive day, so much fun. Even with rain, we continued with our plans and the rain made it even more fun! Pack for water days, lots of beautiful water!

          Enjoy, book the trip and have a wonderful experience!

          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
          • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Recommended by a Friend, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
          • Why did you choose this trip?:
          • Christmas time, wanted an adventure, something different from the norm for the holidays
          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
          • Dining on the barrier reef in the middle of the Carribean, while kayaking...incredible. The people, and the guides!
          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
          • Read the reviews! Pack very lightly, no one really cares that you wear the same clothes! This is pretty rustic for folks that are used to 'posh' accomodations; thinking camping but with cabanas. Truly wonderful! Be a good swimmer so you can enjoy all the activities.

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Why haven't I traveled with REI sooner?

          By Jody in CO

          from Colorado

          About Me Casual Adventurer, First-Time 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 Paradise Islands Kayaking:

              Bring a water bottle, not a hydration pack. Bring snacks. Deet and lots of sunscreen are a must. Bring waterproof camera (if not for the snorkeling, at least to take pictures while on kayaks.)Bring a book. Bring sunglasses and sun hat.

              • 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?:
              • Price, schedule, location
              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
              • Perfect combo of relaxation time and adventure.

              (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Great kayaking, good but not snorkeling

              By Dave in Southeast

              from Portland, OR

              About Me Avid Adventurer

              Site Member

              Pros

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

              Cons

              • Snorkeling too regimented

              Best Uses

                Comments about REI Adventures Belize Paradise Islands Kayaking:

                The one negative and the reason for only 4 stars: most of the snorkeling is in a tight group, moving too fast around the reef and roiling the water. (I don't like crowds and I prefer more contemplative snorkeling.) Also, I have always understood that you're not supposed to bother the sea life, but on several occasions the guides would use their spear / pointer to flush fish out of holes in the coral for us to see. Better to move slowly and quietly, let the timid fish come out. Many of them are curious and will come to you if you limit your movements.

                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                • Why did you choose this trip?:
                • I liked the combination of kayaking and snorkeling, and it fit my schedule.
                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                • Knowledgeable, friendly, and safety-conscious guides, good kayak instruction (first time for me), good balance of activity and quiet time, good companions. Night snorkel; relaxing in a hammock on Tobacco Cay with star-spangled sky overhead and the sound of surf in my ears.
                • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                • Bring a small quick-dry camp towel. 1 liter is plenty of capacity for personal water containers. Food is plentiful but you'll want a snack for each long paddle. Coral sand is very abrasive inside your swim fins – bring ankle-length neoprene water socks. Even after a dry spell sand flies were a nuisance. Wear socks and spray 40% deet up to your knees even if you don't notice any flies.

                (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Paradise Islands, a great trip!

                By JAK

                from Minneapolis, MN

                Pros

                • Accommodations
                • 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 Paradise Islands Kayaking:

                    Reflecting a bit now home, I do believe that this was a trip of a lifetime. What a better way to see the Cayes then to kayak and sail to them? The food was prepared well, and the guides were very knowledgeable and safe.

                    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                    • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                    • Why did you choose this trip?:
                    • I thought that this was a great way to see the Cayes and kayak along the way. I was very impressed with the accomodations and food/cooking provided to us. I never felt unsafe or incapable of any activity, and yet there was plenty of activity to participate in. There is an introduction to the Belizian culture as well as a nice mix of 'vacation' and activity.
                    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                    • Sailing our kayaks was a highlight by far. That and I am surprised to say the beauty of the stars from the Cayes. Nothing like I'd ever seen before.
                    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                    • Pack light! Bring a headlamp.

                    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Perfect balance of action and relaxation

                    By 89103

                    from Las Vegas, NV

                    About Me Casual Adventurer

                    Pros

                    • Activity Level
                    • Food
                    • Guides

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about REI Adventures Belize Paradise Islands Kayaking:

                        This is a fantasic trip! The accomodations are clean and cozy and the natural setting is amazing.

                        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                        • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination
                        • Why did you choose this trip?:
                        • It was nice to have all the logistics, details, and equipment provided for me and seven days seemed like an appropriate trip length.
                        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                        • Snorkelling with such knowledgable and friendly guides. Our guides swam with long pointers and would tell us the names of the fish we were seeing as they dove down and pointed them out. The food was also amazing. The best beans and rice ever, along with fresh seafood. Maybe it's because we worked up such an appetite, but the food on this trip was way better than the food on the mainland.
                        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                        • Cold water showers are not that bad! Bring at least two bottles of sunscreen and 100% DEET bugspray, it really works. Pack light, you can wear basically the same couple of shirts over and over again and all your gear has to fit into three dry bags.

                        (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        top notch

                        By Nickster

                        from Seattle, WA

                        About Me Avid Adventurer

                        Site Member

                        Pros

                        • Accommodations
                        • Exceeded Expectations
                        • Food
                        • Group Camaraderie
                        • Guides
                        • Quality Equipment Provided

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                            Comments about REI Adventures Belize Paradise Islands Kayaking:

                            I needed a vacation and didn't have any time to plan. My friend suggested we do this trip and it was perfect. There was equal portions of adventure, chill-time, and socializing. The accommodations were the perfect balance of comfort and rustic, and perfectly situated to create a wonderful experience.

                            • 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, Recommended by a Friend, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                            • Why did you choose this trip?:
                            • What better to do when it's the middle of a long winter in Seattle....
                            • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                            • The perfect combo of recreation, relaxing, and good food all in a comfortable, safe, and easy environment.
                            • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                            • Sit back, relax, and have fun

                            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            When can I go back?

                            By Tar Heel

                            from Atlanta, Ga

                            About Me Avid Adventurer

                            Site Member

                            Pros

                            • Exceeded Expectations
                            • Food
                            • Guides

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                                Comments about REI Adventures Belize Paradise Islands Kayaking:

                                This trip exceeded my expectations...mostly becuase the guides (Karm and Omar) were so good. They went out of their way for all of us. They made me feel comfortable snorkling, even though I had limited experience. And boy am I glad they got me in the water...the view down there was amazing. We also really enjoyed the accomodations at Tabaco Caye. It was like we were in a Corona commercial! And the food...it was so good! It was like eating at your grandmother's house...if she were from Belize.

                                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me
                                • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                • Bring snacks. Pack as light as possible. Bring biodegradable soap. Be willing to try new things, like beans for breakfast, becuase it might actually turn out to be pretty good. Bring a waterproof camera, if possible, for snorkling pictures.

                                (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                AMAZING TRIP!

                                By KG82

                                from Colorful Colorado

                                About Me Casual 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 Paradise Islands Kayaking:

                                    The guides make this trip special - they are from Belize, are full of information and are super human (our guide caught a giant barracuda on a hand line off the side of his kayak). The food is also amazing; I was not expecting the amount of food we received at each meal (felt guilty sometimes as I could not clear my massive plate). You will eat a variety of seafood and lots of fruit and fruit juice. The fruit juice in Belize is unreal!

                                    I would absolutely recommend a waterproof camera. I brought my regular digital camera and my friend brought her waterproof digital camera. We ended up using her camera for the majority of the trip because you are out on the water for most of the day, whether it is kayaking or snorkeling or being on a boat. Even just kayaking from one place to the next, water splashes up on you so if you are holding a camera, it will get wet. Trust me, it will be a good investment.

                                    Once again to fair skinned individuals: I would highly recommend buying a LONG SLEEVE rash guard to wear while snorkeling or even kayaking. The sun is intense and rash guards will protect you from getting burned.

                                    Final note, you do have the choice to "opt out" of activities for the day. On our last full day in Belize, the four of us were pretty exhausted and wanted just a day to lay on the beach and read/relax. Our guide was more than happy to accommodate us and it was a great way to end the trip. You will have an amazing time!

                                    • 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?:
                                    • My friend and I were looking to travel outside the country and were looking for something exotic, new and also had adventures. The trip to Belize was reasonably priced and just the right amount of days (seven) for both of us to take off work. Absolutely LOVED that I had to plan nothing; that was the best part!
                                    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                    • Snorkeling along the reef every day was amazing; I recommend you bring a good snorkel set and if it's brand new, try to get that film off the goggles area (mine fogged up quite a bit those first few days).
                                    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                    • If you are really fair skinned (like myself) here is your warning: you WILL burn. I am normally good about putting on sunscreen but that was not enough. The one day I did not wear long sleeves on the kayak, I fried (even with 70 SPF on). You will be kayaking 2-3 hours a day and with the sun bouncing off the water, I would recommend a lightweight, breathable long-sleeve shirt and a sun hat.

                                    (12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Great Trip

                                    By duncan12345

                                    from San Diego, CA

                                    See all my reviews

                                    Site Member

                                    Comments about REI Adventures Belize Paradise Islands Kayaking:

                                    Trip to Belize

                                    This is a trip for people who are looking for:

                                    • Care free travel where someone else handles the details
                                    • Don't mind being "unplugged" from cell and internet
                                    • Outdoor activity that keeps you well exercised
                                    • Are curious about coral reefs and want details
                                    • Don't mind going a night or two without a hot shower
                                    • Eating basic and nutritious meals – not a lot of "requirements"
                                    • Enjoy getting to know others without being with others all the time

                                    Here are the basics:

                                    Lodging: Accurately described in the brochure. Private accommodations each night. Always a cluster of cabins surrounded by an open area. Ten by ten foot rooms with outside porches and chairs. Clean and comfortable with very few bugs. Private bathrooms each night except the first. On our first night, we stayed in an elevated wooden cabin covered with thick canvas. The sides were screened and covered with curtains for privacy. The remaining nights involved stays in island cabanas. These were individual, private, and clean. Each had gorgeous views of the ocean and a cooling breeze each night. We brought book reading lights and they were useful.

                                    Food: Breakfast was usually eggs, breakfast meat, local bread, fruit, coffee and juice. Lunch and dinner provided lots of fresh seafood – mostly snapper. We had two members that needed to avoid seafood and the leaders did a nice job accommodating them. There was juice for each meal, but most of us drank water. Lunch and dinner also included rice, beans or some kind of salad, fresh in season fruit, and protein. You eat family style which was very nice - promotes conversation.

                                    Equipment: The kayaks were modern and had everything you would expect. Consider kayak gloves – we found them useful.

                                    Guides: This is what makes this trip special. The guides were professional, knowledgeable, helpful and friendly. Belize licenses guides, so they need a level of education and proficiency. Ours were from the area. There was not a question answered where I felt like they were winging it. They both had good sense of humor and I really felt like they were there to help us understand Belize. No question was off limits. A few in our party had varying issues and the guides took ownership. They made you feel like your problem was their problem and no trouble.

                                    Level of Activity: Each morning after breakfast, our guides would take turns describing our day. They recommended what equipment might be needed and when to be where. It took all the worry out of our vacation – we did as instructed. We seldom paddled more than three hours a day without stopping and even then, there were breaks.

                                    Group: I don't know if we were lucky, but we had a super group. There were four couples (three over age 45, one under 45) and two single travelers. This kind of trip self selects people who are flexible and want activity. I planned all our trips over the past years and it was good to give up the reins and let someone else do the worrying and planning. Everyone on our trip felt the same way.

                                    Miscellaneous: They have a safe place to store your luggage, so pack in what you want. You will pack too much – don't need the first aid kits – just bring personal medicine, band-aids and Advil. You will pack too many clothes – many wear the same things over and over – not a problem. Don't worry about carrying around money – it is not needed. Tips at the end and the occasional beer are about all I spent. It was great not carrying around a wallet. Don't bring cell phone – won't work and not needed. The guides have Belize cell phones for emergencies.

                                    Overall: One of the best vacations ever.

                                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Paradise Islands Kayaking BZE 2-12-2011

                                    By JayneC

                                    from Mercer Island, WA

                                    About Me Avid Adventurer, Last minute traveler

                                    Site Member

                                    Pros

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

                                    Cons

                                    • Rustic accommodations

                                    Best Uses

                                      Comments about REI Adventures Belize Paradise Islands Kayaking:

                                      We experienced not so ideal weather for 2 days but the guides filled the time with 'learning sessions' on Belizean culture, and we all used the time to relax/unwind and were really ready to kayak and snorkel when it was safe to do so. Thoroughly enjoyed the whole trip. Not sure you can order up great teammates all the time, but I really lucked out with the "Ladies & Joe" group :)!

                                      • 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?:
                                      • Having secured a job offer on 2/10/2011 (after a six month search!), I had one week off to unwind before starting back to work. I'd been looking at the REI itineraries hoping something would be available and I really lucked out!! The Belize Paradise Islands trip just happened to have room for one more!! This was such a relaxing trip/experience.
                                      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                      • The actual kayaking was the physical highlight of the trip and exceeded my expectations! On the other hand, the food and Belizean hospitality were outstanding!
                                      • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                      • If you're not in to staying in rustic accommodations (with only cold running water, or shared toilet/shower facilities), you may want to rethink this trip. However, I enjoyed the basic accommodation as it was really part of the adventure for me!

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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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