Glovers Reef & Caves

Belize Coast Belize: (ZZ-BESK07)
URL: http://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/outdoor_kayaking_belize_glovers_reef_caves.aspx

Introduction
Belize Coast Belize
This trip combines five days at our island Basecamp within spectacular Glover's Reef Atoll (a United Nations' World Heritage Site) with a day of inland discovery. Explore the limestone formations and large number of Mayan artifacts in Che Chem Ha Cave system and then onto the Ancient Mayan site of Xuantunich. and an evening exploring the vibrant town of San Ignacio. Then travel 36 miles offshore to one of Belize's premier kayaking and snorkeling destinations.  Explore this awesome marine environment with our amazing local guides and renowned camp chefs. Come and experience Glover's Reef with the experts! 

Glover’s Reef is part of the world famous Belize Barrier Reef, a protected marine park and designated world heritage site thirty-six miles off the shore of mainland Belize.  Perfect for active families and couples of mixed abilities, this adventure Basecamp offers flexibility and choices in daily guided activities, so traveling companions can do things together or separately.
•Stay at a unique, Adventure Basecamp on Southwest Caye, a remote 13 acre island. Sleep in comfortable tent-walled cabanas and dine on fresh seafood, tropical fruit and local fare
•Kayak or SUP around this pristine group of tropical islands set within a turquoise lagoon
•Snorkel some of Glover’s 700 patch reefs in its thriving coral reef system
•Fly fish for bonefish or tarpon on the saltwater flats and adjoining deep waters
•Venture inland for a Mayan ruin and cave exploration through lush rainforest

Accomodation

Accommodations
You will be spending 2 nights at Cahal Pech and 4 nights at a base camp. Triple occupancy is possible based on availability (please inquire).

Day 1 and 2: Cahal Pech
Built next to a Mayan ruin that was home to kings, we take a page from that era by treating every guest like royalty. Survey your kingdom from afar to spot the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena. Wave to your subjects from the window of your comfortable Belize accommodations or check in and set off to visit this kingdom of riches. The Standard Rooms are located on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the main building. Each accommodation is named after an ancient Maya site and has its own personality. Expect charm with views of the Belize River Valley from private balconies that leave guests breathless. Cozy, comfortable and equipped with air conditioning, these ensuite tropically-styled rooms offer carefree vacationing. Wifi is available.

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

Our toilet is a modern composting system. These areas are washed and cleaned daily by your guides. This method is approved by the Coastal Zone Management Unit of Belize and is in keeping with the tenets of minimal impact camping. The showers are located in the center of camp and are fed with rainwater. Wash basins are located near the toilet and shower. The rainwater is collected in cisterns, so there is no guarantee that the showers will be warm.  A small mirror is helpful for contact lenses, shaving, etc.

For those who choose to bathe in the ocean, using salt-water soap is also a very effective way to clean and there is no waiting for the shower.

We have potable water stations in plenty of areas for access. Guests will need to bring along their own water bottle for filling up. 

There is a generator that is run a few hours each night for guests to charge batteries.


Meals
On sea kayaking adventures, both Belizean and international cuisine is prepared by your guides and our cooks. Many of our main courses such as lobster (in season), conch and many varieties of fish are gathered fresh from the sea each day. On lodge-based tours, we enjoy picnic lunches while in the field and specially prepared meals at lodges and local restaurants. Meals, while camping in the rainforest, are ample and nutritious but are usually more simple fare than our basecamp and lodge based sea kayak and snorkel trips due to size and weight limitations of what we can carry with us on the river.

Please let us know in advance if you have any special dietary requirements. We have experience with vegetarian, allergy specific and gluten-free diets. We pride ourselves on serving wholesome, fresh ingredients,  however if you have specific dietary requirements we will make sure to discuss with you before your trip.

This trip includes some wine with dinner and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Trip Preparation
It is good to begin exercises a minimum of two weeks before your scheduled departure.  To facilitate paddling, the following is a list of exercises for wrist, arm, and upper body strength.
•Sit-ups: 5 to 20 per session - 1-3 times daily
•Push-ups: (min. of 10 per session - 1-3 times per day)
•Wrist-curls: 2-3 per session - 1-3 times per day.  To perform: take a 2 ft. long rounded baton (a stick, dowel or cut-off broom handle will do), attach a length of sturdy rope (measuring 2-3 ft.) in the middle of the baton, to this tie a light weight bag filled with sand or a rock (approx. 2lbs) to the end of the rope.  Grasp baton with both hands on either side of rope, straight out from your body, and wind the weight up and down, turning the baton alternately in one hand and the other, until the rope is wound around the baton and then unwound
•To improve your snorkeling ability, some time at a swimming pool is encouraged.  Practice swimming, not only lengths, but also legs-only.  Furthermore, it is important to try out your snorkeling equipment in the pool to ensure comfort if you have not used the equipment before.

Sea Kayaking in the Tropics
A typical day will include paddling and sailing from one island to another or to patch reefs within the atoll.  Whenever possible we take advantage of the northeasterly trade winds to fill our sails as we travel.  The protection of the reef wall and shallow inshore waters provides one of the best places in the world for sea kayaking.
Our main concerns while on the water are protection from sun (both above and reflected off the water), dehydration, and the effects of salt.  Protection from the sun and dehydration are easily managed by wearing a wide brimmed hat, using a good waterproof sunscreen (SPF 15-35), and wearing light-colored clothing and, of course, drinking plenty of fluids.
As for salt, the high salinity of the Caribbean Sea can dry your skin and cause blisters on hands (paddling) and feet (snorkeling).  Skin lotion or moisturizer for your skin, gloves to protect your hands (cotton garden gloves or cycle gloves work very well), and socks for your feet while snorkeling are recommended.

The Company
Transformational travel might be the latest buzzword, but we’ve been practitioners, and believers, that experiential travel changes lives, since establishing Island Expeditions in 1987.
We introduced the modern sea kayak to Belize in 1987, and 20 years later, brought the first stand-up paddleboards to the country’s seldom explored coral reefs and tropical cayes.
For the first 15 years of our operation, we worked intimately with the local community, to build lasting relationships. We recruited dive fisherman and bush hunters, with no background in tourism, to work as our guides.
It’s a pleasure to continue to collaborate closely with the local community, and employ the next generation of guides -- skilled instructors, fully qualified Swift Water Rescue technicians, Belizeans who are adept at bridging the world they grew up in - cooking over open fires and sleeping in hammocks with their siblings - with your world and expectations of comfort and leisure.
Named by National Geographic Adventure as one of the Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth, our trips have been acclaimed by Outside Magazine and the Globe and Mail. And just as importantly, 30,000 guests, and counting. Be part of a 30 year tradition of seeking out timeless and unspoiled places. Let Belize and Island Expeditions rekindle your wonder and coax your inner adventurer into the wild.

Your Leaders
Our leaders, far and away the most experienced in Belize, are consummate professionals taking great pride and personal pleasure in sharing and creating memorable travel experiences for you. With backgrounds as naturalists and teachers, photographers, fishermen and explorers, they provide invaluable insights into the areas and cultures we travel.
All wilderness trips are led by the most experience leaders in the business. This ensures that you are venturing into the wilds of Belize with Belizean guides, who have a wealth of experience and skills relating to the environments, languages and customs of their native land, along with North American leaders who accompany the group, and are trained to North American standards in Wilderness First Aid, Swiftwater Rescue and Kayaking Instruction. Perhaps most important, IE guides' consideration for your safety, and their enthusiasm, good nature and dedication help to set the tone for each trip... where learning and exceptional adventures go hand in hand.

Itinerary




Sample Itinerary- subject to changes

Day 1

Arrive at the Belize International Airport, where you will be met by a representative and transferred to Cahal Pech Village Resort - a picturesque lodge carved out of the land with a grand vista overlooking the town of San Ignacio and the rolling hills of the Cayo District in Western Belize. This is an ideal starting point for the adventure that awaits.  This is the day to get in tune with the rhythms of Belize and acclimatize to your new tropical environment. Transfers from the airport, lodging and dinner are included.
Accommodations: Cahal Pech Village Resort
Meals: Dinner included

Day 2
A full day of adventure and exploration. The first mission is to venture into the jungle to explore the underground archaeological site of the Chech’Em Ha Cave system.  You’ll hike a half an hour through the rainforest, and up into a multi-chambered series of caves rich with geological formations, ancient ceremonial altars, Maya artifacts and relics.  After an hour and half in the cave, we hike further downhill to lunch served by our hosts in a spectacular setting overlooking the Macal river valley.  The next adventure is the ancient Mayan ruins of Xunantunich.  It’s a short drive and then you will cross the Mopan River on a hand-cranked ferry. Situated on the banks of the river, you will travel back through centuries to the world of ancient kings, temples, plazas and the renowned ball courts of this ancient city.  In the evening you can stroll into San Ignacio, meet the local people, and enjoy dinner on your own in the town.
Accommodations: Cahal Pech Village Resort
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, (Dinner On Own in San Ignacio)


Day 3 to 6
 
You’ll depart early in the morning and drive the scenic Hummingbird Highway through the Rainforest to the coastal town of Dangriga. Here you board a charter boat to our remote Basecamp on Southwest Caye. Southwest Caye is located in the Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve. Upon arrival, you’ll receive an introduction to your new environment before settling into your ocean view tent cabana. Our guides will then conduct professional instruction to teach you the fundamentals of sea kayaking, snorkeling, and tropical water safety. After training, enjoy a paddle to a nearby patch reef and start exploring some of the 700 snorkel sites Glover’s Reef Atoll has to offer.
Glover’s Reef is one of the most spectacular marine environments in Belize and offers the best kayaking, snorkeling, and diving in the Caribbean. Due to its isolation from the mainland, the waters are exceptionally clear with a rich reef ecosystem.
Our itinerary is flexible in order to accommodate individual and group preferences. Activities include paddling, snorkeling the inner and outer walls of the reef, SUP and learning to sail a kayak. In the mornings and evenings, we host informative sessions on a range of topics. This allows our guides to share their vast knowledge of Belize, its unique marine environments, and the local culture with you. Guests who prefer a more leisurely pace can always take time to kick back in a hammock and relax with a good book!
Accommodations: Glover's Reef Basecamp.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included


Day 7
Many guests choose to wake up early on this final morning and enjoy a coffee on the dock for the last time. Watch the sunrise over the atoll before enjoying a hearty breakfast. Your boat charter usually departs around midmorning to take you back to the mainland, arriving at approximately noon. Your trip finishes in the Garifuna town of Dangriga, and our helpful staff will assist you with connecting to the next leg of your journey.
Meals: Breakfast and packed lunch included

Travel note:
For travelers who will be leaving Belize on Day 6, international connections out of the country require a departure after 3:00pm. To connect with Sunday afternoon departures from Belize a short domestic flight is required. This flight is from Dangriga to the Belize International Airport - please contact our office for assistance. For guests who would like to spend an extra night in Belize we offer a Flight & Hotel Package --please ask for current rates.
Please note all itineraries are subject to change depending on weather or safety considerations. Flexibility as our guest and as an international traveler is the key to an awesome experience.


Rates and Dates for Glovers Reef & Caves

Rates include:

Accommodations (2 nights in Cahal Pech, 4 nights base camp), all meals except dinner on Day 2, selection of chilled wines and rum are served with happy hour, professional guide and sports instruction services, cave entrance fees, financial Support for Conservation and Education programs in Belize.

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescription US$
    A
    20197 day trip$1590

Tax 1: 210 % * prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy
Tax: 210 %  

Transfer and Other Charges:



 DescriptionUS$
2019 Pick-up from Belize International Airport included $0
2019 Single supplement (requested) $275
2019 Single supplement (willing to share bit can't find another person) $150

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Transfers back to Belize International Airport, charter flight from Dangriga to Belize City, gratuities, fishing licenses, scuba diving, International flights and airport departure tax, extra costs due to late arrivals, lost baggage, and other circumstances beyond our control

Other Info
Meeting: Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel
Airport: Belize International Airport (BZE)
Transfer: Belize International Airport (BZE)

Climate:
                                                Belize City area 

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

89

84

86

88

89

89

89

89

89

87

85

83

Average Low Temperature (°F)

68

70

72

75

77

78

77

77

76

75

72

70

Average High Temperature (°C)

28

29

30

31

32

32

31

32

32

31

29

28

Average Low Temperature (°C)

20

21

22

24

25

25

25

25

25

24

22

21

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

12

6

4

4

6

11

14

13

14

15

13

11

Source: NOAA


Seasons
The climate of Belize is sub-tropical. Temperatures range from 20 to 40 degrees Celsius (70 - 105 F) with high humidity during the day, dropping at night to 20 to 27 C (70 to 80 F).

Dry season (November to May)
From November to May conditions are usually clear, sunny, and warm. However, November and December are generally cooler and moister. Although this is known locally as the dry season, there can be an infrequent "Northerly" which blows down from the Gulf of Mexico, bringing along with it cooler temperatures and some rain - these systems rarely last more than a few days. For those traveling at the beginning of the dry season (Nov & Dec), make sure you bring a rain-jacket, hat, and some warmer clothing.

Rainy season (June to October)
June through October can also be a great time to travel. It is considered a shoulder season but this is because most people tend to enjoy spring and summer in their home region and travel to hotter destinations during the winter months. At this time of year we begin to see a shift in the trade winds to a more consistent South Westerly, and with it comes an increase in squalls that can also bring rain. Rains are usually intermittent and can last up to a few hours at a time.
Inland conditions can change quickly with afternoon thunderstorms and heavy rainfall common in some parts of the country.
Our traveling philosophy is "All Weather is Good Weather" since we can't do anything to change it! Trip schedules may need to be adjusted to compensate for inclement weather.


Special note - Insects
Yes, they do exist! Weather, wind conditions, and proximity to the previous rainy season affect the concentrations of biting insects found on both the cayes and the mainland.
The most effective form of precautions are clothing to cover up and a good deet-based repellent. For insect repellent you should look for something with 20%+ deet content for optimal protection. Deep Woods or Ben’s Insect Repellent are good options. The more natural citronella repellents are not as effective. Coconut oil can also be applied to the feet and ankles for protection against sand-flies. Lightweight long pants, socks, and a light long sleeve shirt will help when in camp if the bugs are out. Quick-dry fabrics work very well in these instances. If you are extremely susceptible to bugs you should consider a bug-shirt and/or pants which are available at outdoor stores. This clothing is designed to allow maximum ventilation while protecting against bugs.
At some inland locations the insects will have more of an impact so be sure to come prepared with all the above precautions.
Bot Flies & Other Parasitic Insects - yes, these do exist as well. If you notice anything unusual upon your return from Belize, please contact our office.

What To Bring:
When traveling to Belize it is best to travel with one larger check-in bag and one carry-on bag.  We recommend a medium duffle bag and a medium day pack as a carry-on.  These bags are easy to move around, can be toted easily, fit in boats, small planes, and van/bus roof racks.  Backpacks can work too; do try to avoid large suitcases.  While on tour with Island Expeditions, our staff will instruct you on how to prepare for travel between locations and we will provide storage for extra bags in our Dangriga office when necessary.  Most airlines have reduced the weight maximums for each bag to 50 pounds.  Be sure to check with your airline for weight restrictions and carry-on allowances.  When packing your carry-on try to include what you would need to be comfortable in Belize your first few days in case your checked baggage is misrouted by the airline.

It is recommended you have one small waterproof bag for your documents, camera, etc., that you can carry in the cockpit of your kayak and have handy on motorboat trips.  It is especially important that electronic equipment such as digital cameras, video cameras, etc. is fully waterproofed, especially on the boat ride to and from the atoll.  For the motor charter to Glover’s Reef we recommend you pack your clothing in garbage bags INSIDE your duffle bag/packsack/suitcase since the boat ride out to Glover’s can be wet.  Our luggage is stored in a water resistant area in the boat but it is not 100% waterproof and thus we recommend this extra waterproofing precaution for your luggage.

NO NEED TO CARRY ALL YOUR LUGGAGE OUT TO GLOVER’S: Please leave at our Operations Base in Dangriga one bag with a change of clothes and other items you will not need with you while at Glover’s Reef.  As we load from our vehicle on to the boat on Tuesday morning you can leave your stay-behind bag with your guide and it will be stored in a locked storage area.  Once you come off the reef this bag will be waiting for you.  Ensure your name is clearly marked on your bag and that you do not leave any passports, money, electronics, or other valuables in your bag.  These items should travel with you to take care of.  PLEASE NOTE: We cannot be deemed responsible for people’s personal property while traveling.  There are a variety of luggage and personal property insurance policies available to purchase.

Personal Packing List
•Passport
•Photocopy of passport
•Air tickets
•Favorite snacks for between meals
•Personal spending and emergency funds
•1 extra set of clothes for flight home
•1 pair light running shoes for around camp
•1 pair watersport sandals or water shoes (Teva’s or Keens are a good choice)
•1 or 2 pair lightweight quick-dry long pants
•Underwear
•2-3 pairs of socks
•2 pair quick-dry nylon shorts and/or loose skirt or sarong
•1 bathing suit
•3 t-shirts - looking for a great t-shirt to wear on your trip?  Be sure to check out our brand new collection of Island Expeditions’ Tees, which can be viewed and purchased online.
•2 long sleeved shirts preferably with a collar (for protection from the sun & bugs).  Silk shirts work well and dry quickly
•1 fleece jacket or wool sweater (this will keep you warm even when wet)
•1 good quality rain jacket
•1 wide brimmed sunhat (to keep the sun off your face and neck)
•Sunglasses with band (Chums, Croakies, etc.)
•1 bandana (handy for sun protection)
•Spare set of eyeglasses (even if you wear contact lenses) and contact lens solution
•1 headlamp and spare batteries
•Mask, fins, snorkel *IMPORTANT*.  Please click here for more information on snorkel gear
•Shortie wet suit, especially for kids (not essential but water temperatures in Dec. and Jan. can be cooler)
•Capilene or polypropylene, or silk long underwear (great for snorkeling)
•1 liter water bottle
•1 TOWEL (either a small camp towel or thin beach towel)
•Personal toiletries
•Personal medication and prescriptions
•Small personal First Aid Kit: i.e. Band-Aids, aspirin/Tylenol, scissors, tweezers, safety pins
•Sunscreen - Please click here for more information on biodegradable reef-friendly sunblock & soap.  We do highly recommend the use of environmental products if you are certain the product does work for you
•Biodegradable soap - Please click here for more information on biodegradable products
•Vaseline, Aloe Vera lotion, or skin care cream
•Caladryl/After Bite/Benadryl Cream or lotion to ease itching from bug bites
•Insect repellent (20 - 100% Deet)
•2 to 3 garbage bags - serves as extra waterproofing protection and keeps wet gear separate
•Earplugs if you are a light sleeper or sensitive to wave noise and animal/bird sounds

Optional Packing List
•Camera equipment - waterproof or waterproof throw-away camera
•Binoculars
•Bug jacket
•Skin-So-Soft Avon used as repellent
•Handy Wipe moist tissues for hands and face and/or waterless bacterial cleanser
•Toilet paper for emergency travels
•Lighter
•Good reading book, log book, and pen
•Wine or favorite liquor
•Small day-pack (can be handy on any of our trips)
•Mesh bag for carrying snorkel gear
•Fishing rod and tackle
•Art supplies, sketching tools, or water colors
•1 pair light cotton gloves/bike gloves (for protection from the sun/blisters when paddling)
•Aquasocks
•Foot powder
•Waterproof watch