From: March 10 to March 16, 2014

Destination: Paradise Islands, Belize

  • Kayaking and Snorkeling Belize #2 - FULL

    The Paradise Islands of Belize, located in the less developed southern region of Belize's Barrier Reef, remain close to a pristine marine ecosystem. We'll kayak through the shallow reef-strewn waters, snorkel to our hearts content, go to sleep lulled by the sound of ocean waves breaking on the shore, and fill each day with lots of exercise, delicious food, and the kind of relaxation that stems from immersion in a very different world and way of life.
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    THIS TRIP IS CURRENTLY FULL. Please contact us by email to be placed on the waitlist.

  • As is true on any adventure travel trip, we may follow the daily itinerary exactly or alter it based on weather or other circumstances.
    If you would like to explore Belize for a couple more days - then consider adding on an extension to your trip. We are offering a Maya World Extension March 8 - 10 (prior to this trip). Details are below (following the March 10-16 itinerary).

    March 10:
    Arrive at the Belize International Airport by 4pm today, where you'll be met and transferred to the Tropical Education Centre, adjacent to the Belize Zoo and our lodging for the first night. We will be staying in Forest Cabanas, situated in the midst of idyllic tropical pine forest with a network of interpretative trails and wildlife viewing platforms at our doorstep. Definitely come early if you can! You can start getting ready for the adventure at the Interpretive Centre, which details the diverse ecology of Belize and is an ideal introduction. About 6 pm we'll gather for introductions, meet our Belizean guide team, and share a "Welcome to Belize Dinner".

    March 11: Our first day in the Tropics! Parrots and parakeets flying overhead, tropical blossoms scenting fresh morning air- it must be Paradise! But it's not. For that (after a hearty breakfast, of course) we have a morning drive over the Maya Mountains on the Hummingbird Route, where our charter boat takes us to our first of the aptly named Paradise Islands on the Southern Barrier Reef.  We'll start with an overview of tropical marine safety and then begin with kayaking instruction: safety, group and and self rescues, and touring techniques with an emphasis on how to use our muscles most efficiently and how to get in and out of kayaks safely. If you've never received formal instruction, you'll be surprised how much a few basic tips can improve your kayaking.

    After a break for a swim, some time to explore the island shoreline, and a tasty Belizean lunch, we'll practice our new strokes as we  paddle to Honeymoon Beach, stopping to snorkel the seagrass bed and look for turtles and rays.  Next, we paddle to over submerged coral reefs, turtle grass beds, and through twisting mangrove tunnels - right to our first night's lodge! We'll settle in, enjoy drinks and dinner, and be lulled to sleep by the sound of ocean waves. (B, L, D)
    March 12: For those who want to sleep in, we'll meet up again at breakfast. Staying right on the Barrier Reef in the heart of the Southwater Caye Marine Reserve, we are ideally situated to explore all the surrounding reefs and cayes. For those who love the early morning, we'll start with an early morning swim or paddle. After breakfast we'll have our first snorkeling demo and instruction, learning both beginning and advanced skills as appropriate, at the Tobacco Caye cut and outer reef walls. In the afternoon we'll paddle to nearby cayes, exploring sheltered lagoons and mangrove islands. We'll return that night to our lodge on Tobacco Caye and another delicious dinner. (B, L, D)
    March 13: This morning we'll pack all our clothes into our personal gear and head south along the Barrier Reef crest to Southwater Caye and our lodge for the next 2 nights. We'll start with an introduction to kayak sailing - nothing like letting the wind do some of the work for you! We'll paddle and sail our kayaks along one of the most beautiful sections of the entire reef system. The clear, shallow waters reveal an abundance of marine life: southern stingrays, eagle rays, nurse sharks (they're safe, don't worry), grouper, and more. Landing on the beach near our lodge, we'll be glad for a cold drink, a chance to relax, and a dinner that will recharge us after our full day. If the day hasn't already been too full, this evening we can try our hand at bone fishing on a fly rod or possibly even a nighttime snorkel session on Southwater cut. 
    March 14: We're staying at the same lodge tonight so we have lots of flexibility today and lots of time to kayak, snorkel, fish, enjoy the marine life of Belize and - dare we say it -even relax if we choose. We'll explore both the inner and outer walls of the reef, follow wandering paths through mangrove ranges, and dip into protected lagoons. For divers we can arrange scuba dives and Discover Scuba courses if you want to give it a try (this requires advance notice). We gain insight into the lives of the fishermen who make this area their home and their living from the sea. Ho Hum,just another day n Paradise. (B, L, D) 
    March 15: Packing up yet again, we spend our last full day kayaking to Billy Hawk Caye, formerly a Garifuna Fishing Camp, located in the Blue Ground Range. Arriving in time for lunch, we'll have time to recharge for an afternoon of snorkeling. This evening we'll celebrate our final evening together with a seafood feast and a chance to enjoy island festivities.
    March 16: After an early breakfast our water taxi carries us back to the mainland and the town of Dangriga, where the trip finishes. We'll collect and repack any clothing/suitcases we left at the Operations Base and arrange taxis for those who have the short connecting flight to the Belize International Airport or local bus station. If you are making an international connection that day, be sure to book your flight after 11:30am.

    If you would like to add a bit more exploration of Belize on the front end of this trip - then join us for an excursion into the Maya world of Belize, a completely different aspect. You will be immersed not only in Mayan culture and archaeology but also the abundant non-marine wildlife of the tropical rainforest of Belize. If you choose this option...

    March 8: Arrive before 4 p.m. at the Belize International Airport where you will be met by a 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'. Transfers from the airport are included D

    March 9: The next morning a short drive brings you to the Mayan Ruins of Lamanai. This site was one of the longest continuously occupied Mayan cities, from about 500 BC to 1675 AD, duein part to its location on the New River, a major trade route. Spread out over 950 acres, the central area is about  a half square mile. Much of Lamanai's archaeological importance is in the large, imposing Late Pre-Classic temple-pyramids which usually underlie Early Classic constructions. The site was not just important to the Mayans; the remains of two 16th century Catholic churches and a 19th century sugar mill can also be found. During your guided tour you'll visit many temples, plazas, palaces, and museums within the park boundaries, and perhaps meet one of the four troops of howler monkeys that make their home here.

    Once you've had a chance to thoroughly explore the ruins, you depart Lamanai by boat for a scenic trip into the Crooked Tree Sanctuary. In addition to the large variety of bird species (including parrots and toucans), monkeys, crocodiles and other animals may also be seen. Once back on shore there is about a 45 minute drive back to Crooked Tree Village and then returning to Bird's Eye View Lodge for the night. B, L, D

    March 10:
      With an early morning coffee and binoculars in hand, we enjoy the waking wilderness and the 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. After lunch we have time to relax and gather our bags before departing to the Mayan site of Altun Ha. Considered one of the major Mayan ceremonial centres of Belize, Altun Ha also functioned as an important trading centre 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, in time to join your Kayaking and Snorkeling Belize trip, and your itinerary continues as above. B, L, D

    The price of $570 includes 2 nights double accommodation (singles are not available for this portion), 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners, professionally guided tours, and all taxes and entry fees. There will not be an AGC guide for this portion of the trip. It also does not include guide gratuities.
  • $2150 ("first 5" discounts are not available on this trip) $400 deposit. Single supplement (only necessary if you want your own room) is $275 (you will have your own room and bathroom on all nights except for 2 when you share a bathroom). You can read our cancellation policy here.

    Trip Includes

    • An Adventures in Good Company Trip Leader
    • A Belizean guide (most likely male) for 8, 2 guides for more than 8
    • Six nights double occupancy lodging
    • Meals from dinner on Saturday through breakfast the following Friday (except juice, soda and alcoholic beverages) 
    • All kayaking and snorkeling equipment and instruction. Both single and double kayaks are available

    Not included: Transportation to Belize City or from Dangriga to Belize City (about $90), beverages excluded above, guide gratuities, short-term travelers insurance policy to cover possible medical expenses during trip.

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  • Common Questions

    If you’ve never traveled with us before, you may have some questions about how we do things and what you can expect. We’ve answered the most common ones below and are always available by phone or email to answer any others.

    How do I pay for my trip?

    You can make the deposit by submitting a secure form with your credit card information after filling out the registration form or calling us with your card information. We will send you an invoice for the balance due with your Predeparture Information 4 months before an International trip and 3 months before a domestic trip. You can get a 3% discount for paying the balance by check.

    What if I’m coming alone?

    The majority of women who travel with us come by themselves. If you want to pay a single supplement to guarantee your own room, or if you want to share a room with someone with whom you are traveling, you can indicate that on the registration form. Otherwise we randomly assign roommates and rotate every time we change lodging – it’s a great way to get to know different women on the trip.

    Can you accommodate special diets?

    It depends on both the trip and on your specific needs. With advance notice, we can accommodate most dietary restrictions or allergies on our domestic trips, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten intolerant. This is not always true on international trips, so please contact us in advance if you have specific dietary needs. We've found that if you are willing to bring some of your own snacks and a couple of items to supplement what is on the menu (peanut butter is always good!) and possibly have less variety than you are used to at home, then dietary needs usually are no obstacle. If in doubt about your specific dietary needs, especially if you have Celiac disease, please give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email.

    What if I have to cancel my trip?

    The amount of your refund depends on how close to the trip you cancel and whether it is a domestic or an international trip. You can read our cancellation policies here. We highly recommend travel insurance because cancellations are always unexpected; we will send you additional information about insurance when you register.

    Will my family be able to get in touch with me in case of an emergency?

    Yes, we always send out emergency contact information. On a few trips, because of limitations in communication, the best approach is to give them the office number and let us make the contact.

    What other information will you send me?

    When you register, we’ll send you a Trip Summary that includes the itinerary, travel information, and a packing list. Three to four months before your trip we’ll send you Pre-Departure information that includes detailed information on how to get to the trip starting point, pre- or post-trip lodging suggestions, suggested books and websites etc. Four to six weeks before the trip, we’ll send you a list of everyone who is registered along with their travel plans; and a Pre-Trip letter with the name of your guide(s) and how to contact them if your arrival is delayed as well as any other important updates.

    Do you help with pre-trip and/or post-trip hotel reservations?

    For international trips, if you want to stay at the hotel where we’re staying the first night before the trip, or at the hotel we’re staying the last night after the trip, we’re happy to make a reservation for you. Otherwise our PreDeparture Information will have hotel suggestions. Our travel agent is also happy to help you with this.

    How does the waitlist process work and how often do people cancel?

    If you are interested in a trip that is full, you should sign up here. If there is a cancellation, we send out an email to everyone who has expressed interest and ask them to respond within 24 hours. If more than one person is interested, we give the space to the person who has traveled with us before or in the order of being put on the waitlist. Frequently, even when we have a long wait list, it is the last person to sign up who is still available to go. Whether or not there will be a cancellation is completely unpredictable, although not uncommon.

    What is the role of the guide(s)?

    On every trip, the primary roles of the guide(s) are to ensure your safety and to make sure that, to the extent possible, you are having the trip you want. The guide(s) will also make sure that you know what is happening each day and what you need to bring to be prepared. On domestic trips the guide(s) will also likely be driving, preparing picnic lunches and sometimes other meals, providing skills instruction, and giving you information about the natural history of the area. On any trip where we partner with another company (which is most international trips and some trips that require special equipment), the AGC guide will work with the local guide to make sure that the trip is conducted in accordance with the AGC philosophy.

    What if I have more questions?

    Give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email. A Program Manager is assigned to each trip. Once you have registered, she will send you a registration confirmation letter that includes her name and email, and she will be your primary contact. Her job is to make sure that you get all your questions answered and that you feel completely prepared for your adventure.

    What if I'm the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape/only single woman/only mom on the trip?

    You might be. Someone has to be the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape person on the trip. And while the great majority of our trips have both single and non-single women, and moms and non-moms, sometimes they don't. But it doesn't matter if you're "different" in any of those ways - what you will share with everyone else is a desire to experience adventure in your life, and an appreciation of the joy and camaraderie of being in an all women's group.

Trip highlights

  • Kayak in warm Caribbean waters over reefs full of diverse marine life
  • Snorkel among reefs teeming with brightly colored fish
  • Learn about the flora and fauna that inhabit this unspoiled marine environment
  • Try your hand at bone fishing
  • Stay in small hospitable family run lodges

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