From: March 4 to March 10, 2017

Destination: Paradise Islands, Belize

  • Kayaking and Snorkeling Belize - 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. Maximum group size: 12

    THIS TRIP IS FULL. To get on a waitlist, register for the trip (no deposit required).

  • As is true on any adventure travel trip, we may follow the daily itinerary exactly or alter it based on weather or other circumstances

    March 4 (Saturday):
    Arrive at the Belize International Airport by 2pm today, where you'll be met and, after meeting the rest of our group at the Biltmore Hotel, transferred at about 3pm to the Tropical Education Centre. The Centre is 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. You can start getting ready for the adventure at the Interpretive Center, which details the diverse ecology of Belize and is an ideal introduction. About 6 pm we'll gather for introductions and share a "Welcome to Belize Dinner".

    March 5 (Sunday): 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 meet our Belizean guide team, who will give us 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 Tobacco Caye, stopping to watch the frigate birds circle over Man O War island.  Next, we paddle over gorgeous blue water and through twisting mangrove tunnels - right to our first night's lodge! Our paddle can take anywhere between two and four hours depending on weather conditions. We'll settle in, enjoy drinks and dinner, and be lulled to sleep by the sound of ocean waves. (B, L, D)
    March 6 (Monday): For those who love the early morning, watching the sun rise is the perfect way to start your day. 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.  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 reefs to snorkel and explore healthy and vibrant coral and brightly colored fish. We'll return that night to our lodge on Tobacco Caye and another delicious dinner. (B, L, D)
    March 7 (Tuesday): 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 swim to cool off. In the afternoon we take a short paddle to a nearby island that is home to the Smithsonian Institute, here we are treated to a tour of the research lab. As the sun sets it's time to enjoy a well earned dinner that will recharge us after our full day.  We'll spend tonight and the next two nights at Southwater Caye.

    March 8  (Wednesday): 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 in Paradise. (B, L, D) 
    March 9 (Thursday): Today 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 relax in the most idyllic hammock setting and recharge for an afternoon of snorkeling. Sadly we leave our kayaks on this island and enjoy a fun boat ride back to South Caye. This evening we'll celebrate our final evening together with a seafood feast and a chance to enjoy island festivities.
    February 10 (Friday): 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. It is safe for women to take the local buses by themselves so if this is your preferred mode of transportation, don't hesitate to try it. If you are making an international connection that day, be sure to book your flight after 11:30am if you fly from Dangriga and after 4pm if you take the bus.

    If you think it's way too soon to head home, don't. Instead, join us for an excursion into the Mayan 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 10 (Friday): After picking up any extra bags and repacking clothing at the Operations Base, you depart for a flight to the Belize Municipal Airport where you will be met by your extension host. On the way to the lodge, you'll stop for lunch at a local restaurant (not included in the price) before continuing on to the Mayan site of Altun Ha for a guided tour. Considered one of the major Mayan ceremonial centers 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. You then continue onto the lodge. Located in the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, the Bird's Eye View Lodge sits along the banks of the Crooked Tree Lagoon and couldn't be more aptly named - this is a birders' paradise and if you've never been a birder, this may convert you.  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. There are literally hundreds of species within the sanctuary, including, snail kites, tiger herons, snowy egrets, ospreys, black collared hawks, and the reserve's most famous resident, the massive jabiru stork. After settling in, you'll gather to enjoy a hearty dinner before turning in for a good nights' sleep. D

    March 11 (Saturday): 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, due in 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 12 (Sunday):
      Today we leave flexible to accommodate your flights home. The lodge is about 40 minutes from the airport and you should be there a minimum of 60 minutes before your flight leaves, so you can plan to leave anytime you need to. But if you don't have to leave early to get a decent flight, then don't. Start your day with an early morning coffee, watching the many hundreds of birds eating their breakfast along the shores of the lagoons as the wilderness awakens. Then after enjoying your breakfast, go for a morning boat tour in the lagoons. Because this is the dry season in Belize, the lagoons are slowly shrinking and thus concentrating wildlife even more! If you have even more time, you can relax at the lodge or arrange a tour with the lodge to go visit the baboon sanctuary (Baboon is the Belizean name for the Yucatan black howler monkey, although it is not related to the African baboon). This sanctuary is a community effort to protect the habitat of the endangered monkey and seeing them up close is a real treat.  But when you have to go, you have to go and your host will drop you off either at the International Airport or at the Belize Biltmore Plaza if you are continuing your Belize adventures. B (lunch is included if you are still at the lodge)

    The price of $639 includes 2 nights double accommodation (singles are not available for this portion), 2 breakfasts, 1 or 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 and there be other people and possibly other groups at the lodge. The price also does not include guide gratuities, airport departure taxes, or the last lunch.
  • $2295 (see this page for discounts) $400 deposit. Single supplement (only necessary if you want your own room, maximum of 2) is $395 (you will have your own room and bathroom on 3 nights and the other nights you will share a bathroom). You can read our cancellation policy here.

    Trip Includes

    • An Adventures in Good Company guide
    • A Belizean guide (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; depending on everyone's preferences, we cannot guarantee a single kayak for the entire time.
    • All taxes and park fees

    Not included: Transportation to Belize City or from Dangriga to Belize City ($100 by plane or $5 by local bus), beverages excluded above, guide gratuities, short-term travelers insurance policy to cover possible medical expenses during trip. The Maya World extension described below is $639.

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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
  • Try sailing a kayak and stand up paddleboarding
  • Learn about the flora and fauna that inhabit this unspoiled marine environment
  • Stay in small hospitable family run lodges and savor Belizean fruits

Register for this trip today

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