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“This is the best adventure trip I have ever had! Thank you for introducing me to a tropical paradise I have only ever dreamt about. I was totally enthralled by the Belize coral reefs – The clarity of the water & the variety of corals & fish was outstanding & revealed new treasures every day. I learnt so much about the country and culture as well as the exquisite natural environment. The guides were superb and ran the whole trip in an unassuming yet efficient manner with a high degree of professionalism. A huge amount of work must go on behind the scenes to achieve such a smooth operation.”

Carlie Holland
Lighthouse Reef

 Departures 2017: Jan 06, 21 Feb 04, 18 Mar 04, 18 Apr 01, 15
* These dates have a reverse itinerary with the Inland Component first, followed by the lands portion.
Group Size: 6-22
Guides: 2-6 Leaders

Activities

Sea Kayaking (paddling & sailing)
Paddleboarding (SUP)
Scuba Diving (optional, cost not included in trip price)
The Blue Hole Snorkeling
Snorkeling, beaches and swimming
Photography
Birding
Intertidal exploration, reef and mangrove ecology
Natural & Cultural History

Accommodations

Bird’s Eye View Lodge
Halfmoon Bay Basecamp (Safari-style tent)
Belize Biltmore Plaza (optional at extra charge)

 

 

Glovers-5-day-Maya-Explorer

The Adventure

Located 33 miles northwest of Belize City the sanctuary provides both the abundant food sources and the safe resting areas necessary to support a large and diverse population of birds. The best time for viewing resident and migrant birds is December until June.

Next, we catch our motor charter to spectacular Lighthouse Reef, one of only four coral atolls in the Caribbean and home to the famous Blue Hole.In 1972, Capt. Jacques Cousteau and the intrepid crew of the Calypso explored and filmed this incredible atoll, showing its amazing underwater diversity to the world for the first time.

In partnership with the Belize Audubon Society, we have established an Adventure Camp within the Half Moon Caye Marine Reserve, opening up the area to adventurers for the first time.

We begin our trip with an introduction to the inland waterways of the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary.  Here we experience the astounding diversity of birds and wildlife for which Belize is renown.

The Setting…

Lighthouse Reef – Our journey to Lighthouse Atoll takes us 60 miles offshore to Belize’s most remote and spectacular atoll.

On our way to Lighthouse we weave our way through channels and picturesque islands within Belize’s Barrier Reef then, after crossing the reef wall, we enter a keyhole passage and wind through narrow mangrove lined channels to reach the eastern Coral Wall of Turneffe Atoll.

We then continue another 20 miles to the world renowned Lighthouse Reef Atoll and Half Moon Caye. One of only four coral atolls in the Caribbean.

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“Halfmoon Caye really was idyllic. The Kayaking & snorkeling was fantastic – the most luxurious tent I’ve ever been in. I really enjoyed the nature. What a privilege to

have such an arrangement with the Audubon Society Park Service.”

Laurel Jaques
Lighthouse Reef

A Note About the Ecology…Sea

The Mesoamerican Coral Reef stretches from Cancun, Mexico through Belize to Honduras. It is the largest reef in the western hemisphere and second largest in the world. In Belize this reef is a well formed wall and extends 185 miles along the coastline. Approximately 35 miles beyond the Barrier Reef lies one of Belize’s most spectacular atolls – Lighthouse Reef Atoll.

These circular shaped reef systems climb up from the ocean floor and surround a central lagoon. The reef structure is primarily made up of two kinds of coral, the hard hydro-coral (reef-forming coral) such as brain coral or elkhorn coral, and the soft corals, such as sea fans and feather plumes.

The lagoon shelters one of the world’s most diverse sea environments, harbouring an extensive community of fish, shellfish, and patch reefs. One mile off the eastern shore of the atoll and the shallow waters of the lagoon the reef wall drops precipitously over 3000 feet to the ocean floor below.

The interaction between the deeper open waters of the Caribbean and the sheltered lagoons of the atoll results in a diversity and abundance of marine life which is unsurpassed for sea kayaking, snorkeling, and diving.

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Typical Daily Itinerary:

LH 7 Day 0:

Arrive at the Belize International Airport where our representative will meet you and welcome you to the country.

You’ll be taken to the Bird’s Eye View Lodge in the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary.

The Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, with its swamps, wetlands and four lagoons, provides an ideal resting place for thousands of migrating and resident birds.

After checking into your accommodations you’ll have a chance to meet your fellow travelers, enjoy a meal and if time permits, explore Crooked Tree Village. Crooked Tree Village is one of Belize’s oldest Creole Settlements. Airport transfers, dinner and lodging are included.Day 0 is the day to meet your fellow travelers, and acclimatize to your new tropical environment.

Accommodation: Bird’s Eye View Lodge, Dinner is not included on this night.

LH 6 Day 1:

Coffee is served at sunrise. With your binoculars in hand you’ll enjoy the sounds and sights of the awakening wilderness.

There are usually several hundred birds of many species feeding in front of the lodge along the shores of the Crooked Tree lagoons.

After a healthy Belizean breakfast, you’ll embark by boat to explore the surrounding areas. Throughout this adventure, our aim is to provide you with tremendous birding and wildlife opportunities. Turtles, parrots, ibis, Morelet’s crocodiles, and Iguanas are frequently seen.

Weather permitting, later in the morning you’ll be driven along the “Old Belize Road” to the seashore where you’ll board a motor charter. This charter takes you through white sand cayes, mangrove ranges, and beyond the main Barrier Reef to Lighthouse Reef Atoll.

LH 9 Lighthouse Reef Atoll is located at the furthest edge of the Belizean Reef System. It is 55 miles offshore of the mainland.

Upon reaching Half Moon Caye, your guide team will orient you to your new island setting and help you settle into your accommodations. You’ll then enjoy a late lunch and an afternoon snorkel or kayak around Half Moon Caye.

Accommodation: Halfmoon Basecamp Meals: B, L, D

lh-kayak-patch-reef_0[1] Day 2-4:

Due to its isolated location from the mainland, the waters of Lighthouse Reef Atoll are exceptionally clear, with inspiring scenery, and a fabulously rich reef system.

This ecosystem offers some of the best kayaking, snorkeling, and diving in the Caribbean.

To begin, our guides will provide professional instruction – teaching you the fundamentals of sea kayaking, snorkeling, and safety in the waters of the tropics. Over the next few days, you’ll have many options to explore, including a shipwreck, which looms just north of the caye.

In 1971, a ship named the Ermlund lost power during a storm and was deposited on the reef by a large wave. This 4000 ton wreck rests silently as a landmark, and is one of many shipwrecks in the area. It serves as a constant reminder of the navigational hazards in these waters.  You’ll also have ample opportunities to learn from our guides about the marine reef ecology, the island’s mangrove, and the interior forest habitat.

lh-kayak-sailing This area of the park consists of 45 acres. Many species of birds nest on the island, including a 4000 red-footed booby colony.

The Audubon Society has built a series of viewing platforms to intimately observe the many nesting sites.

And of course, we always give you the option of hanging out in a hammock with a good book and a cold beverage!

Accommodation: Halfmoon Basecamp Meals: B, L, D

LH 12

Day 5 :

The “aquarium” is today’s big adventure.

You’ll pack a hearty lunch and your snorkel gear in our kayaks and paddle with motor support to this exciting location. This dive spot is known for its profusion of fish and towering coral formations. Snorkeling at the ‘Aquarium’ is usually one of the favorite activities among our guests.

You’ll return home, stopping at the Half Moon Wall for a spectacular drift snorkel over the undersea cliff of the atoll. As you float (or drift) along the sea surface using your snorkel gear, you’ll have an opportunity to view the amazing underworld that lies beneath.

There will also be a snorkling trip to the Great Blue Hole.

Accommodation: Halfmoon Basecamp Meals: B, L, D

 

LH 13 Day 6:

Today you’ll paddle along the protected waters of the Southern Reef towards Long Caye.

At this location, you’ll have a chance to snorkel some of the atoll’s best patch reefs.

After a full day of exploring, you’ll return just in time for a wonderful seafood dinner prepared especially for you by our cooks.

Accommodation: Halfmoon Basecamp Meals: B, L, D

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Day 7

For your last morning at Lighthouse Reef Atoll, the choice is yours.

Snorkel your favorite patch reefs, walk the island trails, swing in a hammock or beachcomb along the immaculate island beaches.

After lunch a motor charter arrives, and you’ll begin to prepare for your trip back to the mainland.

This return journey takes you through Turneffe atoll across the Great Barrier Reef, and you’ll arrive at the Belize Biltmore Hotel usually by late afternoon.

You can enjoy a fresh shower and swim in the hotel’s pool.

Your final evening is reserved for relaxing at the hotel or exploring the local area.

Accommodation: Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel Meals: B, L

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Day 8 (optional)

This last day is yours to enjoy at your leisure before you fly home or continue on your travels. Relax by the pool or investigate the optional tours offered by the hotel activity desk.

Note: Dinner on day 7, and breakfast  and transfer to the airport on day 8 are not included.

 

Important Note: For those who are connecting with their international flights on the last day of the trip it is important your flight is scheduled to depart after 3pm. If you are planning on staying an extra night in Belize we can make reservations for you at the Biltmore Hotel or add on an extra night at our lodge in the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary.

NOTE: Due to the remote location of the Lighthouse Reef Basecamp, the activities on the reef portion of this trip are weather dependent. This itinerary is a ‘guide’ and must remain flexible and open to changes at the trip leaders’ discretion. We hope you bring a spirit of adventure with you, and allow us to adjust the sails.

Accommodation…

LH 15-250 LH 5-250 08-biltmore-poo-250l
  Night 0: Birdseye View Lodge   Nights 1-6: Half Moon Caye Basecamp   Nights 7: Biltmore Plaza Hotel (optional at extra charge)

Transportation…
At the start of the trip we pick you up on arrival at the Belize International Airport on Day 0. On the last day of the trip we can drop you off directly at the Belize International Airport or the Biltmore Plaza Hotel. All transportation by land and water from Day 1 to Day 7 on the trip is included.

Scuba Divers…
Optional diving is available for certified divers on certain days of the trip.

Scuba Diving Rates… (2014)
BC and Reg Rental $15 US
Two Dives $125 US
Three Dives $165 US

Equipment…
While at our base-camp on Half-moon Caye, our guests have unrestricted use of the following equipment: Double Kayaks (outfitted with special sails), Single Kayaks, Complete Research Library, On the island, we are in communication with the mainland via satellite phone and VHF Marine radio.

What’s Included…

1. Comprehensive pre-trip information package
2. All meals, accommodation, and transfers described in the itinerary
3. Professional Guiding Services
4. Unlimited use of our Equipment and facilities
5. Government Fees & Taxes

What’s Not Included…

1. Post-trip transfer to Belize International Airport
2. Gratuities
3. Fishing Licences
4. Scuba Diving
5. International Flights and Airport Departure Tax
6. Extra costs due to late Arrivals, lost baggage and other circumstances beyond our control

Single Traveler Pricing
Many of our guests travel on their own. Our style of trip is ideal for single travelers combining the benefits of group camaraderie and group security with lots of individual flexibility in what you want to do each day. Single supplement options vary by trip style. Standard trip pricing is based on double occupancy. Solo guests can request either to share twin accommodations with another traveler or request single accommodations for an additional fee. If you are willing to share and we are able to match you up – no problem and no extra cost. If we cannot match you up then we have a simple, affordable $189 supplement fee . This fee will be applied at the time of booking, but will be reimbursed just before your departure if we are able to match you up.

Should you prefer private accommodations, we can provide you with your own room and the following charges apply.

Lighthouse Reef $425 CAD / $342 US

NOTE: The number of single rooms available on most departures is limited, and may not be available at each location. If we are not able to provide your own room throughout the trip, we will pro-rate the supplement fee.

Recommended Tour-books:
Eltringham, Peter. 2002. Belize: The Rough Guide .London. Penguin Publishers. Perottet, Tony. 2000. Belize: Insight Guide Singapore. Houghton Mifflin Publishers. -Great photographs and written by a Belizean!

Recommended Reading:
Rabinowitz, Alan. 2000 Jaguar, One Man’s Struggle to Establish the First Jaguar Sanctuary New York. Island Press.

Getting to Belize City:

American Airlines: Toll Free: 1-800-433-7300 website: www.aa.com

US Airways: Toll Free: 1-800-622-1015 website: www.usairways.com

Delta Airlines: Toll Free: 1-800-221-1212 website: www.delta.com

United Airways: Toll Free: 1-800-421-4655 website: www.united.com

Southwest Airlines – via Houston, TX Toll Free: 1-800-435-9792 website: www.southwest.com

Expedia: website: (Canada) www.expedia.ca (US) www.expedia.com

WestJet (Canada): Toll Free: 1-888-937-8538 (United Kingdom): Toll Free: 0-800-279-7072 website: www.westjet.com

Still have questions? Please give us a call toll free in North America at: 1-866-383-9453 or email us at wildernessadventures1@gmail.com

Booking: The booking requires a 30% deposit by Visa or MasterCard (for Canadian Credit Cards) with the balance due 60 days prior to trip departure. Non Canadian Credit Cards are charged the full trip fee payment in US dollars or a Bank Wire Transfer in Canadian Dollars at the time of booking.

The trip dates do sell out so please book early to get the trip dates you want.

Book this Trip Here

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