collage-Epic Belize

The Epic Adventure is a multisport journey taking you off-the-beaten path to coral reefs, rainforests and remote Mayan villages – ideal for those looking for an active, adventurous vacation that encompasses the best of Belize.

“I was very impressed with the guides/staff for several reasons.  I am on a severely restricted diet due to food allergies & they were all able to feed me well & safely. The time & energy put into this undertaking was phenomenal & I truly appreciated this personalized care. Being able to do this kind of foreign adventure travel is now available to me!

I was also very impressed with how very well the guides attended to the needs of non-swimmers/ non-paddlers in our group on the very high Mojo River. Truly professional care!

I loved going into the homes in Pedro’s village. The people there felt truly glad to see us & were very welcoming, wanting to interact with us. Having Pedro on the river with us sharing his traditional knowledge of the Mayan plants/ life was a wonderful plus. He was the very best!!!!

I highly recommend this company to anyone looking for this kind of adventure.

Thank you!”

Susan Dowell

Departure Dates:

2017: Jan 21  FebMar 18  Apr 1

Group Size: 6-13
Guides: 2-6 leaders

Activities Accommodations
Sea Kayaking (paddling & sailing) Bonefish Hotel
Snorkeling Glover’s Reef Basecamp at Southwest Caye
Jungle Canopy Zipline Bocawina Rainforest Resort
Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) Expedition River / Jungle Camping
Scuba Diving (optional, not included in trip fee) Biltmore Plaza Hotel (last night)
Whitewater Paddling and Waterfall Repelling
Mayan Ruins
Hiking, Birding, Fishing
Photography, Natural History and Interpretation

The Adventure

From Belize International Airport you will board a domestic flight to the coastal Garifuna town of Dangriga where you will spend your first night.

The next morning we travel by motorboat to Glover’s Atoll – a remote ring of corals and small islands rising from the deep waters of the Caribbean. Glover’s Atoll, with an unparalleled diversity and abundance of marine life, offers some of the best snorkeling in Belize. Our island Basecamp is the perfect setting from which to actively explore the surrounding waters which contain over 700 patch reefs. The waters of Belize have long been known as the richest in the Caribbean and Glover’s Reef is one of the best in Belize!

After our exploration of the Barrier Reef and Glover’s Reef Atoll we return to the mainland and travel into the rainforests of southern Belize. The Bocawina Reserve where this part of the trip takes place, has five waterfalls within hiking distance of our lodge. The population is primarily Maya. Scattered small villages border the green hills rising into the highest peaks of the Maya Mountains. Linking the communities, there is one main road called the Southern Highway. Most of the road has been paved in the last few years, bringing change to the area in the form of increased trade, electricity to villages and more small scale tourism development.

Leaving our jungle eco-lodge in Mayflower Bocawina National Park, we travel by van and four-wheel drive to our river put-in. We begin our river journey by teaching river safety and paddling techniques before kayaking into some of Belize’s most remote and pristine wilderness. Once on the water, we are immersed in the experience of traveling by day and camping at night in the tropical rainforest.

Our last night’s accommodation is at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City where we enjoy a dip in the pool, a comfortable room, and a hot shower. The next morning you are free to make your way back to Belize International Airport or to travel further in Belize.

The Setting…

Thirty-six miles offshore lie a group of tropical islands, cradled within a turquoise lagoon and surrounded by a living coral reef.  Glover’s Reef Atoll, considered one of the richest tropical marine environments in the entire Caribbean is protected as a Marine Reserve and is a designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Atoll is 32 km long by 12 km wide, encompassing a turquoise clear shallow lagoon with an estimated 850 coral heads and pinnacles rising to the surface. On the eastern edge of the atoll, five postcard perfect sand cayes fringed with coconut palms, lie atop the reef crest. The prevailing Northeasterly Trade winds blow across hundreds of miles of open sea before reaching the atoll where the swells break and dissipate in foaming white surf. This east wall of the atoll is breached in three places by channels, allowing for a tidal flow of water into the lagoon that sustains one of the most diverse coral ecosystems in the Caribbean.

At our Basecamp, perched on the white sand shores of Southwest Caye – with stunning views facing east over the main reef crest and the open Caribbean Sea – we are ideally located for snorkeling, sea kayaking and kayak sailing, diving, and fishing. Led by guides who are skilled marine naturalists, fishermen and kayakers, your experience at Glover’s is a blend of adventure, island culture, tropical vacation, and learning. The remarkable abundance of life and the simple beauty of this richest of tropical marine environments leaves its mark on all those who are fortunate enough to visit.

Belize Kayak Trips Itinerary 157
The waters of Belize have long been known as the richest in the Caribbean, and Glovers is one of the best in Belize! After our exploration of the Barrier Reef and Glovers Atoll we return to the mainland and travel into the deep south of the Toledo district to luxuriate at one of the finer lodges in Belize-The Lodge at Big Falls. The next day, we travel by van and four-wheel drive to our river put-in. We begin our river journey by teaching river safety and paddling techniques before paddling into some of Belize’s most remote and pristine wilderness. Once on the water, we are immersed in the experience of traveling by day and camping at night in the tropical rainforest. Our last night’s accommodation is at Belize Biltmore Plaza where we enjoy a dip in the pool, a comfortable room, and a hot shower.  The next morning you are free to make your way back to the Belize International Airport, or travel further in Belize.  Belize Kayak Trips Itinerary 151

Bocawina Reserve – The year-round growing season, plentiful precipitation and millennia of evolution has yielded the area with a tremendous biological diversity and rare beauty. This rich nutrient cycle supports a diverse range of plant life, where huge buttressed Ceiba trees to the smallest of fungi thrive. High above the forest floor is the enchanting world of the broad-leafed canopy. The canopy may tower 100 ft or more, with massive hardwoods like Santa Maria, Mahogany and Sapodilla trees forming a broad canopy, and in turn supporting many species of Epiphytes (air plants). This habitat provides for a unique community of wildlife, with many species spending most of their life inhabiting the roof of the rainforest.

Large tropical birds are frequently sighted. We see toucans with their oversized bills flying from one fruiting tree to the next. High overhead loud squawking alerts us to the presence of scarlet macaw. Once in view, the size of the bird and the splendor of their red and blue plumage is unmistakable. There is also a multitude of falcons, hawks, and vultures scavenging and hunting from the sun bright upper canopy down to the mottled light of the forest floor. Also found in the southern Belizean rainforest are a number of bizarre mammals. The largest of these is Belize’s national animal, the Baird’s tapir – locally known as the mountain cow. It has a large hippopotamus- like body and a long snout, much like the famous aardvark. The tapir, along with the white-lipped and collared peccary and the jaguar, are some of the larger mammals that inhabit the river valleys and forests where we travel.

Maya Mountains and Peten Lowlands – Just hours away from the sun-bright Barrier Reef, some of the richest rainforests in all of Central America thrive.  Tropical rainforests cover only 7% of the planet, yet harbor over 50% of the earth’s species and are considered the oldest intact ecosystems on earth.  Once you enter the forest – wildcats, toucans, flocks of scarlet macaw, and troupes of howler or spider monkey may be encountered at any time.  Small wonders are everywhere, like delicate orchids that bloom for only a few hours in the year.

It used to be that travelers to the region rarely ventured far from the coast; the interior was little known – a hinterland of the imagination, with impenetrable jungles and tales of lost Mayan cities.  Only recently, Belize has gained a reputation for the stunning beauty and wildlife that lies hidden amongst the mountains, rainforests, and rivers.  The most exciting Mayan ruins and ceremonial caves require careful planning to reach.  As varied as the land are the activities we engage in: river travel with both calm jungle floats and wild, fun whitewater rides.  In the rainforest – caving, hiking, birding, and photography all make for one-of-a-kind experiences.

A Note About the Ecology…The Flora

The ecology of the Belizean coast is a complex combination of coral reefs, sand flats with extensive turtle grass and mangrove ranges. The Barrier Reef shelters the Belizean coastline from the rougher open waters of the Caribbean sea. It acts as a huge breakwater, holding in the sand, resulting in the beautiful islands forested with coconut palms, sea grape and coco plum, and in the remarkable protected reef structures.

The ‘breakwater’ action also enables the diverse ecosystems of the mangrove and turtle grass to flourish. These tangled partially submerged “forests” provide essential feeding and nursing habitat for hundreds of species of fish, shellfish, reptiles, marine mammals, and birds.

Tropical Fish1 Itinerary

The Fauna

On our journey to the Maya Mountains, we travel through broadleaf, semi deciduous forest. All around us are signs of life, from the tropical birds high in the canopy like the keel-billed toucan and mot-mots to the many wild mammals that inhabit the forest floor, including Belize’s largest herbivore, the Baird’s Tapir.

While traveling along the Barrier Reef, paddling from cay to cay among the many “patch” reefs, we will have the opportunity to view a diverse range of sea-life and tropical birds, such as: bonefish, angel and parrot fish, stingrays, conger, moray eels, goatfish, just to name a few. Trailing a line from our kayaks, we also may get a chance at a tug from barracuda, grouper, tarpon, or snapper.

Belize Kayak Trips Itinerary 15
Over our heads, we may see various birds including osprey (the billy hawk), sea gulls, brown-footed and white-footed boobies, frigate birds, hawks, mangrove warblers, and white crowned pigeons.

Throughout the reef and along the coast are nesting sites for loggerhead, green and hawksbill turtles. If we’re lucky, we may see them while out snorkeling.We will definitely have a chance to see and sample the main staple for Belizean fishermen-the spiny lobster (in season) and the queen conch.

Turtle 3
In the rainforests of Belize we have great opportunities to view wildlife. Hiking or paddling we see iguanas resting in the branches of fig trees, we may hear the grunts and snuffling as a herd of peccary (wild pigs) passes close by. Large tropical birds are frequently sighted.We see toucans with their oversized bills, flying ungainly from one fruiting tree to the next. High overhead loud, raucous squawking alerts us to the presence of scarlet macaw in the river valley.

Once in view, the size of the bird and the splendor of their red and blue plumage is unmistakable.

Belize Kayak Trips Itinerary 153
There is also a multitude of falcons, hawks and vultures scavenging and hunting from the sun-bright upper canopy down to the mottled light of the forest floor.

Also, found in the southern Belizean rainforest are a number of often bizarre mammals, the largest being Belize’s national animal, Baird’s tapir- locally known as the mountain cow in Belize is an animal unique to the New World tropics with a large hippopotamus-like body and a long snout, much like the fabled aardvark.

The tapir, along with the white-lipped and collared peccary, the jaguar, and the puma are some of the larger mammals that inhabit the river valleys and forests where we travel.

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Typical Daily Itinerary:

Day 0

Day 0 is your day to arrive before the trip starts, meet your fellow guests, and acclimatize to your new tropical environment.

We include the domestic flight from Belize International to Dangriga, a casual dinner and orientation with your fellow adventurers.

Accommodations: (Bonefish Hotel) Meals: Dinner is included on this night.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 1

We leave Dangriga at 8 am and travel by boat to our Adventure Basecamp on Glover’s Reef.

Glover’s is one of only four atolls in the Caribbean Sea and is truly one of the most spectacular marine environments in Belize.

Due to its isolation from the mainland the waters are exceptionally clear with an incredibly rich reef system that offers some of the best kayaking, snorkeling, and diving in the Caribbean.

After our sea kayak and snorkel introduction in the warm waters we venture out to explore the atoll.

Accommodations: (Glover’s Reef Base Camp) Meals: B, L, D

 

 

Day 2

We will spend the day exploring the atoll, snorkeling the inner lagoons or outer reef walls; practicing some SUP moves (our guides are certified sea kayak and SUP instructors); trying our hands at Belizean-style hand-line fishing for Barracuda, snapper or grouper; or just taking in the awesome beauty of this remote tropical marine wilderness.

Accommodations: (Glover’s Reef Base Camp) Meals: B,L,D

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3

For our last morning on the reef, the choice of activity is yours. You may want to cast a fly on the reef flats for bonefish,                         snorkel the outside walls, or sea kayak, or develop your SUP technique with a downwind paddle.

Our motorboat charter will arrive after lunch and transport us back to the mainland. Our next destination is Bocawina Resort in the wild rainforests of the southern Maya Mountains. This is an intimate eco-lodge situated in the heart of a protected National Park.

After settling in, we’ll walk a trail to nearby Mayan Ruins and begin our immersion to the tropical rainforest.

Accommodations:(Bocawina Rainforest Resort) Meals: B, L, D

Day 4

Waking up to the sounds of the tropical rainforest is a pure delight, with the chatter of parrots and parakeets flying overhead.

The fresh morning air scented with tropical blossoms, and the expectation of an exciting adventure-filled day ahead.

Our journey will take us to hidden waterfalls with astounding views all the way to the Caribbean Sea.

If you choose, you can rappel 250 feet down the waterfalls! Swim in emerald green pools and learn about the jungle ecology  from our guides.

One of the special attractions of Bocawina Lodge is a thrilling two and a half mile rainforest canopy zipline course which for many is the highlight of their stay.

In the evening it’s time to relax and recount the day’s adventures over a pre-dinner drink in the bar.

Accommodation: (Bocawina Rainforest Resort) Meals: B, L

Day 5 & 6:

Mayflower National Park to the Wild South! We travel south to a region of isolated Mayan villages lying amongst an unspoiled tropical wilderness. Once on the river, your guides will conduct an orientation on the inflatable kayaks and moving water so you can navigate the rapids and pour-overs.

For two days we break contact completely with the outside world and become a part of the mist shrouded rainforest. We’ll follow the Moho River through spectacular canyons and lush rainforest. Each bend of the river reveals the wonder of the rainforest as we navigate stretches of rapids, pour-overs, and waterfalls on your descent from the Maya Mountains to the sea.

Our Mayan guides share their deep knowledge of the rainforest and connect you with their timeless insights of Mayan folklore intertwined with the river and land.

Accommodation: (Jungle Camping) Meals: B, L, D

ua-double-waterfall Each bend reveals the dynamic nature of the river – from calm meandering water that reflects the intense green of the jungle to stretches of rapids, pour-overs and spectacular waterfalls as the river descends from the Maya Mountains to the sea.

Depending on water levels, some days we may reach our bush camp by mid afternoon and switch to land based activities.

Hiking through the forest, birding, plant and animal identification, and photography are some of the many activities we engage in.

During the trip, with our Mayan guides and North American leaders, we emphasize understanding the ecology of the rainforest, learning about the habits of the wildlife, and gaining an appreciation for the rich Mayan folklore which adds so much to our experience in the jungle.

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Day 7

As we continue our journey we leave the Maya Mountains and enter the coastal plains, the nature of the river changes to calm meandering waters reflecting the intense green of the jungle.

Once off the river we connect with a domestic flight to Belize City and the Biltmore hotel for our last night.

Accommodations: (included at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel) Meals: B, L  (Dinner is NOT Included in this night)

 

 

 

 

 

Note: This is one of our most adventurous trips. It takes place in a remote wilderness region of Belize. Participants need to be in good physical condition and ready to handle the unexpected. Weather conditions can greatly affect water levels and hiking trails into the river and may increase the level of difficulty. We also believe that the remoteness and variability of conditions are what make this trip the best of its kind in Belize. Trip itineraries may vary significantly depending on water levels.

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. Accommodation the day before the trip (‘Day 0’)
6. Government Fees & Taxes

What’s Not Included…

1. Gratuities
2. Fishing Licenses
3. Scuba Diving
4. International Flights and Airport Departure Tax
5. Extra costs due to late Arrivals, lost baggage and other circumstances beyond our control

Accommodation…

On ‘Day 0’, we will be spending the night at the Bonefish Hotel on the Belize Caribbean coast in Dangriga
On Days 1 and 2 on Glovers Reef, we are “base camping” in tent-walled cabanas. These spacious safari-style tents have ample headroom and are outfitted with wood floors and wood-framed beds. On the island, we have a fresh-water collection system for drinking water, access to fresh-water showers, modern composting toilets, a fully-equipped kitchen including
On Days 3 and 4 Bocawina Resort is located in the wild rainforests of the southern Maya Mountains. This is an intimate eco-lodge situated in the heart of a protected National Park.
places-we-stay-moho-river-200  On Days 5 and 6 We travel south to a region of isolated Mayan villages lying amongst an unspoiled tropical wilderness camping along the Moho River in tents.
Epic-Belize Biltmore 200  On Day 7 Once off the river we connect with a domestic flight to Belize City and the Biltmore hotel for our last night.

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 drop you off directly at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel. All transportation by land, air and water from Day 0 to Day 7 on the trip is included.

Scuba Divers… Optional diving is available for certified divers on certain days of the trip. Single tank dives are available from $50 US, with further discounts for multi-tank dives. For first time divers we can offer, a Discover Scuba for a subsidized rate, or you may be able to take your Open Water Referral course. Please let us know in advance. There are some great opportunities to scuba dive at Glover’s Reef. We can also arrange a variety of dive packages before or after your trip.

Scuba Diving Rates… (2016) BC and Reg Rental $15 US Single Tank Dive $50 US Two Dives $75 US Discover Scuba Course $125 US

Single Traveller Policy
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.

Epic Belize- $495 CAD / $400 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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