Land of Belize
from $1350
Duration: 8 Days
Discover the natural wonders, picturesque coastline and rich cultural history of Belize. This often-overlooked paradise is packed full of lush jungle, spectacular ruins, long sandy beaches and first-class underwater attractions, and on this tour, you’ll get the chance to sample them all. From the buzz of Belize City, through the marshlands of the Crooked Tree Sanctuary and to the island paradise of Caye Caulker, discover the best of Belize on this epic 8-day adventure to one of Central America’s little-known gems. Sit back and relax into the Bel-easy-an way of life.
  • Discover the English-speaking hub of Belize City – a dynamic hotspot with delicious street food.
  • Go wildlife watching in the Crooked Tree sanctuary, keeping an eye out for the Jabiru storks – the tallest flying bird in Central and South America.
  • Oh Maya, there are a range of ruins and archaeological sites to keep you busy. Uncover the secrets of crystallised skeletons and crumbling palaces near San Ignacio that have been preserved in their natural glory.
  • Laze on the sandy shores of Caye Caulker, off the coast of Belize. Swim in the warm waters of the Caribbean and snorkel through shallow reefs and atolls surrounding the cayes.
  • With more time on the beach and in the water, take up the opportunity for some optional experiences, including sea kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, or even a manatee tour!
  • Crooked Tree - Lagoon birding boat tour (1-3 people)
  • San Ignacio - Cahal Pech Ruins (Entrance fee)
  • Caye Caulker - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Day 1 Location: Belize City
    Hello! Welcome to Belize. Located where the Belize River meets the Caribbean Sea, this bustling former capital is full of history and culture. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm where you'll meet your tour leader and fellow travellers. Belize City is an interesting place, divided by the world's only remaining manual swing bridge. On the north side is the coastal and maritime museum, housed in the beautiful restored former fire station. Also in the north is the Image Factory, displaying contemporary Belizean artists, and the National Handicraft Centre. The oldest Anglican church in Central America, St John Cathedral, was built in 1812 with bricks brought as ballast in European sailing ships. Opposite is Government House, a preserved colonial mansion. Belize is the only English-speaking country in Central America, which will make chatting with locals much easier. The Belizeans are known for their relaxed and easy going way of live. You will be amazed how many different cultures coexist harmoniously here.
    Day 2 Location: Crooked Tree
    Take a private vehicle to Crooked Tree (approximately 1.5 hours). Crooked Tree is an inland wildlife sanctuary full of lagoons, marshlands and creeks, making it one of the best destinations for wildlife spotting. Enjoy your free afternoon exploring the sanctuary by foot or by boat, hoping to spot Jabiru stalks, yellow-headed parrots, Mexican black howler monkeys and Central American river turtles (locally known as the Hicatee). The Crooked Tree village also has some notable and historical sights, having been established around 1750 during the logwood period and thought to be the oldest non-indigenous settlement in Belize. The village is also famous for its locally grown and processed cashews. In the evening, settle into your lodge with an included group dinner.
    Day 3 Location: San Ignacio
    Wake up early and embark on a birdwatching excursion around the sanctuary, travelling by boat on the lagoon. Some 250 resident or migratory neotropical birds inhabit this reserve, among them the Jabiru stork – the largest flying bird in the Western Hemisphere. Then drive to the San Ignacio area (approximately 2.5 hours). Once arrived and checked in to the hotel, head to Cahal Pech Ruins, a Maya site near the centre of town. This archaeological site was a royal palace of a ruling Maya family, consisting of 7 plazas and over 30 structures including temples, buildings and ball courts. Afterwards, the afternoon is yours to spend as you please. 
    Day 4 Location: San Ignacio
    You have a free day to take on any of the many optional activities available in San Ignacio. Perhaps take a day trip to Xunantunich, an impressive Maya ceremonial centre located with panoramic views over the countryside. The east side of one of the temples has a unique moulded wall surface and the central plaza has three carved stelae (stone slabs). Getting to the site is half the fun as you'll need to take a hand-cranked ferry to cross the river. Otherwise, head to the caves of Actun Tunichil Muknal – a living museum of Maya relics. Wade through water until you reach the ceremonial site. Here you will find ceramic pots and crystallised skeletons, preserved by the natural processes of the cave for over 1400 years. If Maya ruins aren’t your thing, consider a trip to the Mountain Pine Ridge area to visit waterfalls and warm swimming holes, a visit to a butterfly garden or a canoe down the Barton Creek cave reserve.
    Day 5 Location: Caye Caulker
    Travel by local bus to Belize City (2 hours) where you’ll board a water taxi (1 hour) to Caye Caulker. The Belize cayes are a group of islands a short boat ride away from the coast. There are a number of these islands to choose from, but the tour bases itself on Caye Caulker as this is one of the more popular islands with travellers. From here it is possible to arrange day trips to other cayes, to the best reefs for snorkelling, or simply to take a local boat out to the reef of Caulker itself. Each island has its own particular character, but all of them have the unmistakeable Caribbean pace and charm. Once you’ve arrived on Caulker, the group leader will give you an orientation walk to get your bearings around the island.
    Day 6 Location: Caye Caulker
    If your idea of paradise is white sand, blue waters and palm trees then you’re going to dig Caye Caulker with the next couple of days to explore, relax and get active. Relax on the beach with a book, or head out to Hol Chan Marine Reserve, home to the magnificent Blue Hole and the world's second longest barrier reef. Snorkel in the crystal-clear waters among colourful corals and see tropical fish, sharks and the occasional manta ray, or spend a half-day taking a sea kayak adventure around the nearby reefs and atolls.
    Day 7 Location: Caye Caulker
    Your time in Caye Caulker is all about talking it easy, so do as much (or as little) as you want with another day here. After a day of swimming and lazing on the beach, you’re sure to get hungry. If you're interested in sampling local cuisine, Belize is famous for its barbequed food, with some of the best meals cooked on the road side. Caye Caulker is famous for its lobster – not the cheapest meal you'll ever buy, but so (so) good. Always make sure that you respect the season: the lobsters can only be caught between June and February. If you’re out of season, how about some grilled shrimp and a lovely rum and coke made with the local fire water?
    Day 8 Location: Belize City
    Take a morning water taxi back to Belize City (approximately 1 hour) where the trip will end at the port. With no other planned activities for the day in Belize City, and you can safely continue your onward journey in the afternoon. Please ask your tour leader If you need any assistance arranging transport to the airport from the port. Alternatively you may wish to book extra accommodation and stay on in Caye Caulker. 
    Dates
    Prices
    Availability
    Departure Date:
    21DEC2019
    Return Date:
    28DEC2019
    1440NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    28DEC2019
    Return Date:
    04JAN2020
    1525NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    04JAN2020
    Return Date:
    11JAN2020
    1630NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    01FEB2020
    Return Date:
    08FEB2020
    1615NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    08FEB2020
    Return Date:
    15FEB2020
    1495NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    15FEB2020
    Return Date:
    22FEB2020
    1555NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    22FEB2020
    Return Date:
    29FEB2020
    1440NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    07MAR2020
    Return Date:
    14MAR2020
    1440NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    21MAR2020
    Return Date:
    28MAR2020
    1440NZD
    available
    Departure Date:
    04APR2020
    Return Date:
    11APR2020
    1440NZD
    available
    Last modified (date)

    14 Dec 2019

    Trip title

    Land of Belize

    Trip code

    QVSE

    Validity

    Validity: 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020

    Introduction

    Discover the natural wonders, picturesque coastline and rich cultural history of Belize. This often-overlooked paradise is packed full of lush jungle, spectacular ruins, long sandy beaches and first-class underwater attractions, and on this tour, you’ll get the chance to sample them all. From the buzz of Belize City, through the marshlands of the Crooked Tree Sanctuary and to the island paradise of Caye Caulker, discover the best of Belize on this epic 8-day adventure to one of Central America’s little-known gems. Sit back and relax into the Bel-easy-an way of life.

    Style

    Original

    Themes

    Explorer

    Transport

    Private vehicle,Local bus,Taxi,Ferry

    Physical Rating

    2

    Physical preparation

    None of the activities featured in this trip require special training or skills, just a reasonable level of fitness and a willingness to participate. Cobblestones and uneven roads are common and you may be required to walk in hot and humid conditions. If you are in any doubt, please share these concerns or issues with your sales consultant so that your leader is aware prior and can pre-empt your needs.

    Joining point

    Best Western Plus Belize Biltmore Hotel

    3 1/2 Miles Philip Goldson Hwy

    Belize City

    BELIZE

    Phone: +501 2232302

    Joining point description

    A 9-minute walk from the ocean, this modern, colorful hotel is also 4.8 km from Belize City Municipal Airport, and 6.3 km from both St. John the Baptist Cathedral and Old Belize Adventure amusement park. Warm, casual rooms come with courtyard views, flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers and WiFi. A courtyard features a sundeck, an outdoor pool and a bar. There’s also an indoor bar with weekly karaoke. Other amenities include an international restaurant and a fitness center.

    Joining point instructions

    Intrepid offers a pre-arranged arrival transfer service from Belize City International Airport [BZE] at an additional fee. If you have pre-booked this service, please ensure you provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel so the transfer can be organised. If you plan to arrive earlier, this transfer can only be offered in conjunction with pre-tour accommodation booked through Intrepid. If you have pre-booked this service; you will be met after exiting the terminal building to the outside. As you exit please look for the Intrepid sign with your name on it. If you have any problems and cannot locate your driver on arrival, please call our Intrepid Emergency number listed under the ‘Problems and emergency contact information’ section of your Essential Trip Information document. If you don’t have a device or mobile coverage, Belize City Airport has a free Wi-Fi connection so you can call that same number via an online application such as Skype. There are also several information desks and tourist information desks around if you require further assistance. Otherwise, you can travel from the Belize City Airport to the hotel by taxi. We recommend you use the authorised taxi services organised from inside the terminal. They will charge you approximately BZ$50 (USD$25) for a trip to downtown. The drive to where the hotel is located is approximately 25 minutes depending on traffic.

    Finish point

    Belize City

    Belize City

    BELIZE

    Finish point instructions

    Your trip finishes on the last day of the trip with a water taxi ride from Caye Caulker to Belize City (approx. 45 mintues). Your leader will be able to help you arrange transport to the airport if needed. Please contact your booking agent if you need assistance booking extra accommodation in Caye Caulker or Belize City.

    Important information

    1. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. 2. On your final day, you’ve got the power to choose where your adventure takes you. If you like, you can stay in Caye Caulker for another couple of nights relaxing beachside – we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability). Otherwise, jump on an included water taxi transfer back to Belize City where you can also book additional nights’ accommodation, or where your leader can assist you to catch a taxi from the port to the airport for an onward connection. To allow for transfer times, please book a flight after 12 pm (midday). 3. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights on your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

    Group leader

    All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

    Safety

    Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

    https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-field

    SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

    PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY: While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

    MONEY WITHDRAWAL: In order to avoid fraud and theft, it is advisable that you withdraw money from ATMs located inside banks or guarded shops during business hours only.

    LOCAL LODGINGS: On this trip you will be staying in some restored houses and local lodges - these are one of the charms of this journey, but their staircases, balconies and passages etc may not always comply with western safety standards. Please do not expect elevators in these properties as they are preserved to their original state.

    FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

    Communications

    WhatsApp is a popular way to communicate in Latin America. We recommended downloading WhatsApp prior to departure to communicate with by text with your leader and group members during the tour. Once downloaded, please validate your phone number before leaving home as you will not be able to do this once you arrive, unless you have international roaming enabled. Connections for making phone calls through WhatsApp are not reliable, so please do not use this app to make calls to our emergency phone line.

    Visas

    If you receive an immigration card upon entry, please ensure you keep this safe as it may be requested at point of exit. For further information regarding country entry and exit fees, please refer to the 'Money Matters' section of this document.  Belize - Passport holders from Australia, Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand and The United States of America are not required to obtain a visa prior to arrival. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Belize for the most up to date information. Although rarely checked, to enter the country visitors are required to have the equivalent of BZ$120 per day for the duration of their stay, as well as a return or onward travel ticket. Visitors generally get a 30-day stamp in their passport upon entering Belize. USA Visa Waiver - Applicable if arriving via the United States of America. Many countries now operate under a visa waiver program, meaning a visa isn't required, however you still need to obtain an authorisation which confirms that you have been approved to travel. This authorisation must be obtained in advance of travel. See https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/tourism-visit/visa-waiver-program.html All travellers from Visa Waiver Program countries must obtain an electronic travel authorization prior to their flight from the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) website: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov All ESTA registration applications or renewals require a US$14 fee to paid by card. Apply for ESTA no later than 72 hours (we recommend 1 week prior to travel) before departing for the USA. Real-time approvals will no longer be available and arriving at the airport without a previously approved ESTA will likely result in being denied boarding. If there are any discrepancies between the name on your ESTA, your passport, your tickets or even your frequent flyer membership, you may be detained at Immigration and subject to a secondary inspection which could take a few hours. If you have recently changed your name, please check that your details have been updated everywhere. If you are from a country eligible for the visa waiver program but are a dual citizen of Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan, or if you have travelled to Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan since 01 March 2011, you will not longer be eligible for the visa waiver program and will instead need to apply for a non-immigrant visa. Please see the Department of State website for more information: http://travel.state.gov//content/travel/en.html

    Why we love it

    Discover the English-speaking hub of Belize City – a dynamic hotspot with delicious street food.

    Go wildlife watching in the Crooked Tree sanctuary, keeping an eye out for the Jabiru storks – the tallest flying bird in Central and South America.

    Oh Maya, there are a range of ruins and archaeological sites to keep you busy. Uncover the secrets of crystallised skeletons and crumbling palaces near San Ignacio that have been preserved in their natural glory.

    Laze on the sandy shores of Caye Caulker, off the coast of Belize. Swim in the warm waters of the Caribbean and snorkel through shallow reefs and atolls surrounding the cayes.

    With more time on the beach and in the water, take up the opportunity for some optional experiences, including sea kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, or even a manatee tour!

    Is this trip right for you

    Who doesn’t love a challenge? We definitely do here at Intrepid, and while travelling between some locations on local transport on this trip can be hard, it’s super rewarding and a great way to meet the locals. Is it hot in here? Well you’re in tropical Central America so it can get really hot and humid. Carry plenty of water because hydration is key, especially when you’re walking a lot. It’s a good idea to try and brush up on as many Spanish words as you can. While locals are really friendly, they’re also shy, so knowing some local lingo is a great way to break the ice and show you care.

    Health

    All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared. ZIKA VIRUS: There have been reports of transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in this region and we advise all travellers to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Given possible transmission of the disease to unborn babies, and taking a very cautious approach, we recommend all women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant to consult with their doctors before booking their trip. MALARIA: There is no commercially available vaccination against malaria, which is transmitted by mosquito bites and is a risk in many less-developed tropical areas in Africa, Latin America and South East Asia. Protection against mosquito bites is essential and where the risk is considered high, anti-malarial medications are recommended. Anti-malarial medications should be discussed with experts as there are different medications available and not all medications suit all people or all destinations. Where malaria is considered prevalent in mountainous regions we prefer that trekkers to altitude try to avoid the use of mefloquine (Lariam) if possible. DENGUE FEVER: Dengue Fever is common in Latin America and can occur throughout the year. Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Brazil and parts of Mexico are currently suffering from a serious outbreak. This virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. There is no vaccination against it, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn. YELLOW FEVER A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home. It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.

    Food and dietary requirements

    While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in this region. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat dinner together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though. DIETARY REQUIREMENTS Please let us know your diet requirements before your trip starts. Generally speaking, in bigger cities/towns vegetarians can expect a reasonable range of vegetarian venues and/or vegetarian options within tourist restaurant menus. However, vegetarianism is not the norm in this part of the world so options can be limited when eating at homestays, small local restaurants, street stalls, markets, etc. More restrictive diet requirements (vegans, coeliac, gluten intolerance, fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance etc.) can also be accommodated along this trip but you should expect a lesser variety than what you can expect at home. We recommend that, if possible, to bring your own supply of snacks with you. For those on strict Kosher or Halal diets we understand your dietary requirements are important, however,  sometimes due to cultural and language differences these are not always easy to convey when you are travelling. Your guide will do their best to assist you in translating your needs when eating out, but please be aware that these diets are almost unheard of in much of the continent and the best they may be able to accommodate is no pork and shellfish. If this will be a concern for you you may need to consider opting for vegetarian or vegan meals for the included meals in your itinerary. We recommend researching kosher or halal options in your destination country prior to travel to see if you are able to buy snacks once there, otherwise consider bringing some from home. 

    Money matters

    When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document).  The recommended amounts are listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however the local currency is needed in the countries you are visiting. CONTINGENCY FUNDS: We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to the equivalent of an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved. MEALS NOT INCLUDED: For this trip we recommend between USD 25 to 50 per day. How do we work this out? Breakfast - If breakfast is not included, you can expect to pay between USD5 to USD10 at a local café. Lunch - If you are happy with a quick snack on the go, you may get away with as little as USD5 to USD10 for a set menu at a local eatery or a sandwich and a drink at a café. On the other hand, a lunch meal at a more tourist restaurant can cost between USD10 to USD15. Dinner - At dinner time, your leader will normally recommend restaurants where you can safely try the local specialties of the region. Expect meals to cost between USD12 to USD25 for a main. These are indicative prices only. If you are in a tight budget, are happy to eat just local food and are not afraid of an upset tummy every now and then, you can eat cheaper than this. If you want to try just the finest food at the finest restaurants, then you can expect meals to cost as much as in western countries. CREDIT CARDS & ATMs: ATMs are widely available in major towns and cities across Latin America. Credit cards are generally available in tourist shops and restaurants. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only. Check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to and what their fees and charges are. Also ensure your bank is aware of your travel plans as - suspecting fraud - they may cancel your cards after the first few international transactions. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day. If bringing over cash, please note USD100 bills with serial number CB or BE and any other USD bills that are old, torn, written or stamped on will not be accepted by local banks. CURRENCY INFORMATION: Belize currency information - The official currency of Belize is the Belize dollar (BZD). You can pay with major credit and debit cards at many hotels, restaurants and stores. Most businesses accept US dollars without question, but change is usually given in Belizean dollars. You can use major credit cards and some debit cards to withdraw Belizean dollars from ATMs and over the counter at banks (USD$, GBP£ and CAD$ are exchangeable). ENTRY AND EXIT FEES: The below country specific information was correct at time of writing, however please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information. Belize – There is no entry fee. If you exit Belize by land, there is a fee of BZ$40 charge plus BZ$7.5 Protected Areas Contribution Trust. These can be paid in US$ or BZ$. If you exit Belize by air, a departure tax of US$35 is normally included in the cost of your ticket. Check with your airline. TIPPING If you're happy with the service you receive, providing a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many destinations. Please note we recommend that any tips are given directly to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader. The recommended tipping amounts are listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers. We do however recommend that you tip in the local currency - Hold on to your smaller notes and coins to make tipping easier. The following amounts are per person suggestions based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers: - Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest US$5. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% of your bill. - Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide. We suggest US$3-5 per passenger per day. - Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We suggest US$3-6 per day for drivers. - Local guides: There might be times during the trip where you’ll have a specialist local guide alongside your trip leader. We suggest tipping these guides about USD$2-3 per day. - Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline USD$2-4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. In total, we recommend you budget approx USD$5-10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.

    What to take

    Most travellers prefer to take a small to medium wheeled suitcase, which is a great size for the packing capacity in our private vehicles. Whatever you take, be mindful that you will need to be able to carry your own luggage, handle it at airports, take in/out of accommodation and perhaps even walk short distances. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible. You'll also need a day pack/bag for activities and day trips. In terms of weight, airlines generally allow a maximum of 15-20kg for check in luggage and a maximum of 5kg for carry on. Other than the items and clothing you always need on a trip, below we have listed packing suggestions specific for this trip: ESSENTIAL: - Warm as well as light clothing. Central America is often assumed to have hot weather, but it can get cold in the countryside, mountains and at night in the winter so we suggest you check the expected temperatures en route and bring clothing that you can layer - Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through cities as well as bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings - Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses RECOMMENDED: - Soft and/or hard copies of all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, travel insurance etc. and keep the hard copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a copy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary - Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5 litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments - Electrical adapter plug (view www.kropla.com) - Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and Band-Aids. - Watch/Alarm clock or phone that can be used for both - Swimwear - Travel beach towel - Tissues &/or toilet paper &/or wet wipes - Insect repellent - Camera with spare memory card, charger &/or batteries OPTIONAL: - Ear plugs to guard against a potential snoring room-mate - Phrase book VALUABLES: Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your safe if available. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. LAUNDRY: Laundry is available at many hotels and towns during this trip, although you might need to wait for a two-night stop in order to make sure you get it back in time. While laundry at hotels is usually charged by the item, laundromats usually charge by the kilo, which is generally inexpensive (about USD 2 per kilo).

    Climate and seasonal

    Please note that Hurricane season is June to October, when landslides, mudslides, flooding and disruptions to essential services can occur. Intrepid monitors these situations as they may arise, so that itineraries or activities can be amended as necessary.

    A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

    Feedback

    Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

    Emergency contact

    GENERAL ISSUES ON YOUR TRIP While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager. You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete. BOOKING ENQUIRIES / ISSUES For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at: www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us CRISIS AND EMERGENCIES In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, please contact our local office: Intrepid's Local Operator (located in Costa Rica): +506 6022 4721

    Responsible travel

    Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers and staff are trained on these principles, and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel. Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel

    The Intrepid Foundation

    Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation are matched by Intrepid Group dollar for dollar (up to AU$10,000 per donor and AU$500,000 in total each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And because Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

    Accommodation notes

    The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. Throughout the trip we request that our lodgings prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

    Travel insurance

    Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

    Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. SINGLE TRAVELLERS: Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

    Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

    Accommodation

    Hotel (6 nights),Lodge (1 night)

    Banner Image
    Hero Images

    Make an Enquiry