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Home > Belize Tours > Frequently Asked Questions

Related blog post: The top 10 reasons to travel to Belize

 

Beachcoming Belize off Long Caye

Top Questions About Our Belize Packages

This page covers all aspects of our all inclusive Caribbean vacations for our confirmed guests as well as information for those considering our eco tours at our private Caribbean island. You can find further information here on Belize weather, what to bring on our tours, and other complete information on our Belize tours.

 

Please feel free to call us at (800) 390-5715

We will gladly answer any questions about our Belize active vacations

Remember: There is no such thing as a 'stupid' question!

 

Request complete information on our Belize adventure packages!

 

To view the answers to these questions, simply click on the question.

1. What can I do to get ready for my trip?

2. How do I fly to Belize?

3. Do I really need to fly in a day early as recommended on your Flying to Belize page?

4. I can’t arrive until Saturday for the Adventure Island package; aren’t the arrival days flexible? What do I do if I have to arrive late?

5. Do I need a passport?

6. What if my passport gets lost in Belize?

7. I see I need a "buddy" for each activity. What if I am traveling alone?

8. I prefer solo travelling, do you charge a single suppliment? I prefer not to sleep in the same room with someone because I have problems with sleeping. In reading your literature am I concerned with being forced into shared sleeping quarters. Did I misinterpret your brochure?

9. Do you sell accommodations only on your private island at Glover's Reef?

10. Can we rent your kayaks without going on a trip?

11. I just checked out your trip and it looks fantastic. However, I was wondering about the rates. Why are your prices in line with a fancy resort when you have rustic accommodations? Perhaps I missed something?

12. I only want a one or two day trip, can you take me kayaking (or windsurfing, or scuba diving, or snorkeling)?

13. How are the days on the island organized? Are activities set on specific days (like windsurfing on Mondays, kayaking on Tuesdays, and so on...) or is there flexibility on the agenda? Could we do 3 days of windsurfing and no kayaking? Or what if we want to chill out one day and not do anything?

14. Can we skip the mandatory programs in order to have more time for diving (or kiteboarding, or surfing, or...)?

15. Why do we have to spend 2 nights in Belize City for the island trip?

16. Why don't you offer the Adventure Island at Glover's Reef Half-Week option every week?

17. Will I get bored being out on the island for an entire week?

18. How can I find out about Belize weather?

19. Do I need experience to join your kayaking adventures?

20. Will there be enough sea kayaking for an advanced kayaker?

21. Can I bring my kids along on your trips?

22. How big are your groups?

23. What are the bathroom facilities like on these trips?

24. Where do we sleep on the island?

25. Can my family contact me if there is an emergency?

26. Is it possible to send and receive e-mail on the trips? Is there internet on the island?

27. What happens if I get hurt?

28. Will insects be a problem?

29. What do we drink on Long Caye?

30. Is it necessary to treat the drinking water of inland Belize?

31. What is the food like? Can you accommodate my special diet?

32. Should I bring gloves for diving and snorkeling?

33. I have questions about snorkeling gear (or fishing gear, or water shoes, or ....) What kind should I get?

34. It says to bring long underwear on the equipment list, is that necessary?

35. Who carries the gear on the river portages?

36. Can I charge my batteries for my digital camera, video, etc. on the trip?

37. Why do we need to bring money if your trips are all-inclusive?

38. My trip is only a few weeks away but I haven't received my T-shirt and I am supposed to wear it when I meet my group, where is it?

39. I'm very excited about my upcoming trip with you, but I haven't even done any exercises yet.... are there any arm exercises (that can be done at home) you can recommend? Since it's winter, I'm too lazy to even go to the pool ;-)

40. Is it customary to tip the staff?

41. I've heard bad things about Belize City, are they true?

 

 

1. What can I do to get ready for my trip?

First, the most productive thing you can do is read all of our published material about your trip, and read it as soon as you sign up. Many factors influence your enjoyment of your trip, and many of these hinge on being prepared. We consider the following to be required reading for those joining us: (1) the detailed itinerary information of the trip you are signing up for, (2) this page, (3) the Belize page, (4) the Flying to Belize page, (5) Our Hints for a Better Vacation, and (6) our Reservation and Cancellation Policy. You can request all of these documents by filling out our on-line form. Our staff will be happy to answer questions you may have; give us a call (800) 390-5715.

 

Related blog post: Planning Belize adventure tours

Back to topBelize International airport

2. I want to vacation in Belize. How do I get there?

Please visit our Flying to Belize page for complete information on flying to Belize.

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3. Do I really need to fly in a day early as recommended on your Flying to Belize page?

 

Most of our guests arriving Day 1 of their trip do not experience any problems on the way, however, there is a percentage that do. There are not many flights to Belize, so if you miss your flight you will arrive a full 24 hours later than you originally intended. Arriving one day early is the best way to avoid any problems in meeting the group on time. Holidays are when most problems occur because the airline industry is generally over-booked. If you do plan to extend your stay by several days, we recommend you extend it before your trip with us, rather than after. To read our recommendations of what to do in Belize before your trip, visit Things to Do in Belize.

 

Related blog post: High-tech travel tips

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4. I can’t arrive until Saturday for the Adventure Island package; aren’t the arrival days flexible? What do I do if I have to arrive late?

The only way to arrive late or depart early on the island trip is to charter your own boat. Our boat runs out of Belize City every Saturday, and also many Wednesdays, but not all. The boat that takes you out to the island brings back the departing group from the week before. It’s a 3-hour ride, so the boat must leave first thing in the morning to get out there (before international flights arrive that day), get unloaded and re-loaded, and return by dark. It is not possible to delay this boat ride even a few hours. Also, sometimes we have to leave even earlier than usual on Saturday due to an impending weather event. This is why guests going on our Saturday boat have to arrive the day before, we need everyone right there so we can leave when we need to.

 

Guests who wish to arrive late for some reason, or who miss a flight and must arrive late, will be responsible for chartering their own boat from Dangriga, Belize out to the island. The cost is currently $700 for the boat and $80/person for the flight between Dangriga and Belize City, (June 2014 rate, can increase without notice). When guests charter a boat, we will arrange it for the guest, but the ride itself is outside of our responsibility and is at the risk of the guest, we cannot be responsible for it. We only arrange with captains we have had good results from in the past, but these individuals are not our employees and it is not an official part of the trip package. Guests must carry $700 US in cash to pay for this boat ride on site. Do not wait until you get to Belize to try to procure cash!

 

To meet the charter boat, guests must first fly 20 minutes to Dangriga on one of two airlines: Tropic Air (tropicair.com) or Maya Island Air (mayaislandair.com). Tropic Air gives our guests a discount, see Domestic Flight Reservations. Tickets can be purchased on the website of either airline up until 3 days prior to the flight. After that you must make reservations by phone. Advance payment is not required.

 

Dangriga is 35 miles from Belize City, and the boat ride could take anywhere from 1.5 hours to 4 hours, depending on the weather. Because the weather can never be predicted, the latest time of day that you could safely leave Dangriga and make it to Long Caye before dark would be 2:30 pm. This means the last flight you could take is the 1:50 pm flight on Tropic (arriving in Dangriga at 2:10 pm). Maya Island Air’s last flight that meets this schedule is the 1:30 pm flight (arriving in Dangriga at 1:50). All other flights these airlines offer get to Dangriga too late to gather your luggage, get picked up, be driven to the dock, get loaded on the boat, and get out to Glover’s Reef in time, leaving extra time for any problems.

 

Guests must be responsible for following these guidelines. Belizean captains will leave anytime you ask to make you happy, and they have been known to make a poor judgment call in this regard. It is the guest’s responsibility not to get on any boat leaving Dangriga after 2:30 pm. If your flight is delayed or you are delayed for any other reason, you should overnight in Dangriga and go out to the island the next morning. If you find that you will be late, you need to contact us here via email (slickrock@slickrock.com) or phone (435) 259-4225 so that we can contact the island and let them know you will come out first thing the next morning. We recommend these hotels in Dangriga: Pelican Beach: 522.2044, Chaleanor: 522.2587.

 

Occasionally guests will make their own boat arrangements without consulting us or having us help with this aspect of their trip. If you choose to do this, be sure the boat you hire has 2 engines and be sure the boat has lifejackets and be SURE you wear the lifejackets. Belizeans captains will not insist on this.

 

People who choose to arrive late because they can’t meet our schedule need to stay in close contact with us. Occasionally extreme weather means we have to delay our boat a day, so rather than fly on to Dangriga you would meet the delayed group in Belize City and go out with us the next day. The rest of the group will be on another activity we provide until 5 pm. You need to contact the Moab office right before you leave the US to make sure “Plan A” is still a go.

 

Related blog post: Just how remote is the island?

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5. Do I need a passport?

Passports are required for travel to Belize. Don’t wait until the last minute to apply! For an application, contact the U.S. Post Office. You will send the U.S. Passport Service a certified birth certificate along with passport photos and the completed form. Passports are good for ten years and cannot expire while you are there or you will not be allowed into the country. Visas are automatically distributed on the plane to U.S., Canada, and British citizens. Persons from other countries need to contact their consulate. More Belize information is found elsewhere on our site.

 

Related blog post: Early season passport issue and a near miss!

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6. What if my passport gets lost in Belize?

As a precaution, make two copies of the first page and carry one in a different place from your passport and leave one with a friend at home.

Back to topRelaxing in our hammock palapa
 

7. I see I need a "buddy" for each activity. What if I am traveling alone?

Many of our guests are a single traveling alone. You need not worry about needing a buddy for sport activities, there are always plenty of people looking for activity partners on our trips.

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8. I prefer solo traveling. Do you charge a single supplement? I prefer not to sleep in the same room with someone because I have problems with sleeping. In reading your literature am I concerned with being forced into shared sleeping quarters. Did I Sunrise on Long Cayemisinterpret your brochure?

We do not charge a single supplement, singles pay the same as everyone else. Getting your own room is something that happens more often than not for our single travelers, but we can’t guarantee it. We can’t manufacture more rooms for trips with lots of singles, or trips that fill. If you choose a popular date like Christmas or President’s Day, you will likely have to share. If you choose a less popular time to travel, you will probably get your own room on the island. If you can wait to sign up until the last minute we might be able to tell you the rooming on a particular date. We cannot promise single occupancy months in advance for any date because we have no idea how many others may sign up. If you are traveling alone don’t worry about rooming with someone else, we spend little time in our cabanas. (And we only room persons of the same gender together!) Most people are very active and if they are chilling out they are just as likely to be ‘hanging out’ (literally) in our hammock palapa as in their cabana. Mostly you will use your lodging to change clothes and to fall fast asleep after an exciting day. Inland it is more common to share because we pay the inland lodge a double occupancy price. If you do get a single, we pay the difference for you. The only way to guarantee a single room on our trips is to pay for two.

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Want more information on our trips? Request further information from us and we'll send it today.

 

Beach cabana, Long Caye, Belize

 

9. Do you sell accommodations only on your private island at Glover's Reef?

We do not sell accommodations only. Our island is extremely remote, and safe and reliable transport is expensive. There is no restaurant nearby, in fact there is no one on the island but our guests, our staff, and the dive shop crew. The only way to ensure that vacations at our exclusive location are affordable is to group visitors together on specific dates. Therefore, we package everything together and the only way to visit our island is to purchase a package. The packages include hotel and restaurant meals in Belize City, transport to and from the island, lodging and meals on the island, unlimited beer and soda, and complete use of our sports equipment, which includes instruction. There would be no discount if you wanted to stay at the island but didn’t want to participate in one or more of the sports. We have an exclusive location with limited group sizes, and all of the equipment and staff are there for you regardless of how much you take advantage of it. Sea kayaks in Belize

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10. Can we rent your kayaks without going on a trip?

We don’t rent our sports gear for many reasons. Transport and duty fees double the value of gear and there is no way to replace it. Our equipment is based at our private island resort 35 miles off shore, which is reserved for our guests; it would have to be transported at least that far for rental use.

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11. I just checked out your trip and it looks fantastic. However, I was wondering about the rates. Why are your prices in line with a fancy resort when you have rustic accommodations? Perhaps I missed something?

While other lodges focus on accommodations, we focus on sports. We have over 40 sea kayaks for 24 people (so everyone gets a kayak that fits them), multiple windsurf set-ups for beginner, intermediate, advanced, and Kayak surfing Glover's Reefexpert sailors, top-of-the line surf kayaks for the ultimate surfing trip, surf boards for those with experience and chosen for our wave, brand new paddleboards, professional kitesurfing gear, and special kayaks for fishermen. All of this gear is driven over 3000 miles to Belize. No resort in Belize comes close to the sports experience we provide. At our place you won’t find maid service, flush toilets, wifi, or umbrellas in your drinks. But you will get the best sports experience available in the country: kayaking to wild spots for a snorkeling trip out of the kayaks with expert guides or windsurfing to the next island over. If accommodations are your priority you should shop around. Our program is not for everyone, but it is no less expensive to deliver this kind of experience. Not to mention the fact that we have a private island! It’s the best island in Belize, with all the best toys.

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12. I only want a one or two day trip, can you take me kayaking (or windsurfing, or scuba diving, or snorkeling)?

We don’t do any daily excursions; our shortest trip is four days in length. Our island is 35 miles offshore, it takes three hours just to get there, there would be no time to do anything if you planned to stay only a day or two.

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Long Caye Belize beach

13. How are the days on the island organized? Are activities set on specific days (like windsurfing on Mondays, kayaking on Tuesdays, and so on...) or is there flexibility on the agenda? Could we do 3 days of windsurfing and no kayaking? Or what if we want to chill out one day and not do anything?

The Adventure Island at Glover’s Reef itinerary is more structured at the beginning and completely flexible by the end of the week. No one is required to participate in any sport, but if you do want to try a sport you must first attend an orientation/safety session, regardless of your past experience. So the first 24 hours on the island is busy while we complete the orientations so everyone can use the equipment. We do snorkel orientation as soon as we get there on the first afternoon, then sea kayak orientation is the next morning. Those we do not repeat. After that, remaining orientations can be repeated multiple times. You may join a guided activity or go off on your own as long as you have a buddy and as long as you have already attended the orientation session. You can also take a day off if you choose. As the week progresses, the hammocks become increasingly popular.

 

Back to topLong Caye sea kayak instruction, Belize

 

 

14. Can we skip the mandatory orientation programs in order to have more time for diving (or kiteboarding, or surfing, or...)?
Any sport you wish to do with us, you must do the orientation session. This is a safety issue; we have a perfect safety record because of this policy. The sessions are not boring, nor a waste of time. We've been doing it a long time, and have developed this program as the fastest way to get a whole group up and running so they can do what they like while on the island. If you wish to never use a kayak, you can skip the kayak orientation. If you wish to never snorkel, you can skip the snorkel orientation, but we know from experience you will regret it if you do. We use the kayaks to access snorkel spots that are too far to swim to. We snorkel every day, the snorkeling is incredible. Sometimes the weather doesn't cooperate, and even though you thought you would be diving the whole time, it might not be possible, but other sports could still be happening. Every week is different, there is no telling what will actually happen weather-wise the week you are there. We do not repeat the snorkel or the sea kayak orientations, if you opt to skip them, you have lost your opportunity. After they are out of the way, the other orientations like windsurfing, kitesurfing, and paddleboarding are offered as many times as people want them. Everyone tells us they didn't understand the importance of these orientation sessions before they got to the island, but once they spent time there they realized the beauty of our system. It's a total blast, and we have not found any place in the Caribbean with the amount of gear that we have. It takes time to introduce this much gear to a group so that they can use it with or without a guide safely. Follow this link to see the list of water sport gear, you will see what we mean.

 

Back to topSea kayak orientation

 

 

15. Why do we have to spend 2 nights in Belize City for the island trip?
There is no way to skip the first and last night of the package where you stay at the Biltmore in Belize City (included in the trip cost). This is because the island is so remote. Our boat ride is 3 hours one way. The boat generally leaves about 8 or no later than 9, arriving on the island before lunch. The unload and reload for the departing guests takes 2 hours or so, and then the boat returns to Belize City. Sometimes if a storm is coming, we will leave as early as 6 am, to get the other group off the island before it hits. So you have to be right there with our group the night before, you can't arrive that morning. On the other end of the trip, you usually get off the island and back to Belize City about 4 pm, although there is no guarantee, there are too many factors we can't control that could make us arrive later. Therefore you can't fly out that night, so you need a place to stay in Belize City, you will be too tired to travel to another location in the country. Therefore every island package includes the first and last night in Belize City. The 5 night package is 2 nights in Belize City, 3 on the island; the 6 night package is 2 in Belize City and 4 on the island, the 9 night package is 2 in Belize City and 7 on the island. There's no getting around that schedule. For an even more thorough explanation on this topic, read our blog post "Just how remote is the island?"

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16. Why don't you offer the Adventure Island at Glover's Reef Half-Week options every week?

The launch that picks up the First-Half Glover’s Reef guests on Wednesday brings out the Adventure Week and Second-Half guests. As the price reflects this shared charter, we do not offer any half-weeks when there is no Adventure Week option. These options are also not offered during holidays and other peak times to maximize the use of the limited space on our private island. On holiday weeks we may open up Half-Week seats five weeks prior to departure if the Full-Week trip still has space available.

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Paddleboarding and surf kayaking, Belize

17. Will I get bored being out on the island for an entire week?

Not at all. Long Caye offers the ultimate blend of adventure and relaxation. If you are anything like our past guests, you will beg to stay a second week! (And there is a discount for booking two weeks in a row.) Your options include learning to sea kayak, snorkel, scuba dive, windsurf, kayak surf, kitesurf, and roll a kayak. Depending on your ability and fitness level, each sport can take several days of practice to begin to feel proficient. And, everyone likes some hammock time!

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18. How can I find out about Belize weather?

In general, late November - May is the “dry” season, with February - Relaxing on beachApril enjoying the most ideal weather. Ideal weather means a temperature in the low 80s during the day and the low 70s at night, and winds at 10-15 mph. During some years the early parts of the dry season are still fairly stormy. June through early November is the “rainy” season, but out at Glover’s it’s not nearly as wet as on the mainland. The worst weather of the year is during September and October. Online weather forecasts are for Belize City, there are no forecasts for Glover’s Reef.

 

Please remember there is no way to predict the weather for a specific set of dates!

Back to topWhitewater kayaking in the Cayo district on the Mopan River

 

 

 

19. Do I need experience to join your kayaking adventures?

A: No experience is necessary for any of our trips, but unpredictable weather can create strenuous conditions, so you should be in good shape. The island trip is perfect for beginners; our longest paddle is usually two-three miles. Full instruction is included in all sports, and the 80-degree water is an ideal setting to learn or improve your skills. People in average shape have no trouble, especially with preconditioning as mentioned below. Inland no experience is required for any activity (e.g. on the Belize Adventure Week itinerary novice river-runners can run the Mopan in a kayak with no prior experience), although our inland activities are more strenuous than our island sports. Inland we spend up to six hours a day participating in moderately strenuous adventure sports. Some guests may find the activities very strenuous. If a guest would like to skip one particular activity, they are free to join our shuttle driver to drive around to pick up the group. On the Caves Branch River there is a portage which adds to the difficulty of the trip. On all of our trips, remember that there is no substitute for being in good physical shape. There are no currents and small tides, perfect for beginning sea kayakers.

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20. Will there be enough sea kayaking for an advanced kayaker?

Yes! Depending on the desires of the group, your guide may lead longer excursions, take the group to paddle outside the reef in the open sea, or allow advanced kayakers to paddle on their own with a “buddy”. There is more to see at Glover’s Reef than one could ever cover in one week. If you desire an even more active vacation, try our Belize Adventure Week trip.

 

 

Back to topKids love our Belize adventures

 

21. Can I bring my kids along on your trips?

The Adventure Island at Glover's Reef trip is great for kids ages 3+, although most of our gear is adult gear, and we do not have kid-specific activities. Families love our island-based trips, as guests may paddle as little or as much as they like. Parents may wish to hire a babysitter on the island. There is a price break for children under 12, but there are also restrictions. Please see our web page on our family vacation destination for restrictions and rates. Our minimum age on Belize Adventure Week is 10. We are often asked to make an exception to this policy, but we do not allow kids 9 years old and under on this trip, and if kids ages 10 and 11 cannot keep up, the parents will have to sit an activity out, or hire a babysitter. Families with kids under 10 years old should choose Adventure Island at Glover’s Reef. The inland sports are best attempted with an adult-size body, for issues of both size and strength. In the past when parents of kids ages 9-10 have told us that their kid was exceptional and we did make an exception, they later commented they should not have taken their child on the Belize Adventure Week trip.

Glover's Reef group, 2008

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22. How big are your groups?

We specialize in small group adventure travel! On the Glover’s Reef trip our maximum is 24 guests. On Belize Adventure Week the maximum is 12. All of our trips have a minimum of 4 adults, but we will run a trip for 2-3 adults with an additional surcharge. Occasionally we overbook under special circumstances. On any Full-Week Adventure Week at Glover’s Reef trip where the Half-Week trip is also offered, the Belize Adventure Week guests will arrive on the boat that takes the Half-Week guests off the island. If both trips are full the total number of guests on the island during the second half of the week will number about 34, with the staff totaling as many as ten persons. If the size of your group is important to you, simply call and we will be happy to keep you posted on the size of any trip, or check out our Availability page. Those traveling at peak times (Christmas, Presidents’ Day, Spring Break, and Easter) can expect full trips. Those traveling at other times will often find that the trips are not full.Long Caye restroom

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23. What are the bathroom facilities like on these trips?

Out on the island we have composting toilets, and bathe with well-water (not heated) using outdoor showers pumped by the sun to a gravity flow tank; the shower stalls are completely private. Please note the bathroom facilities on our island are not attached to the rooms, requiring a walk of at least 50’. All inland lodging facilities consist of guest rooms with flush toilets and hot showers. For more information and photos of all of our island facilities, please visit our Long Caye facilities page.Long Caye cabana

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24. Where do we sleep on the island?

Everyone sleeps in beach-front cabanas. We have nine double-beds and the rest are singles. Most cabanas sleep 2, some sleep 3 or 4. We provide linens, blankets, and pillows. Double occupancy is a necessity when trips are full, so single travelers may be roomed with another single traveler of the same gender. Families of 3 will all be roomed together.

 

We cannot reserve specific cabanas in advance as the trip leader must consider the needs of everyone in the group before assigning cabanas. We don't do rooming until the entire group has signed up; rooming is not confirmed by a first-come, first-served basis. We only have so many cabanas, some have double beds, some are duplexes, some have single beds. We take each person's special request into account and of course try to give everyone exactly what they want, but since we can't know the makeup of the group in advance, we reserve the right to do the rooming to try to accommodate everyone, not each family or single traveler in order of reservation.

 

For more information and photos of all of our island cabanas, please visit our Belize Accommodations page.

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25. Can my family contact me if there is an emergency?

Leave our office number in the United States with your relatives for emergency contact, but inform them that it could take over a day to get through. We do not pass on messages of a non-emergency nature. You should not promise to call home when you arrive in Belize; it can be difficult and very expensive. Your cell phone will probably not work in Belize, although some do.

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26. Is it possible to send and receive e-mail on the trips? Is there internet on the island?

Only on the inland part of Belize Adventure Week. On the island our communication systems are for staff and emergency use only, there is no internet. Please see the question above for emergency contact.

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27. What happens if I get hurt?

Staff members are trained in First Aid and cell phone contact is maintained at all times (as long as the phones are working in Belize!) Evacuations by boat can be arranged, but you will have to pay all expenses incurred. There is a rental helicopter in Belize, but no medical helicopter in the country at this time. If inland, transportation to Belize City is easily arranged, but also at your expense. Be sure you have funds on hand to pay for any emergency! Hospitals in Belize do accept credit cards. Be sure to purchase a travel insurance policy, they should reimburse you for evacuation expenses in the event that you were injured and needed to leave the trip. See Our Hints for a Better Vacation for our recommendations for travel insurance.

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28. Will insects be a problem?

Unlike most other locations in Belize, we are blessed with a non-buggy island, and we treat for bugs if present. During rare periods of calm weather there could be a few “no-see-ums” or mosquitoes present on the island. Inland guests can expect a few mosquitoes in the evening in the jungle, but our accommodations there are screened.Beer, soda, water; all included in your trip price!

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29. What do we drink on Long Caye?

We have a rainwater collection system, which is common throughout remote areas in Belize. In all of our years here, no one has had any adverse reactions to the water on our island. We have a propane refrigerator to chill our beer and soda, which is included in the trip price. We do not have diet drinks because our distributor (which uses returnable bottles, we do not use disposable drink containers), does not carry diet sodas. We also have fresh orange juice available at all times, and juice concentrates for mixing with water or for cocktails. Regarding alcohol, we supply beer only on the island. We ask guests to bring their own rum or other alcoholic beverages which you can purchase once you arrive in Belize.

 

Related blog post: Island rum

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30. Is it necessary to treat the drinking water of inland Belize?

The water is safe where we stay, and we also carry bottled water in the van. Fish tacos!

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31. What is the food like? Can you accommodate my special diet?

Our island menu is designed to take advantage of the fresh seafood of Belize and fresh fruits and vegetables available in the local markets. Please visit our Glover's Reef Menu page. Inland we eat home-style Belizean meals at our lodges (sorry but we can’t provide a copy of their menu). Our guests rave about our island menu.

 

All of our meals are served buffet-style in our dining hall. There is no restaurant on the island, so there is no menu to order off of. We are only able to change our menu for food allergies that are life-threatening*. We are not able to cook entirely different dishes for individuals. Our cooks work from 5:00 am - 8:00 pm every day cooking for up to 45 people at a time. We do not have the manpower or resources to cook food tailored to individual preferences, for if we accommodated one special diet, we would have to do it for everyone. There are often several people with different diets present on one trip, sometimes eight people or more. Our system cannot accommodate special dishes for each person. Gluten-free and vegetarian guests will have no problem.

 

We ask prospective guests to simply review our island menu and see if they can get enough to eat by not eating the dishes they don't like. If this doesn't work for you, you will not be happy at a lodge that serves buffet-style. Our system, so far out to sea, with the cooks never visiting a store, no grocery story on the island, no walk-in refrigerator (we do not run generators), and two women doing all of the cooking day after day means that we must have a set menu and serve everyone the same dishes at each meal. Vegetarians need to ask themselves if they can be satisfied by simply skipping the meat part of the meal. Persons with a vegan diet cannot be accommodated; we cannot accept these guests on our trips. Guests may not have access to our kitchen facilities to cook their own food; our kitchen is used by our cooking staff only.

 

We can only change our menu for two categories of food allergies: guests who carry an epinephrine pen for a food allergy can be assured we will either not serve, or completely quarantine, those items for that week. Also, we can leave cheese out of a dish if someone requests it (we can accommodate a cheese-free diet, but not a dairy-free diet). Although we will leave nuts out of a dish if someone is allergic to them, what this means is no one on this particular trip will eat nuts for the whole week. This is why we cannot accommodate multiple allergies. Persons who have multiple food allergies should not attend a vacation where the menu is shared by all. We cannot remove nuts, wheat, tomatoes and onions out of our entire menu for everyone for the full week. Persons who cannot or will not eat onions, potatoes, tomatoes, or peppers should realize those are staples in Belize, and are in many of the dishes we serve and we cannot remove them.

 

Related blog post: Recipe for Belizean Stew Chicken

Related blog post: More Belizean Recipes

Back to topSnorkeling at The Aquarium, 1/2 mile from Long Caye, Glover's Reef, Belize

 

32. Should I bring gloves for diving and snorkeling?

No, you should never touch coral. Gloves can smother live coral, degrading the pristine nature of this National Marine Reserve. We encourage everyone to be conscientious about preserving an area we feel fortunate to have access to.

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33. I have questions about snorkeling gear (or fishing gear, or water shoes, or ....) What kind should I get?

Many of our sports require special gear that we do not provide as it is personal gear and must fit your body (or in the case of fishing, the fishing is fantastic at our island for those who don’t require instruction). For our complete what to bring list, request either the Adventure Island at Glover's Reef info sheet or the Belize Adventure Week info sheet in email or printed form. For what to bring for specific sports, refer to the individual sport pages: snorkeling gear, fishing, windsurfing, and surfing.

 

Related blog post: What to bring on an adventure trip to BelizePortaging on the Caves Branch River, Belize

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34. It says to bring long underwear on the equipment list, is that necessary?

Yes; in “cold” weather (60-65 degrees) the extra layer extends the warmth of your other clothes. Cold spells can happen at any time of the year, and long underwear is something most people already own, plus it doesn’t take up much room in your luggage.

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35. Who carries the gear on the river portages?

On the Caves Branch River (Belize Adventure Week itinerary) we make two portages. It is not possible for the guides to do this alone. Everyone helps out to get the gear through the jungle to the next safe spot to resume running the river. If individuals have back problems, they certainly should not help, but they should make sure they are not signed up for a very small trip where there would be no one else to assist the guide during the portages.

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36. Can I charge my batteries for my digital camera, video, etc. on the trip?

First of all, you should note that the island environment is extremely hard on electronics. Because waves break directly on our shore the air on the island is permeated with salt and is corrosive to electronic devices. We advise you to not bring your computer with you, it will definitely shorten its life. Inland all lodges have electrical outlets in the rooms, and all devices that work in the US will work in Belize. On the island we have a 12 Volt electric system and cigarette lighter outlets in the Dining Hall available for charging. To charge batteries you can either get a charger that plugs directly into a car cigarette lighter or purchase an inverter to plug your regular battery charger into (changes 12V or DC power to regular AC power). About 95% of battery chargers work on small inverters. We do not provide inverters because occasionally devices that require too much power are ruined by inverters; we cannot be responsible for all the various electrical devices guests might choose to bring. You should test your charger with your inverter in your car. If it charges in your car, your setup will work on the island. Note that you can only charge devices during daylight hours, charging when the sun is not shining on the panels drags down our batteries too much.

 

Related blog post: Island solar and wind power

 

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37. Why do we need to bring money if your trips are all-inclusive?

Our all inclusive Belize trips cover everything except alcoholic beverages, Belize exit tax, scuba diving, tips, and taxis to and from the airport. This can still add up to several hundred dollars. Also, if you or your luggage were delayed, an already difficult situation would be greatly compounded if you were relying on credit cards or unreliable ATM machines. It can cost $780 or more to catch up with the trip. Please see the “What to Bring” list for your particular trip for further information, you can request this flyer by using our on-line form.

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38. My trip is only a few weeks away but I haven't received my T-shirt and I am supposed to wear it when I meet my group, where is it?

We hold T-shirts until receipt of both the final payment and your completed registration form. If you don’t get these to us until a week before the trip, your T-shirt will probably arrive while you are gone. We do not send T-shirts by express mail. For those booking through an agent, the agent may be holding payment, which may explain why your T-shirt has not yet arrived. We have also found that T-shirts sent to Canada take 2 weeks minimum.Long Caye hammock palapa

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39. I'm very excited about my upcoming trip with you, but I haven't even done any exercises yet.... are there any arm exercises (that can be done at home) you can recommend? Since it's winter, I'm too lazy to even go to the pool ;- )

As far as physical conditioning goes, the best thing anyone can do to get ready for a trip like this is to increase stamina and general health. You will be walking, bending over, scrambling up, lugging boats over rocks, getting in and out of boats, swimming, falling into the water from your windsurf board and getting back on, etc. One should focus on all-body conditioning like yoga and also stay really healthy and DON'T hang out around sick people. For complete Belize medical information, see our Belize information page.

 

Do you have streaming internet at home? Here's a fantastic streaming yoga class on line! yogatoday.com. It's not free, but affordable. You have to have a fast internet connection. If you don't, you can download these classes, also for a fee.

 

We received a suggestion from a guest on a recent Belize Adventure Week trip about what she wished she had done to get prepared for this trip: "The people who sign up for Adventure Week should be doing squats and lunges. The muscles on the tops of my thighs were sore for a week after I got home. While exercising today I realized that the squats and lunges were the best for that activity and regretted not having done a lot more of those prior to the trip."

 

Related blog post: Getting in shape for your Belize adventure

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40. Is it customary to tip the staff?

Tips should reflect your satisfaction with crew performance and are not required. tipping is normally organized as a group tip at the end of the trip (one guest collects the entire tip from all members of the group). The trip leader splits the tip between all staff members. Staff members include trip managers, guides, cooks, and island caretakers. The standard in the industry for each guest is 10-15% of the trip price.

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41. I've heard bad things about Belize City, are they true?

Belize City has an unsavory reputation, which is somewhat deserved. You should not walk alone at night, but it is safe to walk around during the day provided you adopt a confident attitude. If you’re worried, stay at one of the better hotels and take cabs within the city. If approached by street people, ignore them or say, “Thanks, I’m all set.” They are rarely dangerous, but once you acknowledge them, they’re hard to get rid of. Act like you know where you are going, and watch out for scams like “fund-raisers.” When taking a cab in Belize, always settle the price before getting in (make clear it is per cab, not per person.) Surprises are common in this region and one should be prepared to accept canceled reservations, closed businesses, or broken commitments from locals. Our staff makes every effort to insulate you from these problems, but we too must live with their system.

 

For more Belize tourism information, see our Belize page. We also have a map of Belize City you can view online or you can order a Belize map from our Utah office.

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