What About Late Arrivals?
Sometimes people want to arrive a day late, and sometimes someone misses a flight and has an unscheduled late arrival. This is what is involved in getting to the island on your own.
I can’t arrive until Saturday for the Adventure Island package; aren’t the arrival days flexible? Why can’t you hold the boat for me?
The only way to arrive late or depart early 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 our boat must leave Belize City 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 Belize City to go out to the island even earlier than usual due to an impending weather event. Therefore guests going out to the island have to arrive the evening before, we need everyone right there so we can leave when we need to. Guests 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. You need to contact the Moab office right before you leave the US to make sure “Plan A” is still a go.
How do I charter a boat if I 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 (not Belize City) out to the island. The cost is currently $700 for the boat and $95/person for the flight between Dangriga and Belize City, (June 2017 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 or Maya Island Air. Tickets can be purchased on the website of either airline up until 3 days prior to the flight. After that reservations must be made 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 in any weather would be 2:30 pm. This means the last flight you could take is the 1:45 pm flight on Tropic (arriving in Dangriga at 2:00 pm). Maya Island Air’s last flight that meets this schedule is the 1:30 pm flight (arriving in Dangriga at 1:45). All later 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 before dark, leaving extra time for problems. Guests must be responsible for following these guidelines. Belizean captains will leave any time 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 our office via email (email@example.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. If you choose to do this, be sure the boat you hire has two engines and be sure the boat has lifejackets and be SURE you wear the life-jackets. Belizean captains will not insist on this.