Belize and Guatemala luxury holiday

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Belize and Guatemala luxury holiday

Environment

Despite its size, Belize is progressive when it comes to eco-tourism with a huge amount of land dedicated to reserves, parks and protected-areas. The country is leading community-based tourism projects to support traditional communities in rural settings. Visitors play a crucial role in the sustainability of this environment and support the regions and projects by visiting parks, reserves and protected cultural sites.

-When guests go on nature spotlight safari and Maya medicine trails, they are with local expert guides who educate them about the local flora and fauna and how they can help to preserve it for future generations. The guides ensure the local wildlife is not disturbed by the visitors and that flora and fauna is protected and not damaged by visitors.

-In Mountain Pine Ridge, Yaxha National Park and Tikal UNESCO National Park guests are taken on daily activities by expert local guides, where they learn about the flora, fauna and wildlife that are home to this area. They go on bird watching excursions and also visit Mayan sites where they learn about how they can support the preservation of these sites and the forest. Guides ensure everything remains undisturbed by the visitors. In Mountain Pine Ridge guests go on guides to areas that are off the tourist trail, and therefore are supporting an area that does not normally receive much money from tourism.

In Ambergris Caye guests go snorkelling and diving with local expert guides who ensure the reefs and wildlife are not touched or disturbed by the visitors and that they are educated on how to support the preservation of these sites.

- We use lodges that employ ethical and responsible practices, with a small footprint and an emphasis on educating guests about the surrounding environment. This improves awareness and individual responsibility. Our lodges and hotels are also environmentally sound, relying on renewable energy where possible and local produce and resources. Lamanai Outpost Lodge is set on a lagoon amidst a major Mayan city where there is a lot of wildlife to explore. The resort organises Maya medicine trail walks and jungle tours to educate guests about the local flora and fauna and how they can support it. Gaia River Lodge at Mountain Pine Ridge has been carefully built using local materials that ensure it blends well into the environment. Local guides take guests to explore the forest around the lodge, which also has its own organic gardens, with the produce used to create local dishes for guests.

- For each of our Latin America trips sold, we donate money to a wildlife project in Costa Rica. Our environmental charity in Costa Rica is Kids Saving the Rainforest (kidssavingtherainforest.org), which rescues and rehabilitates injured and orphaned animals.

Community

- Our guides are locals, which helps us support and sustain the local economy through tourism in a long-term way. It also gives our clients a more authentic experience of a destination and a chance to meet local people, aiding their knowledge of the place and culture. This understanding is key for people to get the most out of a trip and to firm up relationships between locals and tourists.

- When guests visit the Lamanai Maya Ruins and Xunantunich Maya archaeology site they go with expert local guides who share the history and stories to the sites and educate and inform them on how they can help support the preservation of these ruins for future generations. They are also advised on how to ensure their visit has as little impact as possible on the sites, such as not touching any monuments and being careful throughout the ruins.

- The hotels and lodges we use are staffed by locals, which follows on from our own policy of only using local guides. This serves to empower the community and create long-term, stable and well-paid jobs. At Lamani Outpost Lodge guests can go on tours with a local guide to discover Mayan ruins, they are informed about how to help to preserve these sites and the guides ensure everything remains untouched and undisturbed by the visitors.

- For each of our Latin America trips sold, we donate money to a school charity based in Ecuador. Our school charity in Ecuador is the Condor Trust (condortrust.org), which helps encourage low-income families to send their children to school. The funds provide uniforms, school materials and books for the children.

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