This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Responsible tourism: Belize holiday on a shoestring, Mayan mountains and Caribbean caye
Travel and tourism can both benefit and damage the environment, the economy, the social structure, culture and communities in any country. We know how mass tourism, unrestricted hotel building, poorly devised tours and environmentally destructive activities can bring money flooding in and governments have, in a spirit of short termism, been tempted to accept them. But experience teaches us that in the long term this sort of uncontrolled activity can be detrimental to the country's development.
As a company we love Latin America and strive to protect the rural and urban landscapes which we take you to visit. We work with local operators which have a proven record in training guides to set a good example in their respect for their surroundings and pass on advice and encouragement to visitors on how to preserve the fragile environment in simple ways, such as by refilling a water bottle, disposing of rubbish responsibly, not disturbing local communities or wildlife and not purchasing items made from endangered animals or plants. When selecting accommodation, we give preference to hotels, lodges and cruise vessels which have a verifiable commitment to eco-friendly practices.
This good-value holiday takes you to explore two of Belize’s most important ecosystems: the mountainous pine ridge forest and the Caribbean coastline. In the mountains you will stay at Gaia River Lodge in the heart of the beautiful Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. The lodge itself is one of only a few properties in Belize to be Green Globe Certified and its location right on the river means it has been able to take itself off the grid and become a hydro-powered hotel. Its hydro-powered rainforest tram is also the only one in Belize.
A country which has been moulded by a fascinating and eclectic mix of cultures, you will gain a deep understanding of this tiny English-speaking nation’s indigenous Mayan history with a visit to the expansive Caracol ruins, the largest archaeological site in Belize. Your guide will walk you around the site, share his or her expert knowledge and inform you of ways in which you can reduce the impact of your visit to these ancient ruins, such as refraining from touching the fragile structures and sticking to designated paths. As well as this, the entrance fee that you have paid to visit Caracol goes towards preserving the complex for future generations.
The lodges and hotels we have chosen for you are active in their support of their local communities.
During your stay at Gaia River Lodge you will notice the attention to detail that has gone into designing and decorating the property: each cabaña has been constructed with a traditional bay leaf thatched roof, local materials such as Belizean hardwoods have been utilised and the locally made mahogany furnishings ensure that local communities, traditions and craftwork are supported. In this vein, the lodge is entirely staffed by Belizeans: by providing good working conditions and training opportunities for employees the lodge has become an important source of employment to many people in the region and this mutually beneficial relationship has created a sense of pride in ecotourism that should continue long into the future.
This holiday also gives you the opportunity to book some activities locally. It is estimated that one in four people in Belize are employed in the tourism sector and, whether it’s cycling through remote villages to Xunantunich Mayan ruins or snorkelling and diving around the Caribbean island of Ambergris Caye, by choosing to enhance your holiday with these experiences, provided by reputable local operators selected by our trusted partners, you can help support local communities and economies.