Belize and Guatemala family holiday
Description of Belize and Guatemala family holiday
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
In an effort to reduce road travel we encourage our clients to hike, kayak or make use of local boat services, where it is possible. For example, exploring Lake Atitlan, rather than using cars and roads, we organise our guests to see the area by kayak and on foot, to ensure a more environmentally friendly approach which also offers a better experience. If exploring the villages around Antigua, we propose that families go by bike, reducing travel by vehicle on the small historic roads in the area, ensuring a more unobtrusive and greener mode of travelling.
In Belize, we recommend using the public water taxis for travelling to Caye Caulker, instead of flying. If including Placencia, we also avoid having people fly back to Belize City at the end of the trip, instead going by road.
You’ll mainly be eating locally sourced food while you are in Guatemala and Belize, with our local guides suggesting small establishments with a ‘farm to table’ model, and the seafood is abundant. For vegetarians and vegans there are colourful local salads and an array of tropical fruits.
Environment & Wildlife
In Antigua we favour working with hotels that work to preserve the cultural heritage in the town centre, encouraging our guests not to over-use the air conditioning and to re-use their towels to reduce energy use. Our local partners check for water refill points to minimise the use of plastic water bottles, and in our trip information we recommend people bring refillable or filter water bottles and avoid buying single-use plastic.
The jungle at Tikal receives many visitors and our local guides advise our travellers how to best respect the environment here, and not interfere with any local wildlife. Belize is home to a sensitive ecosystem including jungle and coral reef, so protecting the environment is a priority. The jungle lodges we use have preserved their little patches of forest habitats and maintain walking trails, as well as offering employment to the local community. Many of them also grow some of their own fruit and veg, for zero ‘food miles’, and promote historical knowledge of the medicinal plants found here, to help keep those traditions going.
The people who work in the lodges and are involved in guiding are all trained to uphold conservational principles and encourage our guests to visit responsibly. We would urge our customers to heed advice about not feeding local wildlife, sticking to allocated trails only, taking out everything you take in (leaving nothing behind) and keeping themselves and the animals safe as they explore.
The Belizean barrier reef is incredibly special, and we work with our local partners to ensure that all excursions into the reef are done with certified operators. National Park fees and permits help direct revenue into where it is needed to promote conservation.
All our tours in Belize are run in conjunction with local partners that have been chosen partly because they provide a fantastic service but also because they share our environmental and social goals.
Our guests will enjoy the services of local guides throughout their visit. The guides are from the same regional area and will be pleased to answer questions and give an excellent insight into the way of life in the region. Examples include the walking guide in Antigua, the Pacaya volcano walk with cooking, kayaking, and hiking at Lake Atitlan, the local guide at Tikal, the specialist caving guide at San Ignacio and our snorkelling instructors on the reef. Our guides in Guatemala who escort families around the market will advise on the Mayan owned stalls, so we can shop responsibly and promote those multi-generational businesses.
As much as possible, we work with locally owned hotels and lodges, promoting relationships with hoteliers who offer refillable toiletries rather than single-use sachets or minis. We recommend that our clients eat in independent establishments and visit independently owned shops and markets and are constantly adding to our list of recommendations which is sent to travellers before they go.
Employment, Inclusivity & Diversity
Our partner in Guatemala is locally owned and employs staff who live and work in the area. They also partner with various initiatives including HELPS International, a non-profit providing assistance to smallholders, communities, educators, and healthcare providers in Guatemala.
Our programmes in Belize are run together with partners that are owned and run by local people and who share our belief in the importance of operating in a socially responsible way, paying staff fairly and offering appropriate working hours and conditions.
We also understand that tipping is culturally appropriate and makes up a portion of income in certain job types, therefore we also provide detailed guidelines for our travellers as to suitable amounts.
By booking with us, you will be supporting various local guides, drivers, and service providers (e.g., hotel staff, market stallholders, ticket sellers, boat drivers etc), promoting employment from local communities, and good job opportunities for people coming up through training. This includes members of smaller communities such as Mayans and Garifuna, depending on your tour’s exact route.
This trip is LGBTQ+ friendly and we welcome families of all types on our trips.
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