Belize small group adventure vacation

“The Tikal ruins alone are well-worth the trip however, throw wildlife sanctuaries, marine reserves and underground caves into the mix and you've got yourself one heck of a tour.”


Belize City | Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary | Guatemala | camp at Uaxactun | Tikal National Park | San Ignacio | Actun Tunichil Muknal caves | Maya Cocoa | Dangriga | see the Blue Hole en-route to Caye Caulker | Optional activities include: canoeing at Barton Creek caves, Scuba diving trips to the Belize Barrier Reef or visits to the community 'baboon' sanctuary |

Travel Team

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Our top tip:
Slippery rocks and the occasional deluge mean waterproof shoes with a good grip are advisable as is an umbrella or good standard of waterproofs. Also, mozzi deterrent will certainly come in handy.
Trip type:
Small group. Average size 12. Minimum age 16.
Activity level:
Leisurely/Moderate. Snorkelling, camping and caving.
10 nights in standard en-suite hotels/lodges and 2 nights in fully-equipped campsites.
Accomm., transport, listed activities, tour leader throughout.
11 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners.
Single room supps available.
Vacation type

Small group vacation

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Belize small group adventure vacation


Accommodation and Meals:
We spend 10 nights in a mixture of hotels and lodges and 2 nights in full-service camping. All the accommodation we use is of benefit to local people by providing employment opportunities in the region. The camping portion of the tour is particularly good for the Uaxactun community as this is the only tour which stays here. By sleeping, eating and taking a tour around the area, we offer members of the community an avenue of income which is alternative to the usual gathering and sale of forest products. Whilst the permanent lodgings are environmentally aware, by camping for part of the trip we really are reducing our carbon footprint for the whole trip. Where meals are provided, locally sourced ingredients will be used wherever possible-like freshly baked bread, eggs, exotic fruit and cold meats. Lunches and dinners are a good chance to support small businesses along the route; expect delicious barbequed meats with rice and beans, ceviche and grilled catch of the day.

We offer an optional excursion to the Community Baboon Sanctuary, where entrance fees go towards supporting the conservation of endangered Black Howler Monkeys. This grass roots project is a reserve for the monkeys, providing them with 20 square miles of forest to roam freely in. It is estimated that there are now 2,000 Black Howler monkeys living in this area. There are also various opportunities for interaction with locals – during a kayaking excursion we will meet with a ranger from the Toledo Institute for Development and Education (TIDES) to learn about conservation work in the Toledo area. Profits from this excursion go towards conservation of natural resources in the area and community development.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.


Local Crafts and Culture:
We visit a number of ruins, including Uaxactun and Tikal- which is nearly 20 square miles in size and surrounded by the dense jungles of Petén. We take a tour of both sites visiting the main temples, palaces, squares, tombs, residences and religious monuments. There is the opportunity to learn a lot about the ancient history and ways of life of the Mayan people and what these mean for locals today. Our tour of the Uaxactun community gives us the chance to interact with the people living there and to get a grasp of their culture which is so intertwined with the environment. Our guides will tell us about the various ways they make a living from the rainforest whilst protecting it for future generations. There are colourful handicraft stalls in several of the location we visit, selling woven baskets, hammocks, painted ceramics and carved, wooden items.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

4 Reviews of Belize small group adventure vacation

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 05 Mar 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Snorkelling with rays and sharks

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Take one torch per person, and a universal sink plug!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, especially in Guatemala where we felt very much part of the local community

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Challenging at times but great!

Reviewed on 26 Nov 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Visiting Tikal and snorkelling at Caye Caulker. Tikal surpassed all expectations and I enjoyed the Belizean barrier reef much more than the Australian.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Beware of sand flies at Dangriga. They're tiny - like Scottish midges - and give horrible bites that mature into nasty painful blisters after a few days. Deet based mosquito repellent doesn't work, only oily products like Avon Skin So Soft.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

All tourism that involves air, road or speed boat transport impacts negatively on the environment so let's not kid ourselves. I hope our use of local guides and services did benefit local people and went some way to compensate.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Reviewed on 19 Nov 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The Mayan buildings and the ATM cave.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

On Caye Caulker there is a lot of snorkelling offered and not much else in the trip line. This is fine if snorkelling is your thing, but may be unwelcome if it is not.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, we used local transport, stayed in locally owned accommodation, ate in locally owned restaurants and provided funds for Belize Audubon Society. We felt all our spend stayed local.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Amazing. An insight into the nature and culture of these beautiful, if economically challenged, countries.

Reviewed on 24 Nov 2015 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Camping between a village and Mayan ruins. Snorkelling with turtles, rays and sharks.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Pack wet weather gear. It can really rain in Belize.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes. We used local cafes and tourism businesses. Several of the activities involved paying park fees to support natural and historical sites. Unfortunately we had to use bottled water but care was taken with disposal.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Very good.

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