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Actuality Abroad

WORLDSCHOOL ADVENTURE TO

BELIZE

July 25th - August 7th 2021

DESTINATION

WHAT IT IS LIKE WHERE WE ARE GOING

Join our Belize Worldschool Adventure and traverse all the major ecosystems in Belize, through jungle and mountains to islands, beaches, and blue water with your family.

Our travels begin inland in the city of San Ignacio, heart of the Cayo district, the center of modern Maya life in this country. This walkable city spreads across rolling foothills with many local businesses, parks, Maya ruins, and the outdoor market along the river. The inland skyline from San Ignacio features the ridges of the Maya Mountains, where many larger ruined cities wait to be explored. Rivers and jungle spill down from the mountains into the Cayo valleys, home to wondrous wildlife like Blue Morpho butterflies, roving coatimundi, and the elusive jaguar.

The jungle stretches all the way to the shores of the Caribbean, our stepping off point to reach the laidback, car-free island of Caye Caulker. From the island we rove the blue waters of the Caribbean in search of rays, nurse sharks, and other reef life and learn about the multiple cultures that call Caye Caulker home.

Then our island-hopping truly begins as we set sail for three days of swimming, snorkeling, and exploring – ending each day with camping on small islands.

Our final stop is two nights at the Jungle Lodge and Tropical Education Center in the Belize Zoo.

EXPERIENCE

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT ON THIS ADVENTURE

Hike across San Ignacio to Cahal Pech Maya Ruins. Tour the grounds with a local archaeologist, and check out the active digs currently under excavation on site.

Meet up with a Rosa, a local cafe owner and lifelong resident for a tour of the outdoor market. Afterwards families will learn to cook tortillas and tacos at Rosa’s restaurant.

Take chicken bus ride bus outside of town to San Antonio and onwards to the Green Hills Butterfly Ranch. Families witness the many stages of butterfly lifecycle, learn about the process of shipping chrysalis internationally and walk through the butterfly enclosure to meet many butterfly species face to face.  Afterwards, the group hikes through the to learn about the reforesting mission and impact of the butterfly farm and how to bring a rainforest back to life. 

A jungle hike with survivalist guide teaches us about local fruit trees, medicinal plants, and how to build a shelter and make fire in the wilderness. Afterwards, we travel to the nearby Nohoch Che’en Caves Branch Archaeological Reserve, where families gear up with helmets, waterproof headlamps, and inner tubes. After an easy hike the group floats down the river and through the cave systems,  learning about the geology, ancient history and religious significance of the limestone rocks.

Ivy, owner and head chef of restaurant Authentic Flavors leads us in the Garifuna cooking tradition. She explains the origins of her Caribbean culture and of her recipes. Families will learn how to prepare a traditional Garifuna meal – which we enjoy eating together in the open air seating of the balcony restaurant.

Travel by sailboat on an island-hopping adventure to access the more remote parts of Belize’s reef and experience some of her best snorkeling and fishing areas. 

During the day the sailboat will gently cruise through Belize’s crystal clear waters stopping to snorkel at least twice each day. For avid or curious fisherman, you can trawl off the boats, spin cast on the islands and give spear fishing a try.

In the evenings, families will tent camp on one of the islands with all the needed equipment provided. 

All meals are prepared fresh by a chef on board for the entire sailing trip. 

After a short walk across the island, we meet up with the guides from Reef Friendly Tours to be fitted for our snorkeling gear. On a small private boat we ride to the Shark Ray Alley in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve just off the coast of Caye Caulker. When the boat pulls up, it is surrounded by nurse sharks and sting rays which we are able to snorkel alongside. The guides explain how damaging tourism practices have lead to the destruction of the marine ecosystem and share their sustainable approaches for how to best experience the reef and its wildlife. 

Take a short boat ride to the northern tip of Caye Caulker, our way into the Forest Reserve. The mangrove ecosystem is flourishing here. Our expert naturalist guide leads the group through the reserve as he educates us on the local flora and fauna, including the mangroves, the many different species of birds, and crocodiles.

Enjoy a relaxing boat ride back while taking in the sunset from the water.

Take a three hour canoe trip down the Sibun River with a guide. Launch off sandy river banks to navigate through the riparian forest bordering the river. This is also a great birdwatching opportunity, and wildlife such as iguanas, monkeys, hawks, and even crocodiles are sometimes spotted.

Take in a nocturnal tropical wildlife experience, learning about the natural history of native species when they are at their most active, guided by zookeepers.

ITINERARY

WHAT WE DO TOGETHER EACH DAY

  • arrival to Belize City international airport 
  • private car service to San Ignacio
  • San Ignacio welcome and orientation 
  • welcome dinner at local restaurant
  • breakfast at guesthouse
  • morning meeting
  • Mayan ruin archaeological dig
  • dinner at guesthouse
  • breakfast at guesthouse.
  • morning meeting
  • market tour and cooking class
  • lunch provided on tour
  • afternoon kids camp
  • dinner at guesthouse
  • breakfast at guesthouse

  • morning meeting

  • butterfly ranch & jungle hike

  • dinner at guesthouse

  • breakfast at guesthouse
  • morning meeting
  • jungle survival & cave tubing
  • lunch provided after tour
  • dinner at guesthouse
  • breakfast at guesthouse
  • morning meeting
  • Garifuna cooking class
  • lunch provided during workshop
  • afternoon kids camp
  • dinner at guesthouse
  • breakfast at guesthouse
  • morning meeting
  • transport to Caye Caulker
  • Caye Caulker welcome and orientation
  • dinner at guesthouse
  • breakfast at guesthouse
  • morning meeting
  • Shark Ray Alley snorkeling
  • afternoon kids camp
  • dinner at guesthouse
  • breakfast at guesthouse
  • morning meeting
  • Caye Caulker forest reserve
  • dinner at guesthouse
  • breakfast at guesthouse
  • morning meeting
  • sail to Rendevous Caye, snorkel and fish en route
  • lunch provided on boat
  • dinner at Rendezvous Caye camp
  • breakfast at Rendezvous Caye camp
  • morning meeting
  • sail to Ragga Caye, snorkel and fish en route
  • lunch provided on boat
  • dinner at Ragga Caye camp
  • breakfast at Ragga Caye camp
  • morning meeting
  • explore and snorkel Ragga Caye
  • BBQ lunch on Ragga Caye
  • water taxi to Dangriga
  • shuttle transport to Belize Zoo
  • dinner at lodge
  • breakfast at lodge
  • morning meeting
  • canoe trip
  • farewell dinner at lodge
  • after hours zoo tour
  • breakfast at lodge
  • private car service to Belize City international airport
 
Having kids is reason to travel
never a reason to stop.

COST

WHAT IS INCLUDED AND WHAT IS NOT

$3300 PER ADULT
$2000 PER CHILD

$400 per child aged 4 and younger
all prices listed in USD
  • 13 nights lodging
  • 13 daily breakfasts
  • 6 provided lunches
  • 13 daily dinners
  • Local trip leader and translator
  • 3 sessions of afternoon kids camp with supervised childcare
  • Mayan ruin archaeological dig
  • Market tour & cooking class
  • Butterfly ranch tour & jungle hike
  • Jungle survival workshop & cave tubing
  • Garifuna cooking class
  • Shark ray alley snorkeling
  • Three day sailing trip with snorkeling and fishing
  • Canoe trip
  • After hours zoo tour

TELL ME MORE

The best way to learn about our Worldschool Adventures is by signing up for our email series. We will share insights on the why, what and how of trip design as well as planning resources and important news.

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT ELSE YOU NEED TO KNOW

These trips are designed for parents and their school-age children with curious minds and a thirst for adventure. Any kind of family unit with an interest in learning is welcome. 

No. The trips are conducted in English. An English translator will be provided whenever needed. Alternative language translators can be arranged for additional cost.  

If there is space available, families can enroll up to thirty days before the start date. However, we highly encourage registration as soon as possible. Trips that don’t meet their minimum 90 days in advance of the start day may be cancelled. 

Yes. Each family is required to purchase a standard travel insurance policy for the duration of the trip that includes medical coverage for all of their family members.

If Actuality Abroad cancels the trip due to insufficient enrollment, all payments will be refunded. If a trip is cancelled due to borders closing, natural disaster or political strife, all payments will be eligible to be applied for an alternate trips or future dates. We recommend that each family purchase travel insurance that provides reimbursement due to trip interruption or cancellation due to COVID-19 for the most peace of mind. 

With the onset of COVID-19, Belize was swift to close their borders to all travel and concurrently develop a multi-stage plan for re-opening the country. We are currently in Stage 4 of five stages. Most housing and amenities tourists would normally expect have been restored, though with strict mask-wearing and social-distancing regulations. Available lodgings and tour providers in-country are now certified Gold Standard and have a Safe Seal on their site, social media, etc. showing they meet the country’s enhanced COVID guidelines. For more information, and to find a link to download the Belize Travel Health App, visit https://belizetourismboard.org/belize-covid-19-update-for-travellers/

Currently Belize is allowing all tourists into the country with some restrictions. All foreigners entering Belize must have A) Documentation of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours of travel, B) Documentation of a negative COVID-19 rapid test (ie Antigen test) within 48 hours of travel, or C) Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, completed at least two weeks prior to arrival in Belize. 

Each country has different protocol for residents returning from travel abroad. The United States, for example, requires residents returning by air to have a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of their return flight, or documentation of recovery from COVID-19. Prior to departing Guatemala, testing appointments will be scheduled with sufficient lab processing time for all travelers who require it.