Spectacular adventure! The trip was virtually perfect. We couldn't believe that Half Moon Caye was as beautiful as the pictures made it look -- but it was! We loved the location, the birds, the fish, the beaches and reef, all of it. But we loved the people just as much -- Ann was an awesome cook and so friendly and hospitable. Brian was a perfect guide -- knowledgeable, friendly, concerned with safety, comprehensive in his instructions, going the extra mile to make repairs and take care of us in every way possible. Jazz was excellent as well -- get that guy guiding on his own asap! His enthusiasm and sense of fun made every activity memorable, and he showed equal knowledge of and love for the reef as Brian did. Christie was a wonderful yoga instructor, and doing sunrise yoga on the beach was a bucket list item for my wife, one she'll always remember.
Accommodations were great. Tents were comfy and felt like home, even if the wind was blowing like crazy the whole time (not something we expect IE to control!). The showers were pretty brackish, but that was a small price to pay for having the caye pretty much to ourselves. Meals at the pavilion were so much fun, with all five of us gathered to talk and get to know each other and share our adventure. We were so glad that Brian, Jazz, Ann, Christie, and several of the Audobon guys joined us for meals. It made it a communal, educational, and just overall fun experience -- once we'll remember forever. At all costs, preserve the immersive quality of this trip: the time there with the Belizean guides, Ms. Ann's Belizean cooking, the extended stay. It's perfect and we came away feeling like Belize is already a second home.
We really appreciate the extra mile IE went to in helping us with our travel plans departure day. We had to get to Amberbris Caye that night, and the boat from the mainland was running late. You could easily have brought us back to Belize City and left us on your own, but instead went above and beyond booking on a daytrip boat from Roman's Village heading San Pedro. You even followed up while we were at Victoria House to make sure we'd catch our flight back to the mainland! That was really impressive and indicates the quality of care and service Island Expeditions showed. Bravo!
We only had one small quibble: the motor gave out on the boat on the caye one day. Brian worked for hours to fix it, but we ended up missing a scheduled snorkel and just doing Mitch's Bay again. It was fine, but it sounded like a new and eco-friendly motor is definitely due for that boat.
Other that that, we couldn't be happier. We'll be back!
Best possible adventure vacation in Belize. Food = Delicious. Guides = Amazing. Chef = Wished We Could Take Him Home.
We stayed at Lighthouse Reef this past April (2016) via Island Expeditions. The chef named Bol was the nicest guy and such a great chef, we are still talking about him and the kids say... "if Bol made this it would be even better" - this phrase has become a family joke as he everything he made was delicious! My kids always refused to eat onions until we went to Belize and Chef Bol made creations with onions that they actually ate.
The island is amazing, we had no problems with bugs, it was hot so I even unzipped our screens at night to have a full open tent. Our guide was fantastic, he had an eye for finding nurse sharks (which are harmless by the way), barracuda, lobsters, sea turtles and all types of interesting sea life. The whole adventure was amazing from waking up to Yoga with Christie to sail kayaking, paddle boarding or snorkeling, this is one adventure trip that is a STEAL. A great value.
Highlights of our trip was meeting Christie, a yoga instructor with the most beautiful soul, who introduced us to yoga in the mornings, seeing a massive old sea turtle at the Blue Hole swimming next to a spotted Eagle Ray, "waking up sharks", sail kayaking, the food, paddleboarding, happy hour at Sunset beach, meeting interesting guests and fabulous guides and staff. Not to mention the pre and post trip experience with Island Expeditions.
There are so many adventures to experience that I try not to go back to any one place now but this place... Lighthouse Reef, is worth repeating.
When my friend asked me to go on this trip, initially, I had some second thoughts because it was unlike any trip I had ever taken. Given my history with snorkelling - I had almost drowned myself when I was 19 lol, and having never been in a kayak - I wondered what I was getting into. WOW was I ever glad that I took this trip!!!! From touching down in Belize City until we took off again exactly a week later - this short trip was the best I have taken in a long time. From the start, the staff of Island Expeditions made this trip an amazing one. Our guides, Brian & Daton were fantastic - special thanks to Daton for teaching me to snorkel properly and for getting so many fantastic pictures and to our boat captain - Rue (Terrance) for being patient with me while I was learning to kayak. The food was amazing thanks to the fantastic chefs Bol & Ann. Jack was also very informative about the surrounding reefs and marine life. I would highly recommend any of the Island Expedition trips (and I plan on doing as many as I can)!
A perfect vacation getaway! Good food, good guides, good equipment and good accommodations! Well done, Island Expeditions.
Friends, who are seasoned travelers, highly recommended Island Expeditions so we followed their advice & signed up for Lighthouse Reef; it was a perfect trip in many ways & certainly met our expectations! starting the day out with yoga on the beach, followed by delicious & healthy breakfast, then snorkeling or kayaking, then more wonderful food, then more playtime in the pristine waters, sunset walk to the bird sanctuary, then more food...
Many thanks to out main guide Pablo who ensured we had a great experience!
Island Expeditions (a Canadian company that has a close liaison with the only other atoll resident -- the Audubon Society) offers a luxury "base camp" of about 15 "tents" on the exquisite 45-acre atoll known as Half Moon Caye. Snorkelling on the life-filled Lighthouse Reef is a dream come true. But If you also love kayaking, paddle boarding, yoga or just hammock surfing in a truly eco-friendly environment, this is the place to be. One of the most magical experiences was evening yoga at West Beach. Walk through the littoral forest along paths lined with giant conch shells. Look up and see the nests of the red-footed boobies (found only here and in Trinidad). The sun is setting on West Beach. Transfixed and calm in gentle yoga poses, watch the sea waves swallow the sun. Suddenly it is dark. No one has a flashlight. No matter, white night blossoms dot the forest floor. Hundreds of fire flies light the path. Step high to avoid the tree roots and hermit crabs. A brilliant red fire glows on the horizon-- no not a fire, the full moon. Magical!
Extraordinary adventure! All the staff contributed to make it happen and created priceless memories.
The trip was very good! We even asked for two hammocks to be delivered and they were there when we arrived on the reef - Great service and good value. Thanks so much!
Very Good. Really enjoyed our guides - Luke and Zach - a great team and really nice to talk to.
Weather is always a factor and impacted our activities a bit - but no complaints. The wind out on Half Moon was steady and really helped cool things down nicely.
Really enjoyed the food, although maybe there was too much of it - good selection, reliably prepared.
Sending kudos to ALL the staff! They were quick to lend a hand with boats, happy to slow down with new snorkellers and divided up well to ensure that those who wanted a little more adventure could stay out longer. Also, we had a chat and a drumming session from Amelia and other Garafino Belizeans - we really enjoyed this so much. Thank you very much for your help on the Canada end - I so appreciate the phone being answered by humans.
Lighthouse Caye was perfect - the cabanas more spacious than we'd expected, the hammocks were a nice touch and we loved the outdoor shower! Given that we were on a remote island, the quality and amount of food was excellent! Freshly cooked, lots of fresh food, well presented.
Best holiday we've ever been on. Whilst the scenery, wildlife and weather were excellent we felt it was the people that really made it special. They all seemed really proud to be Belizean and were very knowledgeable about their country, the animals, the 'politricks'!
It was an added bonus to get the morning yoga with Andrea - a lovely surprise! The central eating/socializing area is lovely for encouraging guests to mingle. Even though we were only together for a few days, we made good friends. Wouldn't change a thing!