This is an example of our preferred hotel, though availability is not guaranteed. If a given hotel is not available for your tour date, we will reserve you a room at a hotel of similar appeal and quality in the same area.
Glovers Reef Field Camp
Thirty six miles offshore of the Belize mainland lie a group of tropical islands cradled within a turquoise lagoon and surrounded by a living coral reef. Glover\'s Reef Atoll is considered to be one of the richest tropical marine environments in the entire Caribbean.
This private island base of over 13 acres is perched on the southern edge of the atoll with a dramatic view facing east over the main reef crest and the open Caribbean. Based from the comfortable field camp you are fully equipped to spend your days sea kayaking and kayak sailing, snorkeling, diving, and fishing. After your adventures each day be rewarded with a bounty of fresh seafood, island baking, tropical fruits and yes, even rich, decadent deserts! Glovers is ideal for those who wish to enjoy the comforts of a well-appointed field camp yet want an active and flexible day-to-day schedule. Also available are optional Scuba certification courses, resort courses and equipment rentals.
One of three atolls offshore of Belize, Glover\'s Reef was named after the pirate John Glover who used this remote offshore ring of islands and coral reefs as a base from which to raid Spanish merchant ships. The shallow waters offshore of Belize with innumerable coral reefs, mangroves and small islands were ideal waters for pirates and buccaneers to hide their raiding ships after plundering Spanish galleons laden with riches, destined for the Old World. Today, the attractions found within the atoll (20 miles long by 7 miles wide) are the clarity of the water and the remarkable profusion of marine life. In 1993, the atoll was declared a marine park, and 25% of the area and lagoon was protected from fishing and harvesting. To continue the conservation efforts to preserve this extraordinary environment, the site was designated as a World Heritage Site, in 1996. Travel and explore this area by sea-kayak, paddling and sailing the shallow 82 square mile lagoon with an unequaled variety of over 700 patch reefs. The reefs of Belize have long been known as the richest in the Caribbean, and Glovers is the best in Belize!
While on Southwest Cay, enjoy \"base camping\", sleeping in tent-walled cabanas. These spacious safari-style tents are have ample headroom to walk around and are on raised wooden floors with double or single beds. On the island, there is a fresh-water collection system for drinking water, fresh-water showers, modern composting toilets, a fully equipped kitchen. There is also a large dining area and resource library lounge.
While at the private base-camp on Southwest Cay, guests have unrestricted use of the following equipment:
* Double Kayaks (outfitted with special sails)
* Single Kayaks
* Sit-on-Top Dive Kayaks
* Complete Research Library
* On the island, the camp is in communication with the mainland via VHF marine radio.
* All meals (fully catered) while you are at the Southwest Cay base-camp
* Limited alcoholic beverages available during meals
* Unlimited use of equipment and facilities
* Professional guides and sports instruction services with Belizean and/or North American leaders
* Safari-style Tent Accommodations on Southwest Cay
* Glovers Reef Marine Park user fee
* Comprehensive pre-trip information package
* Financial Support for Conservation and Education programs in Belize.
What\'s Not Included...
* Beer & soft drinks
* International Flights & Airport Departure Tax
* Snorkeling or Dive Gear & Scuba Diving fees
* Extra costs due to late Arrivals, and other circumstances beyond our control
There are some great opportunities to scuba dive at Glover\'s Reef. Optional diving is available for certified divers on certain days of the trip. Single tank dives are available from $50 US, with further discounts for multi-tank dives. For first time divers take the Discover Scuba for a subsidized rate, or you may be able to take your Open Water Referral course. A variety of dive packages before or after your trip can be arranged.
A Note About the Ecology...
Belize\'s Barrier Reef is the largest in the northern hemisphere, second largest in the world, extending 185 miles (300 km) along the coastline. Nineteen miles seaward from the eastern border of the Barrier Reef, lies Belize\'s most spectacular atoll - Glover\'s Reef. The oval shaped reef walls of the atoll climb from the ocean floor and surround a central lagoon. The surrounding reef is primarily made up of two kinds of coral, the hard hydro-coral (reef- forming coral), such as brain coral or elkhorn coral, and the soft corals, such as sea-fans and feather plumes. The sheltered lagoon at Glover\'s Reef harbors one of the world\'s most diverse sea environments; an extensive community of fish, shellfish, and patch reefs. One mile off the eastern shore of the atoll, the reef wall quickly drops 2600 feet to the ocean floor below. The interaction between the deeper open waters of the Caribbean Sea and the sheltered lagoons of the atoll results in a diversity and abundance of marine life which is unsurpassed for sea kayaking, snorkeling and diving.
From base on Southwest Cay, have the opportunity to view a diverse range of sea-life and tropical birds. While exploring and snorkeling the atoll and the many patch reefs, there are opportunities to see grouper, bonefish, angel and parrot fish, stingrays, eagle rays,conger, moray eels, goatfish, just to name a few. Some of the bird-life includes osprey (the Billy hawk), sea gulls, brown-footed & white-footed boobies, frigate birds, hawks, mangrove warblers, and white-crowned pigeons. Around the atoll and the barrier reef, there are nesting sites for loggerhead, green and hawksbill turtles. If you\'re lucky, you may see them while out snorkeling or kayaking. You will definitely have a chance to see and sample the main staple for Belizean fishermen, the queen conch and (in season) the spiny lobster.