Belize

Belize Customer Reviews

We are very proud of the feedback that we get from our trips and are pleased to share reviews from past travellers. These are kept as up to date as possible. Please have a read through to get a real sense of the kind of experience that you might have on a family trip to Belize.

Steering boat on Belize family adventure holiday

Shaw Family (with children aged 14 and 16)

Travelled Christmas 2019
Just loved everything about Belize, thank you. Chaa Creek was a particular favourite and the kids had a blast doing ATM cave. At the beach, Turtle Inn was divine – so glad we splashed out here. We had been quite nervous about the driving, but actually it was fine and very straightforward; we went the wrong way once but stopped and asked for help and a very nice farmer showed us where we had gone wrong. The food throughout was incredible – the kids particularly enjoyed the wood-fired pizza at Turtle Inn and the lobster risotto here is divine. Highly recommended. Thanks for everything.

Clark Family (with children aged 10, 15 and 16)

Travelled Summer 2019 – Belize and Guatemala
Dear Liddy – I just wanted to let you know how fantastic our trip to Guatemala and Belize was.  We all absolutely loved it and the itinerary was brilliant and everything ran like clockwork.  I am so glad we covered both countries because they felt completely different.

We had a great guide in Guatemala and loved the cultural and Spanish colonial feel of the country.  The little UNESCO town of Antigua was absolutely charming and we were surprised by the number of lovely wine bars and restaurants there – it felt like we’d taken a step back in time.

We got our fair share of activity too and all loved the couple of days in the Highlands enjoying the beautiful scenery of Lake Atitlan surrounded by volcanoes. We all enjoyed the zip-wiring, hiking, swimming and kayaking there.

When we returned to Antigua we climbed Pacaya, an active volcano.  Our guide, Alejandro, recommended meeting at 4am to get there and start early and it really was worth it.  We were the only ones at the peak and we got to clamber on the molten rock just metres away from lava flow – scary but fab!

Our final destination in Guatemala was Tikal which reminded me of Ankhor Wat as it was 20 years ago before all the hotels started popping up. It was brilliant and really quiet. At times we were the only ones at some of the main ruins and it was wonderful (if a tad hot) wandering through the jungle.  Still can’t believe you’re allowed to climb up most of the ruins.

We really loved Guatemala and it really offers history, culture, adventure and beautiful scenery and definitely feels like you’re in Central America.

Belize was a complete contrast but every bit as fabulous. As soon as we crossed the border we felt like we had left Central America behind us and were in the Caribbean.  It was great fun and not at all what we had imagined.

We enjoyed a few days inland at Black Rock Lodge playing in the river, the rope swing and visiting the ATM caves which was fascinating and then made our way to the coast where we felt like we had been transferred to a tropical paradise. I think we were incredibly lucky with the weather throughout our trip especially as it was supposedly wet season.

We were fortunate enough to have a few days in Placencia on the mainland, which we loved. The town had a real Creole feel to it and had some great shack-like restaurants selling fresh grilled lobster and snapper and super cold beers. We had a brilliant scuba diving day organised through our hotel where we saw so much sea-life including nurse sharks, turtles, sting ray, lion fish, lobster and angelfish to name a few.

We also did a half-day fishing trip where we caught barracuda and snapper and our hotel used our catch to make us fresh fish tacos and ceviche for lunch and then barracuda fillets for dinner.  The kids just loved it.  We ended our trip with a relaxing few days on a beautiful little island near Ambergis Caye where we just chilled, took out hobie cats and kayaks and ate beautiful seafood.

Thank you so much Liddy for all the hard work that happens behind the scenes to make this a really wonderful family experience and holiday.

Fry Family (with children aged 12 and 14)

Summer 2019 – Mexico and Belize
Hi Liddy. Wow, we have had the most amazing holiday, I would have to say our best family holiday.  Thank-you so much for organising such amazing places for us to visit, where do I start! Very difficult to pick out a few things we enjoyed as they were all such amazing experiences. Our top experiences:

Cancun beach and hotel were lovely – children would have liked to relax here one more day but we were keen to travel, such a lovely beach.

Punta Laguna – an amazing first experience of the real Mexico, after a very long walk we managed to see the howler and spider monkeys, children loved the canoes and zip wire, lovely friendly people. Cenote a little scary for me (although I did it) not for the faint-hearted but a great experience.

Yokdzonet Cenote – such a beautiful Cenote, we spent a lovely afternoon here in the sunshine swimming with the fish after Chichen Itza (which we also enjoyed) and the restaurant was also great.

Izamal – Hacienda was so lovely, such a quaint place with amazing food, loved it here. The Austrian man who ran this was so helpful, nothing was any trouble.  We also enjoyed our walk into Izamal and climb up the pyramid.

Sotuta de Peon – working Hacienda trip was a great experience for the children, we all loved it there too, very peaceful!

Bacalar – was such a beautiful place, we had an amazing time canoeing, swimming, boat trip was the highlight here…

Caye Caulker (Belize) – we really enjoyed the sea ferry over, although a little bumpy and immigration took a very long time, all added to the experience.  The different vibe of the island was lovely, so relaxed. Our best experience here was swimming with and feeding fish to Sting Ray’s at Iguana Reef and the Pelicans! Amazing! Paddle boarding was also lots of fun.

Tulum was also lovely, we all enjoyed a visit to Xel-Ha, eat and drink as much as you want went down well with the children and the snorkelling and fish was brilliant.

However our most amazing experience was in the evenings at Rosa Del Viento, watching the turtles come out the sea and lay their eggs and seeing the baby turtles.

So as you can see, so many amazing experiences, a holiday we will never forget!… Thanks once again and look forward to booking a future family adventure with you.

Cameron Family (with children aged 8 and 11)

Travelled Easter 2019
Hi Charlotte – The trip was amazing thank you. The lodges/hotel were all great… we had a wonderful time doing the Barton Creek canoe trip, some zip lining and then also the cave tubing on the way to Turtle Inn, as well as the Xunantunich and Caracol tours with a chocolate making tour thrown in.  All very suitable for families. The snorkelling at Laughing Bird Caye from Placencia was particularly beautiful…it was amazing and thank you for helping us to organise it.

Langham Family (with ‘children’ aged 19 and 23)

Travelled Easter 2019

We had a wonderful holiday and everything went very smoothly in general.  Due to appallingly slow Passport control in Washington, we nearly missed the connection but eventually arrived safely in Guatemala City.  Mario was an excellent guide, very knowledgeable with good English and sensitive to our wishes…  Many thanks for organising such an excellent trip – you market Stubborn Mule towards families with younger children but our 19 and 22 year olds really enjoyed it all and felt there was plenty to do!

We really enjoyed the Chichencastenango market although lunch at the hotel (beautiful gardens with parrots) was probably the least interesting meal on the trip.

The next day we changed plans slightly and visited Iximche Mayan ruins where we saw someone doing a local ritual before heading on to Antigua.  Chocolate making was great fun and the hotel was historic but comfortable with lovely gardens.  The climb up Pacaya volcano was incredible – we were offered horses but chose to walk and the chance to get so close to molten lava was amazing and slightly nerve-racking as the volcano emitted roars and thumps from its core – delicious marshmallows!  Later Mario took us up to the Mirador with a great view over the city and finally to the only remaining cathedral.

On Thursday we got up at 4am to drive to the airport and caught a flight to Flores – NB this was a reasonably large plane so no luggage restriction.  Giovanni (also excellent) took us to delicious breakfast at the hotel overlooking the lake and then we drove to Tikal.

Jungle Lodge was nicer than expected with excellent showers, good food and a pleasant pool area although they turn off the power during the night and outside peak times so only the fans work – fine once you work out what’s going on.  It was very hot (40 ish) and the walk round the site was quite wearing in the heat but the Mayan remains are superb.  I think it was particularly hot during our visit but the room was fine with a fan.

Next morning we drove to Yaxha and took a boat across a lake to some smaller ruins before transferring across the border into Belize.  Guatemala is obviously a 3rd world developing country so we were pleased to be with great guides and the vehicles provided were spacious and relatively new – we felt very well looked after!

Chaa Creek was very comfortable and we had nice rooms plus, again, excellent food.  The trip to ATM cave was incredible and thankfully not claustrophobic but you need to be reasonably fit.

G and S had a very good ride on quality, well cared for horses and we did a sunset canoe paddle and floated down the river on rings – all pleasantly cooling as it was very hot again.

We then did a small flight (tropic air) to Belize City and onto to Ambergris Caye but thankfully they didn’t fuss about our bags which were about 13/14k although soft so squashable.

San Pedro is tiny, very busy and a bit grotty but the Victoria House was fabulous and we had lovely sea view rooms.  Excellent food and service and lovely gardens with a choice of pools.

You can’t really swim in the sea off the beach as it’s quite churned up and not particularly enticing.  We had a private tour out to Ho Chan reef and Shark/Ray alley and it was like swimming in an amazing aquarium – absolutely beautiful.  We booked the boatman to take us fishing on the second morning and we caught various things that the hotel turned in to Ceviche and cooked the rest as a main course.  This was a really nice, relaxing end to the holiday and it was good to be in a high-end hotel as the alternatives didn’t look very exciting!

In summary we had a fascinating time, felt well looked after throughout and had some once in a lifetime experiences.  There were no real problems apart from the fact we all had runny tummies quite a lot of the time for which we got some good local meds (Endovid) but we wondered if the bottled water was really pure as it comes from El Salvador and wasn’t sealed or perhaps ice is a bit dodgy.

Nothing too debilitating and probably par for the course in Guatemala.  Incidentally the flight home from Houston was on a dreamliner with excellent leg room – really good.

We will certainly recommend you to other similar families.

Lovett Family (with children aged 10, 14 & 16)

Travelled Summer 2018
Liddy – in short, it was fantastic! One of our best holidays ever. We were also lucky enough to meet some of your other clients on a similar itinerary who were great so that was definitely an added bonus.

Wilson Family (with children aged 6, 8 & 10)

Travelled Summer 2018
We’ve just landed at Heathrow and had a brilliant holiday, really loved it. Possibly we should have done 4 stays rather than 5. Really loved Lamanai and Caye Caulker but we also had a great time in the jungle lodges and at Placencia. Weather was mostly very good, couple of showery days and overnight rain. The sea at Placencia was very rough for canoeing or snorkelling when we stayed whereas Caye Caulker was much calmer. Thanks for organising it all.

Bristoll Family (with child aged 11)

Travelled Easter 2018 – Belize and Guatemala
We had a really good trip to Belize and Guatemala and you will be pleased to know all the arrangements worked like clockwork. All the drivers were ready ahead of time and were really helpful and informative, and all the hotel and trip bookings worked well. All the staff throughout our tour were incredible hospitable and helpful.

Lamanai – wow what an introduction to Belize!  The journey to the lodge was amazing.  Food was great and a special mention to Brenda who took several of our trips and was great.

The short flight to Flores was an adventure. A sat up front with the pilot on the four-seater. Tropic Air were efficient and a bit more flexible on bag ,weights and sizes than expected.

Tikal was impressive as was the jungle lodge.  The food was very international and didn’t have much local fare but no complaints just an observation. Guatemala has whetted our appetite we expect to go back.

Black Rock was amazing so much to do and we really enjoyed ATM. We also enjoyed the eating arrangements here with guests being seated together to swap evening stories.

Placencia was the perfect ending.  The various pools at the Roberts Grove were a real treat.  Only sad part of the trip was we were unable to snorkel as the weather didn’t allow it.  The local company arranged an alternative trip and Sod’s law the day we left the conditions were perfect.

Overall fantastic would thoroughly recommend and expect to go back to Guatemala relatively soon.

Miles Family (with children aged 12 & 15)

Travelled Easter 2018 – Belize & Guatemala
Liddy – First of all a big thank you for organising such a fantastic holiday for us. Everything happened when it should have done and we all had an enjoyable (if tiring) time. It was everything I had hoped it would be and more. The kids will always remember it.

… Our guide Erick met us at the airport and was really good the whole time both with us and the kids.  He made such an effort to make it interesting and really added to the experience. Highlights in Guatemala were Chichicastenango market, Antigua, Pocaya volcano and Tikal.  The zip wire was also fun.  The guide when we were up at Tikal was less good,

We were met by the hire car company at the border and easily took ourselves to Black Rock Lodge – what an amazing hotel! ATM was awesome (I cannot believe that they let us get so close to the pots and skulls.

We also did early morning hikes, evening hikes, tubing down the river and of course the rope swing. We met the Bristoll family there who I gather also booked through you and we also met up with them in Placencia on a couple of evenings even though they were then in a different hotel. We were surprised to find that the beach at Laru Beya had been washed away so the sea was full of seaweed and plastic so impossible to go in.  The pool was nice and we went snorkelling on one of the islands so did get to go in the sea.

On the way back to the airport our Google directions took us up the Coastal Highway. When we left the tarmac I did check with some locals there which way was best and they advised that way rather than via Belmopan. After doing 10 miles of dirt track I recalled your advice not to go that way!  Still, 36 miles of dirt track on the way to the airport made for one last adventure and luckily I have done plenty of driving on dirt tracks around the world before. We arrived with plenty of time and had and easy journey home – including an easy trip through Atlanta airport with a lady playing the grand piano beside us in the food court whilst we had supper.

It was the right decision to have a guide / driver in Guatemala as I would not have wanted to drive there but we certainly were best off looking after ourselves in Belize.

Thanks again and we look forward to maybe one year having another adventure with you.

Paterson Family (with children aged 13 and 16)

Travelled Summer 2017 – Belize and Guatemala
We had a really good trip to Belize and Guatemala and you will be pleased to know all the arrangements worked like clockwork. All the drivers were ready ahead of time and were really helpful and informative, and all the hotel and trip bookings worked well. All the staff throughout our tour were incredible hospitable and helpful.

As a quick summary:

  1. The Outpost Lodge was very relaxing and all the trips were good.  The boys particularly liked the watersports and we also enjoyed the various animal spotting opportunities.  If we were doing it again, we might not include Lamanai as many of the nature spotting trips were also run at Black Rock Lodge, and the ruins here, whilst interesting, were not in the same league as Tikal.
  2. The Black Rock Lodge was an amazing location.  The boys particularly liked the rope swing into the river, and the canoe trip down the river was very atmospheric.  The food was good and we liked the place.  The only down side was the room we were in was a little tired, and not having air con was quite tough when it was so hot and humid.  There seemed to be some recently renovated rooms at the Lodge, so I would book one of those if I was going again.
  3. One of our favourite trips was to the Actun Tunichil Mukna caves which was an amazing adventure and certainly a day to remember.
  4. The trip to Tikal was also a highlight.  The boys really liked the Jungle Lodge swimming pool, particularly with all the monkeys swinging around.  It was great to be able to walk from the hotel into Tikal, and the Tikal ruins were absolutely spectacular.
  5. Finally, we really liked Placencia and the Chabal Mar hotel was fabulous – having been ten days in incredible heat and humidity, it was lovely to be in a luxurious apartment with air-conditioning.

The snorkelling trip was amazing.  As it was off season, we had the whole boat to ourselves and had one snorkelling guide just for us.  The last part of the snorkelling trip was really special as we were with amongst big nurse sharks, loggerhead turtles and stingrays.  It was a really memorable experience.

So all in all, it was an excellent trip – thank you for organising it.

Jenkins Family (with one child aged 12)

Travelled August 2016
Hi Kelly, I just wanted to send you a quick email to say thank you for all of the arrangements that you made for us in Belize. We had a wonderful time and there were so many highlights. Our favourite part was around San Ignacio where we just loved the adventure activities. The ATM cave was a massive success – we had been really nervous about this as you know, as I’m not a strong swimmer, but our guide was great and really took a lot of care with us. I wore a life-jacket throughout and was really glad I did but M and D were happy without. I can see why you don’t recommend this for younger children though!

We also loved Ambergris Caye – what a treat to stay at Victoria House. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Such a beautiful place from the minute you arrive and they give you this amazing ginger juice drink. Amazing food too – I don’t know why Central America has a bad reputation for food as we thought it was excellent. We had a great dinner at a restaurant called Elvi’s Kitchen on Ambergris Caye which is a real institution. Highly recommended.

Anyway, all in all a great trip. Thanks so much for your help.

Also, just a quick note but we had a problem withdrawing money during the first couple of days. It wasn’t a big drama as we had cash with us but eventually the bank called us and said that they were worried about fraudulent activity on our account as someone was trying to withdraw money in Belize. Once I told them we were in Belize they removed the stop on the account and we were fine. It might be worth mentioning this to other families though.

Scherer Family (with two children aged 14 and 20)

Travelled summer 2016 – Belize & Guatemala
Well, what another great adventure. We found Belize to be a fascinating country with enough diversity to satisfy all members of the family. My advice is to get this destination on your website as people are missing out on this gorgeous place.

Lamanai
We started off with a transfer on a small boat up the river into the jungle, this set our excitement levels high as we were introduced to local wildlife on our way to our first destination Lamanai Outpost Lodge.  We had a great 3 nights here and were able to choose 2 activities per night, which we took full advantage of.  These included:

  • Jungle dawn walk at 5.30 am – we walked through the jungle with our guide who spoke with knowledge about any critters and fauna we came across. We even got shouted at by a howler monkey for invading his territory.
  • Night time walk – this was around the lodge area and we were equipped with headlamps.  We really didn’t need to venture far to be able to see tarantulas, scorpions, a porcupine, baby boa constrictor etc.
  • Night river safari – we were taken up the river in search of crocodiles.  We only found a baby one but were assured the river has many crocs that hide away from disturbance.  An amazing part of this trip was when our guide took us out to the middle of the river and switched the engine off.  Looking up, we were greeted with a sky full of stars – I have never, ever seen the sky look like this and it was really awe-inspiring.
  • Kayaking at 5.30 am – we rowed out into the river up into Dawson’s Creek.  A beautiful time of the day, as the sun was rising and the wildlife was stirring.
  • Sunset cocktail cruise – as it says on the tin.
  • Mayan ruins – our great guide, Abdul, walked us to the Archaeological reserve where we spent some time in the museum and then walked amongst the ruins.  We had great fun climbing the tallest ones and the views were amazing.

The food at Lamanai was on an all-inclusive basis and we were told what we would be eating each day – this was great as it took away any menu deliberations and the food was excellent.  We even had lunch one day at the same time as Jodie Foster, but unfortunately for us, we didn’t realise it was her until we were told later.

The accommodation was very jungle-like, we had 2 lodges with palm-thatched roofs.  It was very comfortable and clean.  Being in the jungle, electricity is run on a generator that gets switched off at 10 pm each night – this wasn’t a problem for us as we were in bed early most nights ready for our early starts.  We were very sad to leave this beautiful place.

Jungle Lodge, Guatemala
The flight to Guatemala was in a tiny plane, which was an adventure in itself.  A guide met us and drove us deep into the Tikal National Reserve to our accommodation.  Our rooms had recently been updated and again were very comfortable.  Being in such a remote location, there was no alternative for food other than the Jungle Lodge restaurant, which was mediocre but ok.  We were glad we had packed torches as the lights were all switched off early, which meant getting home was rather dark.

The following day we were met by our guide, Benedicto, who took us on a full-day walking tour around the Mayan ruins.  His knowledge and enthusiasm for the ruins was superb and we learnt much about the Mayans.  The next day, we travelled back towards Belize and stopped at 2 more Mayan sites (one which could only be reached by boat).  Benedicto also allowed us to try the local Breadnut drink at a local restaurant, which was met with varying reviews.  Once we reached the border, we sadly had to say goodbye to Benedicto who passed us into the care of a driver to take us to our next destination.

Black Rock Lodge, San Ignacio
One of our favourites – this accommodation is in a very special place, bordered by high cliffs (hence the ‘Black Rock’) and a rushing river where you could take a river tube and swish your way down the river (all under the careful guidance of the attentive staff) or have a swim in the quiet part before dinner.  Evening meals were at 7 pm each night and the seating is a communal affair, which is great for swapping stories and getting inspiration for new adventures.

On our first full day, we did the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) caves, which I would recommend to everyone. We loved it! We spent three hours walking/ swimming/ climbing/ squeezing through caves and disappearing down crevices that looked like a mere crack in the rock.  Don’t be put off though, as all shapes and sizes and ages were able to do this activity.  The culmination of the climbing was to see the sacrificial remains of some poor soul from Mayan times.  After discussion with the Lodge Manager, Petra, we had a change of plan the following day which she implemented immediately – actually this is a feature of Black Rock, the staff do everything to make your stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

Anyway, instead of the planned cave tubing, we went on a family horse ride.  None of us have ever been on a horse before so this was a source of amusement seeing us all perched up high controlling these huge animals (or trying to in my case).  We were very well looked after with a guide at the front and behind us.  We were taken high up into the hills and then down through the jungle, lasting about 2 hours followed by a tour of the farm when we were introduced to all the horses.  Again, another memorable experience.

Singing Sands Inn, Placencia
We were driven by a member of staff at Black Rock for 3 enjoyable hours along the Hummingbird highway into Placencia.  After the luxurious Black Rock, I was disappointed with our accommodation.  We had a garden room that was very dark whilst the girls were given a larger room right behind reception that looked like a nasty cheap apartment you would find in Spain.  However, the staff were willing to upgrade us for a small charge and we ended up with 2 beach cabanas a few steps away from the beach and sea.  Much better!  Be warned though, the toilets are right behind the bed with no door so be careful who you share with. Whilst in this location, we spent a day snorkelling the barrier reef, which was just amazing. We were picked up at the jetty at Singing Sands and taken 20 miles out to sea where we pitched up at Silk Cay.  We spent a good hour or so snorkelling the circumference of this spit and saw the most beautiful fish – at times it reminded me of a tropical aquarium.

We had a BBQ lunch on the spit and then were taken back out to sea where we anchored up near a fishing boat, which was discarding the carcasses of crabs.  This attracted all sorts and we found ourselves swimming amongst turtles, eagle rays and nurse sharks (all quite huge).  This was another experience that we will never forget.  The following day, we were taken out for a couple of hours manatee watching.  This was ok, but got to see little more than a pair of nostrils poking up and the swish of a tail. We spent an enjoyable afternoon exploring Placencia, which was great for buying nick-nacks and gifts. The restaurant at Singing Sands is excellent, as are the cocktails, but we fancied going somewhere different so hired a golf buggy and tried a restaurant up the road which was lovely.

Iguana Reef Inn, Caye Caulker
We took an even smaller plane to Caye Caulker.  This gorgeous island is mainly made of sand and is a very relaxed place very popular with backpackers.  There is not much to do here apart from snorkel, eat, drink and relax which we did very well. There are other activities that you can book whilst on the island but we were looking forward to chilling out.  Our rooms here were comfortable and the first with air conditioning. The Inn doesn’t do food (apart from a continental buffet breakfast) but there are masses of restaurants to choose from within walking distance.  The Inn provides bicycles so my husband spent a morning cycling as much of the island as he could – they also have kayaks that we used.  This was a lovely ending to a fabulous holiday.

This holiday was arranged with great precision.  At every new destination we were met by a guide or a driver and we were never once left wondering what should we do or where should we go.  We found the people of Belize to be really friendly and we all loved the local cuisine.  This really is a country of 2 parts – jungle and beach and one that I would love to visit again.

Thank you for yet another amazing holiday.

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