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“Know what you are getting into” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Glovers Reef Basecamp

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North East Point, Glovers Reef Atoll, Belize   |  
Hotel amenities
Portland, Oregon
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Know what you are getting into”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2014

My husband really wanted to do this and my kids enjoyed it because they got their own tent but there were 21 guests PLUS a family of maybe 10 staying in the house on the property PLUS all the guides and support staff with only 4 (COMPOSTING) toilets and 2 small pitiful showers.

That is WAY too many people sharing such a small space and NO ONE cleaned or "maintained" the toilets the time we were there. It was really nasty by the second day.

You are literally stuck on a very small bit of land as you are asked NOT to go into the adjoining property.

The guides were FANTASTIC and helpful. Food was ok but I felt like you practically had to fight for your spot and a decent amount to eat since there were so many people around and really, the cooks can only do so much and they were both great and welcoming. As vegetarians, we got the short end (as usual) on the food: Way too much canned peas and canned watery vegetables.

We had bad storms the two nights we were there and that is not fun in a tent. Forget about sleeping when you are frantically trying to pull down the tent flaps so everything isn't soaked.

IF you are adventurous and can handle this type of thing, its worth it but I wouldn't do it again.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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31 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Pincher Creek, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2013

I have read the reviews from Karen H and Eliztravels who were on the same trip my husband and I were on. So, I won't repeat what they said. If you want something to do everyday (snorkel, kayak, sail, fish, tour Mayan Ruins, visit Belize,.. look into this trip. I should also mention that we were encouraged to relax and make the trip our own. We could either participate in the planned activities or do our own thing. We booked with Island Adventures and they exceeded our expectations. We did not want and All Inclusive Resort where you sit on the beach and eat and drink all day. This was an adventure. We toured through different towns, saw a number of different ecosystems, visited with many Belizeans, slept in a cabin in the jungle, slept in a cabana on an island, and ate amazing meals. The staff were very friendly, professional and knowledgeable. The packing list Island Expeditions provides is very helpful. I encourage you to follow it. I suggest some strong bug spray. The aphids bite, take chunks, and itch.
The cabins in the jungle and the cabanas on the beach were very clean. They contained a wooden frame bed with a foam mattress and an end table to place a few items. Your headlight became your friend, both inside and outside your sleeping quarters. Do not expect your room to be insect free or gecko free for that matter. I actually liked the gecko that stayed with us. I kept hoping he would eat all the aphids so I wouldn't get any more bites.
This was our first trip to Belize, and will not be our last. It was so nice to get away from the multimillion dollar hotels and the thousands of tourists. It was an authentic trip that my husband and I will share for years. The pictures that you see online just touch the surface as to how beautiful and inspiring it is. It's like pictures of the Grand Canyon, you have to see it to believe it.

Room Tip: You are assigned cabins and cabanas. All are in the jungle or by the ocean. Be prepared, it's...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2013

My husband and I recently returned from a much anticipated trip to Belize and it was everything we had hoped and more. We started off our Glovers Reef and River of caves trip on the mainland where we visited a Mayan ruin and the Belize Zoo (instead of the River of Caves portion which was cancelled due to severe flooding). The most glorious part of the trip though was the boat ride out to and stay on Glovers Reef. What a magical place! The guides were incredible and the food was plentiful and delicious. You could spend all day in pursuits of active adventure or relax with a book in a hammock. The snorkeling was incredible and it was wonderful to be among a great group of like minded adventure seekers. We had the added bonus of having a wonderful yoga instructor the week we were there, and starting each day with yoga in such a breathtaking setting was a real treat. We are already talking about our next trip to Belize where we will visit Lighthouse Reef. Island Expeditions handled all details easily and seamlessly and there is even an app that includes a packing list.

Room Tip: my husband and I are both tall people and we found the double size bed in our tent was too small. Wh...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2013

I've just returned from a long awaited trip to Glover's Reef, combined with the Mayan World extension offered by Island Expeditions. It is grand in so many respects as the other posters have said, so I won't repeat their comments, but offer some thoughts unique to our trip:

Belize had almost unprecedented rain for weeks prior to our arrival, so due to flooding we were unable to do some of things on our initial itinerary, including River of Caves and Crooked Tree bird sanctuary. The alternatives provided--a stay in a hotel in Orange Walk, Baboon Sanctuary, a breakfast of tacos at a local market, and other sites and activities, were well arranged and conducted by excellent guides so we were in no way disappointed in the changes.

As a senior woman accompanied by 2 friends of similar age, I was concerned that the activities would be too strenuous, our pace too slow, the need to hoist myself into a kayak from the water a daunting and humiliating task. Instead, the guides were extremely helpful in coaching and encouraging and what little accommodations needed to be made were graciously provided. We participated in just about everything on offer (although we never found time for 'hammock surfing') and never felt out of place with our younger travel companions.

The brochure and online information tells it like it is, and obviously those who prefer to be catered to in luxury stayed away, and those who came, came with a sense of adventure, an appreciation of nature, and tolerance for minor inconveniences. It was a joy to among like-minded people.

Although I always enjoy my travels, I rarely plan to return, as time is running out and there is just too much world to explore. But this time, I'm planning to go back.

Room Tip: Pay attention to the packing list provided. You will probably need just about everything on it, b...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gatineau, Canada
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

This year marks the 10 year anniversay of our family vacation in Belize. In spring 2003, we took their 'Ultimate Adventure' package. (10 days) At the time, our 2 children were 15 and 12. We had never travaled further south than Florida. Island Expedition Co. was the best. To this day, we still think about this trip with found memories. I remember being nervous about traveling with a group, espacially with kids. Our traveling companions were wonderful and our guides were very helpful and knowledable. Island Expedition brought us to secluded places we couldn't have known about. They made everything run smoothly, making us feel like we were the first one there while taking care of all the not so fun stuff. (coordinating food, travels, seting up tents). Keeping excellent relationships with the locals and our local guides. They are truly logistics Gods! We stayed at Glovers Reef as part of our trip. This is a true paradise. Is beer O'Clock still at the same time?

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberta
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
179 helpful votes 179 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

I did the 7 night "Glover's Reef and River of Caves" trip with Island Expeditions in April 2013. This was my second trip with IE - we had an outstanding trip in 2012 to Lighthouse Reef / Half Moon Caye (see my TA reviews), and in 2013 I took the opportunity of a last minute sale on the IE site to return for this Glovers trip.

This was another excellent experience, and a nice complement to the previous Lighthouse Reef / Mayan Extension trip. The first two days in the central part of the mainland provided a great opportunity to visit the Tropical Education Center (TEC) and the Belize Zoo, and to visit and river tube through one of the cave systems, and see the central/south jungle and agricultural areas en-route to Dangriga by van, and then departing by boat for Glovers Reef.

The Belize Zoo is more of a wildlife refuge / natural reserve than a "zoo", and the quality of the habitats and the care and commitment of the staff is exceptional. Island Expeditions has been active in Belize for decades, and staff we encountered noted that IE has been a key partner and ongoing supporter to both the TEC and the Zoo over the years. Both facilities are very active in community education and outreach programs including through the Belize school system, as well as in research. It was very rewarding to see IE's environmental and social responsibility commitment in action, and in a small way to be a part of and contribute to it. The Caves tube float trip was interesting and a lot of fun – the water level was at its low level this time of year so the float was quite leisurely. There was some hiking in the caves via headlamp to see formations and artifacts.

The IE base camp on Glover's Reef is located on the southwest caye ("island") of the reef system. The caye is owned by an extended Belizean family and has two principal occupants - the IE operation on a long term lease on one half, and the Isla Marisol resort and dive center on the other half. Note that there are a number of other cayes within the overall Glover's Reef formation, each with their own ownership and various independent operations.

Reviews by other travelers accurately and extensively describe the IE camp, staff, facilities, food, and activities. I am equally enthusiastic, but to avoid duplication I won't repeat those comments, and will instead try and add some additional perspectives. Fellow travellers in our group were a mix of couples and singles ranging from 30's to 70's; and the group was very harmonious, easy going, and low maintenance; all characteristics which seem to be typical of IE groups. The family of one of the IE partners was also along for the trip, and fit in well.

Morning yoga instruction, kayaking, snorkeling, etc are all standard features. The group did some fishing via hand-line trolling one day, and caught some barracuda and other fish which were baked for dinner one evening. In addition, for several particular weeks, a fly fishing guide Kelly Steigman from Washington State was staying at the island camp, and as a special feature he provided both fly fishing gear and some instruction to those of us interested in fly fishing in these waters, which was a lot of fun. No luck for bone fish, but we caught a variety of other small reef fish which we released.

I am PADI OW certified, and so I took the opportunity one day to skip the IE activities and instead book two one-tank dives with the adjacent Isla Marisol Dive resort. There were two diver guests from the resort in addition to myself, and the dives were on walls just 15 minutes away reached from an open panga-type boat. We returned back to the caye for the surface interval. The dives were spectacular in about 70 feet of water. Cost was $65 per tank so $130. My PADI OW certification card (mandatory) was confirmed, but little checking of experience/comfort level, so I initiated that dialogue with my fellow divers who were very experienced. We all had our own gear, so not able to comment on rental gear. DM had arrived a couple of months back from Florida. Dive support was pretty loose and bare-bones as far as minimal briefing, also didn’t notice any emergency oxygen or first aid equip on board. I set up/dismantled/washed my gear myself, no checkout of setup prior to water entry, no chalkboard to name specific aquatic specifies or communicate during dive, no refreshments or food pre or post dive. Perhaps things are handled differently with a larger group and/or with a different DM? Under the water was great, but IMHO if you are a certified but still novice diver, some caution and self-reliance is in order before deciding to proceed with this operator.

The Lighthouse Reef / Half Moon Caye location is more remote than Glover’s Reef. At Half Moon Caye the island is a large Audubon bird sanctuary, with the IE tent camp as the only occupant other than the Audubon rangers, so you have more of a sense of being on your own deserted island, and see a lot more frigate birds, boobies, ospreys, iguanas, etc than you do on Glover’s. At Lighthouse the snorkeling is a bit better, and you also get to travel to the Blue Hole and snorkel around it. However in the Lighthouse trip you don’t get to see the zoo, the TEC, nor the caves tube float. So the best solution is to make a couple of trips (or more!) to Belize as I did, first visiting Glovers, and then the next year come back and go to Lighthouse Reef and recommend adding on the Mayan World Extension as well.

If you found this review helpful kindly click on the Helpful Yes? link at the top.

Safe travels!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2013

This was our first visit to Belize but it won't be our last. We were looking to mix some adventure with relaxation during our two week vacation. Island Expeditions fit the bill perfectly. We were able to experience tropical sea kayaking and world class snorkeling and diving in an amazing setting away from the masses. In between the planned excursions (all optional) we had ample time for relaxation and to do our own thing. The meals were amazing, the grounds immaculate and we can't say enough about our guides Bernaldo and Pablo. They were extremely knowledgeable and catered to us 24/7. You are staying in tents without some of the benefits of resort living however that just added to the experience. 5 Star camping! The island is shared with a small dive resort that welcomed us to use their bar. We also used their dive services which was professional with amazing dives sites in the immediate vicinity. Island Expeditions is a first class organization in helping you plan your trip and preparing you for your experience. They have excellent facilities and equipment and safety is always top of mind. I was very impressed how they catered to a diverse group of tour participants of different ages and athletic abilities. We spent an enjoyable three days in Hopkins prior to our departure to Glovers Reef from Dangriga. We finished up our vacation on Ambergris Caye. We can't wait to book our next adventure with Island Expeditions at their Lighthouse Reef site although it would be very difficult to beat Glovers Reef. We highly recommend Island Expeditions for anyone who is looking for some adventure, great food and guides, amazing reef life (best we've ever seen) and all around great time!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Glovers Reef Basecamp

Address: North East Point, Glovers Reef Atoll, Belize
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > Glovers Reef Atoll
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Glovers Reef Atoll
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Explore the amazing underwater world of Glovers Reef from our comfortable safari-style camp on the furthest reaches of the Belize reef system. This low impact facility is designed to be a comfortable base to explore the amazing setting, but to have a minimal impact to this tropical island-treasure. Our amazing guides will teach you the wonders of sea kayaking and snorkeling, while our resident marine biologist will teach you about the surrounding marine ecology. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Glovers Reef Basecamp Belize/Glovers Reef Atoll

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