We struggled to figure out what to do when our cruise stopped in Belize and changed our minds several times. By the time we made a decision, the ship’s excursion to Goff’s Caye was sold out. My daughters and I had no interest in snorkeling, but we wanted to be on a beach. I first contacted Katie Valk who put me in touch with Kimberlee Chanona of Upclose Belize (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Kim arranged for us to be part of a group tour to Goff’s Caye that left from the Tourism Village. That tour was run by www.belizeshoretours.com or Eco Tours Belize. Kim was extremely responsive to my many emails and questions. She would have arranged for any type of tour that we wanted, but felt that this one met our needs.
We were told to get on an early tender to the Tourism Village and find the representative that would be waiting for us. Somehow we missed the person with our name, but when we mentioned Kim’s name (or Upclose Belize?) we were quickly and easily directed to the right place.
Even the short wait for the tour to begin was pleasant. We sat and talked with a couple of men from Belize who turned out to be our tour guides. Such friendly guys! Once the group of about 25 people was assembled we boarded a boat to Goff’s Caye.
Goff’s Caye is magnificent with crystal clear water. Truly a paradise. It is tiny, with a porta-potty type changing structure and a stand for snacks, beer and some jewelry for sale. The tour operators (including one EMT) took everyone to the island first to get settled. Then anyone who wished to snorkel went back out on the boat. To my complete shock both of my daughters opted to join my husband and son snorkeling. They LOVED it. They went in a slower moving group, snorkeling from the boat offshore to the island over a 45 minute period. I could not snorkel (health reasons), but I did put on a face mask and look around under water. What gorgeous fish!!! I am so glad we did not miss out on this opportunity. We spent the remainder of the day relaxing on the beach.
The only upsetting part of the day was that many people on the tour did not tip the tour operators. The staff all worked very hard to make sure that we had a great day and were quite friendly. They deserved to be tipped! At one point on the island we asked about returning to shore and they told us that on vacation there should be no worries and they would get us back in time. We did, in fact, return with plenty of time to do a little shopping in the Tourism Village. Best day of the cruise!!!
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