Up Close Belize was a great resource when I was planning my trip to Belize. I had already picked out what sites I wanted to see and where to stay, but I was having a hard time putting together the details and specifics of my itinerary without having any prior experience in the country. Working with Kim to plan my itinerary and finalize everything went very smoothly, and prices overall were pretty reasonable. The highlights of the trip included many experiences planned directly by Up Close, such as the cave tubing and Altun Ha tour; the drivers and guides hired by Up Close throughout the trip were very genial, dependable, and informative. There were however a few miscommunications over the course of the trip - some guides had been told the wrong time to meet or drivers were late, one hotel had forgotten our reservation. A little more information and details about some of the sites beforehand would have been handy, especially for our first stop, Cockscomb, which had very limited food preparation facilities, and nowhere to buy food once you're in the reserve. Sometimes Kim was very easy to get in touch with, and other times it took several tries. This wouldn't have been an issue, except sometimes we needed her to confirm that we had a reservation, or locate a driver who hadn't shown up. At those times it could feel like the whole trip was falling apart, and getting ahold of Kim was the only thing that could set it back on track. These moments were generally uncommon, but shouldn't have happened at all. The most striking example of this was our border crossing experience, where the driver was late, did not have Kim's number (bearing in mind we as tourists had no international service or internet once we're on the road), he didn't know where he was going or who we were supposed to meet, and insisted on only asking other taxi drivers, who were somewhat unsavory.
Overall, Up Close Belize has a lot to offer, but there is room for improvement. Kim is great and very easy to work with, especially before the trip. As far as international travel goes, especially in Central America, this was a very smooth experience, and my complaints are only minor hiccups in an otherwise well-put-together itinerary. A little more attention to detail and direct management on Up Close Belize's part would have made a perfect trip.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
November 15, 2013
Hi D - thanks for the comments. Yours was certainly a fun trip to plan and I am glad you had a good time overall.
Report response as inappropriate
While reading your notes I smiled, grimaced and literally smacked my forehead.
I really appreciate the candid comments. You made a very good point about my availability.... lately I am either immediately available or I have fallen off the planet. This really hit home for me, especially as I look back over the last few months, and its something I have immediately addressed. This alone really means alot to me and I really do appreciate that you have mentioned it.
The forehead smacking was based on the border experience - one that I always try to be very careful with so I am glad you mentioned it as up to now the driver did not report any issues and I will certainly will be looking into that to ensure it doesn't happen again. Late drivers are one thing but a late driver who doesn't know what's going on while handling my guests on a border crossing is quite another matter. I apologize for that and your overall experience experience with lateness and uncertainty - and wish I could make it right for you.
Thank you for your rating and thank you for the time you took to share your views. Most of all thank you for choosing UpClose Belize. I will certainly pay more attention and be much more accessible than I have been of late.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.