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“Great little piece of paradise”

Half Moon Caye National Monument
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$412.50*
and up
Blue Hole and Turneffe Islands Helicopter Tour
Ranked #75 of 215 things to do in Belize
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Owner description: The first marine conservation area in Belize measures 45 acres in size with two distinct ecosystems.
Reviewed January 1, 2013

Pulled up, crystal clear blue water, not a cloud in the sky...tall palm trees, white sand beaches. Walk off the beach to snorkel around the island...saw rays and an octopus right from the dock! Colonies of Red-Footed Boobies and Frigget birds. Audobon Society has a place set up here, and other than them, a lighthouse keeper, and a temporary camp for small tour groups, the island is uninhabited.

Thank michelle j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (56)
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48 - 52 of 56 reviews

Reviewed December 9, 2012

We spent some time on the Island as part of a dive trip with Frenchies, and it was amazing! Truly paradisaical island. Remote and quiet. The Red Footed Boobies viewing area is a fun experience, they're amazing birds.

Thank AngeliqueKamara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2012

I enjoyed every minute of this down to basics holiday. No 5 star hotels, no hot water, kerosene light to read by, dry toilets, lukewarm water for showers and yet the adventure awaiting you is amazing. First of all the guides, they must be hand picked, the food cooked by Amelia, delicious, the kayaking with or without a sail, either single or double cutting through emerald waters. The snorkelling, immerse yourself into a different world, it is unbelievable the amount of colourful fish swimming within arms reach of your goggles. I wanted an adventure and I got one. You got 5o experience this as well.

Thank Quillermo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2012

We participated in the 7 day / 8 night Lighthouse Reef Adventure with Island Expeditions in early March 2012. I had done some previous background research on the company and the location, including contacting references from other travelers supplied by the company, and the feedback was very positive (I have previous posted a summary of this feedback in the Belize forums on TA), so we signed up for the trip. Both the company and location were excellent, and fully up to expectations.

The trip is based out of the company’s eco-camp located on Half Moon Caye, which is part of the Lighthouse Reef atoll, about 2-3 hours by boat from the Belize mainland. The camp is operated in co-operation with the Belize Audubon Society who has a station located on the caye, and administers and patrols this Nationa Monument and area (all part of a UN World Heritage site). The only other inhabitants / facilities on the caye are a lighthouse and keeper, and an amazing bird colony of red-footed boobies, frigate birds, and some ospreys. There are a few day visitors to the caye from diving boats etc, but you and your fellow travelers largely have the entire caye to yourself, which is an outstanding experience. You can easily and safely explore the small caye to your heart’s content, observing and photographing the many birds, plants, hermit crabs, iguanas, geckos, and other inhabitants.

The IE website accurately portrays the trip. Over the course of the 7 days you have the opportunity to kayak and sail to various parts of Lighthouse Reef, snorkel, swim, fish, and generally hang out. We snorkeled the circumference of the famous “Blue Hole”, and also did another snorkel at night by flashlight, both of which were spectacular experiences. There was also early morning yoga each day of our trip as well, with an excellent instructor. Group size is typically 12-20 guests – there were 19 guests in our group, plus 5 guides, and several camp staff. Guest were a mix of singles and couples, ranging in age from 30’s up to a very fit 79 years! A single traveler of either sex would feel very comfortable. Activities are organized into small guided groups so as to ensure safety. You have some flexibility in what you do or do not do, and when. Many of the group were relatively new to kayaking and snorkeling, and we all made out fine. That being said, you need to be in reasonable physical shape to enjoy the trip.

The camp uses bottled water imported from the mainland for drinking cooking toothbrush etc, and unheated rainwater for showering and washing. The eco-toilets are dry composting type. The facilities were all extremely clean and hygienic. Accommodations are foam beds in roomy wall tents on slightly elevated platforms. We encountered essentially no insects at any point during the trip, but were well-prepared just in case. There was a small electric generator which operated for several hours each day, so it was possible to recharge camera batteries etc.

The guides were predominantly Belizean, assisted by one NA guide and one NA yoga instructor. All were personable, safety-conscious, and knowledgeable. Food was healthy and hearty, and there were provisions made to accommodate previously-identified dietary issues within the group. Equipment was all in generally good shape.

I highly recommend this trip to others, and we look forward to our next trip with IE.

Tips:
- Bring an underwater camera, and ensure that you have already familiarized yourself with it.
- Immediately prior to this trip we did the two day “Mayan World” trip through IE. The trip is on the Belize mainland and provides an excellent introduction/overview of several Mayan sites, birds, other wildlife, and the Belize people and culture. This schedule also gives you a couple of post-flight days to acclimatize, allows lost baggage to catch up with you, and links up seamlessly with the following “Lighthouse Reef” itinerary.
- see also the reviews located under "Lighthouse Reef" on TA.

If you found this review helpful, please click on the “Helpful” YES icon below. Safe travels!

25  Thank Western_Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2011

When you walk up the steps to the viewing platform and are suddenly trust into the world of the Red Footed Boobies and the Frigates, you'll never forget it. This magical island is home to these 2 species of birds (and some large iguanas, who our guide told us, were brought to the island in recent history) and words do it no justice. You will be essentially ignored by the birds as they go about their lives, this is a very unique place where you can experience how these birds nest. There is also world-class diving off the thriving reefs here, and some great wall dives.

3  Thank nomdeplumb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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