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Spend some time in Central America exploring two travellers' favourites. Explore Belize City and the small town of San Ignacio before crossing into Guatemala to discover the ancient citadel of Tikal, a magnificent Maya site hidden deep in the jungle. From here, travel back to Belize's coast and spend four days on the island paradise of San Pedro exploring the world's second-largest coral reef. Finish the holiday in the most relaxing way possible as you and your family switch it up between white sand and warm water.
Belize CityWelcome to Belize City, the starting point for this family adventure. Located where the Belize River meets the Caribbean Sea, this bustling former capital is full of history and culture, and the area surrounding the hotel is the safest in the city – it's often called the tourist village. Things officially kick off at 5 pm with a welcome meeting, but why not take some time to walk to the nearby lighthouse and enjoy the ocean views if you arrive early.
San IgnacioAfter breakfast the group will travel to San Ignacio in a private minivan (approx. three hours). You'll stop en route to visit St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park, where you and your family can go tubing in St. Herman's Cave. The park contains two cave systems, a number of natural trails and a jungle pool. After a 20-minute hike through the jungle you'll come to the entrance of St. Herman's Cave and enter an otherworldly arena where rivers disappear into the darkness. Float through with a headlamp lighting your way, then jump back into a more traditional form of transport as you continue to San Ignacio, arriving in the late afternoon.
Meals: Breakfast Dinner
San IgnacioSan Ignacio lies alongside the Macal River, in the Cayo District of western Belize. Spend the morning on the water at Barton Creek, a remote cave that, like many of Belize's caverns, was used by the ancient Maya people for ceremonial purposes. Jump in a canoe at the entrace to the cave and paddle into the cave passage with your headlight showing the way. As you float deeper into the passage you'll learn about the geology, archaeology and Maya history of the area. After exploring the caves, jump in for a refreshing swim then return to San Ignacio for a free afternoon exploring. We highly recommend Cahal Pech, a Maya site that was once a major ceremonial centre and stands on a hill overlooking San Ignacio.
Tikal National ParkTravel approximately four hours west to Tikal National Park. In the middle of the jungle you'll discover the five granite temples of Tikal, an ancient Maya citadel that is simply astounding. Enjoy a guided walk through the ruins, and you'll find a range of smaller structures scattered through the dense jungle. The best views can be found by climbing to the top of the ruins for a spectacular perspective of the jungle canopy and from here, you may be able to spot toucans, macaws and other colourful birds. Spend the evening staying beside this incredible site.
San PedroIt's a long travel day today as the group heads to the island paradise of San Pedro. The transfer back to Belize City will take approximately six hours, depending on the border crossing, and from there you'll board a water taxi to San Pedro. The Belize Cayes are a group of islands just a short ride from the coast and while each island has its own personality, they all have an unmistakably Caribbean pace and charm. They're also part of the Belize Barrier Reef, the second-largest coral reef system in the world after the Great Barrier Reef. From your base on San Pedro, it's possible to arrange day trips to the other islands, boats out to different parts of the reef or to the local snorkelling areas around San Pedro. Alternatively, kick back in a hammock as the kids enjoy a swim, a coconut and some serious natural beauty.
San PedroAfter breakfast we head out on the water to visit the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Off the southern tip of Ambergris Caye is Belize's oldest marine reserve,the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Hol Chan is Mayan for 'little channel." The entire reserve focuses on a cut through the reef (called a quebrada). Our boat trip out to the reef will give you an opportunity to go snorkelling for those who wish to see the sea life up close and personal. Back on land the afternoon will be free for you to further explore.
San PedroToday is a free day. Maybe take a boat ride to neighbouring Caye Caulker and while you're there try sampling the local cuisine, Caye Caulker is famous for its lobster. Not the cheapest meal you'll ever buy, but so good. Or for the more adventurous family’s why not hire a sea kayak or stand up paddle boat and hit the water.
San PedroFarewell your island stay today. For those wishing to fly home you can take a water taxi back to Belize City in the morning, which will arrive by approximately 10:30am (this is included in your trip) Please advise that if flying out of Belize on the same day, flights must be booked for after 2:30pm.
- San Ignacio - St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park
- San Ignacio - Cave tubing (entrance, guide & transport)
- San Ignacio - Barton Creek canoe trip
- Tikal National Park - Guide for Ruins (per group)
- San Pedro - Boat trip to Hol Chan Marine Reserve
7 Breakfast(s) Included
1 Lunch(es) Included
1 Dinner(s) Included
Health and Safety Protocols for Intrepid Tours
Protection against COVID-19 as well as other transmissible diseases requires enhanced protocols in hygiene and sanitation. We will put in place additional measures, in line with government health advice and with global health authorities (including the WHO and CDC) to ensure that we maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene.
Handwashing is one of the most important safety measures to prevent the spread of disease. Intrepid will actively reinforce its importance by:
- Implementing a handwashing policy that dictates when, how often and for how long all staff, leaders and crew must wash their hands on-trip.
- Promote the importance of hand hygiene to customers through signage and online customer material.
- Contract suppliers that have hand hygiene protocols in place
- Contract suppliers that provide hand sanitizer in public places (where applicable)
- Educate staff, leaders, crew and suppliers on the importance of hand hygiene via training.
Practicing good respiratory hygiene prevents the spread of disease by reducing the number of droplets in the air when you sneeze or cough. Intrepid will:
- Actively reinforce its importance to customers through signage and online customer material.
- Educate staff, leaders, crew and suppliers on the importance of respiratory hygiene via training.
- Contract suppliers who have respiratory hygiene protocols in place.
In addition, in areas with high community transmission and/or places that are difficult to maintain physical distancing, we recommend the the following at-risk people also wear them. Intrepid follows the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) that masks should only be used as part of a comprehensive prevention strategy and that the use of a mask alone is not sufficient to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Physical distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene must also form part of the strategy.
On our trips, regardless of destination, the following people must wear medical/surgical masks:
- Anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 regardless of whether or not they have been tested yet.
- People caring for people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases (outside of hospitals/clinics).
In addition, in areas with high community transmission and/or places that are difficult to maintain physical distancing, we recommend the the following at-risk people also wear them.
- People over 60
- People with underlying health conditions
- Provide medical/surgical masks as part of the First Aid Kits carried by leaders.
- Educate leaders, crew, staff and customers on the correct method to wear, handle and dispose of a mask.
- Require all customers, leaders and staff to comply with any local regulations or requirements that require the use of a mask in public or in certain places
Intrepid follows the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) that it is not necessary for the public to wear fabric masks generally.
However in certain circumstances, in places where community transmission of COVID-19 is high and/or physical distancing is not possible (e.g. on public transport, in shops or in other confined environments) then a fabric mask can be a useful barrier to prevent the spread of virus.
Fabric masks be purchased commercially or handmade, and are generally not standardised like medical masks. Fabric masks should:
- Cover the nose, mouth, and chin
- Be secured with elastic loops or ties
- Include multiple layers
- Be washable and reusable.
Protection against COVID-19 as well as other transmissible diseases requires enhanced sanitation processes. Intrepid will take the following measures:
- Require all suppliers to detail their cleaning and sanitation protocols
- Audit/monitor all suppliers on their cleanliness and sanitation.
- All cleaning and disinfecting products must be approved by health authorities (e.g. WHO).
- All rooms must be thoroughly cleaned between guests with all high touch surfaces in shared areas regularly cleaned and disinfected.
- Hand sanitizer should be available in public areas.
- There must be a process in place for customers to escalate any concerns regarding hygiene or sanitation.
- Staff must be trained and able to answer questions regarding safety protocols in place.
- All tents must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between use.
- If staying at a campground, ensure all bathrooms are well stocked with hand soap and paper towels. If the area is remote, with limited facilities and/or minimal staffing, then customers should be informed to bring their own hygiene equipment.
- All mini buses, transfers, charters, overland trucks must be thoroughly cleaned between guests with all high touch surfaces in shared areas regularly cleaned and disinfected.
- Hand sanitizer should be made available
- Close top bins with bin liners should be available on board and disposed of at every stop
- Must be thoroughly cleaned at the end of each day
- Tables and chairs must be disinfected after each guest use
- Avoid buffets where possible. If buffets are used, prevent customers from handling food and operating machines (e.g. self-serve coffee stations)
- Either disinfect shared use objects (e.g. table salt) between guest use. Where possible, Intrepid will try to source safe alternatives to single serve packaging.
- Staff must be trained and able to answer questions regarding safety protocols in place.
- Preferred: Provide hand sanitizer to guests at the door before entry
- All equipment must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between guest us
- Staff must be trained and able to answer questions regarding safety protocols in place.
Limiting the number of surfaces touched by large numbers of people helps prevent the spread of disease. Therefore, it is important to proactively move towards contactless or low touch solutions for travel. Intrepid will:
- Prioritise contactless/low touch as a key feature when sourcing new tech or solutions.
- Remove any paperwork required on the ground (e.g. signing forms, feedback cards)
- If details must be entered using a shared device (e.g. insurance details), then it must be disinfected between each customer. Preference is to move entirely to digital solutions.
- Accommodation should provide online check in (no paperwork)
- Contactless keys (e.g. QR codes)
- Contactless tech (e.g. lights)
- Online ticketing for attractions and transport
- Online payment
Physical distancing is important in the preventing the spread of COVID-19 as it can be transmitted via droplets sprayed when coughing, sneezing, singing, yelling etc…
Intrepid will take the following measures:
- Require all suppliers to detail their physical distancing protocols
- Follow local regulation and advice on the need for physical distancing.
We will continue to offer this as an option. Single supplements are available for single travellers who do not wish to share a room. We will work closely with accommodation suppliers to ensure increased availability of single rooms.
- Consider whether it is appropriate to offer single tents for solo travellers as customers will be much closer together then in a traditional room.
- Consider whether staggering meal times may reduce the number of people sharing a dining tent.
Intrepid will consider the following factors when designing or amending transport options on trips.
- Local laws or requirements regarding physical distancing on transport
- Hygiene protocols of the transport provider
- Level of active community transmission in the destination
- Using designated seating on transport. Customers have assigned seats throughout the trip.
- If trip is longer than 15 minutes and air conditioning is available, it must be set to external airflow rather than to recirculation or windows should be opened for the duration of the trip.
- Designing or amending itineraries to reduce the duration of travel.
- Increasing the size of the vehicle, using multiple vehicles.
- Educate all leaders, crew, staff and customers to maintain a 1.5m distance wherever practical in public (e.g. queueing at a museum).
- Proactively design product to avoid crowds by visiting attractions at off-peak times.
- Proactively design product to avoid crowds on public transport or at airports where practical.
- Follow local regulations on table spacing and guest seating in restaurants. Wherever possible, try to ensure groups are sitting at their own table without strangers in restaurants.
- Proactively design product that focuses on experiences that assist with physical distancing (e.g. picnics over crowded marketplaces) if relevant for that destination.
Screening for COVID-19 helps isolate anyone with COVID-19 symptoms and stops the spread of disease. It is likely to become more common for future travellers.
Pre-Departure (Brand Material)
Customers should be informed as part of ‘Essential Trip Information (ETIs) or other similar trip notes if their trip is likely to include any of the following:
- Testing for COVID-19 before being able to pass through immigration and/or board planes.
- Negative test results to be uploaded for visa purposes.
- Thermal temperature checks in airports, train or bus stations, major hotels or attractions.
Pre-departure, all customers are required to fill out an online questionnaire (“self- declaration/assessment” form) to identify any high-risk customers before travel.
Extra qualifiers will be included to address customers with symptoms that can be contributed to pre-existing conditions (e.g. breathlessness to asthma).
Customers answering YES to any question should be removed from the departure and appropriate arrangements made.
Intrepid will not require a negative COVID-19 test as proof of health from customers or leaders at this stage unless it is required by local law or regulations.
This is partially due to the lack of availability of testing for people with no symptoms in many parts of the world and may change in due course.
- Ask customers, leaders, crew and staff to monitor their own health
- Display appropriate signage on COVID-19 symptoms
- Educate leaders, crew and staff on how to identify COVID-19 symptoms
- Describe COVID-19 symptoms in group meetings
If customers, leaders or crew show symptoms of COVID-19 and are either unable to or unwilling to be tested, Intrepid reserves the right to remove them from our trips to prevent any risk to others.
Flexible Booking Conditions
Customers will be supported by flexible booking conditions to stay home if unwell or displaying symptoms
Flexible Work Conditions
Intrepid will support leaders and crew to stay home rather than lead a trip if they are unwell or displaying symptoms. Schedules will need to be created with back up availability of leaders/crew.
Data Collection & Health Tracking
Intrepid will assist government health departments in tracking and tracing any customers, staff, leaders, crew or suppliers at risk of contracting COVID-19 via exposure to a known case and/or outbreak by providing relevant details in line with privacy laws and regulations.
COVID Tracking apps
Intrepid strongly recommends that customers and staff download COVID tracking apps (e.g. COVIDSafe in Australia, StayHomeSafe in Hong Kong) to assist in reducing the spread of disease within their communities.
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Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?
Intrepid tour is great company. Will use this company again.
The trip was both both educational and exciting. I very much enjoyed the sights and culture.
The itinerary was just as I expected! The guide was very good as were the accomodations
Intrepid did such a great job. I never had to worry about where I was supposed to be and it felt so good not to worry about a thing but just to enjoy myself. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about culture and history.
Taiwan people very friendly. Accommodation were centrally located and easily accessible. Did extra activities then in brochure which was greatly.
Larus our tour guide did an excellent job and was very attentive to our needs. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor.
Our guide Tarang chandola was exceptional. Courteous, knowledgeable, organized, polite, professional and went above and beyond taking care of our needs and requests offen anticipating what that might be. He made sure we all had the best possible time and offered suggestions to meet the needs of everyone on the tour. This made the trip even more enjoyable.
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