Price: $2875 USD

Trip Dates: January 25-31, February 1-7, 2025

Trip Map:

Rated By Outside Travel as one of the “World’s 30 Best Trips.”

Our Coral Islands paddling trip in Belize is an exclusively designed trip between Norm Hann Expeditions and Island Expeditions, a leading adventure travel company that has been in Belize for 35 years; together we have created a pretty special paddleboard and tropical ocean adventure experience for paddlers. Highlights of our Coral Island trip includes

  • One night stay upon arrival at Bocawina Rainforest Resort, a gem in the heart of the Maya Mountains and located in a 7000 acre national park where wild jaguars roam free.
  • Three nights in wilderness tents at SouthEast Caye Basecamp on Glover’s Reef Atoll, part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • World class snorkelling, free diving and seafood harvesting on Glover’s Reef and the Belize Barrier Reef.
  • Spectacular Paddleboarding atop the barrier reef with a focus on skills development, downwind reef runs and calm mangrove island paddling.
  • Two nights at Paradise Island Lodge on Tobacco Caye and part of the protected South Water Caye Marine Reserve.
  • Cultural night of drumming and singing with our local Garifuna guides and musicians.

Explore the incredible Glover’s Reef Atoll and Tobacco Caye, part of the Southwater Caye Marine Reserve on Belize’s Southern Barrier Reef, a United Nations’ designated world heritage site. Days will be spent exploring lesser travelled areas of the reef, discovering uninhabited islands, coral reefs, mangroves and abundant marine life. Nights will be spent in small, family run island lodges, enjoying breathtaking sunsets from the hammock on your deck, fresh seafood and local cuisine, and a comfortable bed and shower.

Who is this trip for? 

This trip is for adventure travellers who enjoy standup paddling and snorkelling. From a paddling standpoint this trip is for intermediate paddlers who already have paddling experience and are looking to improve on those skills with instruction and guiding from Norm and his guiding team. Glover’s Reef is remote and exposed with very little protection and the area does experience a lot of wind. Our boat support will be able to shuttle us upwind so we can enjoy downwind runs along the turquoise waters of the atoll. Once we get to Tobacco Caye, closer to the mainland and located on the barrier reef we can head to the mangrove islands for protected and calm paddling but generally you need to be competent enough to deal with wind on this trip. This trip works best for you as a multi adventure experience as we will also be enjoying the incredible snorkelling and free diving at Glover’s Reef and on Tobacco Caye. The Belizean guides are masters in the underwater world and their marine ecosystem interpretive skills are superb and not to be missed. Other activities can include hand line fishing, kayak sailing the reef and of course hammock surfing! Guests seem to come away with a much richer experience after having tried all of the activities. There is something for everyone and as much as you want or as little as you want. We are excited to share the amazing country of Belize with you and the warm hospitality of the Belizean People.

Booking your trip: If you are ready to book our Coral Islands trip please visit our details page where you will find the trip date and a link to the Island Expeditions booking and deposit page. A representative of Island Expeditions will be sending you all of the required information and details for your upcoming trip.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Bocawina Rainforest Resort & Adventures: This boutique lodge in the midst of a 7000 acre Bocawina National Park offers guests a quintessential tropical rainforest experience. Over 150 species of birds, howler monkeys, peccary, jaguars and ocelots have been recorded in close proximity to the lodge. Enjoy the beautiful tropical landscaping on the property and dine in style at the acclaimed Wild Fig Restaurant.

Meals: Dinner provided

On arrival in Belize City you will connect for a scenic 20 minute flight south to the coastal town of Dangriga.  Our first night is at Bocawina Resort & Adventures and a representative from Bocawina will be there to shuttle you and your group to the resort. Norm will meet you and your group for dinner where all trip details and packing will be reviewed. (Domestic Flight included)

Days 2-4

Glover’s Reef Basecamp: On the water edge, with dramatic views over the main reef wall and the open Caribbean Sea, is our dining area, with large raised verandah, lounge and resource library. The enclosed outdoor verandah is where your island guides give their fun and informative talks on the surrounding ecology each morning. The camp is powered by solar generated electricity with freshwater showers, modern compost toilets and solar powered refrigeration. Guests sleep in comfortable wall-tent cabanas with beds, wooden floors, a night stand, lighting and can be outfitted for singles, doubles and families. Delicious meals featuring Creole and international cuisine are prepared and served buffet style in our open air dining area by our beloved cooks.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We will depart from Bocawina Resort early on day two where we will shuttle back to the coastal town of Dangriga. From here we will travel by boat charter and hour and a half offshore of the mainland to Glovers Reef Atoll and the Island Expeditions basecamp at SouthEast Caye. We arrive here just before lunch where the camp manager will take you on an orientation tour of the basecamp. The guides will then lead you through an introduction to snorkelling prior to delicious lunch. The afternoon program includes a sup safety and skills clinic with Norm before heading out for an exploratory paddle.

Glover’s Reef is a spectacular marine environment and one that must be explored with a mask and snorkel. Our days will consist of half or full day paddles in combination with snorkelling and free diving on some of the most incredible reef systems in the Western Hemisphere. We will have the chance to see Eagle Ray’s, Tarpons, Barracuda ( no need to worry, they are harmless to humans), Sea Turtles and the incredible array of reef fish. You will also have a chance while snorkelling to take part in the harvesting of Queen Conch, Spiny Lobster and the invasive Lion fish by the local Belizean guides or to spend a morning hand-line fishing for Barracuda or Yellow Tail Snapper. All of the fish, lobster and conch will be cooked and presented for dinner that evening, one of the best seafood experiences you may ever have. Since it seem to be generally windy and there are not a lot of protected areas out a Glover’s Reef we will be using the support boat for to take us upwind for fun downwind runs along the reef. Glover’s is really is a multi sport adventure location with a lot of activities to enjoy.

Days 5-6

Tobacco Caye Paradise: Looking over the Belize Barrier Reef, Paradise Lodge has private, “over the water” beach cabanas on beautiful Tobacco Caye. The small, locally owned lodge is a perfect staging point to explore the many islands, mangrove ranges and spectacular snorkelling.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

For the next stage of the adventure we head to the 17,000 acre Southwater Caye Marine Reserve on the Southern Barrier Reef. Based fromTobacco Caye Paradise Lodge, our playground for the next two days is a fairy-tale setting of palm trees, coral islands, mangrove forests and abundant coral reefs. The back deck on your multi coloured cabana sits over the reef crest where you can watch Eagle Rays drifting by from the comfort of your hammock. There is amazing snorkelling here as well and on our first night you will be treated to a night snorkel where new and unique creatures like Octopus come out on their evening search for food. For paddling we will head to the calm and protected waters of the numerous mangrove islands that are nearby. Here we can search for resident Manatees that make their homes here in the crystal clear waters and above the sea grass beds. Each evening,  back at our lodge, we take in the friendly laid back ‘Island Culture’ of Belize and enjoy some of the most beautiful sunsets in Central America.

Day 7

Meals: Breakfast

After another delicious breakfast our boat shuttle will return to pick us up for our ride back to Dangriga on the mainland  where our trip finishes in time to make domestic or international flight connections.

Coral Islands SUP Specfic Information

On your first evening at Bocawina Rainforest Resort Norm will be there to talk with you about the trip itinerary and packing for our adventure. I would advise travelling with a water proof type of bag like a Patagonia Black Hole or equivalent which will keep your gear dry and protected on the various shuttles on our trip. Having a 10 litre bag with you or packed will be useful as a day bag when we are out paddling or snorkelling and for keeping items like sunscreen, extra layers, water. If you require there will be two 20 litre and one 10 litre dry bags to available to pack your clothes and gear for the trip. When you arrive in Dangriga at the boat dock your gear that is packed in these waterproof bags will be loaded onto the motor boat with you.  You will leave-behind any luggage or gear you will not need on the islands and this gear will be stored safely at the Island Expeditions office in Dangriga until you return at the end of your trip.  Please ensure your name is clearly marked on your bag. Valuable items like passport, travel documents wallet, phone/camera should travel with you in a small backpack or waterproof bag.

A few tips …

  • Make sure your gear is labelled properly.
  • Consider bringing some ziplock and larger plastic bags to line your travel luggage and to separate wet from dry in the same bag.
  • Each day you should be managing two sets of clothing; one wet for the sea and one dry for the evening.
  • A sturdy pair of sport sandals or water shoes is essential.

Personal Packing List

  • 1 pair light running shoes or hikers
  • 1 pair watersport sandals or water shoes (Teva’s or Keens are a good choice)
  • 1 or 2 pair lightweight quick-dry long pants
  • Underwear
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • 2 pair quick-dry nylon shorts and/or loose skirt or sarong
  • 1 bathing suit
  • 3 t-shirts
  • 2 long sleeve shirt preferably with a collar (for protection from the sun).
  • 1 fleece or light down puffy jacket for cooler evenings.
  • 1 good quality light weight rain jacket
  • 1 wide brimmed sunhat or baseball hat
  • Polarized sunglasses with security strap.
  • 1 bandana or buff (handy for sun protection)
  • 1 headlamp and spare batteries
  • Small dry bag or backpack for camera, wallet, passport, phone, snacks, etc
  • 10 Litre dry bag for day paddling and to carry extra gear.
  • Mask, fins, snorkel *IMPORTANT*.  Please click here for more information on snorkel gear
  • Shortie wet suit or 2mm neoprene top for snorkelling. (not essential but water temperatures in Dec. and JanFeb can be cooler)
  • Rash guard for paddling or snorkelling.
  • 1 liter water bottle
  • 1 Beach Towel or Travel Towel.
  • Toiletries, personal medication and prescriptions
  • Small personal First Aid Kit: i.e. Band-Aids, aspirin/Tylenol, scissors, tweezers, safety pins
  • Sunscreen – Please click here for more information on biodegradable reef-friendly sunblock & soap.  We do highly recommend the use of environmental products if you are certain the product does work for you
  • Vaseline, Aloe Vera lotion, or skin care cream
  • Caladryl/After Bite/Benadryl Cream or lotion to ease itching from bug bites
  • Insect repellent
  • Large ziplock or plastic bag to keep wet gear separate from dry gear when travelling

Optional Packing & Paddling List

  • A good 3 piece paddle. (Good Kokatat paddles will be provided but people like to bring their own as well)
  • Good fitting PFD if you are of small stature. (Good Kokatat PFD’s are provided but sometimes people prefer to bring their own)
  • Earplugs – there can be noise from the ocean, wind, wildlife and more, particularly noticeable at night & in the morning.
  • Camera equipment – with waterproofing.
  • Binoculars if you are interested in birding.
  • 1 pair light cotton gloves/bike gloves (for protection from the sun/blisters when paddling)
  • Foot powder
  • Anti-Nausea medication if susceptible to motion sickness
  • Imodium for Diarrhea.