How do I get to Vela Belize?
Still undiscovered, often mis-located and usually misspelled... this is a fantastic country, and you DON'T want to miss it. Tucked into a forgotten corner of the Caribbean, Belize has remained apart from the growth of the rest of the region. Belize is in Central America, and it harbors the region’s last unspoiled marine and rainforest environments and offers some of the most exciting adventure travel anywhere. Belize is also inexpensive to get to and easy to travel in. English is the official language, and US dollars are accepted throughout the country. There are enough incredible places to explore to keep you coming back for years to come! This page is subdivided into the following topics:
Flying to Belize International (BZE)
There are several options for flying to Belize from the U.S or Canada. You may fly to Belize on one of five carriers: United, American, US Airways, Delta. Note: we no longer recommend Taca because of stories of their extremely-lame customer service. to get the best rates is to book as early as possible. There is enough variety between flights from the US to warrant comparison-shopping. Although it is not required, we strongly recommend you fly in a day early if you have the time. By adding an extra day to your itinerary, almost any SNAFU can be dealt with and you can still arrive on time for your trip.
When you make your reservations, try to arrange for as few connecting flights as possible. If you have several connections, small delays can add up to missing your final flight from your gateway city to Belize. If at all possible, do not accept reservations with less than two hours between connections; very tight connections increase the possibility that you will miss one of your connecting flights. If you are flying in a day early you don’t have to be as concerned about multiple and tight connections.
Please note: when you begin making concrete plans to sign up for a pacakge at Vela Belize and if you find a good deal on a flight, don’t hesitate: we have heard many sad tales about a fantastic deal missed due to procrastination. Just ake sure to contact us first to ensure space is available for the dates you are hoping for. Also, before you make the final purchase, make sure you have the days correct. We have also seen those who don’t fully read our material and book themselves flying in too late, or back to the U.S. before the trip is over.
The Mainland - Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel
Your package includes the first and last night on the mainland, with lodging at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel reserved and paid for in advance. This is a full-service hotel located on the outskirts of Belize City, three miles from downtown near the airport. You will need to flag down a taxi from the BZE airport to the hotel. The property has a business center, beautifully landscaped courtyard, swimming pool, great restaurant (dinner and breakfast included on the first and last night with your package), bar, gym, gift shop, tour desk, and internet cafe. Planning to spend a few extra days before or after your package? This is a perfect spot to kick back within the city, and numerous day-trips and tours can begin from here.
Getting to the Private Island and Vela Belize ... and back.
After the first night of your package on the mainland, a guide will walk you and the other guests to the dock where a boat is ready for the trip to the island, Long Caye. Located 35 miles offshore and 65 miles from Belize City, the trip takes about 3 hours, with 45 minutes of this ride is an open sea crossing between the Belize Barrier Reef and Glover’s Reef. This transfer is one of the most crucial aspects for the resort: they own their boat, and take extra care of all the maintenance and repair, assuring that the vessel is kept in excellent shape by an amazing and competent staff. The importance of this aspect of the operation cannot be over-emphasized. There is no additional charge for this ride, it's part of the all-inclusive package.
The boat is 41 feet in length and covered for protection in any kind of weather. It is common to experience rough seas over this stretch, with large swells and spray. Only professional captains who have spent their careers handling boats in all conditions are hired for this trip, and we are confident in the safety of our passengers. Yet some guests, while safe, may feel concerned if they are not accustomed to traveling on the open sea, and those susceptible to seasickness should take precautions. Be assured that we do monitor weather conditions and safety, and the captain may decide to cancel the boat trip if conditions are deemed dangerous. When this happens, (and it does) we provide other activities to keep everyone happy and safe.
Once the boat trip ends, your island paradise will be a welcome sight: now you can enjoy your vacation! Of course ... all too soon the end of your trip will eventually come. The boat will pick you up, head back to the mainlind, one last night at the Belize City Biltmore Hotel, and your first possible day to fly home from BZE airport the next morning.