for an IEC Trip
for an IEC Trip
far in advance should an IEC trip be planned?
earlier the better! Planning a trip for students involves more than
just the student’s interest. Parents will have to be included
in the planning process and support from your school is important.
To help you get the process started early please visit our Getting
Started… section where you will find useful tips on coordinating
student interest with parent and school approval. Typically teachers
will start planning a trip 4-16 months in advance of the trip to
allow students time for fundraising and to ensure that the best
flights and itinerary are selected.
is the application process?
first step after reviewing our website, is to contact us here at
the Island Expeditions Office so we can discuss your trip objectives,
learning outcomes, budget, timeframe, etc. To prepare you for this
we have provided an Itinerary
Questionnaire that will help us to come up with the best itinerary
possible. Following this, please visit the registration
page to find out how to reserve your trip.
are trips paid for? and when?
initial deposit can be made with a Visa/MC, or cheque, payable to
Island Expeditions Co. A $500 per person deposit is due after the
itinerary is established and your trip is confirmed. A second payment
to cover flights is due on the flight ticketing due date and final
payment is due 75 days prior to the trip start date. Please visit
the getting started pages for
further payment and cancellation refund policy.
passports necessary to travel to Belize?
up-to-date passports are required for entry into Belize. Please
ensure that all students have begun the application process for
their passports immediately after making the trip reservation to
avoid any delays.
Visas necessary to travel to Belize?
are not necessary for Canadian and American citizens provided that
they have valid passports and an onward or roundtrip airfare from
Belize. Similarly, students from Australia, France, Germany, Ireland,
Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, the UK, and most Caribbean nations do
not need a Visa. To find out more about visa requirements please
contact one of Belize's diplomatic posts abroad:
Honorary Consul (T. 416-865-7000, F. 416-865-7048) Suite 3800, South
Tower, Royal Bank Plaza, Toronto, ON M5J 2J7; Honorary Consul (T.
514-871-4741, F. 514-397-0816), 1080 Beaver Hall Hill, suite 1720,
Montreal, QC H2Z 1S8
Embassy (T. 202-332-9636, F. 202-332-6888) 2535 Massachusetts Ave
NW, Washington, DC 20008; Consulate General (T.323-469-7343, F.
323-469-7346) 5825 Sunset Blvd, Suite 206, Hollywood, CA 90028
should students bring?
Students will only need to bring their personal clothing and toiletries
as well as a mask, snorkel, and fins (please ask us about finding
the right snorkeling gear). Once your trip is booked we will provide
each participant with a comprehensive Pre-trip Information Package,
which includes a detailed packing list specific to your trip itinerary.
the students need extra spending money?
food and accommodation is included throughout the trip, though students
may like to purchase souvenirs and it is always wise to have some
extra cash on hand. $100.00 - $200.00 USD should be sufficient.
As well, there is a Belize departure tax of $20.00 USD ($40.00 BZE)
that each person is required to pay upon leaving the Belize International
Airport and students often make a $7.00 USD contribution to the
about travel Insurance?
Insurance is mandatory when participating in one of our trips. IEC
recommends the following companies, which should be contacted within
72 hours after booking with us:
1-800-465-4279 West of Manitoba
1-800-663-4494 East of Manitoba
makes flight arrangements?
numerous websites offering wholesale flights and three major air
carriers with regular scheduled service to Phillip Goldson International
Airport in Belize City (airport code BZE), getting to this Caribbean
jewel has never been easier. Most commonly, IEC will facilitate
flight booking as part of the school trip package. If flights are
arranged separately please co-ordinate this with our office to ensure
the best schedule and cost is obtained.
airlines do you recommend?
are several major airlines flying into Belize regularly including
American Airlines (via Dallas & Miami), Continental (via Houston),
US Airways (via Charlotte), and TACA (via San Salvador).
is the Staff to Student ratio?
our groups at a manageable size and providing top quality instruction,
guiding, and support are the cornerstones of our educational trips.
All of our student trips are led by professional, licensed trip
leaders. With a minimum 1 leader to 8 students ratio we can ensure
that our staff are accessible to students and their facilitators
throughout the trip.
credentials do Guides have?
our North American guides are trained in emergency first aid and
combine this with skills and interests ranging from marine and tropical
biology, education, and of course kayaking, diving, and snorkeling.
As well, some are certified in North America as professional rafting/kayaking
guides, and are PADI/NAUI dive masters. All our Belizean Tour Guides
are accredited and licensed with the Belize Tourism Board (BTB).
they have emergency medical training?
our guides have emergency medical training and hold certifications
such as Advanced Wilderness First Aid and Swift Water Rescue Technician.
Along with their extensive experience in Wilderness settings they
are well prepared to provide emergency first aid and ensure that
further medical care is accessible if necessary.
you use local Belizean guides?
Belizean Guides are leading our trips and assist in all aspects
of our Belize operation. Their traditional and local knowledge is
indispensable and is integral to the quality of all our trips. You
will experience first hand the Garifuna,
Creole and Maya
cultures and benefit from their extensive knowledge of the flora
and fauna in the terrestrial and marine environments. Try their
local cuisine and learn about the history of Belize. On the cayes
expert Creole and Garifuna guides will take you diving for conch
and lobster and in the rainforest a Mayan guide will share with
you the fascinating mythology and folklore of their anscestors.
IEC Educational Trips
long has IEC been operating trips in Belize?
Expeditions has been operating trips in Belize since 1987.
will students benefit from an IEC trip in Belize?Not
only will students learn about the country, it's people, cultures,
and flora & fauna, but they will gain insights into their own
lives and personalities, practice their communication skills and
quite possibly foster new ideas about what they would like to do
in the future. Visiting new countries can be challenging but combining
this with fun, adventure, and learning ensures that the students
will have fond memories of their time in Belize for years to come.
sort of experience is necessary to go on an IEC trip?
previous experience is necessary to participate in one of our trips.
Our guides are experienced at gauging the abilities of each individual
within the group and providing relevant instruction for activities
such as kayaking, hiking and snorkeling.
there a cultural aspect to IEC trips?
all of our trips we incorporate various aspects of the local cultures
we are visiting. Out on the cayes for example, we will benefit from
the expert skills of the Creole
fisherman and enjoy Garifuna
food and drumming. In the jungle, a Mayan
guide will lead us through the wilderness teaching us about the
plants and animals along the way or show us artifacts from the long
history of the Maya culture. We believe that this is an integral
part of traveling to any foreign country and the students will be
enriched from this new cultural awareness long after they have returned
will students sleep?
vary with each trip, ranging from a combination of hotels, jungle
lodges and research facilities to expedition camps and our AdventureLearn
Basecamps. Lodges and research facilities are equipped with showers,
flush toilets, meeting room and dining area. As well, many of our
trips involve camping in wilderness settings. These camps are designed
to be carried with us in our sea kayaks or two-person river kayaks
and are fully equipped with field kitchens, freestanding tents,
hammocks and camp chairs.
will they eat?
meals a day plus snacks will be provided throughout the trip. Buffet
style meals full of fresh fruit, vegetables, and local seafood and
fish will keep you satisfied while new flavors will be introduced
from the local cultures.
the water safe to drink in Belize?
water in Belize is safe to drink, however we recommend bottled or
purified water. On all our trips we will provide purified water
you accommodate vegetarians or special dietary restrictions?
problem. Be sure to indicate any dietary restrictions on your medical
form and we will do our best to accommodate vegetarians and special
if a student gets sick while out on the cayes or in the jungle?
guides are trained in Advanced Wilderness First Aid and will evaluate
each situation accordingly. If further medical assistance is required
other than what can be provided on site we will arrange for the
necessary evacuation to the nearest appropriate medical center.
students able to contact home while on trip?
there is an emergency or a pre-arranged situation we do not encourage
students to contact home while on our trips.
smoking permitted on IEC trips?
is not recommended.
students have free time on the trip?
we have a pre-arranged itinerary there will be ample time for students
to explore their surroundings, read a book, write in a journal,
or partake in any activities available during free time. We like
to be flexible and gauge our activity level on the interests and
abilities of the students.
you offer SCUBA diving on your trips?
diving is available to certified divers for an additional cost.
Depending on the trip itinerary, a pre-arranged certification course
may be incorporated into your trip.