Up Close Belize was a great resource when I was planning my trip to Belize. I had already picked out what sites I wanted to see and where to stay, but I was having a hard time putting together the details and specifics of my itinerary without having any prior experience in the country. Working with Kim to plan my itinerary and finalize everything went very smoothly, and prices overall were pretty reasonable. The highlights of the trip included many experiences planned directly by Up Close, such as the cave tubing and Altun Ha tour; the drivers and guides hired by Up Close throughout the trip were very genial, dependable, and informative. There were however a few miscommunications over the course of the trip - some guides had been told the wrong time to meet or drivers were late, one hotel had forgotten our reservation. A little more information and details about some of the sites beforehand would have been handy, especially for our first stop, Cockscomb, which had very limited food preparation facilities, and nowhere to buy food once you're in the reserve. Sometimes Kim was very easy to get in touch with, and other times it took several tries. This wouldn't have been an issue, except sometimes we needed her to confirm that we had a reservation, or locate a driver who hadn't shown up. At those times it could feel like the whole trip was falling apart, and getting ahold of Kim was the only thing that could set it back on track. These moments were generally uncommon, but shouldn't have happened at all. The most striking example of this was our border crossing experience, where the driver was late, did not have Kim's number (bearing in mind we as tourists had no international service or internet once we're on the road), he didn't know where he was going or who we were supposed to meet, and insisted on only asking other taxi drivers, who were somewhat unsavory.
Overall, Up Close Belize has a lot to offer, but there is room for improvement. Kim is great and very easy to work with, especially before the trip. As far as international travel goes, especially in Central America, this was a very smooth experience, and my complaints are only minor hiccups in an otherwise well-put-together itinerary. A little more attention to detail and direct management on Up Close Belize's part would have made a perfect trip.
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