30% is payable on confirmation of booking, the remainder payable 30 days before arrival. Your deposit will be fully refunded if cancellation occurs more than 30 days before arrival. Within 30 days, however, money is not refunded: instead, your holiday is held open for you to take at any time during a subsequent 3 year period without incurring any additional costs.
Hello and welcome from Jason Liao and his team....your local connection in Belize!
We are fortunate to live among some of the friendliest people in the world, in a place that seems to be as close to the Garden of Eden as one will ever get.
We are passionate about the preservation and further enhancement of the eco-systems that make Belize the natural jewel that it is. Through precept and example, we hope to share our thoughts and practices on living in a more eco-sustainable manner, wherever we happen to live.
Who we are:
Jason Liao is originally from Taiwan and relocated to Belize in 1989. He has a passion for nature and philosophy and believes there are simple ways in which one can achieve mutually beneficial relationships between body and mind, between people everywhere, and between the human race and its planet.
In the last few years, The Orchid Garden Eco-Village has developed as a vacation resort, becoming the number one Inn location in and around Belize, according to TripAdvisor.
Sustainable Tourism in Belize:
The Orchid Garden Eco-Village Project (OGEVP) hopes to develop strategies to help cultures around the world interact more harmoniously with each other and with their environments, on both a spiritual and a physical level. The health of certain symbiotic relationships is fundamental to the quality of the life we lead and the harmony we create with the world around us. The three most important symbiotic relationships are: (1) between body and spirit, (2) between individuals and (3) between humanity and the planet which sustains it.
We are proud of the multicultural population of Belize and the attitude Belizeans have towards the preservation of their natural treasures, while being ambitious about the betterment of their standard of living. We hope to use tourism as a tool to expand the minds of people that experience our way of life and also generate income to preserve and enhance the natural wonders of Belize.
The Orchid Garden Eco-Village Belize Hotels are rated the number 1 B&B in and around Belize City
on TripAdvisor’s Popularity Index, and is centrally located in Belize
for many of the most popular holiday attractions.
Your Sea Front Hotel on San Pedro (Ambergris Caye) can be viewed at
http://bananabeach.com/ or http://SunBreezeSuites.com
Your hotel in Tikal is also rated number 1 by Trip Advisor, and is
located at the village of El Remate, near Flores City, A friendly, family-run hotel near Tikal, just 15 min. from the entrance, on Lake Petén Itzá. Offers a clean and comfortable place to stay, restaurant, tours, information, laundry service
La Casa De Don David, http://www.lacasadedondavid.com
WHERE ARE WE?
We are at 14 Miles Western Highway, which means we are 14 miles west of
Belize City, inland along the highway that goes west all the way to the border with
Guatemala. We are in a country location (The Orchid Garden owns 42 acres, and
the hotel itself is in 5 acres of grounds) so there are no shops in the immediate
vicinity. The nearest one is the Everyday Supermarket about a mile away in the
small town/village of Hattie ville (named after Hurricane Hattie in 1961 brought
about a movement out of Belize City to this safer distance inland (from hurricanes).
We take you there to buy your booze! We are ideally located for many of the most
popular traveler attractions in Belize, thereby minimizing your traveling time; but
you need to be aware that we ARE isolated, and there is nowhere to walk and shop
in our immediate vicinity.
If you have booked an all-inclusive package we will be taking you to interesting
places every day, and our isolated location means safety, security, a birding /
iguana/ orchid and bromeliad festooned paradise.
ARRIVING IN TIME FOR LUNCH ON DAY 1
Most people arrive in the afternoon well after lunchtime, so we do not add the
price of a lunch most people won't need to our packages. If, however, you DO
need lunch on day 1, we will provide it for an additional $US 10 per person.
THE WASHING OF TOWELS AND BEDSHEETS
We strive to be an Eco-lodge, and to conduct our business in as Eco-friendly way as
possible, and we know we have the support of the vast majority of our guests in
that endeavor (otherwise you wouldn't be booking with us). We ask that you
follow the increasingly normal procedure of leaving on the floor any towel or sheet
you want replaced. If the towels are hung up and the sheets still on the beds we
will assume you are happy to go on using them, thereby cutting down on our use of
energy and water.
PLEASE never put toilet paper into the toilet bowl. Instead, just fold it over and
wrap it in a length of clean toilet paper which it is still on the roll; then, when you
have a neat, clean, little roll-up, just tear off and deposit in the waste-bin provided.
That will be emptied every day by our cleaner.
(As is common in developing countries, we have a self-installed, anaerobic
bacteria system which uses small-diameter pipes designed to take away organic
waste only. Toilet paper rapidly clogs everything up, and clearing it is a messy and
unpleasant business for all concerned!!)
Sockets are the same as in the US and Canada, and the power is 110 volt: so
appliances from those countries will work here. If you're coming from the UK you
can bring a universal adapter to plug appliances in, but if they cannot be switched
from 240 to 110 then they won't work properly.
BOOKING YOUR TOURS
We advise you to book all your tours in advance with us. That happens
automatically when you book one of our all-inclusive packages. If you book in
advance we can achieve economies of scale wherever possible by forward planning,
and pass the savings on to you, keeping our prices low.
However, IF you don't book a tour in advance and then decide you want to do it
while you're here, expect to find that the charter price of that tour is between twice
and three times as much if we have to make last minute arrangements to find a
vehicle and a driver/guide just for you. The charter price of tours is $US 30 pp per
hour + the park/activity fee (zip-lining, cave-tubing, Lamanai, ATM etc.), which
makes the tour prohibitively expensive: so understandably hardly anybody ever
charters a tour, and that is fine by us.
You CAN get the local bus to a limited number of places, and you CAN try and
book with other tour operators, but by far the cheapest option IF you want one of
our tours is to book it in advance. Then we guarantee the low price, even if we end
up losing money because it finally turns out that only you are taking that tour on
Please be aware that border crossing fees are not part of any of our packages, so if
you have our Tikal Excursion on your itinerary, you will need to pay the official
fee for leaving Belize ($US 19.50 pp) and the unofficial fee for leaving Guatemala
(around $US 4 pp)
No immunizations are necessary for visiting us: there is no malaria or dengue fever
in our area of Belize; only if you plan to trek and to camp out in the rain forests in
the west or south of Belize close to the borders with Guatemala or Honduras would
you need to take precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes that may be
carrying those diseases.
US dollars are welcome everywhere in Belize. Every bank has an ATM machine
and your VISA / debit cards should work in them.
If you have booked an all-inclusive package with us, you won |t need al ot of cash
while you are in Belize. You may wish to buy a little alcohol (excellent local rum
and beer, and perhaps a bottle or two of wine or souvenirs / postcards
if you are spending a night or two on one of the Cayes you will need to buy your
meals there. You will probably want to tip the excellent tour guides you will meet
on your full day excursions, and you will also need around $US 39.50 per person
exit tax at the airport before going through security in order to fly home.
At the end of your stay with us, you may wish to reward the excellent service you
will have received from OUR staff. This is entirely at your discretion; but it is not
unusual for a couple who have been with us for a week to leave around $US 50 for
distribution amongst the cooking / serving / cleaning staff (5 permanent staff + 1 or
2 additional people in high season) and by tipping their driver/guide around $US
20. [We are mentioning it at this stage because we are almost always asked for
advice on what would be an appropriate level of gratuity as guests approach the
end of their stay].
We have never EVER had anything go missing from any of our rooms. However,
if you have amounts of cash (or any valuables) that you would rather not leave in
your room, you can hand anything you want locking away either to Robin or to
Amy (our hospitality host and hostess, whom you will see frequently during your
stay, and who are always around at breakfast and dinner times making sure that
everyone is OK)
JEWELRY / CAMERAS / BINOCULARS / LAPTOPS AND OTHER
EXPENSIVE / DESIRABLE ITEMS
Belize is a safe and friendly place. However, it is probably sensible not to wear
conspicuously expensive watches and jewelry while out on tour (you certainly
wouldn't want to be wearing such things while zip-lining, cave-tubing and the like);
but if you want to bring favorite items to wear to dinner at night, we can look
after them for you during the day. Wedding and engagement rings are fine
wherever everybody wears them.
Belizeans are generally courteous, respectful and law-abiding, and the vast
majority understands how important it is for travellers to feel safe in their country.
No one visiting us (as far as we are aware) has ever felt threatened, or has ever had
anything snatched from them. Cameras of any description are essential items and
all travelers are likely to have at least one. Birders don |t go any where with out
their usually excellent binoculars, and have never had a problem. Many travelers
bring their own laptops and make frequent use of the free high-speed internet
facilities here,leaving their laptops in their rooms while they are out on trip
There really isn't any thing to worry about as far as the safety of your belongingsis
The International Airport in Belize is small! There is only one exit, through which
everyone emerges, and you will have no difficulty at all making contact with the
person who is there to meet you. He will have a board with both your first AND
last name written on it, and will make sure you are indeed the person he is there to
pick up! (There was one occasion when an arrival with the same first name as our
guest emerged first and unintentionally hijacked our transport!)
Our meals are excellent, as many guests have testified. Vegetarians and vegans are
always well catered for. Omnivores will additionally be served chicken, tilapia,
lobster, and perhaps conch on different evenings. If you have any particular likes
or dislikes, or any food allergies, do let us know beforehand so that we can be
Bring some shoes
that stay securely on your feet and that you
don |t mind getting wet(for cave-tubing and ATM you will have your feet in water
a fair amount). Crocks are good, but you will also need shoes that tie on and can |t
slip off. Maybe sandals as well, to let your feet breathe on other occasions!
You may experience the odd heavy shower (though so far the rain is following the
normal Belizean pattern of occurring mostly during the night): so you might like to
pack lightweight kagoules (i.e. plastic, tent-like coverings that fasten round the
neck) and waterproof hats. You won't need any other kind of coat or jacket -it's
too warm for them, day AND night.
For ATM we recommend that you wear TWO pairs of socks: to cushion your feet
against the rock when you have to take your shoes off inside the ATM cave,
A FLASHLIGHT is handy for the dark patches of path on your way back to your
room from supper (thoughwe |rehappytolendyouaflashlightifthe weight of
your luggage is an issue).
Wedoawholebasketoflaundryfor$US10here,soyoudon |t havetopack8sets
of everything; but you will need dry clothes to change into after cave-tubing and
ATM: so probably around 5/6 sets of underwear/tee-shirts is plenty, + a couple of
pairs of shorts and maybe one pair of longer trousers for additional protection
Bug-spray is a must: the bugsaren |tthat bad, but you wanttoavoidthe miseryof
accumulating mosquito bites. Anything with at least 25% deet in it will be fine,
andbepreparedtoreapplyevery2/3hoursifyou |reoutinthejungle, orifit gets
washedoffwhenyou |refordinga stream.
SUNSCREEN + SUNGLASSES
on the water snorkeling it is SO easy to burn. Sunglasses, to guard against the
Please feel free to let us know what your alcohol needs are and we will be very
pleased to help you meet them. We can take you to the local supermarket to
purchase beer or rum, or we can get it for you at cost. If you like red or white wine
with your meals just let us know your preferences and we will locate bottles for
you at cost.
(Local brews are normally very good and quite reasonably priced
Belikin beer is around $BZ 3 a bottle and
§OneBarre .¨ rum(whichis excellent)isaround $BZ2
a liter. Imported alcohol isexpensivebecauseofhighdutiesandtaxes:soyou |re
better quaffing the local stuff; however, a tolerable bottle of Chilean, Argentinean
or Californian wine can be had for around $BZ 34. Just ask if you need more details
Ice should be available in the freezer compartment of the refrigerator in your room
or the recreation room. If by any chance someone has forgotten to replenish the
supply andthereisn |tany,contactthekitchen,or ifit |soutofkitchenhoursring
624 6337 and let Amy know, OR pop round and knock on our door (we | ve
always got ice!)
In the Recreation Room there is a laptop with a high speed Hughes Net internet
connection available for guests | co mpli ment ar y use 24 hours. If you have your
own laptop you should be able to make a wireless connection with this unsecured
network (there are no passwords) in the Rec. Room.
If your computer cannot detect the wireless network for any reason and you want
to use your own laptop and nobody else is using the OG laptop just transfer the
blue internet connection wire from the back of the OG laptop to one of your USB
ports for a high speed wired connection.
These are useful little creatures who busy themselves clearing up all sorts of litter
and several other species of bug that might otherwise annoy you (like termites and
roaches). However, they do occasionally cross the paths you are using in their
millions, and if you are in open-toed sandals with your eyes on the natural beauty
around you and you happen to be standing where they are, you will certainly feel
them. They can inflict 50+ annoying, stingy bites in the time it takes you to realize
they are all over your feet, leap a safe distance away, get your sandals off and
brush them off.
So we respectfully advise that you keep one eye on your path and try to make sure
you avoid any columns of ants that happen to be crossing it.
Santiago and Happy
The Orchid Garden is a very safe haven with little need for security. However, as
a precaution, our part-time gardener Santiago (who lives on-site) doubles as a
security guard at night; so if, during the evening or late into the night, you glimpse
a middle aged man, slight of stature, walking about the site with a machete and an
old black dog called Happy, do not be alarmed: they are on patrol!
is a misnomer. She was a stray taken in by Christine many years ago and
she obviously had a traumatized puppy-hood: so do not attempt to stroke her if you
meet her;and if she barks at you (because she doesn't |t know you and that is her job)
just say § Hell o Happy .¨ and pass her by. She won't bite or bother you
If there are any last minute changes, or anything else you feel we need to know,