Story by Jennifer Tomshack
Photos by Mark Gardner
Visit our all-inclusive private island getaway package description!
Mountain bike the foothills of Belize, hike through lush Belize rainforest, climb a 200-foot high pyramid, and kayak the rapids of the Macal River Gorge.
And that’s just the first two days. The rest of this adventure vacation is spent snorkeling the barrier reef of a private island, windsurfing the clear blue waters of its lagoon, and sport fishing with talented local cooks waiting onshore to prepare the catch.
Sound exhausting? Aren’t vacations supposed to be relaxing respite from the mad rush of modern life? Well, 31 million Americans don’t think so. That’s how many people in five years opted to get away from the tedium of everyday existence with “hard-adventure vacations,” according to the Travel Industry Association of America, and many planned their heart-pumping thrills while sitting on their butts in front of a computer screen.
Used to be, only hard-core adrenaline freaks boasted of adventure tours for their vacation. Today’s adventurers are still predominately young single guys, but now anyone with a lot of money, a little daring, and access to the abundant adventure travel information online can plan a wild excursion to a Belize all inclusive resort.
Slickrock Adventures has been an adventure sports tour operator in Belize for 13 years. The nine-day excursion described is one of eight guided trips the company offers. For the past four years, the Utah-based company has been providing detailed itineraries for intrepid souls online.
It’s no accident that the self-starters who use the Internet to plan and learn are the type of adventurers who go on Slickrock’s trips, says Lucy Wallingford, co-owner of Slickrock. “Our customers are people who like to participate. They’re less likely to expect to be waited on and shown what to do.” About 16 percent of Slickrock’s bookings come through the Web. Quite simply, it’s more convenient to find and research adventure vacations with the Internet. Before the Web, you might see an ad in a magazine, call the number, and then have to wait for the information to come in the mail. Now you can get the information much faster.
Even finding a tour operator that offered specific types of vacations, in specific locations, was a challenge before the Internet. Neil Robin, an engineer in Seattle, knew he wanted to go to Belize so he did searches to see who operated down there. “I was able to check out the competition and find out who had a good reputation. Sometimes information can be sparse, but it’s there. I was looking for an all inclusive vacation in the Caribbean and I found it.”
For information on this trip and a three-day Mayan culture tour, contact Slickrock Adventures: (800) 390-5715.