What makes Ridge to Reef Expeditions so special is its ties to people and place. Our program was designed to support the cutting edge conservation and development work of the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE), a leading Belizean non-profit organization. TIDE has management responsibility for three protected areas and a community-centered approach to conservation. This means all our volunteer activities make a real contribution to the management of these spectacular areas and benefit the people who live closest to them.
Very few organizations are managing whole land and seascapes in an integrated way. Through our expeditions, volunteers gain an understanding of holistic ridge-to-reef management and experience firsthand the interconnectedness of the forests, rivers and reefs of the Maya Mountain Marine Corridor.
R2R volunteers work alongside local experts in the field – Belizean scientists, educators and park rangers who care passionately about the places you’ll discover.
Because we’re a relatively small operation, we connect with each and every one of our volunteers. We’re grateful for the support of people who share our passion for the future of our planet, and we make all our volunteers feel at home.
Another thing that sets Ridge to Reef Expeditions apart is the mixture of serious conservation work and pure adventure. On weekdays, we do conservation research and action in remote wild locations. At the weekends, it’s time to relax and you’ll find yourself wandering around Maya temples, learning to make chocolate (and eating it!), jumping off waterfalls, or zip lining through the jungle tree tops. Toledo, Belize’s “forgotten district”, has very few tourists, so we usually have these places to ourselves! TIDE Tours has 15+ years of experience and knows all the best spots and guides.
R2R is excellent value for money because we do not have to support an office or staff outside of Belize. We have low overheads because our administration and infrastructure is shared with TIDE, and we spend little on marketing. For these reasons, our price is one of the most competitive on the market. When you consider everything you get – SCUBA training, scientific training, conservation activities, weekend excursions, comfortable lodgings, meals cooked by local chefs, airport pick-up and drop-off, and support while you prepare for expedition – we don’t think you can get any better value.
As if that wasn’t enough, all proceeds support TIDE’s conservation and community development programs – the same programs that you will get to know intimately on expedition!
2000 – Ecotourism Showcase Award from Non-Profits in Travel (now called Educational Travel Community)
2000 – Cliff Messenger Award from TNC
2002 – UNDP Equator Prize
2008 – Experiences in Social Innovation Award from ECLAC and the Kellogg Foundation
2010 – Green Apple Award
2012 – International Olympic Committee’s Award for Integrating Sport and Sustainable Development