What to Expect

Guesthouses are constructed using the traditional Maya pole-and-thatch method. They are furnished with bunk beds, mosquito nets, bedding, towels and basic furniture. Since most guesthouses do not have electricity, you will be supplied with lighting in the form of a Kerosene lamp or battery operated lantern. Layout varies slightly among guesthouses, but some have porch areas for your enjoyment. All guesthouses have outbuildings with running water for showering and private restrooms.

Please do not expect your authentic experience of Maya village life to consist of all the amenities that are commonplace in urban living. While every effort is made to provide you with a neat, clean and well maintained living space, please be aware that you will not have access to fans and may meet some Jungle critters. Don't worry, though: thatch roofs are remarkably good at keeping temperatures comfortable, and you might even be treated to an evening breeze before dozing off!

What to Bring

Hiking boots or strong footwear (especially if considering a jungle tour)

Flashlight (most guesthouses have kerosene lamps but no electricity)

Long pants and long-sleeved shirts, change of clothes

Something to swim / bathe in

Warm sweater or light jacket as the evenings can get cool

Snacks if you have a big appetite - supplies in village shops are very limited

A bottle or more of drinking water (depending on planned length of stay) - reusable bottles are best!

Mosquito repellent, sun cream

Rainwear and hat

Battery operated alarm clock

Toilet paper and soap (don't need to bring this as is provided at the guesthouse - at least in Laguna)

If you wish to take gifts for people in the villages, we suggest giving pencils, pens, exercise books or story books. These are best given to the village school principal. Personal gifts can cause jealousy and create expectations and disappointments from future visitors.

Please change large bills to small before leaving Punta Gorda as people in the village may not be able to accept large bills.

Once you get to Punta Gorda

Please bring your itinerary from the TEA outlining what villages you will visit and which activities you will participate in. TEA does not currently have a full time staff person in Punta Gorda, so the best place to head if you do have questions is the BTIA office on Front Street. During business hours, their staff will be able to supply you with TEA briefing materials and provide some basic information.

If you're taking a bus, please make sure you know when and where to catch it. Visit "TEA Villages" page to get a general idea bus schedules to the individual villages.

**Disclaimer: Bus departure times can, and frequently do, change without much notice.  Please be sure to ask at least several people in town for the most up-to-date schedule to avoid any complications.

Since buses do not stop at all villages daily, please plan your trip accordingly. Punta Gorda does not have a primary bus terminal, so your best option is to wait at a bus stop; you'll find several on Jose Maria Nunez Street (one block west of Main Street) as well as the main road out of town. The proprietor of your hotel/guesthouse should be able to give you further advice on using the bus system.

Please keep in mind that communications are sometimes difficult with the villages. If you reach your host village and no one is there to meet you, please ask around for the contact person listed for each village - everyone knows each other. Someone from the TEA will shortly be found and they will care for you from then on. Please check the bus times in the village upon arrival as they are subject to change.

How to Arrange your Trip

1) Read about the TEA Program and learn about where and how it operates

2) Send an email to at reservations(at)teabelize.org stating when you plan to visit, and include specific questions or remarks

If you do not have a strong preference about which villages you visit, please let the TEA office select one or more for you so that all the villages can be included fairly in the program. As you can see, every village has its own unique attractions to entice the visitor and we do not think you will be disappointed.