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Belize in 9-10 days? Itinerary suggestions

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Hello, my husband and I are planning a 9-10 day getaway to Belize next June. Our priorities are to (1) snorkel and scuba and relax some at the beach, (2) visit the Tikal Ruins in nearby Guatemala and perhaps (3) explore the interior of Pine Mountain or go to Lamanai via a boat trip down the New River. We want to have a relaxing trip, but are willing to get up early to see Tikal or catch a scuba boat. We are thinking 3 days on a Cay, 3 days in Tikal area and 3 in the interior somewhere.

This is our first trip to Belize. We are attracted by its beauty and wealth of outdoor activities. While we are not party animals, we do want to be able to go out to dinner and have a few cocktails. After reading a lot on this site and in various guide books, we are still not sure which Cay we should go to -- Caye Caulker or Ambergris -- the first seems nice and laid back but is not as close to the Blue Hole and Shark Alley, while the latter seems to be right in the middle of the action -- maybe too much so. We like staying at smaller run accommodations/b& b type places or family run lodges that are on the scenic but quiet side versus the fancy resorts. We enjoy mingling with the locals.

I know this does not give you much to go on, but my experience with this web site is folks that have already been where we are planning to go have provided the best advice -- from whole itineraries to specific lodging etc.

Thanks everyone in advance:).

Jennifer

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