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Trip Report Belize/Guatemala (Cayo, Lake Peten/Tikal, Ambergris Caye) for 10 Days

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We (married couple in early 30s) recently returned from an amazing 10 days traveling to – San Ignacio (Cayo District), Lake Peten Itza/Tikal in Guatemala and Ambergris Caye. We had sunshine for 10 straight days which was the icing on the cake. Wanted to post our itinerary and reviews of the places we stayed and things we need to help others plan. All prices are in US dollars.

Cayo District – 3 nights at Mystic River

Lake Peten Itza, Guatemala – 2 nights La Lancha (Coppola’s lodge) with a day trip to Tikal

Ambergris Caye – 4 nights at Victoria House

Cayo District & Mystic River
We flew direct from Atlanta to Belize City which was a breeze. Mystic River arranged transportation for us from the airport to San Ignacio. The drive took about 1.75 hours. The road from San Ignacio to Mystic River reminded me of the road to Arenal Observatory Lodge in Costa Rica – SO bumpy!

Mystic River is a secluded 6 cottage place on the Macal River that, frankly, I want to promote here on this forum because it doesn’t appear any Fodorites have stayed there. We chose it because it gets great reviews on Trip Advisor and they are about half the cost of Chaa Creek (I think we paid $195/night), and we liked the feel of it better. I communicated directly with the owner as I was booking and it made me feel good about our choice.

They have lots of land, and the owners Nadege and Tom are wonderful. Our cottage (#5 Cabbage Bark) was beautiful – the place is only 2 years old so the furnishings and everything look brand new. The food was delicious here and the service was excellent, especially from Leo the bartender.

We spent our first full day doing the ATM cave which was arranged through Mystic River. Don’t go to San Ignacio and miss out on this – it’s is one of the coolest and most interesting things we’ve ever done!!! Our guide Ben was awesome. This was way more adventurous than they describe – maybe it’s so the fun isn’t spoiled or maybe it’s just because the safety regulations are different in Central America (I really can’t believe we didn’t have to sign a waiver for this). Regardless, we are avid swimmers and hikers so we loved it. I wore a one-piece swimsuit with lightweight shorts, husband wore his swim baggies with a dri-fit t-shirt, and we both wore Keens which were perfect for this adventure. Don’t forget to bring socks.

The next day we canoed from Mystic River down to San Ignacio. This trip took 2.25 hours; HOWEVER, we were padding pretty constantly – it would take MUCH longer if you just floated. It was a great workout, but I would not recommend doing if it’s too hot. The river is pretty and there is lots of wildlife to be seen. Mystic River picked up the canoe when we arrived to town and we stuck around for some lunch at Hanna’s (yummy traditional meal) and we cabbed it back to the lodge for around $17 I think.

In the afternoon we hiked around the trails at Mystic River and went up the steep climb to the lookout where you get a really nice view of both Belize and Guatemala.

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