10 days in Belize in May - Good Idea?

Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 09:50 AM
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10 days in Belize in May - Good Idea?

Me and some other guys (all mid 20s) are looking into a fun trip to Central America and I'm now thinking of Belize in early/mid May.

From what I've read, May is the very start of the rainy season, but it is still hot. Will this still be o.k. for visiting some beaches?

There is a pretty cheap fare from my city to Belize City right now, close to $350. I was thinking of just booking a 10 day trip in and out of Belize City, and then planning the details afterwards.

We are adventurous guys, so we'd be looking to do maybe half and half on the beaches and jungles/ruins. Water activities as well as hiking/jungle activities are very appealing.

Is this a good idea with a shotgun approach? Will I be o.k. to just plan things out (i.e. hotels, itineraries, tours) rather than looking for some sort of packaged deal? I've done this all over Europe and I'm comfortable with winging it...

Also could we possibly rent a car and drive across the border to Guatemala and see Tikal for a day or 2 from Belize City? Also, how do you get to the Cayes from the main city once you fly in (could we drive that too?).

I have seen the many posts on Belize in here, and I'm getting excited about it. I just want to make sure I'm not thinking foolishly with this plan.

Thanks!
robkoval is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 10:43 AM
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You are not thinking foolishly.

The airfare looks great to me. I would say book it.

Yes, you can rent a car in Belize.

No, you cannot take it across the border.

2 ways to reach the cayes (Ambergris and Caulker) - boat or plane. There is a ferry system that is relatively inexpensive. Or domestic flights leaving very often, from both the Municipal and International airport. Also, in expensive, cost more than the boat, but faster.

Not too many packaged deals in Belize, (of course when I think package, I think the Cancun type with air, lodging and food).

We planned our trip, using a guidebook, this forum, www.belizeforum.com and www.ambergriscaye.com

Our first trip to Belize was in Feb 07. Beginning to plan a month in Guatemala and Belize for Feb 09. We are lovers of Costa Rica, but also much enjoyed our time in Belize. Belize is very different than CR.

Hope that helps, Hope I can find some decent airfare!!
dfarmer is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 12:31 PM
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You can approah the trip as planned. The only consideration different than Eupope is the number and size of the mosquiotos. I recommend a pint of 100% DEET /person and apply it in AM after a shower and at dusk. Benadryl lotion will be useful for the few dozen that do bite you. It comes with the territory for most visitors to Belize and the other countries in Central America but I must admit Costa Rica was not as big an issue.
A copy of the guide book "Lonely Planet for $20 is money well spent. You can wing the trip but a quick read of some of it will have you avoind going to places that are low on the "interest meter". Enjoy.The police really do not trat "substances" with "kid gloves". Crinme is low except in Belize City. The only reason to go there is to land and my advice is be on your adventure away from the city before dusk.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 02:49 PM
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I'm not a big fan of DEET. However, sometimes in Belize some sort of repellant is necessary.

I've not been to Ambergris in May, but in June, some years the mosquitos have been awful, and other times, they weren't a problem, other than briefly at dusk.

All I'm trying to say is make sure the mosquitos are really there before you douse yourself in nasty, smelly DEET.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2008, 03:23 PM
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Your plan sounds like a blast to me, though you'll wish for more time. I don't bother to rent a car in CA preferring public transit but others might feel differently. Check out our photos and travelogue if you're interested; we loved everything we did and everywhere we stayed during 3-4 there in 2003. Happy trails!

http://flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections
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Old Apr 4th, 2008, 07:30 AM
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Rainy season starts in June, you might get sprinkles mid May for a few days, which we call iguana rains. Definately split your trip between the beach and the more active Cayo district in Western Belize, close to all sorts of adventure trips, jungle and close to the Guatemalan border. Only one rental agency allows you to cross the border, but the car will not be insured. Leave the vehile at the border and cath a ride to Tikal from there. You can customize your own tour and itinerary or just wing it if you are not picky about where you stay.
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Old Apr 7th, 2008, 01:46 PM
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Wow, great airfare! It'll rain a little bit in May. Belize is like Hawaii; it'll rain a little each day, usually while the sun is shining... How great for you that you'll be vacationing during the 'off' season - Lower prices for you!
You'll probably save lots of money by not pre-planning. Packaged tours here cost a lot. Renting a car is very easy. I'd recommend just renting it for a couple of days in San Ignacio since that's where most of the tours and the best sights to see are located, not to mention the Mopan river, which you'll want to tube on! You can save 100's of dollars by renting your own car and seeing the sights yourself. I hear that Tikal just tripled their price of entry, so if you rent a car and do Caracol(which has a much more massive temple), you can save over $100 a person(after border crossing fees and entry fees).
The best way to get to the Caye Caulker(I'd stay away from Ambergris Caye unless you must have totally scuzzy all night clubs and riff raff - just go to Cancun instead) is to take the Triple J water taxi. It's short and cheap. Although if you plan your vacation right, you could end it with Caulker, and then fly directly to the airport, saving money due to the high price of cabs. Ambergris also seems to be where the most mosquitoes are located, unlike inland...
In San Ignacio, you'll have tons of great food and many kick ass places to see. I highly recommend Rio On Pools, Caracol, and Barton Creek Cave(and the Barton Creek Outpost offers free camping if you're into that). I highly recommend not seeing the 1,000 foot falls(they were a letdown). Once again, if you like nightlife, and don't mind noise, you can stay downtown. Otherwise, stay just outside of the city(where it's actually cheaper, and usually located on the rivers)
Here's the Best of Cayo website: www.shc.edu.bz/marcus/couchsurfing/cayobest.html
And some neat hotels around the world site:
www.unusualhotelsoftheworld.com/

Enjoy your trip to the fullest!

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