10 days - where to start?

Old Nov 28th, 2010, 10:25 AM
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10 days - where to start?

I need a bit of help with an itinerary. My husband and I will be in Belize for 10 days. We know we want sun and beach to relax and snorkel. The other thing we know we want to do is to see Tikal in Guatemala. Can anyone recommend an itinerary that will help me get started. I should say that although we are looking forward to R & R we definitely need options to be active, whether that is hiking, cultural and historical interests, etc.
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Old Nov 28th, 2010, 11:52 AM
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This was our 10 day itinerary: 4 days at Chaa Creek Resort(we did not go to Tikal but wish we had) 6 days Banyan Bay Beach Katie Valk from this forum helped us and would not hesitate to use her again. Enjoy!
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Old Nov 28th, 2010, 12:01 PM
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I would agree, start your trip on the mainland, somewhere in or around San Ignacio. I haven't spent much time on the mainland, but know there are lots of options for jungle lodges, or hotels/resorts close to town. From there, you can either do a day trip to Tikal or arrange an overnight.

How many days you choose to spend there is personal choice. Lots to see and do.

From there, head to one of the beach destinations. Ambergris Caye is the busiest and most developed, but still pretty laid back. Lots of lodging options, in all price ranges. Good restaurants, fun bars, pretty white sand beach.

Close to there (20 minutes or so by boat) is Caye Caulker. Smaller, generally cheaper. More of a 'backpacker' vibe. The beaches aren't nearly as nice.

South of Belize City is Hopkins. Sounds interesting, I've never been.

Further south is the Placencia peninsula. The peninsula is somewhere around 18 miles long (some day I'll actually remember how long it is). The village of Placencia is at the southern tip. I enjoy the village. Good restaurants, lots of choices to stay, although most are midrange and below. Really pretty beaches. But, it's 19 miles to the reef, which can make for fairly long boat rides to go snorkeling. Ambergris is less than a mile from the reef.

I'd get a guide book and do some reading.....
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Old Nov 28th, 2010, 01:27 PM
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My husband and I had 12 days I believe, but 10 would have been just as good. We started inland, at Chaa Creek and loved it. We did their Inland Package and for us it worked out to be a good deal, since it included meals, 2 full day tours, a half day tour and transportation to and from the airport. I believe it also included taxes. With all we wanted to do, and knowing we likely would eat all meals at Chaa Creek - it was very cost effective. Loved it! We did a day trip to Tikal, which was perfect. sure we could have stayed overnight - but didn't feel rushed at all. Our guide was great and I loved our experience there. It was a magical place. We also did the ATM caves and that was incredible.

After our time at Chaa Creek we went to Ambergris Caye. Chaa Creek provided the transportation to the airport and we flew over on Tropic Air. We stayed at Portofino. We got a package there that included breakfast and a couple of tours. Portofino is not in the town, but you have to take one of the water taxis back and forth. I personally loved being remote and never had a problem catching either one of Portofino's own water taxis or using the public one. But some people may want to be closer to town. We loved Portofino and Ambergris in general. We snorkeled at Shark Ray Alley, Mexico Rocka and I did a learn to scuba dive which was amazing.

There were great restaurants in Ambergris.

I hope to go back, if not this summer, than one soon - and bring our kids.

I'd try to do a 5 day split - half mainland and half on the caye. With us doing the packages, the hotels arranged all the transportation which was great.
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Old Nov 28th, 2010, 03:52 PM
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I agree about a split - head to the San Ignacio area for 3 or 4 nights to allow time for area ruins and hiking and a visit to the ATM cave http://www.pacztours.com/actun-tunichil-muknal.html then head to Tikal overnight (possible as a day trip but SO much nicer to explore in the cooler evening and early morning hours when wildlife is active and you practically have the place to yourselves), then head to an island. If you like to move around a lot you could throw in an additional stop (Hopkins Village springs to mind) but imo that would be too many transitions for the time you have. I'd choose Caulker over Ambergris. Check out the blog from our 2009 visit linked on the main page of that collection below; there are Tikal photos and details in the 2003, 2007, and Guatemala 2009 collections. Keep us posted!
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Old Nov 28th, 2010, 04:22 PM
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We did the usual split of jungle time and beach time. Chaa Creek first and then Ambergris - really loved both of them. We did Tikal as a day trip, and it worked great for us. Had the bonus of seeing some good wildlife there too. Do not miss Hol Chan for amazing snorkeling.
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