14 Days in Belize - Any suggestions?

Old Apr 29th, 2007, 09:04 AM
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14 Days in Belize - Any suggestions?

My wife and I and our 10 and 12 year old boys are planning to spend 2 weeks in Belize starting around mid-June. We plan to stay first in the Jungle, most likely at Duplooys, for the first 6 days or so. We also are thinking about spending 4 - 5 days at Ambergris.

Fron Duplooys, we hope to do some of the following tours:

Tikal
Xunantunich
Caracol
Cahal Pech
Mopan River Kayaking
ATM
Jaguar Paw Cave Tubing


We would love suggestions for the following:

1. Whether there are other places you would recommend instead of Duplooys?

2. Which of these tours (or any other tours) you would recommend?

3. Where would you go for another 3 - 4 days?

4. Should we rent a car and drive to Duplooys? Which of these tours would you do on your own and which would you want to be guided? Should we just rent a car as we need it in San Ignacio?

5. Any other suggestions/recommendations?

Thanks in advance for any guidance you can give us!

Steve
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Old Apr 29th, 2007, 11:25 AM
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You lucky ducks! We spent about a month in Belize with our kids (17, 18, and 20 at the time) and loved everything we did and everywhere we stayed. Here's a link to our travelogue and to collections of our photos from that and other trips:

http://www.belizeforum.com/cgi-bin/u...;f=10;t=000362

http://www.flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections/

Here are bits and pieces of opinions for you:

Do Tikal as an overnighter; easy to set up on your own (and cheaper) but you could hire a tour company to set it up if you want. I recommend against driving there on your own and most rental companies won't allow it anyway.

Don't spread yourselves too thin - too much time in the car gets really wearing, especially for kids. For example, Caracol could be 6 or more hours in the car in one day (we chose not to do that one).

We preferred the buses (great cultural experiences!) and an occasional taxi to renting a car and I'd do it again that way. If you can't stand the thought of old school buses, shuttles are available from the airport to your lodging.

No cars or tours needed for Xunantunich and Cahal Pech - easily done on your own using buses and/or taxis. I'd start at Xunantunich first thing in the morning and you could do Cahal Pech before noon.

We floated on inner tubes down the Mopan while staying at The Trek Stop ( www.thetrekstop.com ) and canoed down the Macal to San Ignacio while staying at Macal River Jungle Camp ( www.belizecamp.com ) - both great experiences and awesome places to stay. Macal RJC is right next to DuPlooy's on the Macal River.

If you're a family of adventurers you might want to consider Caves Branch ( www.cavesbranch.com ) for 3 or 4 nights; they started the cave tubing thing and have other incredible adventures as well.

Don't miss the zoo!

Can't help you with the Ambergris thing - we chose an atoll for our blue water time but had more time that you do. If you want to live like Robinson Crusoe for a week (Sunday to Saturday), consider Glover's Atoll "Resort" ( www.glovers.com.bz/ ), keeping in mind that there's no running water or electricity - very rustic and unresortlike.

Hope that's helpful instead of more confusing! Let me know if I can answer specific questions about what we did. Happy trails!

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Old Apr 30th, 2007, 06:10 AM
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Have you done any reading yet about Ambergris? First decision about where to stay is probably north of south of the cut. It isn't as big a deal as it used to be now that there is a bridge, but there are still no cars on the north part of the island. So, if you stay very far north you'll either have to eat at the restaurants up there (most are pretty pricy), cook for yourselves, or rent a golf cart, or take water taxis. If you get more than about 3-4 miles north, golf carts become pretty impractical. Especially since it could be really muddy, and the 'road' up there is dirt.....

Lots of options south of the cut, some in town, some well south of town. But, there the roads are somewhat better and regular taxis are an option as well as golf carts.

I don't know if you're planning on doing any tours while on Ambergris, but the day trip to Lamanai from there is a great trip. Long day, but great fun.
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Old Apr 30th, 2007, 05:52 PM
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1) Other places:

Never stayed at Duplooys, but had a great time at Cahal Pech Village Resort - next door to Cahal Pech and a short walk to the center of San Ignacio. They can set up lots of the tours to ATM, Rio Frio, Barton Creek Caves, Macal River Canoeing, Tikal, etc... They have a decent restaurant, bar, pool and accomodations.

Xunantunich and Cahal Pech can be done in the same day and I'm thinking with a 10 & 12 year old, would be enough Mayan Ruins for a life time. Tikal and Caracol are supposed to be more spectacular, but if you're 10 or 12, how interesting could archeaology be, especially if you have to spend hours in a car on a bumpy road to get there - I think ATM and Barton Creek and maybe a Zip line would be more up their alley!

We spent two nights in Belize City and took a day trip to Caye Caulker. Belize City was an eye-opener and Caye Caulker was a nice day trip, but with kids, I'm not sure they are good destinations. Caye Caulker had reasonable accomodations and lots of trips to snorkel/dive and manatee watches, but the island itself is pretty small and great if you like to drink pina coladas and lounge (pretty good swimming at the Split)...

We did rent a car and enjoyed the freedom, but it was expensive. I think next time we'll try without renting. It seemed like taxis were plentiful as were shuttles from the hotels.

Have a blast and I would love to hear how hot it is in June when you get back.

Take care, Brenda
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Old Apr 30th, 2007, 07:04 PM
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I agree that it would be easy to overdue ruins with most 10 and 12 years olds. The most amazing part of Tikal, though, is the JUNGLE! Early morning we watched toucans and parrots feeding on fruit at eye level, watched dozens of butterflies emerge, watched coatis scruffling for food, and ran around trying to figure out where the howlers were ROARING in the trees, then stood and watched them shaking the trees and yelling the day in with style - unforgetable.
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Old May 6th, 2007, 06:03 AM
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Definitely take the kids cave tubing. You (and they) will love it! My favorite activity in Belize was the ATM cave tour, but I'm not sure if they let kids do it. It's a rather hearty hike so I think there might be an age limit. You might be able to find out on the Mayawalk website. By the way, Mayawalk is a good complany for any of the tours you are thinking of.
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Old May 6th, 2007, 08:04 AM
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Forgot to add that Ambergris (San Pedro) is a good choice for a family. There's a gazillion places to stay... it depends on exactly what's important to you to make the best choice. Check out www.belizeforum.com to get some ideas.
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Old May 22nd, 2007, 03:55 PM
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I would look at Mopan River Resort -- great excursions including Tikal are included in the price -- also kayaking, canoeing. Check them out on tripadvisor.com. The food is good, accomodations are great. Highly recommended.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 01:45 PM
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HI. If you staying close to the Guatemala Border, I Suggest the following itinerary:
Day 1: 08:00 Departure to Flores by car. On the way, visit Yaxha (fabulous Mayan Place, seldom visited, great temple Pyramids, fantastic view), and overnight at Flores.
Day 2: full day visit to Tikal, and on returning to Flores, do the Canopy Tour.
Day 3: Return to San Ignacio area by car or fly to Belize City from Flores. (45 minute on Tropic Air. Leaves Flores at 09:30 a.m.)Anything else, e-mail me. Glad to help. I Ilve in Flores
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