15 days in Belize/Guate: Advice!

Old Sep 19th, 2005, 12:47 PM
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15 days in Belize/Guate: Advice!

Hello,
Girlfriend and I (both 25) will head to Belize/Guate in late October for a short but sweet trip. We haven't picke dour itinerary yet but would like some starting advice:

-is 15 days too little to see the higlights of both countries? (i.e. Cayo, Placencia, Ambergis, Tikal, Antigua)

-is travel by bus VERY slow or is it practical?

-is serious budget travel practical? can anyone suggest hostels or the like in either country

-we are thinking of our one ruins visit to be Tikal. is there bugdet accommodation available within?

-where would you reccommend to try snorkelling, caving, zip lining in Belize? is hang gliding available?


Thanks a million!
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Old Sep 20th, 2005, 10:41 AM
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Did something similar 2 years ago. Flew in and out of Belize City, 3 days Cayo, saw Caracol+others, local van shuttle to El Ramate (village by Tikal) for2/3 nights, local bus to Flores, flew to GC/van to Antigua (this is a time-saver and ground-covering option), 3/4 days in Antigua, night bus to Copan (4:00am!, they'll pick you up at the hotel), Honduras (high point of the trip) for 2 nights, van shuttle to Puerto Barrios, Guat., Water taxi to Punta Gorda BZ, 1 night, local bus to Placencia for 3/4 nights, local bus back to BC, then home. Lots of ground covered, but looking back, it didn't seem crazy, and our boy was 10 at the time. I think about 2 weeks total. Local buses are pretty good and frequent. Don't miss Antigua because of distance, just pay for the flight, it is worth it...it was $60us one-way then. You can do it, add a few days if you can, you won't regret it. Caye Caulker is fun.
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Old Sep 20th, 2005, 12:53 PM
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Thanks for your advice! Based on what you wrote I have a few questions...

What did you think of Punta Gorda? From what I have been reading, it sounds like its not worth the visit?
Also, what did you think of Placencia?
Do you have any hostels to recommend in Guate or Belize?
Thanks!
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 05:47 AM
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Funny you should ask about PG. It was the low point of our trip, and if the buses had been scheduled with one leaving later in the pm, it would have been good to get out of there. It had sort of a strange feel to it, it's hard to explain. We ran into an American who claimed to have been ripped off (backpack and passport), and loaned her a little money..of course never to hear from her again! Looking back, I guess it was a scam. It just added to the sinister undertone of PG. It's just a place to arrive and leave asap. Placencia was mellow, we rented a little bungalow at the Sea Spray. Unfortunately, it rained most of the time we were there (late March) but it filled the bill for our beach time. Funky restaurants and pretty good food. There seemed to be plenty of "budget" places to stay, accessible only by just showing up. 2 nights would probably suffice, unless you are trying to dive. Since there were 3 of us, we stayed in places that were inexpensive,($25-$40us) but not hostels. There are plenty of choices for what you want, though. We've been on about 4 family trips, and looking back, this was my favorite. Guatemala is fantastic.
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 01:16 PM
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BTW, there is a phenominal amount of info for the Peten area of Guate on this site:http://www.lacasadedondavid.com
We stayed there, it was pretty nice, and convenient to Tikal. Not touristy.
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Old Sep 21st, 2005, 04:56 PM
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I've been visiting PG and Toledo since the early 1990s, and I think it's an amazing area.

Toledo has lush, green jungle, wonderful Maya villages and several interesting Maya sites.

PG itself is just a small town of about 5,000 people, with not a lot to see or do, but the Garifuna, Maya and other residents are worth getting to know, and the setting on the water is lovely.

There's great fishing off PG, and some great cayes, too.

But, then, I have a special interest in Belize since I've written half a dozen books on the country (and do the Belize section of Fodor's Belize & Guatemala 2005.)

--Lan Sluder
www.belizefirst.com
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