5 Day Belize Trip - Need Suggestions

Old Nov 11th, 2013, 06:17 PM
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5 Day Belize Trip - Need Suggestions

Hello, There is a ton of great information on the forums. I come asking for more My wife and I are planning a 4-5 day trip to Belize in April. We had been once before, many years ago, as a brief stop on a cruise - really enjoyed it and now looking for a longer stay.

My tentative plan is to stay somewhere on the Cayes (or possibly Placencia or Hopkins - would take any feedback on those) for the first 2-3 nights and do the "relaxing" part of our trip there. Then, to move inland to the Cayo District and stay another 2-3 nights there, where we'll do more active things and sight-seeing.

My specific questions for people who travel there often or have the knowledge they are willing to share...
Is this a realistic itinerary, splitting the short time we are there like this?
What are the "can't-miss" things in the Cayo District/area?
Specific lodging recommendations? We'd be looking for somewhere on the nicer/more luxurious end of the spectrum.
For the 'beach' portion of our trip, what are the general thoughts on Southern areas, like Placencia and Hopkins, vs. some of the Cayes?
Any other great knowledge you veterans can share!

Thank you for your consideration of providing your feedback and experiences!
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Old Nov 11th, 2013, 07:30 PM
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I'll give your questions a crack...

Is this a realistic itinerary, splitting the short time we are there like this?
:: If there's any way you could extend by even a day or 2, you'd be glad for the extra time. That said, yes, you could split, but I think I'd stick to Cayo District and either Ambergris or Caulker to keep your travel time and costs to a minimum.

What are the "can't-miss" things in the Cayo District/area?
For me mainly a caving trip and 1 or more Maya sites. Tikal in Guatemala is awesome and possible as a day trip, although at least a night is highly recommended. There are some nice sites near San Ignacio and Caracol, a long day trip from San Ignacio.

Here's the popular ATM cave trip:
http://pacztours.net/actun-tunichil-muknal/
And another, less-visited amazing cave option in Cayo: http://www.actunchapatadventure.blogspot.com/

Specific lodging recommendations? We'd be looking for somewhere on the nicer/more luxurious end of the spectrum.
:: I'll let other people do this 1; we prefer great value, midrange options.

For the 'beach' portion of our trip, what are the general thoughts on Southern areas, like Placencia and Hopkins, vs. some of the Cayes?
:: If snorkeling or diving are priorities, I'd pick a northern caye to be closer to the reef and to avoid the extra travel time. We enjoyed a week in Placencia in August 2012 but likely won't return. We love Hopkins but it's a bit more challenging to get to; for both the snorkeling is way out there as opposed to minutes away.

If you decide to pick 1 spot instead of splitting, Hopkins might be a good choice. You could do day trips for Maya sites and caving and there are great waterfall/hiking options in the area. We enjoy walking the beach and swimming there and the Garifuna drumming at the Lebeha center is a treat. Here's an example of our sort of place:
www.hopkinsinn.com

My photos with blog and travelogue links on the main page of each collection are below in case you're interested - all my recommendations are embedded there. Happy planning!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections
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Old Nov 11th, 2013, 08:17 PM
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We loved Chaa Creek and Victoria House. Those were a nice combo for us. The snorkeling at Hol Chan was fantastic.
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Old Nov 13th, 2013, 04:52 AM
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Your trip is too short to visit two areas, unless the purpose of your trip is just to get a glimpse of both. I would instead pick one. If you want to snorkel, Placencia or Hopkins will be fine and you can take day trips to the mainland. You can relax in both areas. Just figure out what trips you want and then decide if mainland or beach if where you should base
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Old Nov 13th, 2013, 07:05 AM
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pick a spot that covers most interests and stay put, do a couple of day trips for the other stuff.
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Old Dec 4th, 2013, 05:33 AM
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Thank you for the feedback. It has been useful in getting our planning started and helped us to narrow/refine our focus. A follow up question to those that have traveled to Belize - any specific feedback on Robert's Grove (Placencia) or Victoria House (Ambregris Caye)?

We are not divers but are planning to do a half-day snorkel trip and a full day inland trip (yet to be determined). We are considering these two resorts and would be interested to know any first-hand accounts - accomodations, location/accessibility, food etc. Thank you!
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Old Dec 4th, 2013, 07:21 AM
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Victoria House is fantastic. When we landed at the airport they asked where we were staying and when we said VH, they said, "You're staying at one of the best places on the island. You'll love it!" The beach there is beautiful, with white soft sand; food was good too - we ate at both the bar and the more upscale restaurant. We did our snorkel trips with them; there's a little hut out front where you can book them. Like I said above, snorkeling at Hol Chan was some of the best snorkeling we've ever done. We saw a lot of big rays, turtles, nurse sharks, and smaller colorful tropical fish. I loved that our tour was guided because the guide kept pointing out turtles and things we would have missed.
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 09:44 AM
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Victoria House is a very nice high-end option.

Our go-to has been Banyan Bay, which is very good and much closer to town than Victoria House.

Ambergris Caye is usually excellent on a bad day.
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Old Dec 5th, 2013, 10:00 AM
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I forgot to mention one thing about VH, even though we loved it there, they forgot to pick us up at the airport. We were waiting around for quite a while and eventually this random guy in a van picked up our luggage and tossed it in his van and told us he was a taxi service and that we should get in. It was kind of crazy - didn't know if we were being lured off to some horrible tourist demise, but it all worked out great and VH even reimbursed him the fare so we weren't charged.
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