A few questions about Belize

Old Jun 4th, 2008, 12:46 PM
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A few questions about Belize

First, is it a hassle to travel by road from San Ignacio to Tikal? We'll be driving a rental. A friend of ours said they might hassle us. Is it feasible to drive there and back the same day?
Second, is there a hotel in Placencia that is walking distance to the center of town with a pool? I'm not looking for luxury. Can you snorkel off the beaches in Placencia?
Third, is Dandringa a cool town to stay in (for one night) or not? Is there a better overnight stop between San Ignacio and Placencia?

Thanks for any information!
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Old Jun 4th, 2008, 01:39 PM
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I don't believe rental car companies allow you to take their cars across the Guatemala border.
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Old Jun 4th, 2008, 01:48 PM
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From Fodors
"Most Belize agencies do not permit their vehicles to be taken into Guatemala or Mexico. Crystal in Belize City does permit its vehicles to be taken into Guatemala, although without any insurance coverage."

The way I read that is that you are responsible for damages or theft while in Guatemala.

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Old Jun 4th, 2008, 03:17 PM
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My wife and I just returned from Belize a week ago. We did an overnight tour of Tikal through Cahal Pech Resort in San Ignacio. They provide a driver on either side of the border and a "fixer" who helps you through customs and rides with you the whole way. We had rented a car in Belize, but wouldn't have felt comfortable driving in Guatemala. You could do it in a long day trip--but your time would be limited at Tikal. It's huge! We had a three-hour tour and went back twice more to see things the tour didn't cover. Crystal Auto Rental at the airport is the only car rental that will allow you to drive to Guatemala. We had a good experience with them.

We stayed at the Maya Beach Hotel--about 10 miles north of Placencia. It was very nice and reasonable ($60 one night, $80 the next--we changed rooms to have a balcony with ocean view the second night)

Dangriga is worth a drive through, but I would recommend Hopkins village for the cultural experience. It is a lot more charming than Dangriga. Not a lot to do except hang out at the beach, look in small shops and eat at restaurants (most are just at people's homes with one to four tables). Don't miss the Lebeha Drumming Center on the north end of town. We got a private concert with three musicians that was one of the highlights of the trip.
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Old Jun 4th, 2008, 03:27 PM
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As above on the car rental - not a stretch of road I would choose to drive on my own and lots of tours, shuttles, and public buses are available. You could drive there and back for the day but an overnighter is highly recommended: it's amazing to explore the park in the cooler evening and early morning hours when the wildlife is active and you practically have the place to yourselves.

Don't know when you're planning to head to Belize, but there isn't road access to Placencia and further south right now - massage rains have washed out a major bridge.

Dangriga is pretty rough around the edges - a few hours was plenty for us there. Hopkins and Sittee River Village (though currently flooded) are both nicer bases imo and there are lots of wonderful options along the Hummingbird Highway.

My photos and travelogues are below if you're interested (Tikal photos in Belize and Guatemala 2007 collections). Happy trails!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections
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Old Jun 4th, 2008, 04:02 PM
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Hopelist I am planning a June 21 trip. I am wondering if I should hold off booking my air fare until the rains let up.
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Old Jun 4th, 2008, 09:08 PM
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No way to tell what the weather will be doing 2 or 3 weeks from now, but You might want to retain some flexibility if the road situation heading south is still an impediment. Keep us in the loop!
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Old Jun 5th, 2008, 02:25 PM
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Thank you so much for all of the information. We are traveling the first two weeks of July. Fingers crossed that we will be able to see Placencia by then.
We will definetly abide by all of your recommendations.
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Old Jun 7th, 2008, 07:00 AM
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the summer rates in placencia are great, much less than $60. per night. check out placencia.com. some intown rentals are harry's cabana, garden cabanas, dianni's,all very reasonable.
i stayed in dangriga for 2 nights too many, not much there unless you go out to the cayes.
there's a little snorkeling off the beach, but not much, better to go out to a caye.
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