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After Bosque del Cabo, where next?

Old Apr 29th, 2016, 08:59 AM
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mad
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After Bosque del Cabo, where next?

Had such an amazing time at Bosque del Cabo, I can't begin to think of what wouldn't feel disappointing in comparison. Any ideas? Open to anywhere in Central America, although we've seen lots of Nicaragua.
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Old Apr 29th, 2016, 09:20 AM
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What are the most important experiences or qualities you're looking for? There are tons of great places in Central America and Mexico, depending on what in particular is most compelling for you.
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Old Apr 29th, 2016, 09:51 AM
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We loved BdC too - have you checked out Belize? We really enjoyed going there - you can see wildlife, but also some great ruins and can even go over the border to see Tikal. The underwater wildlife viewing is pretty amazing too - lots of see turtles, colorful tropical fish, huge rays. You could pair a beach spot like Victoria House with a jungle lodge like Chaa Creek or Lamanai Outpost Lodge. Chan Chich always gets raves as well.
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Old Apr 29th, 2016, 10:04 AM
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Thanks volcanogirl. I researched Belize last year before deciding on the Osa. I was concerned about our son, who is 8, handling the snorkeling. It seemed like the nicer beaches are in Placencia, but a long boat ride to the reef, while the beaches aren't very nice in Ambergis Caye. If we stayed at Victoria House, is there much to do besides snorkel? We are an active family.
We loved the wildlife, variety of activities and generally friendly/family atmosphere at Bosque. Have a hard time dealing with lots of tourists. We'd love to go back to another ecolodge off the beaten path, but with enough comforts to make it feel like a vacation. Thanks!
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Old Apr 29th, 2016, 10:17 AM
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In addition to the suggestions from Volcanogirl (we loved Lamanai Outpost Lodge), based on personal experience:

The Lodge at Pico Bonito (Honduras)
Rio Perdido (Costa Rica)
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Old Apr 29th, 2016, 11:48 AM
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Ok thanks for the suggestions. I'll look into them.
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Old Apr 29th, 2016, 01:24 PM
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I've seen families at both Lamanai Outpost Lodge and Chan Chich. Those two are fairly off the beaten path. The Cayo District (where Chaa Creek is located) is more heavily visited but not what I'd consider overrun. In Cayo we've stayed at duPlooys. All were very comfortable jungle lodges with Chan Chich being the cushiest.

Are you thinking of basing yourself in one location or splitting your stay? Most activities on the cayes will be centered around the water (snorkeling, diving, kayaking, fishing, etc). You can take inland day trips but it's better just to base yourself inland for those activities. There's a manatee sanctuary (you can't get into the water with them) at Swallow Caye south of Ambergris and Caulker.
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Old Apr 29th, 2016, 02:33 PM
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Our package at Lamanai Outpost Lodge came with a bunch of different tours - birding, medicine tour, a boat cruise on the river, night time safari boat tour, etc. We loved it there. Both RAC and Patty recommended it, so I knew we would love it. The food is good too. One thing that's really neat about the property is that it's right next to some ruins, so you can go over there and hike and explore. Our package included a tour. We also got cooking lessons at a tiny restaurant in the village, and then we got to enjoy lunch there. It was a lot of fun. We saw howler monkeys very close up every day. One night we did a sunset boat cruise for just my husband and me, and they made us each a nice drink, so we sipped away while they showed us all the wildlife. There are crocs there too. You travel up the river via boat to get to the lodge. It never felt crowded. We were the only ones there for a while.

We mostly snorkeled during our stay at Victoria House. The beach there is gorgeous, very pretty, but there is sea grass in the water, so you boat out to snorkel. It was a very quick trip to Hol Chan. Saw tons of great stuff there. We also went to Mexico Rocks and did another tour where we saw manatees and snorkeled. They have a pool, and you can relax on the beach. There's lots of good restaurants in town and also two on the property - a fancy one and a casual one with more bar food.

Have also stayed at Chaa Creek - did canoeing at Barton Creek cave - very pretty and also went over to Tikal with PACZ tours.

Would like to go to Chan Chich someday but haven't made it there yet.
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Old Apr 30th, 2016, 05:04 AM
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Ok thanks! Sounds like I definitely need to take a second look at Belize.
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Old May 1st, 2016, 07:54 AM
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Lamanai Outpost looks really exciting! I don't know how I missed this before. Thanks, may be just what we're looking for.
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Old May 1st, 2016, 08:06 AM
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It is a really neat spot. The boat ride in and boat ride back out feel like tours in and of themselves. They even have a tour where you can help tag crocs as part of a university study. Your son might enjoy that. Supposedly they're not the aggressive type. If I'm remembering correctly our room had two beds. I'd recommend wearing sunscreen for the trips on the river; we got sunburned, but it was awesome. I thought the prices seemed a little high, but when I added in what all the tours would have cost, it seemed very fair. It's popular with birders. We had the place all to ourselves at first, and then a birding tour came, all decked out in camo and wearing binoculars.

I might cross Ambergris off your list if you don't want to deal with tourists. We never felt crowded at our hotel but in town is busy. Caye Caulker is a little less touristed if still want to add on a beach location.
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Old May 1st, 2016, 01:11 PM
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Caulker is like a smaller version of Ambergris 20 years ago but has less beach areas.

You may like the north end of Ambergris if you prefer quiet. hopefulist's reports from Tranquility Bay make it sound nice and secluded and the reef is right there but you lose the convenience of being near town for the variety of restaurants.

South Water Caye also has the reef right there and a nice beach but there are limited places to stay and things to do that aren't water focused.

Lamanai Outpost Lodge is wonderful. The ruins get some groups visiting during the day but it's spread out.
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Old May 1st, 2016, 01:54 PM
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We might be able to tolerate a couple days of tourists if we're in a remote spot for part of the time. I was considering Victoria House since it gets great reviews. Good food is important to us too- hard to get it all! I did get a high quote from Lamanai, but it includes tours, so really prices are comparable to the Osa. Trying to figure out the best way to visit the zoo? Perhaps we need a private transfer to Lamanai to make that visit?
Seems like we have to spend more and more to get the kind of vacations we love!
Thanks for all your help.
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Old May 1st, 2016, 02:24 PM
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There's the Jungle Lodge/Tropical Education Center near the zoo (I haven't stayed there). You can get a private transfer from the zoo to the dock near Orange Walk one of LOL's regularly scheduled boats or if their schedule doesn't work, you can arrange a private boat trip. From the zoo, I think it will take around and hour and 15 minutes to get to the dock.

Or you could stay some place closer to Belize City and visit the zoo from there and then depart for Lamanai. We stayed at Black Orchid which was about 20 minutes from Belize International, half an hour from the zoo and about 45 minutes from the Lamanai dock.

The zoo can also be easily visited on your way to or from the Cayo District if you have any plans to stay there as you would drive right by it.
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Old May 1st, 2016, 02:29 PM
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That should read "to meet" one of LOL's regularly scheduled boats.
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Old May 1st, 2016, 03:14 PM
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Ok thanks for the info.!
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Old May 2nd, 2016, 07:59 AM
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The Outpost Lodge is a really cool experience--the most common practice is for them to take you in by boat so you see all kinds of wildlife (plus you get a glimpse of rural life in Belize). We saw all kinds of cool birds (including Jabiru) as well as a really big Morelet's crocodile on the boat ride alone. The howler monkeys at the LOL are extremely habituated to people and will pose for great looks.
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Old May 2nd, 2016, 09:31 AM
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Thanks RAC. The more I hear about Lamanai, the more it sounds like a perfect spot for us. We'll probably spend three nights there and then head to to the beach. I'm definitely considering Victoria House. Some people we met at Bosque were raving about Hamanasi resort, but it seems to make more sense to stay somewhere where the snorkeling is more accessible. Will have to do a little more research...
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Old May 2nd, 2016, 10:31 AM
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If you do end up staying at Victoria House, they have a little snorkel/SCUBA shack out on their dock and can set up all your trips for you if you want them to. Don't miss Hol Chan. That's where we saw the big stuff. I'm a good swimmer, but I used a life jacket, and it made snorkeling so much easier - might be a good idea for your son.
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Old May 2nd, 2016, 03:15 PM
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I was surprised to see a huge Mennonite community there.
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