beach or jungle first?

Oct 17th, 2003, 09:10 PM
  #1  
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beach or jungle first?

I apologize if this topic already been talked to death, but I can't seem to find a similar thread. And, it may also seem like one of those annoying "it depends who you are" kind of questions. So, I'll tell you who I am: We're a 40-something couple, active and adventurous but not crazed (I in particular love naps along with hikes), with a typically 10-year old son who would be equally fascinated with Belize-- depending on the day--because it will give him the opportunity to discuss Central American politics OR maybe to see monkeys poop. He's kind of in the middle there. He would definitely like to see other kids around sometimes, and when he's happy, we're happy.

Given the fabulous advice on this board, we're thinking 5 nights jungle (Chaa Creek or Chan Chitch) and 5 nights Ambergris (one of Lan's suggestions--Xanadu, Palms, Banyan, Banana Beach) in late February. I'm definitely leaning toward the inland portion first: my theory usually is excitement first, total relaxation later. Are there any reasons why I should do it the other way around? And are these good hotels to be thinking of for our goofy little group?
Much obliged for your wise advice!
ginavt is offline  
Oct 18th, 2003, 06:30 AM
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If I was doing jungle and beach both, I would opt for the jungle part first. That's pretty much the way did it last year in Costa Rica.

However, I have a real bias because I do love being on Ambergris Caye. First trip was this past June, and I can't wait to go back.

I really liked the looks of the Palms when we were there. However, it's smaller, may be less chance for your son to run into other kids there. We didn't rent a golf cart while there and was glad we stayed in town (Blue Tang). Just one more thing to consider. Banana Beach is certainly walkable into town, but it is over a mile. Of course, walking a mile on the beach isn't such a hardship....

jean
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Oct 18th, 2003, 11:34 AM
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There really aren't significant logistical reasons to choose the beach first or the jungle first, as basically you'll have to go through Belize City either way. The only slight logistical issue if you are going to Ambergris Caye is that it's a little easier to catch an international flight from there than if you are out in the bush (especially Chan Chich). From San Pedro you can just catch a 20-minute flight over to the international airport (or to municipal to save a few bucks and cab it to international) and connect with your international flight. Whereas there is no air service from Cayo and only charter air from Gallon Jug.

But otherwise it comes down to personal preference.

I always like to do the active stuff first and then wind down at the beach, but other people prefer the opposite.

Most of the condotels get some families. Banyan Bay, because it mostly has two-bedroom units, seems to get more families with kids than some other places. Plus it's a little larger so there are more people around. But any of the suites or condo places would be good for a small family. My family always rent a golf cart at Banyan Bay or Banana Beach for elsewhere souht, or even if we stay in town, as we like to have the freedom to move around any time.

--Lan Sluder
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Oct 21st, 2003, 06:45 PM
  #4  
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Thanks for the terrific ideas (even more so because they supported my original conclusions)! We've decided to do 4 days at Chaa Creek and 6 days at Banyan Villas, in that order.
I appreciate the idea that resort size matters for kids, and if you look at the Palms and Xanadu website pictures they don't look as small as they are (10-12 units). With 12 units, what if it's a busload of honeymooners who my son terrorizes for a week? With 42 2-bedroom units at Banyan, the odds of there being other kids (to blame the terrorizing on) seem to be pretty good. So thanks for that tip!

Lan: you're my hero--it's really great how you respond personally to everyone. And the flight connection idea was the one justification I hadn't thought of, and a very good one. Question to you who knows everything: we were initially attracted by the free bikes/kayaks/canoes at Xanadu. Will we able to rent them at or near Banyan? (Convenience being the major consideration.)

JeanH, what did you love most about AC? What was a great day like? We're planning on a golf cart to broaden our options, though I love the idea that a stroll-a-day into town from Banyan will make me feel virtuous! Thanks so much.
ginavt is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2003, 03:50 AM
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Ginavt,

Hard to say what we liked best about Ambergris Caye. It just seemed a comfortable 'fit' for us. We walked and walked and walked. I informed my husband next time we will rent a golf cart for at least one day. I got up very early every morning and watched the sun come up and the town wake up.
The snorkeling is great. Bruce fished two mornings and had a grand time. Last, but certainly not least, the people. Never been on vacation in a place where the locals are as friendly.

For another 'view' of why people love Ambergris Caye, I'd suggest finding a copy of Jerry Jeff Walker's CD "Cowboy Boots and Bathing Suits". I hope that title is correct, can't put my hands on it at the moment. The title track pretty well sums it up....

Jean
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Oct 27th, 2003, 08:31 PM
  #6  
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Jean: Thanks so much. You've made me feel great about the trip-to-come!
ginavt is offline  
Oct 28th, 2003, 03:49 AM
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ginavt, We'll be at the Belizean Reef for four nights starting February 29. If you're still there, perhaps our paths will cross. We're heading north to Tulum and Playa Del Carmen after those four days, I suspect it will be hard for us to leave San Pedro and head onward. Jean
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Nov 10th, 2003, 08:19 PM
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JeanH,
I think we'll be arriving at Banyan Bay on Feb 24 for 6 nights. If my math is right, we only have one night overlap, but it would be great to run into you. Chances are we'll be strolling into town past your way. We'll be checking back on this board as the time gets closer!
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