Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Mexico & Central America
Reload this Page >

Beachfront in Belize w/ access to great snorkeling but not a large resort?

Beachfront in Belize w/ access to great snorkeling but not a large resort?

Sep 13th, 2009, 03:38 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,306
Beachfront in Belize w/ access to great snorkeling but not a large resort?

DH and I are thinking of going to Belize for about a week sometime over the next year and are looking for suggestions on where to stay. We have been to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and other wonderful snorkeling destinations and are hoping to find the snorkeling in Belize to be as good as we have heard. We are not divers, and do not like large resorts or condos -- we like lower-key places that are close to nature, with some character and privacy. We liked having our own tiny villa on St. John and enjoy small nature lodges like Bosque del Cabo in Costa Rica and South Long Island Nature Lodge in Australia. Do not need to be in a town or even very near one. I started looking at a few places others had recommended -- like Portofino and Mata Chica on Ambergris Caye -- which looked nice but are more than we want to spend. Ideally we would like a beautiful little casita right on the beach with a decent restaurant nearby and access to outstanding snorkeling, and kayaks and bikes and the possibility of other daytrips would be nice too. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
lisa is offline  
Sep 13th, 2009, 05:36 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Portofino my fav or if budget is good

www.aprivateisland.com ·
qwovadis is offline  
Sep 13th, 2009, 05:40 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
or more remote great snorkeling diving

Turneffe Island Lodge ... Explore a part of Belize's over 200 miles expanding marvelous reef chain.

qwovadis is offline  
Sep 13th, 2009, 05:48 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,066
On Ambergris, check out Tranquility Bay. Far north, easy access to the reef.

Or look at some of the lodges on South Water Caye. I've never been, but have spent a few nights and it's much cheaper counterpart, Tobacco Caye. Nice snorkeling.
JeanH is offline  
Sep 14th, 2009, 02:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 999
I've only been to Belize once, so my recommendations are pretty limited, but we stayed at Portofino in Ambergris. It has easy access to the reef by kayak. You can take the kayak out and it's a pretty short trip and you're right at Mexico Rocks, which is a beautiful snorkel area. Many really colorful fish and the reef is colorful in that area. Being that Portofino is on the north part of the island you need to take a water taxi to get to town so it's fairly remote but the water taxi's are offered directly by the resort. It's a small place, maybe 15 at the most, casitas and as you mentioned, you walk right out onto the beach. Great staff and their own restaurant is pretty good. They will call up other restaurants to come pick you up if you choose to go to them for dinner. And you can get into town in about 10 minutes by boat. You're close to Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley which are also great snorkeling trips as well. You'd have to do a half day trip with a guide to snorkely there, but I'd say they're not to be missed! They offer a few other 1/2 and even full day snorkeling trips from their location.

If you'd want to see pictures of Portofino, you can click on my name and find my post to pictures from my Belize trip. I have a bunch from my recent trip.
ShellD is offline  
Sep 14th, 2009, 06:11 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4,218
Go for an atoll. They're spendier (unless you're really roughing it with no elec or running water) but - if snorkeling is your focus - worth it, I think. Also, there's no shore snorkeling to speak of from the northern cayes. You could also consider South Water Caye. Although you get to see really cool big stuff snorkeling from Caye Caulker or Ambergris Caye, the atolls (at least Glover's, where we've gone twice) is in a whole different league imo.
hopefulist is offline  
Sep 14th, 2009, 07:53 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,063
volcanogirl is offline  
Sep 14th, 2009, 06:19 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,306
Portofino is too spendy for us unfortunately (looks great though).

Does anyone know anything about Thatch Caye? Looks like it might be our kind of place.
lisa is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 04:54 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,066
I'm not sure that Thatch Caye is right on the reef. I thought I read that you still need to take a boat to get to the good snorkeling. I certainly could have been mistaken though.
JeanH is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 05:41 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,049
Thatch Caye is a few miles from the reef.
Katie_Valk is offline  
Sep 15th, 2009, 05:56 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 1,669
We LOVED Thatch Caye! I want to go back - small, personal (you're like a member of the family), friendly people, good food, wonderful rooms. Travis was leading the snorkeling rips when we were there, and he is really good. The dive instructor was Ian, passionate about the reef and diving, and Chico was the dive master, also knowledgeable and interesting. Check them out!

Also, we loved Xanadu, in San Pedro, south side. Small, beautiful grounds, nice rooms - we had a loft suite, very cool, with a nice kitchen. Laundry facilities. Great place!

Both places have character, are comfortable, beautiful and clean.

I think most of the hotels/resorts on the cayes in Belize are at least a 10 minute boat ride from the reef. Xanadu, and Thatch were both about 15 - 20 minutes IIRC - it really depends on where you decide to snorkel. The ride was not bad.
Momliz is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Mexico & Central America
Jun 12th, 2012 03:59 PM
Mexico & Central America
May 18th, 2010 12:49 PM
Mexico & Central America
Nov 7th, 2008 06:04 AM
Mexico & Central America
Nov 11th, 2004 10:50 AM
Mexico & Central America
May 23rd, 2002 08:54 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:34 AM.