BELIZE 2018 - Trip report with blog and photo links

Feb 22nd, 2018, 11:30 AM
  #1  
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BELIZE 2018 - Trip report with blog and photo links

In January 2018 we made our 7th visit to Belize, our 1st during the winter. Weather was colder than usual (partly winter but mostly a weather event) but still great for fishing; I snorkeled wearing the shorty wetsuit usually reserved for diving and, frankly, it was sort of nice not to feel hot most of the time. We had some rain a few days but it didn't dampen our fun.

We started with about a week at Tranquility Bay Resort, secluded on the north end of Ambergris Caye; it was our 3rd visit there. We stayed in the Budget Traveler's Suite which doesn't face the beach, although you can see it through the windows. It's a large studio-style place (so ac throughout, not just in the bedroom) with a kitchenette, seating area, comfortable king bed, separate bathroom, and 2 geckos, half the cost of the next smallest cabin. We shopped in San Pedro before heading north and prepared most of our own meals aside from the included breakfasts. We esp loved the grilled lobster wraps.

I snorkeled from shore every day; best day out I saw several nurse sharks, 4 kinds of rays including eagle rays feeding in the sand, a huge green moray, squid, gray and queen angels, schools of juvenile damsels and sargent majors, an octopus, plus the usual cast of characters. Husband Mike fly fished unguided pretty much day and night, the main attraction of TBR for us. He caught lots of bonefish including some huge ones and got to cast to permit and tarpon but couldn't get them to bite.
www.tranquilitybayresort.com

We transitioned to Caye Caulker where we stayed at Colinda Cabañas - 4th visit to CC, 3rd at Colinda Cabañas, which we love. We did a snorkeling trip with Mario's and I dove 2 days, 2 tanks/day with Belize Diving Services, Caye Caulker Reserve and San Pedro area; one dive I lost count after 30 sharks. Mike caught a bunch of bonefish and we both enjoyed spotting sea horses on the back side, riding our bikes around, shopping on the docks and at grocery stores and produce stands and preparing most of our own meals. We ate Alma's bbq chicken (a Saturday thing on Middle Street) and great street burritos with desserts from the banana bread lady. We had breakfast at Juan's kitchen with yucatan07 and his wife - fun to connect with forum friends. We enjoyed Wish Willy and talking with Maurice as always - glad to be there before the end of lobster season.
www.colindacabanas.com

We spent most of the last 3 days at Cayo Frances, a fish camp north San Pedro on the back side of Ambergris Caye where Mike fished the flats from a fishing kayak and I enjoyed exploring the camp which sits on old Maya grounds and the lovely cabin for reading good books. The food was great. We slept our last night at Ruby's in San Pedro ahead of an early flight to BZE and our return home and enjoyed meeting forum friend Jeanh and her husband for drinks at Carlo and Ernie's Runway Bar and dinner at Pupuseria Salvadoreno.
www.belizeflyfishcamp.com
www.rubyshotelsanpedro.com

Here's a link to a blog post about this trip (check out the archive on the right for other trips if you're interested):
Hopefulist in Latin America: BELIZE 2018

My photo collections on flickr are here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections

Let me know if I can answer questions. Happy trails!

Last edited by hopefulist; Feb 22nd, 2018 at 12:22 PM. Reason: Added add'l links/typo
hopefulist is offline  
Feb 25th, 2018, 05:31 AM
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Thanks for the great report! It brought back memories of our trip to Caye Caulker 2 years ago when we snorkeled with Mario. Amazing snorkel guide! Although we missed lobster season, we enjoyed ourselves immensely.
ginger50 is offline  
Mar 14th, 2018, 09:05 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2018
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Great photo's

Stacey I suspect you have a fancy camera. I am off to Belize in a week. I have a Lumix point and shoot that you can take down to 33 ft and likely I am only snorkelling. Would your recommend a go pro or any other photo graphic tips. Thanks for posting your pictures. I hope to see even a fraction of the sea life that you have captured...
priort is offline  
Mar 14th, 2018, 11:41 AM
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Thanks for your report and photos! It can be surprisingly cool in winter, can't it? Having traveled in both summer and winter, I do also enjoy not being a puddle of sweat all the time. Glad to hear Wish Willy is still there. Tranquility Bay looks great.
Patty is offline  
Mar 14th, 2018, 01:03 PM
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priort - My land camera is a Panasonic Lumix compact super zoom (x30 zoom lens). Most of the photos in the most recent collection were taken with an older version of the same camera (x10 lens); I bought a dive case (to 100' depth) when they discontinued the model and the case price dropped by 75%. Some of the photos were taken with a little Fuji waterproof camera, good to 10'. If you click on a specific photo and scroll down, the camera used is listed. If you figure out how to find alternative settings in your camera, there is likely to be an underwater mode - worth trying. Have a great trip!
hopefulist is offline  
Mar 14th, 2018, 01:03 PM
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And thanks for chiming in, ginger and Patty!
hopefulist is offline  
Mar 15th, 2018, 06:46 AM
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Thanks for responding. Mine does have an underwater mode and a beach and snorkelling mode....i'll give it a try. Thanks again for sharing your pictures and your blog I enjoyed looking at them. Tell your husband I would also love just for once to hook a tarpon...have seen it on so many fishing shows and it looks like an amazing battle...
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Mar 15th, 2018, 09:11 AM
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I'll tell him. He's landed a few tarpon on previous trips to México and Belize and hooked some previously at Tranquility Bay but couldn't get them to bite this trip.
hopefulist is offline  
Apr 12th, 2018, 08:29 PM
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Hi!
My name is abigail chandler
My mom and i are planning a trip in July in hopes that i'll eventually move here. of course i have to visit first. i've really enjoyed reading your posts as they're very informative and the pictures are just stunning. I was wondering if we could talk over phone or email or something and you could help me? We have never been here and quite frankly, have no idea what we're doing. we are going from july 12th to July 17th and renting a car. we were hoping to see at least Hopkins, go snorkeling, see some mayan ruins, see the belize zoo, and anything else we can cram into the short week we're going! we don't plan on staying in one place for more than 1 night MAYBE 2, but i really want to get the very most that i can out of the trip. I was just wondering if you would be willing to talk with me and give tips and inside information that i might not find on my own. Thank you!!

Last edited by chandlera; Apr 12th, 2018 at 08:30 PM. Reason: Forgot my name!
chandlera is offline  
Apr 12th, 2018, 10:06 PM
  #10  
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I'll send you a private message.
hopefulist is offline  
Apr 27th, 2018, 08:41 AM
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Great report and blog. I am very tempted to add Belize to our 2019 trip to Mexico and Guatemala!
crellston is offline  
Apr 27th, 2018, 10:03 AM
  #12  
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It's a fascinating country, just don't spread yourself too thin.
hopefulist is offline  
Feb 11th, 2019, 10:13 PM
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Place to stay on Caye Caulker

Thanks for these great tips! Wondering if you have another favorite place to stay? Colinda Cabanas is booked for our dates. Thanks!
garmonita is offline  
Feb 12th, 2019, 03:01 AM
  #14  
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I'm sorry that I can't really help much, garmonita - it's been 10 years since we've stayed anywhere else on CC and the place we stayed in 2009 gets poor reviews now. The top hotels on this list all get good reviews - maybe there's a good fit for you at another one on the list. Happy trails!
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g...es-Hotels.html
hopefulist is offline  
Feb 12th, 2019, 06:48 AM
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Thank you!

One more question - do you have a favorite place to stay in Placencia?
garmonita is offline  
Feb 12th, 2019, 11:01 AM
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We spent a week there in 2012 but the place we stayed - One World Rentals - has changed hands and names. There are a lot of new options since we were there. Again - sorry I can't be of more help!
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