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Belize

Old Jan 17th, 2011, 12:20 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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Belize

Hi,

My bf and I are planning a trip to Belize in May or June. Can I get some suggestion on where should we stay, do we need a car, when is the best time to visit, is the country pretty much safe and what is there to do. We've never been to Belize before as this is our first trip there. Any suggestion or idea will be helpful!

Thanks,
tiav is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2011, 12:28 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
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We did a split between staying in the jungle and then staying at the beach. The San Ignacio area is a good first stop - access to a lot of adventure activities, caves, and ruins - followed by time at the beach and snorkeling. We stayed on Ambergris because we wanted to be close to the reef/Hol Chan and have access to a lot of restaurant choices. Other people like Caye Caulker. We didn't rent a car. We hired private drivers and used taxis. A lot of places on Ambergris have golf carts you can rent or bikes you can use. We felt safe; we were offered drugs for purchase but just declined and moved on.
volcanogirl is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2011, 01:00 PM
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Most people do the "turf and surf"; we rented a car at the airport (nice highway, no problems, but you'll want 4WD for anything else) and drove to San Ignacio (wonderful Mayan ruins right there in town, Cahal Pech), which is a great jumping off point for "ATM" cave, Caracol, Barton Creek, and Tikal (but you'll want to take a tour or buy space on a tour bus for Guatemala), among many other places. We stayed at a nice place, Maya Mountain Lodge, very scenic and quiet, tho near town, extremely helpful owners, "manager's discount" room (~$100), very nice staff (although we thought their food was overpriced, so we mostly ate in town, which was fun to explore anyway), wifi and pool. Then we drove back to Belize City, dropped the car off in town at a lot across the street from the ferry (we prearranged this, no problem) and enjoyed the (awesomely cheap) boat ride to Ambergris (we stayed in a nice beachfront condo, Paradise Villas, for ~110/night; great pool, view, beach and dock out front). The town was right out the back gate of the complex, very handy for walking through. We took the plane back to the main airport, which was pretty cheap and easy.
If you snorkel, do take a boat trip to Mexican Rocks; better coral, and not remotely as crowded as Hol Chan.
ATM cave is still one of my favorite excursions ever; not to be missed!
sylvia3 is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2011, 05:23 PM
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A couple of assumptions on my part. Since you have never been to Belize before and are generally adventurous, I would suggest to split your vacation between a coastal resort and a jungle resort. Placencia and Cayo area would be very good way to take advantage of both jungle and sea exploration. There is just so much that Belize has to offer and you would get a great variety of adventure options this way.

Depending on your budget, a good combo would be Chabil Mar in Placencia and Chaa Creek in Cayo. I recommend these because I know the quality of the accommodations and the service first hand.

If your budget is lower than those two high end resorts make avaialable, then check out the Belize Tourism Board web site, travelbelize.org, for resort options and many other adventures available in Belize.

You don't necessarily need a car, but this does depend upon the resort you book. Some will provide transport from and to airports and other resort, for a fee, of course, but they have the vans to transport you. If you want to be free to roam, by all means do rent a car and enjoy yourself.

If you prefer to have more sea adventure orientation I would suggest Placencia as the destination since you can add on a jungle or maya ruin expedition in between your beach time without moving to other hotels or villages.
BrianDunn is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2011, 05:46 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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We've loved everything we've done and everywhere we've stayed in Belize; our photos, blogs, and travelogues are below if you're interested. Happy trails!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections
hopefulist is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2011, 06:41 PM
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Great pics Hopefulist. Thanks!
john127 is offline  
Old Jan 17th, 2011, 07:43 PM
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Glad you liked them - keep us posted!
hopefulist is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2011, 01:40 AM
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tiav, I forgot to mention where we stayed - Chaa Creek for jungle in the Cayo District and Victoria House for beach time; these are higher end properties, but there are lots of options in all price ranges.
volcanogirl is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2011, 03:30 AM
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I would opt for May over June. Lots to do in Belize. Great diving, snorkeling, fishing, sailing, kayaking on the largest barrier reef in our hemisphere. 45 ft docile whale sharks congregate off the Placencia coast on and after the full moon in May and are incredible to see while diving or snorkeling. Our mainland has many Mayan sites, caves with artifacts, rainforest, waterfalls, river and horse trips, zip lines, buttrfly farms and botanic gardens, interesting and diverse cultures and friendly English speaking people. You can rent a car and drive yourselves around or hire guides who can offer in depth information and enhance your visit. We have 6 districts, each with something different to offer and many beach areas to choose between that will be right for you.
Katie_Valk is offline  
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