Belize and Tikal

Old Nov 5th, 2007, 12:07 PM
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Belize and Tikal

I am planning a trip to Belize with my husband and two daughters ages 14 & 15 years old. We have about 8 nights. We will being staying at Chaa Creek the last 4 nights so I am trying to plan around this. We definetly want to go to Tikal, I would also like to experience a little of Guatemala so am thinking maybe an overnight in Flores would be a smart choice. If so, we should do this a day before we arrive at Chaa Creek. So this would just leave 3 nights to go to Ambergris Caye which would be our first three nights.

My biggest question is logistics.

I thought we'd rent a car for Chaa Creek so we can have more freedom but if we do, it doesn't sound like you can drive over to Guatemala. What's the best way to go from Amergris Caye, overnight in Guatemala, then 4 nights in Chaa Creek, then back to the airport?

My next question is, is my itinerary too agressive? We do want to fish one day, and snorkel, maybe dive on Ambergris Caye. If so, maybe I should cut out the night in Gautamala.
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Old Nov 5th, 2007, 01:38 PM
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Maya Air offers an overnight tour to Tikal. You stay at a very nice hotel in Flores, an old town on an island. I took their tour and highly recommend it.
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Old Nov 5th, 2007, 01:57 PM
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If you don't have a vehicle, you can visit CC, transfer to Tikal and then fky from Tikal to Belize Intl and onto Ambergris. Or reserved, but their is air between Flores/tikal and Belize Intl. With 8 nights, I'd do a day trip to Tikal from CC
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Old Nov 5th, 2007, 02:07 PM
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Thank you for your post. Do you remember which hotel you stayed in at Flores? The town looks very quaint. I would really like to do this. How much time did you get to spend in this town and how late are the shops open? The larger town/city outside of Flores, do you think that's worth exploring?

Did you fly in from San Pedro? My problem is that from Flores, I would be going to Chaa Creek which is around San Ignacio, near the Guatemala border. If I flew back to Belize or San Pedro then I would have to make my way back to San Ignacio. Maybe renting a car in Belize is not a good idea for us, maybe we should be just taking one way shuttles. Although I do like to have my independance.
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Old Nov 5th, 2007, 02:17 PM
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Thank you for your response Katie, We are going to start out in Amberegris, then overnight in Tikal, then go to CC, so it's the opposite ititnerary that you laid out so I need to think it through. Do you think it's best I just skip the idea of a rent a car?

It sounds like it would be easier to start at CC. Which brings up another question. I picked the last four nights of our itinerary to stay at CC beacuse we could stay in their garden/jacuzzi suite combo which would be very nice and comfortable for our family. We could start out our trip at CC but we would have one of the cottages instead which isn't as nice. What do you think? I've never been there so I am only going on their pictures from their website.
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Old Nov 5th, 2007, 03:48 PM
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In Flores we really enjoyed Casona de la Isla in Flores - $52/double, nice location and pool. An overnight in the Tikal park is so great I'd pick that over Flores if you're only going to spend 1 night in Guatemala. It's wonderful to explore in the evening and again 1st thing in the morning when it's cooler and largely deserted and the wildlife is more active. We've stayed at both the Jaguar Inn and the Tikal Inn. Tikal Inn is nicer and also has a pool; it was $75/double in August which included dinner and breakfast. Our room had 2 double beds, don't know what the rate would be at any of those places for 4. Let me know if you'd like live links to their internet sites.

We're not resortish folks so chose the Jungle Camp over Chaa Creek, but I'd consider doing 3 nights at Chaa Creek, 1 in Guatemala, and 4 on Ambergris, allowing for some time to stroll around and relax in hammocks in addition to all the activities you have planned.

I've never rented a car in CA and don't plan to any time soon. We get a kick out of public transport and shuttles and taxis are widely available.

Try to fit in a visit to the zoo - I love that place. I also hope you have a chance to visit Guatemala in the future - another favorite country - but you really don't have time this trip and Flores isn't much of a taste of Guatemala anyway.

Our photos and travelogues are here if you're interested:

http://flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections

Happy trails!
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Old Nov 5th, 2007, 04:35 PM
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"We could start out our trip at CC but we would have one of the cottages instead which isn't as nice."

Maybe. We stayed in the cottages. They are pretty damn nice.
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Old Nov 5th, 2007, 06:01 PM
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O.K., I should rephrase that. Not that the cottages don't look nice, it's just that the Garden Suites looks like heaven. But then again, we don't plan to hang out in our rooms. Sounds like you loved the cottages. It would be nice to end the trip at the beach.

Hopefulist, you have wonderful pictures. Maybe I Should consider staying at the Tikal Inn, instead of Flores. I was thinking we'd get more variety by staying in Flores. I would love the Tikals live link to their internet site.

Maybe I should pull my kids out of school for 1 day or maybe 2 days so we could get a bit more in. I told myself I wasn't going to do that anymore but this is our only vacation and we are flying all the way in from Alaska.
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Old Nov 5th, 2007, 08:24 PM
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You'll wish you had a few more days if you don't take them. Actually, even if you do, you'll wish you had a few more days. Here's the link to the Tikal Inn site:

www.tikalinn.com

Most of my travelogues have live links if you're interested in any of the other places we've stayed.

Happy trails!

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Old Nov 6th, 2007, 03:31 AM
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Tikal is about 1.5 hrs drive from CC. Cottages and complete garden jacuzzi suites are both nice, you won't be disappointed.
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Old Nov 6th, 2007, 07:39 AM
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Thanks Katie, I didn't realize how close they were. If you don't mind, maybe I'll contact you with the rest of my arrangements. Reading through the boards it sounds like you are a travel agent and have done a great job in the past. Mariann
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Old Nov 6th, 2007, 08:48 AM
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I am with hopefulist on staying in Tikal for a night. It is so incredible being able to get up and watch the sun rise from the top of a temple or watch it set for that matter. The sounds of the forest waking up is awesome. We had trouble talking at times because it was so loud. In the evening the monkeys and parrots come alive for a short period while they make their way home for the night. You can watch this from the top of Temple 4 while looking down. Tikal Inn isn't lux but it is comfortable and clean. They only have limited times with electricity. The food was decent. We stayed in El Remate a couple of times as well at the Villa Maya and another little place in the center of town.
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Old Nov 6th, 2007, 12:49 PM
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Sounds wonderful. Staying in Tikal are the sounds and activity of the animals (such as the monkeys and parrots like you described)the same as staying in a place like Chaa Creek? Or would you say the jungle more active at Tikal.
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Old Nov 6th, 2007, 03:25 PM
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The area around Chaa Creek isn't jungle like the Petén - whole different league. The main part of Chaa Creek is really fancy by Belize standards - landscaped and planted. Most of the trails wind in and out through farm areas as well as woodsy/jungly areas. We stayed at their Jungle Camp which we absolutely loved - great jungle setting, lots of birds (parrots and toucans and motmots from our hammocks) and iguanas and the occasional tarantula or scorpion.

The jungle around Tikal feels HUGE and primordial by comparison, though in reality it was all cleared when Tikal was occupied and has regrown since then. When you sit on top of a pyramid all you can see to the horizon in every direction is the jungle with a few other pyramid tops peeking up.
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