Belize Beaches

Jan 13th, 2001, 01:16 PM
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Belize Beaches

Could someone please describe the beach in Belize? I'm worried that once I get there for my honeymoon that my new wife will be squemish walking from the beach, where we hope to be sipping drinks, to the water where we'll hope to swim. I've heard there's grass in the shallow water, is the water pleasant to swim in or is it somewhat stagnant.
Jan 15th, 2001, 05:05 AM
Katie Valk
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We have nice beaches in Belize, although not all over the coast. Wherre do you plan on staying? Some beaches will have turtle grass on the sea floor, which denotes a healthy area and acts to hold down the sand/bottom, just as trees on a hillside control erosion. Placencia is known for the better beaches although Ambergris has nice beaches to the souht and north.

Katie Valk
Mar 5th, 2001, 11:47 AM
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My husband and I stayed at the Carribean Villas south of San Pedro on Ambergris. You cannot swim by walking right out into the water. You end up with MUCK up to your knees. Rather, we had to go to the end of a dock to swim in that area. It is not like a sandy beach in the States on many Carribean Islands. The snorkeling day-trips were the best, however, and Elsi's Kitchen was good -- not pretentious, unpredictable and expensive like so many others. Dinner at the Victoria House was good. I WOULD return to Belize. Take a day trip to Lamanai. The one Pizza place also has excellent pizza. Have fun!
Mar 6th, 2001, 07:14 AM
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Check previous posts under Belize and you will find out that everybody, except some travel agents in this case Katie Volk, agreed that there are no real or any beautiful beaches in Belize. There are many other atractions but if you want some wide beautiful beaches with a soft white sand you won't find them in Belize.
Mar 6th, 2001, 08:08 AM
Lan Sluder
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My take on the beaches of Belize (and a few years ago I wrote a Frommer's Guide to the beaches of the Carolinas and Georgia, I did the update for the Belize section of the new Fodor's Guide to Guatemala and Belize and four other books on Belize, and I publish a magazine on Belize, so I've seen a few beaches) is that many of them are beautiful to look at, to walk on and to enjoy, but that they are not as good for swimming and sunning as, say, the beaches of the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla or the pandhandle of Florida.

Most Belize beaches are fairly narrow -- 10 to 30 feet -- and most have seagrass in the water off the beach. Sand color varies, with some being white sand and others toast or khaki color. Usually the water is shallow, with little wave action, and some have muddy bottoms under a shallow layer of sand. Garbage is a problem on some beaches -- some of it washing in from other parts of Central America and Mexico, and from boats, but some locally generated. Hotels on the beach usually clean at least their beach frontage.

The reason of course is the barrier reef that stretches along most of the coast of Belize, the longest barrier reef in the Western and Northern hemispheres (but not the second longest reef, as some guidebooks say). It slows the wave energy that over long periods creates wide sandy beaches and a "near dead zone" on the sea floor near the shore. That may not be good for those who just want to veg on a beach, but it's great for sealife, not to mention snorkeling and diving.

There are really lovely stretches of beach on Ambergris Caye and small but stunning beaches on some of the remote cayes. Placencia has maybe 16 miles of beach along the peninsula, much of it really beautiful. Hopkins has a nice stretch of beach, and there are deserted beaches south of Placencia.

Some mainland areas such as Sarteneja, PG and Corozal don't really have beaches but do have lovely seafronts.

--Lan Sluder
Mar 8th, 2001, 05:43 AM
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Sand is to be found anywhere. Home Depot has sand.

Few other places in the world have beautiful beaches, rainforest, Mayan ruins.

Go to Belize. If she wants infrastructure, go to Ambergris. If you both want long beautiful beaches and a more low key town (with ~15 restaurants), go to Placencia, where you'll find ~7 mile long beach. If you want something more exotic, go to the Post Office and ask for my friend Bruce. He can take you out on the barrier reef by boat. It takes about an hour, but he'll take you to an exotic island that you'll have ~ to yourself. Or to Ranguana, a cool island with 3-4 quite nice huts. Spectacular snorkeling.

I've been to Belize twice. Airfares, at that time, were quite cheap. So look into it, but if that's still true, consider hopping. Belize City-Placencia, for example, was ~$70 US RT. Also, consider Tikal. You won't "get it" until you see it, but the Mayans were a remarkable bunch. If you want another fun leg, try Tikal-Guatemala City (~$65 US RT), then autobus it for 45 minutes to Antigua, a very colonial, romantic place, cobblestone streets, at the base of Agua Volcan. If you want another fun leg, head further north into the Highlands. Mayan country. Great mercados.

I'd sweat the details on a honeymoon, too. But once into it, I'd just take Steinbeck's advice: People don't take trips; trips take people! Or my advice: Home Depot, no. Belize, yes. Best, R2
Mar 9th, 2001, 11:57 AM
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I am not sure where Kris stayed in Belize to form their opinion on it's beaches. I am not a travel agent but I know a good beach when I am on it. I have been on beaches in Mexico, Hawaii and all over California. I was in Belize a year and a half ago at Kittys place just north of Placencia and the beach is both real and beautiful. I did some swimming and there was some grass but the water was warm and clear. If you go to the off shore Cays the beaches are even better. Katie and Lan are full of good advice you would be wise to listen to them.

GP Moloney

Mar 10th, 2001, 03:40 PM
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Just returned from Ambergris Caye. The beaches around San Pedro are fine. The amount of sea grass is negligible and the water is clean and clear and WARM. So you have to go to the end of a short easily accessed pier to swim, so what. The numbers and variety of fish you will see if snorkeling are not great, but you can hire a boat and visit the reef. My only complaint is the boat traffic. You have to stay close to the swimming dock or your own boat if swimming off a boat, otherwise a propeller will chew you up for fish food. Tell your new wife not to be so squeamish, after all, this is your honeymoon how much time are you going to spend on the beaches?

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