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Belize: Best Guides for Day Trips

Old May 6th, 2007, 06:48 PM
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Belize: Best Guides for Day Trips

I will visit Belize next year and intend to take several guided day trips throughout the country using Belize City as my base. I am interested in hearing recommendations regarding tour companies and guides. Hotel pick-up and drop-off a must. Thanks!
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Old May 7th, 2007, 09:40 AM
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Is there a reason you've picked Belize City as a base? Most of us avoid BC like the plague in favor of dozens of other excellent bases. My pictures and a linked travelogue can be viewed here if you're interested:

www.flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections

Happy trails!
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Old May 7th, 2007, 10:26 AM
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I will spend four nights in Belize City, followed by an overnight in Tikal and five nights in Placencia. I chose to spend several nights in Belize City because of the convenience and abundance of guided day trips throughout the country. I'll be quite busy----and out of town---during the day and relaxing at my hotel (Radisson) at night. I'm looking forward to it.

Thanks for the link to the travelogue, hopeful!
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Old May 7th, 2007, 02:36 PM
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I agree that Belize City is a pretty unpleasant place that you may not want to spend much time in. I'm guessing you picked it so you could spend some time in the Cayo and some in the water. Since you'll be in Tikal anyway, you should consider spending a night or two in San Ignacio. It will save you a lot of backtracking for day trips. I used Mayawalk for a couple of day tours in SI and was very pleased with them. Then, you could spend a couple of nights in San Pedro or Caye Caulker for your ocean adventures. There's a million guides there for all kinds of day trips.

Do you have specific day trips in mind? If you have a solid idea of where you want to go, it will help to choose your base. Whatever you choose, just remember that driving distances tend to be much longer than they appear on a map, because roads tend to be bumpy and slow.

I want you to have a great time enjoying the natural beauty of Belize and not spend all of your time in a car and an ugly city!
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Old May 7th, 2007, 05:55 PM
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In San Ignacio several years ago, we used Herman Velasquez from Herm's Tours and he was excellent. Again, it was several years ago, but Herman was one of the best guides we've ever had in all of our travels. I am sure you can find out if he is still around at Eva's....
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Old May 7th, 2007, 08:03 PM
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Stella - What tours did you do with Herman?
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Old May 8th, 2007, 07:57 AM
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We did Caracol with Herman, with stops at Rio Frio cave and Rio On pools. And Xunantunich with him as well. He was very knowledgeable, but in addition he was genuinely interested in providing a quality experience to us. Not just a tour guide trying to make a living - he also had an interest in seeing the tourist trade in Belize improve while still preserving the environment and the culture. And he was a very genuine person as well.
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Old May 8th, 2007, 08:53 AM
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Thank you!
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Old May 11th, 2007, 08:07 PM
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Hello LukenDC,

We actually spent two nights at Hotel Mopan in Belize City against the recommendations of most folks.

We enjoyed the hotel and the people were wonderful. We were three very white, very middle aged women and stood out like sore thumbs, but after the initial culture shock - are glad we spent time in the city.

My goal was to see the country as I was looking to discover whether or not I wanted to buy real estate and consider retiring here.

Belize City gave me one, very real picture of the country. Some places were fabulous and some very poor and a little uncomfortable.

We arrived in Belize City on a Saturday at about noon. On a Saturday, we walked around the downtown and headed out to the Ft. George area and the Tourist Village. If you are traveling to Belize City, be aware that most of the city is boarded up on the weekends. If a cruise ship is in town, the Tourist Village will be open, but if it isn't, the Fort George area is pretty desolate on Saturday and Sunday.

We went to church on Sunday morning and were overwhelmed with kindness and welcoming people dressed to the nines! Then we took a 45 minute boat ride to Caye Caulker on a Sunday and that was a nice day trip.

On a Monday we visited the House of Culture and a couple of museums and that was worth the trip. But by noon time, we were ready to head out of town.

We drove the 2 hours or so to San Ignacio and spent the rest of the time there. We didn't take any guided tours so can't help you there, but I know that the hotel, Cahal Pech Village Resort, sets up anything you want. We found them very nice and accomodating.

Have a blast.
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Old May 12th, 2007, 06:24 AM
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Thank you, Bpeluso, for your response. I'm really looking forward to seeing a bit of Belize City. I am genuinely interested in seeing another culture and seeing "how the other half lives." I travel not just to relax, but to educate myself as well.

While I will be in Belize City for four nights, I do not anticipate walking around the city much. I will stay at the Radisson and use that as a base for some day trips before heading out to Tikal for a night and then Placencia for five nights. When I leave Belize, I will hopefully have had a solid introduction to the country and its people.
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