Belize - considering travel in Feb 06

Jul 19th, 2005, 07:46 AM
  #1  
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Belize - considering travel in Feb 06

I have considered Belize several times over the past fews years, but each time Costa Rica won. So this year, at the urging of my husband, I am seriously considering Belize. But have not yet tossed out CR for '06.

I have read the websites and forums extensively, as well as two travel guides, but am still a bit uncertain.

We are a couple (48 and 61). Travel without children, typically in early Feb, for approximately 10-12 days.

We plan to spend 4-5 nights in a beach location. And the remainder in the Cayo District.

At first I had thought a couple nights in Placencia, then the Cayo, with maybe an overnight in Tikal and the the final 3 nights in Ambergris.

But now am thinking 2 nights AC, then Cayo and Tikal, then 3 nights back on AC.

Before you tell me to keep the beach time together, I have a reason - my husband is not a beach fan - I am. We both love the water and activities on the water, it is just that he does not enjoy sitting on the beach. We both enjoy hanging out in the small beach towns, but late night life is not a need.

Cayo - want to visit Caracol, Xunan... and Tikal. Enjoy light hiking, wildlife viewing, bird watching, waterfalls. Caves sound interesting, but some sound claustophobic!!?? Suggestions are welcome.

Snorkel at least a couple of days.

Ambergris - probably considering Mata Rocks - small hotel appeals to us, and price is good, website looks great.

Cayo - probably leaning to the Crystal Paradise - mostly due to cost.

Plancencia - just can not get a handle on a place to stay here. The costs of many of the most recommended lodgings is a bit out of our price range, we like to stay around $100 US. And we like to be able to walk to the town area.

To drive or not. We much enjoy meeting other travelers and are ok with organized tours. But if we go to Placencia, I feel we may need a vehicle. And we might want a vehicle to go into San Ignacio ????

About lodgings - we do very much enjoy meeting other travelers, so lodgings that encourage this please.

I know this is very long - sorry!
dfarmer is offline  
Jul 19th, 2005, 08:14 AM
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Well, since you asked....

If you are planning on splitting your beach time anyway, I'd do part in Placencia and part on Ambergris Caye.

If you stay in the village of Placecia, you really don't need a car. We stayed at Las Amigas, two cabanas on the beach on the north edge of town. Easy walk down the beach or sidewalk to pretty much any where in town. For me, the decision to rent a car would depend on what time our flight arrived in Belize City. We don't get in until 3:30pm when we travel in the winter, too late for me to be wanting to venture off in a car. If you're getting in around noon it wouldn't be a problem. You can catch a plane to Placencia coming in that late.

So, after your time in Placencia, either drive to the Cayo, or fly back to the municipal airport and rent a car. I'm guessing Budget would pick you up at the municipal airport and take you to their away from the international site.

Anyway, after your time in the Cayo, drive back to Belize City, turn in your rental car and fly to Ambergris. San Pedro and Placencia are different enough places that I don't think your husband will be the least bit bored. I don't enjoy sitting on the beach much either, but I sure do like to wander.

As for places to stay in Placencia, if you stay in the village you won't have any trouble staying under $100.00 per night.
JeanH is offline  
Jul 19th, 2005, 12:46 PM
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I spent 3 months living in Belize. For scuba or snorkeling, you can't go wrong with heading to either Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker. Ambergris is a it more "ritzy" whereas as Caye Caulker is much more laid back and overrun by young college kids or lost hippies.

Placencia is nice - I would recommend renting a car to get there from Belize City. Buses are somewhat shady and have a tendency to break down. Plus, you can plan your own itinerary and stop in small villages if so desired. Also, there are more options for hitting archaeological sites, which I strongly recommend - especially Lamanai and Altun Ha. There is quite an exotic zoo in Belmopan. If you have time, without a doubt, my greatest recommendation to you would be to definitely go to Tikal. It is one of the most amazing places in the world and you will not regret that trip. But here's the caveat - make sure you make Tikal you last archaeological visit - it's grandeur will dwarf all the other sites you visit.

I suggest starting your vacation on either Ambergris or Caye Caulker. Take a ferry back to Belize City, get a car, and start driving west to Cayo. You will find small, quaint towns and this way you can stop and see some archaeology - most of these sites have "hotels" you can stay at. Talk to someone there about transport to Tikal - either in your rented vehicle or on a bus. On your return, I would hit Placencia - spend a couple of days there instead of heading back to the Cayes. The Cayes are nice, but once you've been there it's sort of pointless to go back. You'll be happier enjoying the other "jungly" and adventurous aspects of Belize.

Hope this helps!
lizg14 is offline  
Jul 20th, 2005, 04:49 AM
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There several excursions that you can take from Placencia-snorkeling, jungle, ruins etc. so you husband won't be bored there. If you can't book them in town I am pretty sure you can book them through the hotels like Roberts Grove even though you aren't staying there. Have you checked out Kitty's Place for reasonable prices? It isn't in town but is an easy bike ride there. If you go to Tikal you can arrange that trip through Crystal Paradise which made it easy for some people we met at Crystal Paradise last winter.
PatrickMcC is offline  
Jul 20th, 2005, 05:58 AM
  #5  
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Thanks for the helpful tips.

Looks like I am probably back to the original idea of splitting the beach time between Placencia and AC.

Leaning toward renting a vehicle - thus staying in the village of Placencia would not be a must. And I do want to stop at the Belize Zoo, not something we typically do, but this one sounds so interesting.

Tikal at the end - thank you, I can see how this one would dwarf all the rest!

I am sure I will have many more questions - actually getting ready to post two more.

Thanks
dfarmer is offline  
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