Belize-first timer ?s for Cayes & Cayo w/ Guatemala

Old May 26th, 2015, 07:25 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 113
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Belize-first timer ?s for Cayes & Cayo w/ Guatemala

Planning a last-minute solo trip and curious to get thoughts from experienced travelers to Belize & Guatemala on the following:
1. Is it worth it to visit Caye Caulker in addition to Ambergris Caye? I am interested in seeing both and was thinking of flying out to Ambergris, and taking the boat back to Belize City with a stop at Caulker for a night or two.
2. Have about a week and would like to venture out to Cayo. Is San Ignacio the place to stay and can I take a nice bus there (don't want to rent a car)?
3. I realize I don't have enough time to see Guatemala in depth, but am thinking of doing a day trip to Tikal from San Ignacio. Is there anything else I should definitely see while I am on that side of Guatemala, such as Flores? Is Tikal going to be worth the journey if I have already been to Chichen Itza and Tulum? A future trip will be flying into Guatemala City and seeing Antigua and Lake Atitlan. I am open to spending the night.

Thanks for any tips!
obersee1 is offline  
Old May 26th, 2015, 07:56 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,253
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes I think Caulker is worth a visit. It's a more laid back, quieter version of Ambergris (reminded me of Ambergris 20 years ago). Even if you don't end up staying on Caulker, you can take the water taxi over for the day. Your idea of stopping a night or two and taking the water taxi back to Belize City from Caulker would work fine too.
Patty is online now  
Old May 26th, 2015, 09:32 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 113
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
thanks!
obersee1 is offline  
Old May 26th, 2015, 09:41 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,049
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You can easily spend 5 nights in San Ignacio/Cayo area and be busy every day. Tikal is well worth visiting and you can organize on a day trip from SI. Other grt sites in Cayo, along with cave trips waterflla, river trips, horses and more
Katie_Valk is offline  
Old May 26th, 2015, 11:26 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 4,230
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
For what it's worth, we hugely prefer Caye Caulker to Ambergris; you could visit both but I would choose between, visit the other as a day trip, and save the time for some caving and Maya site time. Our favorite place to stay on either island is Colinda Cabañas near the south end of Caye Caulker.
http://www.colindacabanas.com

Your transportation options to San Ignacio include buses but not fancy ones; they're basically old US school buses. They're cheap and it's a great cultural experience - we enjoy them. You can also hire a private driver. Lots of transport info here:
http://www.belizebus.wordpress.com

In Cayo District you can choose between places in town, just outside of town, and jungly or village options. Our 3 favorites are all different from each other and great value choices (but there are lots of options):
http://www.thetrekstop.com (budget, a few miles west of San Ignacio near the Xunantunich Maya site)
http://www.belizecamp.com (terrific jungly comfortable camping option)
http://www.aguadabelize.com (good value hotel with restaurant and pool just outside of San Ignacio, tours will pick up there)

There are some incredible caving options easily done from a San Ignacio base, too; here are my favorites:
Most popular cave trip, really awesome: http://pacztours.net/actun-tunichil-muknal/
Another, less-visited amazing cave option in Cayo: http://www.actunchapatadventure.blogspot.com/

Try to make a stop at the zoo coming or go, too - really unique.
http://www.belizezoo.org

Tikal is worth an overnight imo - so wonderful to have the cooler evening and early morning ours to explore the jungle and the ruins when wildlife is active and you practically have the place to yourself. There are 3 hotels in the park; my favorite is the Tikal Inn.
http://www.tikalinnsunrise.com

Roxy Ortiz is an incredible naturalist/archaeologist/guide - so knowledgeable and a blast to hang out with.
http://www.tikalroxy.blogspot.com

Flores is cute but not a must-see imo unless you want to spend 2 nights in Guatemala, 1 in the park and 1 in Flores in order to take an early flight or express bus back to Belize City.

For what it's worth, we prefer to do the inland portions 1st and end up on the water; in the case of Ambergris or Caulker that also puts you closer to the airport for your flight home.

My photos with blog, travelogue, and review links on the main page of each collection are below in case you're interested - all my recommendations are embedded there.
Happy trails!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections
hopefulist is offline  
Old May 27th, 2015, 02:36 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,413
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sounds like a great trip. We love Ambergris. A lot of the hotels in the San Ignacio offer private drivers; that's a good option if you end up not taking the bus. We used PACZ tours to go to Tikal, and they were excellent.
volcanogirl is offline  
Old May 27th, 2015, 02:49 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 24,413
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I definitely think Tikal is worth visiting. We've been to several ruins and still thought it was impressive. It's extensive, and you're able to get some great views. We also saw some nice wildlife there including monkeys, aracaris, and oscillated turkeys.
volcanogirl is offline  
Old May 27th, 2015, 05:11 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
1. Yes, it's worth it to see both AC & CC -- they are quite different. It's no hassle to get there and you'll find a good selection of accommodation. No more than 2 nights sounds like enough for you.

2. San Ignacio Town is a good place to stay because it has a good selection of accommodation plus you have restaurants, banks, grocery stores, bars, etc. Your other option is to stay at one of the jungle lodges.

The buses are old school buses -- not very nice. There are no nice buses. You best option might be to arrange a transfer service (private shuttle). A list is on the BelizeBus website.
MisterB2 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
OliveO
Mexico & Central America
6
Mar 22nd, 2017 09:42 AM
mosey_on
Mexico & Central America
9
Oct 23rd, 2013 03:50 AM
schlegal1
Mexico & Central America
9
May 7th, 2012 08:35 PM
PMJ
Mexico & Central America
5
Jan 18th, 2010 10:15 AM
hamburger
Mexico & Central America
16
Oct 22nd, 2009 10:05 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:33 PM.