Belize in Aug. Need CC & Cayo help.

Old Jul 15th, 2002, 09:01 PM
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Belize in Aug. Need CC & Cayo help.

Thanks for your advice.

A few more questions:
1. Where would you suggest staying in Cayo?

2. Have you heard of Seaside Villas in CC? Which is better Iguana Reef or Seaside?

3. Starting to worry that I may be disappointed with beaches in CC. Are there really no sand beaches?

4.Can I do everthing I would do in CC (snorkeling, kayaking, lounging, manatees, good local food) -- in Stan Creek?

5. Which would you do first CC or Cayo? How do you get from one point to the other?

thanks in advance for any advice.
Old Jul 16th, 2002, 12:21 PM
Owen O'Neill
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My experience with Belize is limited, based on a recent ten day trip there, but I can offer a few comments.

1) If you're considering doing a caving trip or two or river tubing, give Ian Anderson's Jungle Lodge a look. They run a very professional operation with well trained and knowledgeable guides and rustic but first rate accomodations. It was the highlight of my trip - I have not stayed elsewhere in Cayo and can't offer more info.
2) I presume you are referring ro Seaside Cabanas? (you mentioned Seaside Villas). I stayed there and felt that it was okay but not wonderful. The staff was friednly and the room clean but very few units have AC, the ceiling fan did not operate properly and I got "baited and switched" on the room. I went as a solo traveler and inquired a the desk as to "what is your cheapest room?". I was informed that $50 per night was the cheapest and I then asked ot see a room. The owner said "You'll really like Room Number 1". I did - it was huge (two double beds - far more space than I need for one person) and ina nice spot right near the water. When I checked out five days later I discovered that it was $85 per night! She quoted me the cheapest room when I asked but neglected to tell me that she was showing me and giving me a pricier room. I refrain from saying that it was intentional deception but draw your own conclusions. Before leaving I checked the rooms at Iguana Reef, knowing that at some point I will return to Caye Caulker. Iguana Reef is actually $5 cheaper for a standard room in off season than Seaside and $10 more in high season but there's no comparison inthe quality. It's impeccable wiht high quality furnishings and bright airy rooms with high ceilings and AC in every room. The bathroom and amenities at Seaside were along the lines of a summer camp - nicew but a bit rustic. Iguana Reef was more like a 3 1/2 star US hotel in terms of quality but didn't suffer from the generic feel that a typical hotel room has. IMHO it's the nicest place on the entire island and wel worth the money. I'm told that the drinks in their bar are a bit on the pricey side but there are plenty of other places to drink on Caye Caulker if that's your thing .
3) The beaches are closer to being qhite crushed coral than fine sand. Great to lounge on and look at the water (which is a brilliant turquoise blue in every direction) but not soft and luxuriant. Like most cayes in Belize, the water is very shallow close to shore and there is plenty of seagrass. The only good place for swimming is at the "split". There's a sandy bottom there and a sewall to jump off of if you choose. It's a popular swimming spot but not terribly crowded - there's also a fun and funky outdoor bar right across from the swimming area where people congregate for sunset imbibing. Don't let the lack of "great" beaches deter you from CC - it's really a wonderful place - a bit scruffy here and there but it has a charm I've found in few other places.
4) Not familiar with Stan Creek btu food on
Old Jul 16th, 2002, 12:30 PM
Lan Sluder
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1. Where to stay in Cayo? Depends entirely on the budget. If money is no object, I'd say Ek'Tun, or the villas at Blancaneaux or the garden suites at Chaa Creek. In the moderate range, duPlooy's, the safari camp at Chaa Creek, Banana Bank, Pook's Hill, Green Heaven, or Five Sisters. At the budget level, Aguada, Clarissa Falls, Martha's, Trek Stop. Among others.

2. Assuming you mean Seaside CABANAS (don't know of a Seaside Villas) I'd say Iguana Reef Inn is nicer -- big, tastefully furnished A/C suites. But it's on the back side, not on the sea, whereas Seaside Villas is on the front side.

3. There is a sand beach along much of the front side, but the water is shallow and there is seagrass and soft bottom.

4. Stann Creek is a district (formerly Dangriga was called Stann Creek Town) so it has a wider variety of options than Caye Caulker, which is just a small island. But, yes, you can do all those things in Hopkins, Placencia and elsewhere in Stann Creek.

5. Doesn't matter which you do first. Logistics are basically the same. To get to Caulker, best way is by water taxi (US$7.50) -- they leave from both the Marine Terminal and the new Tourist Village docks. To Cayo, easiest way is by shuttle van (Aguada and others run them, around US$25) or rental car, cheapest is by bus (US$4 or less).

--Lan Sluder
Old Jul 16th, 2002, 12:33 PM
Lan Sluder
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Left out Ian Anderson's but I'd agree with the other poster that it's a good choice in the budget to moderate category.

--Lan Sluder
Old Jul 16th, 2002, 12:53 PM
Owen O'Neill
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Oops... first post was incomplete - here's the rest.

4) Not familiar with Stan Creek but food on the cayes in general tends to be better than the mainland. Lots of variety on Caye Caulker and the fresh grilled fish is incredibly good (and cheap!). Be sure to try Il Biscaro, the Italian place up towards the split. It's very unassuming in appearance but the owner is from Milan Italy and the food is the real deal (he also makes the only really good cappuccino on the island).
5. I would do Cayo first - it will be more physical activity and less lounging than on the cayes - best to wind down and relax towards the end of the trip rather than in the beginning (just my opinion but it seems to be widely shared by others who've made the same trip). Also - CC is a much quicker trip to the airport at the end of the trip - just 45 minutes on the water taxi and a quick cab ride to the airport. You can take private shuttles, cabs or buses to get from Belize City to Cayo and back. Shuttles are the quickest and most comfortable. There is air transport from Belize to Caye Caulker but it's $26-27 each way vs. $7.50 each way on the water taxi.
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