Belize Itinerary help!

Dec 7th, 2014, 01:38 PM
  #1  
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Belize Itinerary help!

We will be in Belize in July - because of the restrictions of our award travel tickets, we can only stay 5 nights - arriving on a Sunday at 11:25 am and then departing the following Friday at 2:50 pm. We were hoping to do beach and jungle. Already sold on Tranquility Bay Resort for the beach part, but with only 5 nights, is it going to be too much time lost if we try to add a jungle lodge as well? I was looking at Table Rock for the first 2 nights, then 3 nights at Tranquility - but that's a lot of transfers. Are we better off just enjoying a 5 night trip to Tranquility? Or are there suggestions of a good jungle lodge that would make the transfer more convenient...? I hate to miss the jungle experience, but I also don't want to feel like we spent half our vacation transferring around. Thanks for any advice! (Oh, and we are a family of 4, kids are 17 and 20 and would like to keep the jungle lodge in the Table Rock range, about $250 per night for a cabin for 4.)

THANKS!
lindatx is offline  
Dec 7th, 2014, 02:48 PM
  #2  
 
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Four days is not a lot of time to get a "jungle experience" in addition to a beach vacation. Your resort is a little isolated; maybe they could arrange a day trip to see ruins on the mainland? On a day excursion from Ambergris, you could easily see some jungle and ruins:
For example, Lamanai:
http://www.destinationsbelize.com/to...yan-ruins.html
Or Altun Ha:
https://www.belizecruiseexcursions.com/AltunHa.htm
sylvia3 is online now  
Dec 7th, 2014, 03:11 PM
  #3  
 
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I think if you try to split with a lodge that far west you are going to feel like nearly every day you are on the road. Many would say to just choose the beachy place (we loved Tranquility Bay) and do the (really long) day trip to Lamanai for your jungle/Maya site fix.

You could also consider heading from the airport to the zoo and staying there the 1st night. Next day hire a private driver to pick you up early, deliver you to Orange Walk for the Lamanai trip (or for a day of caving and/or ziplining) and deliver you to the dock or airport in time to connect to Ambergris.

Too bad you can't muster an extra night or 2 - maybe another trip!

My photos with blog and travelogue links is below in case you are interested.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections
hopefulist is offline  
Dec 7th, 2014, 04:45 PM
  #4  
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Thanks so much for your help! I've been on the aadvantage site all day and think I have secured a full Friday (arrive 2pm) to Friday (depart 3 pm) - so, with 7 nights - 4 at tranquility, 3 at a jungle lodge - does table rock make sense? Any other suggestions? Thanks!!
lindatx is offline  
Dec 7th, 2014, 05:18 PM
  #5  
 
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That's much better! We loved Macal Jungle Camp but there are lots of cool options that get good reviews.
www.belizecamp.com
hopefulist is offline  
Dec 7th, 2014, 08:43 PM
  #6  
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Thanks hopefulist! I love everything about - except help me understand where the bathrooms are...I'm totally ok with a shared setup except for being over 50 and wondering how it works if I need to use the restroom in the middle of the night in the jungle...! Also, what is the transfer situation from the airport and then to San Pedro? Thanks again!!!!
lindatx is offline  
Dec 7th, 2014, 09:35 PM
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The bathrooms are just a walk from the cabins through a mainly open area; there's a bank of composting toilet stalls and an open building with shower stalls and a shared sink area, as I recall. They line the trails with kerosene lanterns but you'd want a flashlight or headlamp, too - always the possibility of seeing tarantulas or scorpions, especially at night (shake out your shoes and clothes before putting them on).

You can have Chaa Creek arrange a shuttle, arrange a separate private shuttle, or taxi to the bus station, bus to San Ignacio, and hire a taxi from there, or fly if the schedules work for you; similar in reverse to Ambergris. Lots of transport info here:
www.belizebus.wordpress.com

Happy trails!
hopefulist is offline  
Dec 8th, 2014, 06:28 AM
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So few nights, I would base in Placencia on the beach and take day trips to the mainland from there. Not enough time for both jungle and beach and you'll waste precious time traveling between the to and get to and from
Katie_Valk is offline  
Dec 8th, 2014, 08:00 AM
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Even with 7 nights, Katie?
hopefulist is offline  
Dec 8th, 2014, 10:09 AM
  #10  
 
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I thought I read only 5 nights..
Katie_Valk is offline  
Dec 8th, 2014, 12:41 PM
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I definitely agree with just 5 days but the next post down she changed her mind and made it 7.
hopefulist is offline  
Dec 8th, 2014, 03:00 PM
  #12  
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Thanks for the responses - yes we are able to get award tickets for 7 nights - hooray! Planning 3 jungle nights. I love Lamanai Outpost Lodge, but thought it was too expensive. After researching, based on all that it includes, I think we will try to splurge and do 3 nights there, then 4 nights at Tranquility Bay Resort. If anyone has any other advice, I am all ears! Very excited for this trip!
lindatx is offline  
Dec 8th, 2014, 04:36 PM
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We just stayed at Lamanai Outpost Lodge and thought it was fantastic. I thought it was pricey too, but it was worth it. Our trip included 6 different tours, so we did a lot of cool activities that seemed special. We had a sunset cruise on the water all to ourselves with a wildlife guide pointing out animals and birds, while the bartender made us drinks. Also had a fantastic guide to the ruins and pretty much had the place to ourselves. We did a cooking lesson in the village too and learned to grind corn and make our own tortillas. It's a neat spot. We saw howler monkeys up close every day and some nice birds. The food was very good. Cabins were comfortable. The trip in and out on the river is almost like a tour unto itself. Got to see some crocs.
volcanogirl is online now  
Dec 8th, 2014, 07:36 PM
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Sounds awesome!
hopefulist is offline  
Dec 9th, 2014, 04:06 PM
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Glad you could get 7 nights. We loved LOL too!
Patty is offline  
Dec 11th, 2014, 07:16 AM
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Thanks all - love the input!! Volcanogirl, my first choice was BDC in CR thanks to you and the other fans But we couldn't make the flights work - but I WILL take that trip someday!! So excited for this trip - 1 kid in college, 1 heading to college soon, not sure how many more of these opportunities we will get!
lindatx is offline  
Dec 11th, 2014, 09:44 AM
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You have good taste - ha, ha!! Yes, we loved both of those. One heads up about LOL, we did a night jungle tour in a boat and our driver turned off all the lights and drove super fast up the river. Crocs, two person boat, in the dark, I was scared! I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had known that was the scenario. If you go with a bigger group you'll be in a bigger boat. The ruins were great. There are even ruins of an old Catholic church from the 1600s when the Spanish tried to come into the area and convert the Mayans. The cooking tour we did was an optional part of one of our tours; I'm really glad we did it. They cooked our tortillas on a comal over a fire; that night they served us our tamales for dinner - pretty fun, and it was cool to see the village and meet people who lived there. Hope you make it to BdC - I'm sure you will. I got the recommendation on this board for LOL, and Patty, RAC, and others were really helpful with all the planning.
volcanogirl is online now  
Dec 17th, 2014, 06:24 AM
  #18  
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Y'all are the best! Quick LOL question - we will just have time to catch the last boat to the resort the day we arrive - meaning we will be checking in about 5:30 or 6 pm. Since 3 nights at LOL is a bit of a splurge for us - is this first night worth it? I noticed they have a boat that leaves at 7:30 am the next morning. Would we be better off hanging out that first afternoon (we don't get in until 2pm) and going to the Belize zoo etc, grab a cheap room that first night at then head out early the next morning to LOL...?
lindatx is offline  
Dec 17th, 2014, 10:11 AM
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I think it depends on which tours you want to see and do. Our package included several tours, and it was a challenge to get them all in and get them coordinated because they're only offered at certain times. If you get in in time, you could do a night tour that first night and already be there for the next day's early morning tours. If I remember correctly some tours start at 6:00 a.m. and some night tours are at 7:30 p.m., but double check me.

One thing I wasn't expecting was that they asked us almost immediately which tours we wanted to do on which days and at what times, so it's a good idea to kind of know what you want to do. They have a big computerized display screen in the dining room that shows each activity that you're scheduled for with your names next to it.
volcanogirl is online now  
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