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nanabee May 12th, 2008 11:18 AM

Belize or Costa Rica
Traveling with a friend next April 2009.
Looking for nice white sand beaches, with warm Caribbean waters.
Love swimming, snorkeling, and opportunity to do historical sites, and see wildlife. We have narrowed it down to either Belize or Costa Rica.
What would be the pros/cons in your opinions of either of these two countries?

hopefulist May 12th, 2008 11:36 AM

I haven't visited Costa Rica because it isn't culturally interesting to me - I'm especially interested in historical and contemporary indigenous culture. Belize is not known for it's beaches, though there are good options. My Belize photos are below if you're interested. Happy trails!

hopefulist May 12th, 2008 11:37 AM

Oh - Belize wins for snorkeling, too, from what I've heard, but CR probably has more accessible wildlife. Our best wildlife spotting on our Belize trip was in the jungle around the ruins of Tikal over the border in Guatemala.

cmerrell May 12th, 2008 01:55 PM

Haven't been to Belize yet, but I LOVE Costa Rica! Hopefulist is correct in stating that CR isn't particularly noteworthy for snorkeling. You can snorkel there, but it's not going to compare to Belize or the Caribbean at large. There are a variety of pretty beaches, but not with the dazzling white sand that you would find on most Caribbean islands. CR also isn't known for historical sites.

What it <i>is</i> known for is it's amazing ecosystem diversity, wonderful wildlife (that you can usually find without too much difficulty), active volcanos and adrenaline-rush activities such as white water rafting, zip lining, waterfall repelling, and surfing. It's a really beautiful country with a great feeling of hospitality.

I would love to check out Belize sometime, and perhaps it has more of the items on your list than CR, but if wildlife viewing is a prime consideration, you'd be hard pressed to top Costa Rica!

campjulie May 12th, 2008 03:13 PM

We have been to both and loved both. Here is my opinion as related to your post.

For snorkeling - Belize for sure. Swimming / Beaches = toss up. Historical sites = Belize and Wildlife = Costa Rica.

Both countries would be on my short list of places to return so I don't think you will go wrong. If there is a particular lodge / hotel that interests you that might help or if the travel to one is easer / less expensive that might help in your decision as well.

volcanogirl May 12th, 2008 03:18 PM

I am a huge fan of CR, but given your parameters for white sand beaches, beautiful water, and snorkeling, I'd lean towards Belize.

Linda137 May 12th, 2008 07:44 PM

Both countries are wonderful and actually both offer the things you mention. I suppose it just depends if you lean more towards historical sites or wildlife, rafting and volcanos. For us, CR seems to have more to do.

Have you considered what the weather will be like in the particular areas you'd most like to visit?

As mentioned previously, you can't go wrong.

nanabee May 13th, 2008 11:07 AM

Thanks so much to all of you for your helpful advice. We can only go during our spring breaks (we are teachers) and that limits us to April 2009.

I guess we will settle on Belize and plan another trip to CR. at a later time.

Thanks again!!

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