Belize Trip---Don't know where to start????

Old Jul 14th, 2009, 08:34 AM
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Belize Trip---Don't know where to start????

Hi All---After an incredibly stressful 2 yrs, my husband and I are ready to plan what we hope will be the most relaxing vacation we've ever been on. Friends and family both have recommended Belize, however, we know nothing about it. Several yrs ago, we went to Costa Rica for 10 days and I planned the entire trip based upon forum trip reports and recommendations and I'm hoping to do that again for this trip. We want lots of peace and quiet, good food and beach and snorkeling time. My husband used to dive many yrs ago; I've never tried, but maybe....??? I think we'd also love to see the caves. We'll be staying probably 6 days/nights. Although we don't want to break the bank, we are not necessarily working within a set budget. I think the first thing I need to know is what are the must-see sights and the must-do activities. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 11:02 AM
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Hi -- not an expert but you are proposing what most people do and what we did a few years back, split your time between the interior and the beach. We stayed at Chaa Creek in the Cayo, from which it is possible to visit several caves, including the famous ATM. There are also local Mayan ruins, and the opportunity to visit Tikal in Guatemala should you so desire.

For the beach, we stayed on Ambergris Caye just outside the town of San Pedro. There is good snorkeling, fishing and diving available, although if you are more interested in diving one of the dedicated resorts further out may suit you better.

I believe Chaa Creek offers is affiliated with some of the hotels on Ambergris and elsewhere, and offers package deals which might save you some money, or at least trouble.
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 02:13 PM
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 05:35 PM
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Fra_Diavolo summed it up perfectly. Don't forget the bug spray! There are also ziplines and horses. Lamanai.
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Old Jul 26th, 2009, 07:16 AM
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I just got back from Belize last Wednesday. We spent 7 days there. For a family of 4, we spent about $3500 US for the trip including airfare (our 23 months old daughter was a lap baby but they charged us $77 US on the way back for her). We had a really relaxing time, splitting it between Lamanai Outpost Lodge and Caye Caulker.

The Lamanai Outpost Lodge was the perfect way to enjoy Lamanai. We spent 3 nights and 2 days there. The staff was professional and helpful. The grounds were really beautiful. The cabana was clean and comfortable. Everyday we hiked to the Mayan ruins, had lunch at Las Orquideas (in the Indian Church Village), read in the hammock cabana, swam, canoed, looked at stars (amazing thing to do there), and joined some of their activities (Croc Encounter was great). The food at the lodge was very tasty. We were very happy with it.

Caye Caulker was a more lay back island than Ambergris. There were no cars, just golf carts and bikes. All the streets were paved with sand. My son learned to walk bare foot and wear shark tooth necklace. The thing to do there was of course snorkeling or diving.

Carlos Tour was great for snorkeling. You'll love it. He is also an accomplished underwater photographer. In addition to tell you about the fish and coral, he would like pictures of the trip. You can purchase it for $30 BZ. It's well worth the money. The full day tour itself is $90 BZ pp that takes you to Ho Chan Reserve, lunch at Caye Ambergris (meal not included), Shake Ray Alley, and 2 more stops.

We stayed at the Caye Caulker Hotel for $65 US a night. If you don't have kids, ask for the king size bed. The room was new, clean and comfortable, up to American standard of cleanliness.

We spent 4.5 days in Caye Caulker. The only two restaurants we gave repeated business to were Rose's Grill & Bar and Island Ice Cream & Deli.

Rose's was about $25 US per person with drinks. The lobsters and fish were grilled to perfect, juicy and tasty. It's the best grilled seafood I've ever tasted. Try the grouper if you like fish. The lobsters were heavenly.

Island Ice Cream & Bar was a little hole in the wall. It was probably the best value in town. It's also called Leonel's Tortilla Factory because they sell handmade tortillas to the local. We loved their salbutes ($0.50 US each) and mango milkshakes ($1.75 US each). Their breakfast dish (scrambled eggs, ham, refried beans, and handmade tortillas) was also very good.
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Old Jul 26th, 2009, 06:38 PM
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You may want to look into Hamanasi Resort in Hopkins. It had very good food, nice accommodations especially if you take the upper flloor a of the main lodging and ask for the far end room. While there are 2 sets of 6 steps you feel a bit away from others. The Tree houses looked quite secluded but were more expensive. They go out twice a day snorkeling. If you get to Richard and tell him you know the folks that knew him from Lighthouse Reef and insist at the beginning you want the snorkel boat to take you to the Best places 3 mornings (best to go vs. PM) he may arrange it. There is no cost for snorkeling.I suggest 7 nights if you are killing 1 day and 1 day returning. The packages include land tours. I suggest the Mayan ruins and cave tubing. The rest are not that interesting or one that goes to a falls is very steep and a bit strnous for folks like us in the 55+ group.
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 11:46 AM
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Glad you enjoyed Lamanai Outpost Lodge. It was our favorite place on our last trip!
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Old Jul 27th, 2009, 02:30 PM
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Actually, my girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Belize in September. We didn't know where to start either. All I knew was that the diving was outstanding. We started with a trip to the library and book store.

We ended up starting a blog about our planning. I think it may be a good resource for someone wanting to plan, even if I am promoting my own work...

We've (ongoing) documented all of our preparation and planning down to where we think we might stay.
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