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Belize vacation June 2009

Old Jan 27th, 2009, 07:33 AM
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Belize vacation June 2009

I am planning a trip to Belize around the beginning of June. I have never been to Belize and am looking for some suggestions for places to stay (I enjoy the sun/surf and nature and am not opposed to strenuous physical activity). Any suggestions are welcome and may prompt more direct questions!

One place I have found that I am looking at is called Belize Lodge & Excursions. Has anyone had any dealings with this particular company?http://www.belizelodge.com/belize_lo...s_moho_kay.php

Thanks!
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Old Jan 27th, 2009, 10:21 AM
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Many of us split our Belize time between inland and island or beach. Please let us know how long you'll be in Belize, what your estimated budget is per night, and specifically what activities you're interested in: hiking, canoing, snorkeling, diving, caving, rappelling, villages, shopping, birding, ruins?

The website you link is gorgeous but so extravagant I'm no help to you if that's your price range. You might be interested in my photos, though:

http://flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections

Happy trails and keep us posted!
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Old Jan 27th, 2009, 01:34 PM
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Some resorts around Hopkins and Palencia and Dangriga are on the mailland and take you daily to the reef though it takes 30-40 minutes to the good snorkel sites. But being on land they offer several jungle adventures as well as visits to ruins.
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Old Jan 27th, 2009, 04:57 PM
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Numerous options but a popular split trip is Cayo District & Ambergris Caye (AC). We did 10 days two years ago and spent a week at Banyan Bay (AC) and 3 days at Chaa Creek (Cayo). If we did it over I'd stay another day/night in Cayo. Lot's of activities in that area. As for Ambergris Caye, there is very good snorkeling less than a mile from shore. Enjoy!
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Old Jan 27th, 2009, 07:15 PM
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Belize Lodge - nice place in the Toledo District, relatively remote and unspoiled, with the original Belize Lodge opposite Nim Li Punit. I think their 6-night package gives you a better overview of the Toledo District with its visit to the Maya villages and Blue Creek for cave swimming. The Sapodillas are considered by some to be the most beautiful cayes in Belize, and the TIDE rangers (who manage the Port Honduras Marine Reserve) say that the snorkelling at PHMR is close to that at Hol Chan, but minus the other snorkellers.
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Old Jan 28th, 2009, 10:43 AM
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If you do not mind a fairly commercialized destination then Ambergris Cay is fine but it is not as nice as staying a bit further south. In Hopkins, Hamanasi Resort is very nice (we stayed there a year ago) and others I am told of equal diversity are in Palencia. Google resorts in Hopkins and Palencia and visit the various resort websites to get an idea. The rates have been reduced to about $1500/person/week in June for the nicer places so you just divide it down to 4 or 5 days and get an approx, cost.We are going to Turneffe Island Lodge in early Dec. but that is on an atoll and they take you to the mainland for the outings but it is a 35 minute trip each way but you are right on the reef for snorkeling. If interested you need to check-out the beach.
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Old Jan 28th, 2009, 04:39 PM
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We are going in March and selected Ambergris Caye for the nearby snorkeling and to explore the town. It was hard to choose between Ambergris and Placencia, but Ambergris won out with the closer reef. Hopefully we'll get to explore more Cayes another time.
We'll do one full day snorkel trip while there.

So, 3 nights Ambergris, and 4 nights Cayo District. . Chaa Creek. There is SO much to do in that area, I am glad we opted to give it an extra night. We are hoping to do a daytrip to Tikal, a day trip to Mountain Pine Ridge and Caracol, and a daytrip to the caves (can't remember the name, starts with an "A" and is the most recommended. I hope to be able to squeeze some spa time in and the grounds offer quite a lot as well.
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 07:10 AM
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We're going in March w/ two teens. We're spending 5 days at Caves Branch and 4 at the Hamanasi.

After agonizing over where to spend our beach time, we chose the Hamanasi we couldn't find the ideal place to stay on Ambergris. Everything that was available seemed too "condo-ized". Hopkins is farther from the reef, but we like that it's in a more authentic Belizean town w/ waterfall hike options.

andiesworld, I found that incredible Belize Lodge & Excursions site as well, but it was after we had already booked Caves Branch. Looks really cool.

Shillmac, Where are you staying on Ambergris?
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 07:30 AM
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Crosscheck - Glad you have a plan!

We'll look forward to travelogues from all of you when you return (hint hint). Happy trails!
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 07:42 AM
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hopefulist,

Thanks for all your help - Your sensibilities (and fabulous photos) were very influencial in our decision.

I will post a report. Will start out with a recap of my horrendous sand flea/water taxi experience in Caye Caulker as a backpacker in the '70's. After many decades, I am finally ready to give Belize a second chance.
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 10:32 AM
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Will start out with a recap of my horrendous sand flea/water taxi experience in Caye Caulker as a backpacker in the '70's.

Can we have this story now? I'm heading to Caulker next month. On second thought, maybe I don't want to hear it

Seriously, I came home from our first trip to Belize with over 200 bites!
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 02:48 PM
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The horrendous experience was in August - The trade winds stopped and the water taxis (ferries then) were only running once a week. We met some travelers who had an early version of Deet that was used in Vietnam, but it didn't work.

There was also no food on the island, except chicken necks and backs. (More in my trip report - the gruesome details are still fresh in my memory.)

I think you'll be fine next month.
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 05:02 PM
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crosscheck, we are staying at Ramon's Village, very close to town. .just south. In fact, we've been advised we can probably walk to it from the airstrip. Probably won't.

jeanh was helping me by suggesting several places to stay. She lives on Ambergris part of the year. This was early in July, and we were preparing to be gone for about 6 weeks. I thought I needed to have Belize booked before we left, and I hurried. In hindsight, there really needn't have been a big rush, but oh well. Ramon's was pricey at $300 per night. I'm hoping for the best. . .our accomodation is supposed to be on the beach.

I'm thinking it may be a little more "resorty" than we would have preferred, but I'm sure we'll have a great time no matter what. I probably could have found a better deal, though.

Just today Ramon's booked our puddle jumper flights to and from the island. $123 per person.
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 05:03 PM
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By the way, TripAdvisor came out today with its 2009 "Best of This and That" categories for hotels all over the world. Hamanasi was mentioned several times as were several hotels and properties in Belize.
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 06:07 PM
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Andiesworld,

So sorry to hijack your thread, but I have breaking news about our trip: My husband says he thinks he might rather go to Ambergris (Xanadu resort) instead of Hamanasi after our jungle experience - less isolated, closer to the reef, etc. Will decide tonight - Sorry, hopefulist...I thought we were all set.

Shillmac,

Thanks for the tripadvisor tip. I think I read the whole Belize section during a conference call earlier in the week, but didn't see the awards. Will go back and check them out.

Sadly I don't think there are great deals available in the more popular places for March/April. Belize is definitely pricy compared to much of the rest of Central America, but reasonable compared to the Caribbean.
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Old Jan 29th, 2009, 07:41 PM
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You don't have to apologize - you have plenty of time.
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Old Feb 1st, 2009, 10:02 PM
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Looking forward to a report of your trip. We are going to Placencia for 2 weeks -- June 18-July 2, 2009. This will be our first time in Belize. We are staying at Mirasol Villa in Placencia. The rate seemed reasonable for a newer, air conditioned apartment with washer/dryer, pool, etc. -- $750/week. And it's on the beach! I hope you have a great time.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2009, 01:37 PM
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We spent some time in Belize 2 years ago and will go back this month for a month between Guatemala, Hondurus and Belize. Ambergris Caye is very nice and pricy. I would recommend you stay away from Hopkins only for the reason that my wife got so bit by sand flies that she had to see a doctor in Palencia. We stayed at Diana's there and it was clean quiet and near everything. We also stayed at 5 Sisters on the west side of Belize in the mountain Pine. There is also another resort down the road that looks quite economically and he boosts the coldest beer in belizeWe went to Caracol twice as well as about 5 other sites. Swimming at the Big Rock was very nice as well as the Rio Frio with no one else around. We will decide in the next day or so if we will stay at the Hidden Valley Ranch it looks really nice. This will be our treat to ourselves as it is rather pricey.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2009, 03:46 PM
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karibkitty and MrShort,

We now are considering Placencia as well - the perfect sort of town for us. (Like Tamarindo, CR or Sayulita, MX back in the day??)

And there's a new parameter in our plans: my boys let me know that we MUST be near a tv or sports bar on 4/4 and 4/6 for some important basketball games. So we have ruled out Hamanasi because of a)sand fleas and b)no TV.

Just checked out Mirasol - looks excellent...and it's just down the beach from the Tipsy Tuna Sports Bar. However, we need a 2 bedroom place and they only have 1 or 3.

Anyone have feedback on Chabil Mar?

The OP seems to have disappeared - Hope I didn't scare her away w/ my sand flea memories.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2009, 04:28 PM
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We just returned from Belize where we booked our package with Belize Lodge and Excursions.

Setting was pretty, some of the excursions were interesting, BUT service was horrendous!

My husband was injured on a boat ride and when we tried to obtain some medical help from the hotel staff, we were told that the lodge did not carry any first aid kits and did not even have a bandage. After 30 minutes of waiting for medical assistance, the manager came out from the kitchen with one small cotton pad dabbed with a few drops of vodka and told us that was all they had. Not a single word of concern while looking at my husband's profusely bleeding knee.

The company also charged us for things that they told us were included in the (very expensive) package, such as juice we ordered during breakfast.

I would never recommend Belize Lodge and Excursions in a million years unless you like being nickeled-and-dimed or you know you'll never suffer any injuries. If you do have an accident, be absolutely sure you can tough it out on your own because you certainly won't be getting any help from the managerial staff!
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