Best snorkeling in Belize?

Oct 28th, 2004, 01:23 PM
  #1  
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Best snorkeling in Belize?

My husband and I are planning a trip to Belize for March 2005 - What are your recommendations for the best snorkeling areas, and hotels (fairly upscale) nearby? We are young-minded ages 50+, but prefer quiet over all-night partying scene!

While I'm at it, can anyone recommend good hotel/resorts near the Guatemala border that offer excursions to Tikal?

Thanks in advance - Claire and David
claire_david is offline  
Oct 28th, 2004, 02:14 PM
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Good snorkeling along the reef. The best snorkeling is on the outer atolls, where there is one lodge per island dedicated to divers, snorkelers, anglers and people who want privacy. You can arrange a day snorkel trip to Lighthouse Reef from San Pedro island. Look at Placencia and Hopkins/Sittee as well for quiet beaches near good snorkeling. Upscale lodges near the border (in the Cayo district) that offer day tours of tikal are Chaa Creek and duPlooys. Further away are Blancaneaux Lodge and Hidden Valley inn.
Katie_Valk is offline  
Oct 29th, 2004, 04:43 AM
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We stayed on Ambergres Caye at Xanadu. It was very nice, on the beach and walkable to town. We had friends stay at Victoria House, maybe the nicest on the island. Farther from town, they used golf carts to get to town. All snorkeling is from a boat. They have dozens of trips going out each day. We deabated about the outer atolls, but decided for our first visit we wanted other activities available.

We also stayed at Chaa Creek. A great place. We did not take the trip to Tikal, but stayed local and did caving and canoing. Look into Actun Tunichil Muknal if you want a real adventure. We used an operation called Mayawalk for our trips, they were excellent.
slk230 is offline  
Oct 31st, 2004, 06:15 PM
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You might want to spend a week at Lighthouse Reef Resort. It has A/C units although a bit rustic and very nice beach, fairly good food and an excellent dive operation. Snorkelers are not forgotten either. It is the nearest resort to the Blue Hole, I believe by an hour. The snorkeling around the Blue Hole is as good as it gets. Hope this helps.
My wife and I have been there 4 times in the past 10 years.
StanKase is offline  
Nov 1st, 2004, 07:36 AM
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Thanks to all 3 of you. Is it maybe preferable to spend a night in Guatemala near Tikal rather than try to force it into a day trip from Belize? Also, how does one get around within Belize -- by air or by rental car? I can't get a feel for the drive times or how helpful the actual resorts themselves are in making air and ground transportation to their properties. Claire
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Nov 2nd, 2004, 03:04 AM
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You can stay in Tikal park (Jungle Lodge is best), on the island village of flores and get a taste of Guatemala, or on the lagoon in the reserve at an inn owned by Francis Ford Coppola or the posh Camino Real. You'll get around Belize (and from Guatemala back to Belize) easily by plane and road transfers.
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Nov 2nd, 2004, 12:59 PM
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Katie - You are a wealth of knowledge! Which Mayan ruins sights are better - Tikal or those in Belize? SLK230 - I'd love to hear more about your adventure using Mayawalk - was it physically difficult or challenging? (Post-knee surgery of my husband limits our activity level somewhat.) Thanks - Claire
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Nov 3rd, 2004, 01:10 AM
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I much prefer Emilio Awe for the Actun TM cave trip. 824 2477. I wrote a great story about the trip a few yras ago. Chrck www.belizenet.com go to belizean journeys and look for my article, troglidytes delight. Tikal is the most imnpressivce in the maya empire, but I love Caracol (and the drive there), Xunantunich and others in Belize.
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Nov 5th, 2004, 05:00 AM
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Yes, I think that it is a very good idea to stay overnight on your visit to Tikal. As far as Actun Tunichil Muknal, it very hard to judge for other people about the physical aspects. It's a 45 minute walk just to get to the cave entrance. There is a very brief swim to get into the cave itself, and then you climb over, under and through rock formations. While, it's not just for those in excellent shape, you do want to be able to handle hours on your feet and climbing over the rocks.

As far as traveling around Belize. We had Chaa Creek pick us up and drop us off at the airport. All the tours we took, had transportation provided. It seemed that some people struggled with rental cars since it seemed like only the 4 main highways are paved. There is a bus that runs throughout the country and it can be cheap, but the timing and worring about luggage was not worth it. Flying within the country is not easy due to lack of airports. You would fly to places like Tikal or Ambergris Caye, but not necessarily within the country itself.
slk230 is offline  
Nov 11th, 2004, 08:24 AM
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Katie - If we fly from San Pedro directly to Tikal, how can we get from Tikal's airport to Tikal hotel? Does Jungle Lodge or Tikal Lodge have shuttle service? And can we fly directly from Tikal to Chaa Creek Lodge or must we fly into and back out of Belize City to make that connection? Claire
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Nov 11th, 2004, 09:50 AM
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Neither of the lodges include hotel transfers in the rate, but you can book it. I think better to arrive and get a taxi from Flores to Tikal. Better to travel by road from Tikal to Chaa Creek, about 2 plus hrs with border crossing.
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