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Costa Rica or Belize

Old Oct 26th, 2007, 12:55 PM
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Costa Rica or Belize

My husband and I and 4 children (15,18,20 and 21) are wanting to make a trip to Central America next June. We are looking at Costa Rica or Belize. We are interested in snorkeling, kayaking, a zipline experience, horseback riding and maybe river tubing. We want both time in the jungle and at the beach. Which is be best country for us to visit and where should we stay. We'd appreciate suggestions.
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Old Oct 26th, 2007, 01:52 PM
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For snorkeling, river tubing and beach Belize is better.

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Old Oct 26th, 2007, 02:03 PM
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Costa Rica has great ziplines, river rafting, beaches, wildlife, waterfalls, and volcanoes. If snorkeling is more what you're interested in, Belize would be better. We did snorkeling in CR, and the visibility was pretty poor because of all the sediment in the water.
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Old Oct 26th, 2007, 03:37 PM
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If snorkeling wasn't at the top of our list for activities, would you pick Costa Rica over Belize? My husband and I love to snorkle, but our kids don't enjoy it as much. They would enjoy white water rafting more.
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Old Oct 26th, 2007, 04:18 PM
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We had a BLAST in Belize when our kids were 17, 18, and 20. You can find everything you mention there, but you should also consider Honduras. You can do everything on your list around La Ceiba and on Roatán. The ruins of Copán are wonderful, too, IMO, though not in the same area.

If you're interested, check out our photos and travelogues from Belize and Honduras:

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

Let me know if I can answer questions. Happy trails!
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Old Oct 26th, 2007, 05:28 PM
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Well, we weighed CR vs. Belize for a long time, and we ended up choosing CR. We've already been twice and will still be going back. There's just so much to see and do there.

We've gone to Arenal, Manuel Antonio, the Osa, and the Peace Lodge and still have lots of spots we want to see. Arenal has an active volcano, waterfall, SkyTrek ziplines, Tabacon natural hot springs, and the Cano Negro river boat tour where you'll see monkeys, sloths, etc. Really a lot of activities there. The Peace Lodge has 5 waterfalls you can hike to and is a really fun, posh over the top property where you can spend a night or two. They also have a nocturnal frog tour that's really fun. MA offers mangrove tours, horseback riding, a National Park full of wildlife, and beautiful beaches - the one inside the park is the nicest. It's a little more Americanized than other spots in CR. White water rafting can be done in several places; we haven't done that yet, but the Pacuare is popular, and we'd love to do it. Belize is still on our to do list; we love to snorkel and have done it in the BVIs, Hawaii, etc. so I was surprised at how much CR sucked us in. We love it - seems like most people who go keep going back again and again. If you're interested in the Osa, which is a little wilder, Bosque del Cabo is an amazing place to stay.
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Old Oct 27th, 2007, 06:09 AM
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I can't speak to any of the other places that have been mentioned as we've been hooked on CR for several years and are still enjoying it's many treasures. We have ventured south to Panama a couple of times, and although we thoroughly enjoyed what it has to offer, we still prefer Costa Rica.

Looking at the age of your children, I would think they would LOVE (and you too) white water rafting on one of the top rivers in the world--the Pacuare. You'll find excellent horseback riding with Finca Valmy tour out of Manuel Antonio--and great zipline experiences in the Arenal and Monteverde areas. That said, you can horseback ride and zipline pretty much anywhere in the country.

In spite of all the natural beauty in all parts of the country, I still think it is the warmth and hospitality and beautiful smiles of the Costa Ricans (who call themselves Ticos) that keeps us returning time and time again. It's a pretty special place.
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Old Oct 27th, 2007, 10:03 PM
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I was trying to make the same decision last year, and ended up going to Belize. But I am lucky enough to be going to CR this year! So I can let you know more when I get back

BUT, as far as I could tell when we were trying to decide last year - They both have things like ziplining, river tubing/rafting and waterfalls, as well as jungles and beaches.

Belize has Mayan ruins, cool caving adentures, and better snorkeling, Whereas in CR, you'll see more wild animal life (we only saw one monkey our whole trip in Belize) and the volcano.

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Old Oct 28th, 2007, 06:55 AM
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chanad, that's great - I can't wait to hear your comparison between the two when you get back.

Honestly, the wildlife in CR is just jaw dropping. I will never forget floating down the river and looking over and seeing capuchins, and then seeing howlers, and then seeing caimans - it was so amazing that it didn't even seem real. Seeing toucans and scarlet macaws - wow! I had a hard time picking a place in Belize because we like to snorkel right off the beach, and it seemed like most spots I looked at either had lots of sea grass or you had to take a boat out to get to the reef. Can you recommend any spots in Belize on a pretty beach that you can just walk out and snorkel? I would love that.
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Old Oct 28th, 2007, 10:21 AM
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We chose Belize over CR two years ago because of the age of our kids (7 & 11) at the time plus we really enjoy snorkeling (kids too) and SCUBA (wife & I). We had a great time in Belize!

Now that are kids are a cpl yrs older and are able to hike, white water raft & zip line....we're headed to CR for 10 nts. We're splitting our time between Arenal (Lost Iguana 3 nts) & Manuel Antonio (Buena Vista Villas 6 nts).

We too will report back after our trip. Enjoy!
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Old Oct 28th, 2007, 10:31 AM
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Does how the mosquitos are in Belize and Costa Rica in June? Are they worse in one country or another. I appreciate all the tips.
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Old Oct 28th, 2007, 10:48 AM
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I would think that would depend upon which area you visit, but we went in July and wore repellant each day and did not have any problems - maybe two bites? Nothing that would deter me from visiting again.
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Old Oct 28th, 2007, 06:05 PM
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In Belize in the summer for us it depended on where we were: Cayo and Glovers, no problem with bugs even without repellent. On Glovers it was thanks to the steady ocean breezes. We wore repellent at Tikal but the bugs weren't too bad. They were THICK in the Cockscomb Reserve and the Sittee River Village area, but our Sawyer's Controlled Release kept us safe. Happy trails!
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Old Oct 31st, 2007, 08:17 AM
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How is the driving in Belize? We were thinking of staying 5 nights in Hopkins at Jaguar Reef and 5 nights near San Ignacio at Black Rock Lodge?
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Old Oct 31st, 2007, 09:54 AM
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The few main highways are paved, safe and easy to navigate. Dirt road leading into both JR and BRL, about a 20 min drive.
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