Help with first trip to Belize

Nov 11th, 2003, 06:28 AM
  #1  
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Help with first trip to Belize

We are planning to go Belize first time with a 5-years old (and 2 adults) late December 03 or January 04 (ideally). This was a last minute thing and now I am trying to find a nice place to stay in Ambergris Caye. Sounds like Banyan Bay is sold out. Any other nice places to stay? Or is it worth to go with their availability? It's our honeymoon too, so we want it to be a very pleasant experience.
Is Victoria House kid-friendly? Is better to contact hotels direct (e-mail or call?)or use a travel agent? Which one?
Any advise on quality and safe babysitting? Any idea of pricing? My husband is a diver and I am just starting on it. It would be great if we can escape couple of times for a dive together.
Would appreciate advice. Thanks!

Also, we are flying from Cincinnati or Columbus to Belize city. Is it too much to fly to San Pedro same day or it's better to stay in Fort George overnight?
ksenya is offline  
Nov 11th, 2003, 08:01 AM
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Hi there! Although Victoria House looked great, it is too far to walk to town, especially with children. You can rent a golf cart which we did. However, we rarely used it to drive into town as the roads were extremely dusty. We walked the beach instead. I would suggest staying closer to town unless you plan on taking a taxi every time you want to go to dinner, etc. The flight from Belize City to San Pedro is very short; 15 min. or so. No need to stay over. Our hotel booked the transfer flight for us at the same price it would have cost us over the internet.
nankar is offline  
Nov 11th, 2003, 08:12 AM
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In my experience you should book a room on AC for the end of December - you don't wna tto end up in a low-end hotel on your honeymoon. As for other options, we've stayed at The Palms and Paradise Villas - both are close to town and both have pools. The Palms is a bit newer and all rooms are oceanfront. I've heard good things about Banana Beach as well. Check out www.ambergriscaye.com - there are lots of lodging options listed and a message board with many knowledgable people who post.

Have a great time - Belize is awesome.
stellablue is offline  
Nov 11th, 2003, 01:30 PM
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You can actually take the water taxi to Ambergris caye and it's far cheaper than taking the short plane ride. It is a longer ride (over an hour I believe) but it's fun. They put your luggage underneath and you sit on padded benches for the ride. I woudl avoid it only if the water as really rough that day. I took the plane out to enjoy the view from above and took the water taxi back.
Owen_ONeill is offline  
Nov 11th, 2003, 02:54 PM
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Banyan Bay is great, especially for families, but there are tons of other excellent places. (How do I know? I'm the only person in the world who has written a guidebook specifically to Ambergris Caye.)

In the condotel/suites category, which offer more space and the same amenities as resorts, for less money, I'd look at The Palms, Banana Beach and Xanadu. Belizean Shores, too, if you don't mind being on North Ambergris.

Nearly all of the hotels on the island are kid-friendly. One exception is Mata Chica, which doesn't accept kids under 10 (or maybe it's 12). Victoria House is excellent, though pricey.

With a small child, unless you stay in or near town, or on North Ambergris, you'll want to rent a golf cart. Roads aren't usually dusty unless it hasn't rained in a long time (pretty rare on Ambergris and shouldn't be the case in December.)

No problem flying over to San Pedro the same day. Tropic and Maya Island are extending flights into the early evening. Flying is a better introduction to Belize and Ambergris Caye than hustling by taxi (US$20) down to Belize City to catch a water taxi, which are first-come first-serve and whose times don't usually match up with international flights. If you need to save a few bucks, cabbing to the municipal airport and flying from there saves about half (US$26 versus $48 versus US$14 by water taxi) over international, but it's not worth the hassle unless you have a group of three to five.

--Lan Sluder
LanSluder is offline  
Nov 11th, 2003, 03:36 PM
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I would recommend one of the ocean-front suites at Banana Beach.
Brian is offline  
Nov 11th, 2003, 04:13 PM
  #7  
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Thanks everybody for the input! Really appreciate all information and advices.
Banyan Bay came up with the poolside villa Jan 3-10. Is it good enough or Banana Beach oceanfront would be a better option?

Thanks again!
ksenya is offline  
Nov 12th, 2003, 05:43 AM
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With a 5-year-old, I'd still go with Banyan Bay poolside, as the units there are two-bedroom, two-bath and are really big. The beach is only a short distance away. Plus the pool is nicer -- outside with a shallow and a deeper section, rather than inside the courtyard as the two Banana Beach pools are.

--Lan Sluder
LanSluder is offline  
Nov 12th, 2003, 12:03 PM
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We are going to Costa Rica next week but plan on going to Belize sometime in the future. The place that was recommended to us was Captain Morgans. Check out their website it's awesome. Looks less prissy then Victoria House. The girl I talked to said it was amazing and they loved it there.
-D
drport is offline  
Nov 12th, 2003, 04:07 PM
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Note that Captain Morgans is north of the "cut" and you will require some kind of transporation if you want to go to town.
Brian is offline  
Nov 12th, 2003, 05:32 PM
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I wouldn't make a decision about Captain Morgan's or any other place based on a Web site!

--Lan Sluder <have stayed at Captain Morgan's and more than a hundred other places in Belize>
LanSluder is offline  
Nov 13th, 2003, 03:09 PM
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Lan,

Thanks a lot for the great advices! We booked poolside at Banyan Bay and are looking forward to go on our first trip. What else we can do with 5-year old besides just engoying it? Any babysitting tips? Promise to post aftertrip message.

Have one more question: our flight back to Miami out of Belize city is 8:37 a.m. Airline is telling me I have to be there 3 hrs ahead... What is more realistic cut off?

Thanks everybody!

Ksenya
ksenya is offline  
Nov 15th, 2003, 08:57 AM
  #13  
 
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Two hours is plenty. I think I got there about two hours before departure and ended up with a good hour to spare after getting through security. You'll definitely need to stay in Belize City the last night in order to reach the airport on time.
Owen_ONeill is offline  
Nov 15th, 2003, 11:57 AM
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I agree that two hours is plenty.

But there's no need to stay overnight the night before in Belize City. There's a 6 a.m. Tropic Air flight from San Pedro that'll get you to the international airport by 6:20. There's also a Maya Island flight at the same time.

As to babysitting, Banyan Bay should be able to arrange that for you.

--Lan Sluder
LanSluder is offline  
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