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travellingwithteens Nov 29th, 2019 07:58 PM

itinerary help family with teens in Belize , March 2020
we are planning a 2 week trip in March. Week 1 will be near Placencia doing a scuba diving course and some conservation work. Week 2 we would like to spend a night or two in a Mayan village and stay at one of the jungle lodges.
Need some help with planning and choosing. We have been in touch with the organization that does home stays and keeps the money in the local communities.. ( TEA) Need to figure out best way to get to Toledo and San Anotonio.

Then we are considering either the casitas at Chha Creek or the Black Rock River Lodge. Was also wondering about the horseback riding at mountain Equestrian Trails.

My questions are :
what is the weather like in March.. does it cool down significantly in the evening? Is A/C recommended for those not used to hot and humid weather?
I like the sound of some of the more rustic options but am worried that if my crew is uncomfortable ( too hot, too bug bitten, etc) that that could ruin our time...
any recommendations of specific lodges that will give us great access to wildlife and are comfortable but not over the top fancy?

Also not sure of best way to plan to get from Placencia to Toledo and then to San Ignacio. We were not planning to drive because of the reports of the roads... but am also uncertain about taking local buses. Does hiring a driver make sense?

we are open to other suggestions.. we would like to have the options of different active activities and everyone would enjoy witnessing the wildlife. I think the ruins would be amazing.but realistically we will only go to one.. should we go to Tikal or just stick to the Belizean ones.
We do not want to be surrounded by buses of other tourists.. generally prefer quieter and off the beaten track destinations..

thanks in advance for your insights and recommendations.

MisterB2 Nov 30th, 2019 07:08 AM

Here's my March weather summary based on my experience living in Belize...
Average daily maximum: 30 C.
Average overnight minimum: 22 C.
Average humidity: 65%.
Average precipitation: 48 mm.

In general, March tends to dry, but rain increases towards the end of the month with occasional thunderstorms. Rainfall is sporadic and usually comes in brief showers (day or night) rather than all day downpours.

I don't need an a/c or fan in March. It usually doesn't get hot enough for an a/c until about late April or early May. That average temp shown above is an average for the whole country, but the average overnight low in coastal areas is a bit higher, and the average overnight low inland is a bit lower, so it will be cooler than 22 iin Cayo. But I can't say if that will be too warm for you.

For getting around, the buses have been the "best" way for me. From Placencia, I'd get the Hokey-Pokey ferry from Placencia to Independence, and then get the James Bus to Punta Gorda.

Going back to SI, get the James Bus to Belmopan and change to a bus going to San Ignacio (the final destination of the bus is Benque). Her's a site all about bus travel in Belize...

If you have any specific questions after reading that site, let me know -- or you can write to the author of the site -- I know he will respond promptly.

volcanogirl Nov 30th, 2019 07:55 AM

We stayed at Chaa Creek and really liked it a lot. We did a day trip to Tikal from there and also went canoeing at Barton Creek Cave. We were there in summer, and it was really hot and humid; our room had a large fan that we used, and they have a pool. If you want something isolated, we also went to the Lamanai Outpost Lodge and loved it. It's located down a river, and right next door to some nice ruins that we had all to ourselves when we were there.

hopefulist Nov 30th, 2019 02:37 PM

Re: "if my crew is uncomfortable ( too hot, too bug bitten, etc) that that could ruin our time..."
Imho if you're prepared with proper repellent and clothing and have expectations that are aligned with reality, most folks can get around temporary discomfort in order to have a trip of a lifetime. Our 3 kids were incredible troopers during nearly 4 wild weeks in Belize when we first visited. Try to pack really, really light - packing around too much stuff was our only mistake that trip.

Here are 2 jungle lodges near San Ignacio we've loved: (It was still duPlooy's when we stayed there.)

Snorkeling and/or diving, the ATM cave or maybe Actun Chapat would be highlights for me, the Belize Zoo, and an overnight trip to Tikal - totally worth the expense and effort imo.

My photos with blog links on the main page of each collection are below in case you're interested - all my recommendations are embedded there.
Happy trails!

Patty Dec 2nd, 2019 04:30 PM

I'm fairly heat adverse and find January to March OK with just a fan for sleeping. Our first trip was in May and I had to change accommodations after 2 sleepless nights. I also found it buggier then so have only returned in winter.

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