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Jungle Fever - Can You Help With Belize Itinerary? Part 2

Jungle Fever - Can You Help With Belize Itinerary? Part 2

Old May 15th, 2010, 03:13 AM
  #21  
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And yes, the three nights are set (I think, lol!)
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Old May 15th, 2010, 04:26 AM
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I think Chaa Creek's attention to detail is excellent so if they say you're set, you're set. Can't wait to read your travelogue! I leave in less than a month for this summer's adventure, our first trip to México: a few weeks on the Yucatan with my husband for diving, snorkeling, flyfishing, and Maya ruins followed by 2 weeks living with a family in San Cristóbal de las Casas and studying Spanish and visiting area villages and ruins. Happy trails!
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Old May 16th, 2010, 07:24 AM
  #23  
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That sounds like a fantastic itinerary; happy trails to you as well!
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Old May 16th, 2010, 07:54 AM
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Thanks! Should be great - I'll blog along the way and post a travelogue and photos on my flickr site when I get home.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 08:24 AM
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Agree M Dear, that warm and friendly are universal. The Costa Ricans have perfected it, though. You're spoiled! Me, too! Sounds like things are shaping up nicely.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 12:06 PM
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Hi, shill! Planning is half the fun!
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Old May 17th, 2010, 06:13 PM
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I agree. Why can I not get into planning for the summer? We are truly going to fly by the seats of our pantalones, I guess.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 05:28 PM
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We did the overnight Tikal tour with Pacz if you have any questions.

Beth
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Old May 20th, 2010, 06:34 PM
  #29  
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betha, where did you leave from? I can't decide whether to get transport to Tikal and schedule tours from there, or to book with Pacz.

Clarissa Falls isn't answering my e-mails, so I'll have to call them. that will make a difference, I think.
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Old May 20th, 2010, 08:05 PM
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Cat - See if you can book an early morning tour at Tikal with archaeologist Roxy Ortiz who bases out of the Tikal Inn when she's not away on a dig. In general, Tikal guides get really mixed reviews - some of them BAD - and I couldn't believe how much more fascinating and enriching the ruins experience was with Roxy, even though it was my 3rd visit to Tikal. 4 hours flew by and we invited her to lunch so we could spend an extra hour or 2 with her - a highlight of last summer's trip. Even if Pacz (or someone else) sets up your transportation and hotel, I'd be sure you lodge at the Tikal Inn and then contact them directly to ask about Roxy. Just another 2 quetzales' worth...
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Old May 20th, 2010, 08:55 PM
  #31  
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Good advice, as always, hope! Thanks a bundle!
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Old May 21st, 2010, 12:47 PM
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We were staying in San Ignacio. Pacz came to our hotel to get us. They drove us to the border with our guide, guide walked us through customs, and a Guatemalan driver was waiting on the other side for the 2 hour drive. It was nice having the guide with us the whole way because he told us interesting things just about Guatemala as we drove. Once in Tikal we walked through the whole site, from about 9:30-10am till 2-3pm. We checked in to the Jungle Lodge. My husband and I relaxed for a while. My husband and the guide then left around 4:30 to walk back around Tikal some more. The park officially closes at 6 and our guide wanted to obey those rules. We were back in Tikal at 6am the next morning to watch the jungle come to life from the top of tower 4. Pacz came to get us at 10am. We could have stayed later but we felt ready to go.
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Old May 21st, 2010, 08:52 PM
  #33  
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Thanks, betha! Did you arrange teh tour on your own or through a lodge? And do ypou recall how much it was?
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Old May 22nd, 2010, 12:19 PM
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We arranged it directly through Pacz via email. I paid $300/person US (dang, it probably wasn't worth that! but I admit that I didn't love Tikal- loved the ATM much more). Our hotel used Pacz for their tours too but tacked on extra to the price so it was better to arrange it on our own.
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Old May 22nd, 2010, 01:06 PM
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Sounds like a great trip planned so far! So what are the best things to do from The Trek Stop?
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Old May 22nd, 2010, 03:26 PM
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Here's my list:
:: Overnight visit to Tikal (stay in the park), maybe a night in Flores before returning if you have time
:: ATM Cave: http://www.pacztours.net/pages/tours/ATM.html
:: Walk along the Mopan River, cross the hand-cranked ferry, and hike to Xunantunich
:: Hang out in the butterfly enclosure
:: Float the Mopan River in innertubes to Crystal Paradise
:: Eat a "Belizean Special" served up at the Trek Stop
:: Shop for groceries in San José Succotz Village at the Chinese grocery and fix your own dinner
:: Read/snooze in a hammock
:: Play a round of frisbee golf
:: Visit Chechem Ha cave
:: Visit Poustinia Earth Sculpture Park
:: Head to San Ignacio (ice cream, market, have your laundry done, Cahal Pech ruins)
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Old May 22nd, 2010, 04:33 PM
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Wow - the prices for the Tikal tour seem to vary widely. Clarissa Falls offers I think $70 each way transport only to Tikal. That may be a good bet IF Roxy Ortiz is available. BUT - I can't get in touch with Clarissa Falls via email; I may try phoning. The Trek Stop can't find my c/c info, but said that I can still keep my reservation. The problem is that I don't quite trust that it'll be there when we arrive! Gee, I'm sure glad I got started on this early!

Betha, what didn't you love about tikal? Crowded?

Hope, that sounds like an ideal way to spend a few days...
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Old May 22nd, 2010, 07:47 PM
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Be sure to ask specifics about what is included as this varies widely. Depending on the season and which hotel, it may be $75-100 for the hotel + meals + $20 each park entrance (x 1 or 2) + guide + transportation + border fees = it can add up.
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 10:23 AM
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Honestly, we would have been happy to do Tikal as a one day trip. I was very tempted to just get on the van back with the other part of our tour group (there were just 3 of us and the 3rd person was only doing Tikal as a day trip). I am not a Mayan culture buff. I climbed the structures, I listened to the stories as well as the guide's good information...but it just wasn't something that I felt like I needed days to explore. The crowds were a non-issue.

The main thing for me is that there were no artifacts or much just beyond the buildings and the stories. I am also the kind of person that can go through a museum kind of fast too though! But, even my husband who really takes his time at museums felt ready to go after the one time pass through. Sure, it was interesting to see the jungle come to life in the morning before the crowds arrived but, for me, it really wasn't worth the time or the expense. There were other things in Belie I think I would have rather seen again with that time and money.

Beth
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Old May 23rd, 2010, 12:35 PM
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The early morning in the jungle bit was amazing for us - hundreds of butterflies hatching, howler monkeys roaring and shaking the trees, toucans and parrots feeding on fruit at eye level, coatis and gray foxes scurrying through the underbrush. In my 3 early mornings at Tikal over the years I haven't seen anyone else besides the family or friends I was with for hours. Our middle child joined us through adoption and is a Guatemalteco and a Maya by birth, so the culture is fascinating to us. Just goes to show that "one man's ceiling is another man's floor".
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