Lan Sluder, or others...Belize?

Oct 19th, 2004, 09:03 AM
  #1  
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Lan Sluder, or others...Belize?

Greetings!
My husband and I are not interested in fancy resorts. Instead we're looking for "luxury" camping. Something along the lines of the camp casitas at Chaa Creek is what we have in mind. Do you know of other similar facilities in Belize? (If you are familiar with it, we stayed at Almonds and Corals tent camp in Costa Rica and LOVED that.)

Since this will be our first trip to Belize we are open to suggestions as to destinations. However, we will want good hiking and birdwatching wherever we go.

Also, if we must travel sometime between November and May, what month do you suggest?

Thanks! Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Gretchen
cactushugger is offline  
Oct 19th, 2004, 01:21 PM
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You want to sleep in a tent or have a roof over your head? How about a moderately priced jungle lodge? Only one other place similiar to Chaa Creek campground but I hesitate to suggest it not having sent people there and having a strange feeling about it myself. Give me a bit more info and I'll think what else might classify as luxuy camping. Nothing here like in Africa you understand.
Katie_Valk is offline  
Oct 20th, 2004, 09:36 AM
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I'd agree with Katie that Chaa Creek's little A-frames on platforms are about the only real choice in "luxury camping" in Belize. Lots of good to wonderful lodges in all price ranges, though.

For birding and hiking, I'd probably suggest a mix of places -- Crooked Tree, the Mountain Pine Ridge, Lamanai, Gallon Jug among others.

--Lan Sluder
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Oct 20th, 2004, 09:47 AM
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Hi Katie!

Thanks for your willingness to help.

I'm not determined to do the luxury camping thing. We just so enjoyed our experience at Almonds and Corals in Costa Rica. ( Take a look at their web site...if you're curious.) If such places are not available in Belize, a cabana or casita would be fine. Our main interest is to stay in a free-standing unit with mosquito screening and an indoor, private bathroom. (We've just had too many experiences with noisey neighbors in conventional lodges and motels.) Much as I wish it were not so, cost is a concern. Fortunately we don't even desire the resort ammenities that usually come at a high price. All we want is a home base from which we can explore...no pool, no spa, no night club or massages are necessary. Rustic is fine, if clean, quiet,and at a reasonable price. Does that help, Katie?

I'll look forward to seeing your ideas.Thanks!
Gretchen
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Oct 21st, 2004, 01:20 PM
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Katie - I looked at Crystal Paradise. I think it would do very nicely.
Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
Gretchen

Lan - If you could pick only one month between Nov. and May to visit Belize, which would you choose? Why?
Just curious.
Gretchen
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Oct 21st, 2004, 01:47 PM
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We stayed at Crystal Paradise last year and it sounds like it is exactly what you are looking for. It's almost like camping out but a little bit nicer. It is family run by the Tut's and they are great. Mrs.Tut makes all of the food for breakfast and dinner and the sons are very informative and run some of the tours in the area. You can book almost any tour for the last minute and somehow they can make arrangements. We stayed there for five days and never got bored. You can even take a day trip to Tikal if so desired. We went in November and the weather was great. I think we got five nights for the price of four. Enjoy
ttraveler is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2004, 11:23 AM
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TTRAVELER,
Thanks so much for your comments. It is always encouraging to hear from someone with first hand knowledge of a "new" destination. Would you be willing to fill me in on some other details I've been wondering about? (Or anyone else out there?)

For example, how far is the nearest town? Can we go out for some meals - or will we be dependent on the lodge? How about transportation? Did you have a rental car? We found it so easy to get around in Costa Rica without one. When everything is new to us it's nice to let someone else do the driving... so neither of us has to keep our eyes on the road. And, hiking. Is there any we can just walk out of our cabana and do? Or will we need to drive somewhere?Finally, for now, what was the weather like in November? That would be my first choice too.

Again, thanks for any information you care to share. It is greatly appreciated.
Gretchen
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Oct 23rd, 2004, 05:03 AM
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I am not sure how long you are staying at Crystal Paradise or what your interests are but we stayed there for five days and always were busy. We didn't rent a car and I really don't think we missed not having one. We took day tours and left early in the morning and usually got home in time for dinner.
The Tut's have canoes that you can take yourself and go into town. One day we canoed into town, left our canoe for them to pick up, had lunch and then walked to some ruins that were close to town. We were able to take a bus back to Crystal Paradise. We were the only tourists on the local bus but it sounds like you would be fine with that. The nearest town is San Ignacio but without a car it may be difficult to get there for dinners.
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