lone traveler going to Belize

Old Jan 18th, 2004, 11:24 PM
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lone traveler going to Belize

Hoping to get to Belize mid/late Feb for 7-10 days. Starting from scratch and it appears there's much to study. Given an interest in archaeology and nature, I want to see as much as possible of Mayan ruins and jungles. Where should I stay/visit and how to arrange transport to and/or tours of sites? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Also, is there an easy way to travel RT Belize to Guatemala to visit Tikal?
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Old Jan 19th, 2004, 07:44 AM
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There are Maya sites all over Belize. Among the best are Caracol and Xunantunich in Cayo (western Belize) and Lamanai in northern Belize. Altun Ha north of Belize City is a popular site because it's fairly easy to get to from San Pedro and from Belize City where the cruise ships come in.
There are also interesting a less-visited sites in southern Belize such as Nim Li Punit and Lubaantun.

You probably will want to base in the San Igancio area for at least part of your trip.

You can go from there on day or overnight trips to Tikal (about 1 1/2 hours by road from San Ignacio, plus border crossing time). You can also fly from Belize international.

--Lan Sluder
www.belizefirst.com
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Old Jan 19th, 2004, 07:45 AM
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I was in Belize last year about the same time. We flew into Belize City and then headed out to the Cayo
District. There are buses that run, but we decided to rent a car. It was pretty inexpensive, between $200-$300. A bus ride might take 7 hours, by car it's only 2-3. We stayed at DuPloys while in the Cayo District. This is where the ruins are. I would suggest that you head to Placencia after the ruins. It's a laid back little town, people are very friendly. If you head there, tell Greg from the Purple Parrot hello! They have good food at the Parrot. All in all, we loved Belize. We were there for 7 days, and wished that we had 3 or 4 more days. Have fun.
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Old Jan 19th, 2004, 01:09 PM
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Actually a local bus to Cayo shouldn't take more than 3 1/2 hours, and the express about 2 hours. Since December there are flights to San Ignacio as well from the international airport, though expensive (US$88 one-way).

As I say, there are ruins all over Belize, though are five well-known ones in Cayo -- Xunantunich, El Pilar, Cahal Pech, Pacbitun and Caracol (which is 3 hours from San Ignacio). Plus San Ignacio is a gateway to Tikal.

--Lan Sluder
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Old Jan 21st, 2004, 12:41 AM
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Thank you both for your suggestions. Now I need to do some mapping and contacts re flight and places to stay. Suggestions for good web sites?Do I need a Visa for either Belize or Guatemala? Is travel between the 2 countries any problem? My Spanish is quite limited. Again, thanks for your help.
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Old Jan 21st, 2004, 03:51 AM
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Are you a US citizen? You don't need a visa for Belize and can get your visa for Guatemala at the border. I'm not sure what your budget is for hotels, but higher end in Cayo would be Chaa Creek or duPlooys (they both have some accommodtions for less $) or mid-priced, like Clarissa Falls or Crystal paradise Resort (and many others in between). They all run the trips you want and are all comfortable and welcoming. And run day and overnight trips to tikal.
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Old Jan 21st, 2004, 05:31 AM
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No visas needed for either for citizens of the U.S. and Canada. Guatemala requires visas for more countries than Belize does.

You'll need some Spanish or at least a basic dictionary in Guatemala; English is the official language of Belize and is widely spoken.

Good Web sites include:

www.travelbelize.org (the official Belize Tourist Board site)
www.ambergriscaye.com
www.explorex.com
www.placencia.com
www.belizefirst.com (my site)

--Lan Sluder

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Old Jan 28th, 2004, 12:27 PM
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We had 2 families of 4 traveling to Belize. Our first destination was San Ignacio and a trip to Tikal. We stayed at Windy Hill Resort (if you want to call it that). Pleasant somewhat rustic setting in the hills outside San Ignacio. Had to take a taxi into town but it was a good way to get information on tours and places to eat. Most all resorts can schedule your trip to Guatamala to see Tikal, but we managed to arrange ours through our friendly local taxi driver and he got us right through customs no problem. Tour guide into Tikal came with the trip. It's a must do! We arranged everything in Belize very last minute with the locals. There are some good guide books out there on Belize that would probably be well worth investing in (at least 1).
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