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Placencia or Abergriscaye?

Old Nov 24th, 2004, 05:12 AM
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Placencia or Abergriscaye?

I posted earlier (mentioning Turneffe) but realized that I really should have really inquired about Placencia. Again, we love the water (swim & primarily snorkel) but also enjoy other outdoor activities. Wife & will be w/ our kids (6 & 11) so we are looking for a beach type resort (8 nts approx) to use as our base camp & take day trips from there (atoll, mayan ruins, cave floats, river floats, etc. etc.). I'd love to hear feedback on which location you feel would best suit our needs. I greatly appreciate all the great feedback/input I've received on this board.
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Old Nov 24th, 2004, 08:38 AM
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I'm sure Lan will post his excellent comparison of Ambergris and Placencia, but in the meantime, here's a view from a person who has been to Placencia once and Ambergris three times. And I'm beginning to plan a trip to the San Ignacio area next spring/summer.

Last February we flew from the midwest to Placencia, via Belize City. Spent four nights at a small cabana on the beach, Las Amigas, right on the north end of Placencia village. Cute place, great porch, lovely views. We enjoyed the area, very quiet, not nearly as busy as San Pedro. Still lots of choices for food/drinks. Our only tour was to Monkey River Town. It was a fun day, although it poured while we were hiking in the jungle. We saw manatees on the way back to Placencia. Way cool.

From there we flew to Belize Municipal, then onto Amergris Caye. We're pretty biased about this area. We like it a lot. I'm not sure I can even tell you why. There are certainly prettier towns in Costa Rica, better beaches in Mexico. But, San Pedro just feels 'right' to us. Other than snorkeling tours and trips to Caye Caulker we never seem to get much else accomplished while we're there. During our last trip down (September), we really were going to go to Lamanai, but I've heard that Tanisha Tours, and Danial Nunez, are the way to go, and they were closed for the entire month. So, that's still on hold for the next trip.

We would like to do some river floating and some cave tubing, but think it sounds like it's easier to do based out of San Ignacio and environs. If I were you, I'd seriously look at splitting your time between the Cayo and either Placencia or Ambergris Caye.

Jean
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Old Nov 24th, 2004, 10:27 PM
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Old Nov 25th, 2004, 10:59 AM
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you may want to consider two locations. san ignacio is a great location for the caves & ruins so a few nights there will give you some action type things to do. then hit one of the coast areas for a more relaxing time. probably with kids i'd pick ac. the good snorkeling is a ways off the caye so you need to pay to get out there.
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Old Nov 27th, 2004, 09:01 AM
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Old Nov 28th, 2004, 11:57 AM
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We just got back from a week at Ambergris Caye - two families with a total of four boys - 15, 14, 12, and 11. We thought this was one of the best vacations we've had. We stayed at Belizean Shores which is a great place for kids. It has a gorgeous pool, nice pier, bikes for riding to town (4 miles), kayaks available to row out to the reef (10 minutes max) for snorkeling, or they can arrange trips for you (they have an all day zoo/cave tubing or ruins/cave tubing). Getting to San Pedro from Belizean Shores can be a hassle because you have to ride a bike, rent a golf cart, or take a water taxi unless you can hitch a ride with someone heading that way, and getting to the mainland is time consuming so take that into account. Like Jean, Ambergris Caye seems to fit our style - clean, funky, friendly. I know that with kids it is sometimes easier to plant yourself in one location rather than moving around. Have fun.
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Old Nov 28th, 2004, 04:21 PM
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'PMCallum", thanks for the feedback. I checked out the Belizean Shores website and it looks very nice. However, you mentioned it was/is somewhat of a hassle getting to San Pedro. I was planning on staying at Banyan Bay but not now not sure. Do you know if Belizean Shores or Banyan Bay is closer to town/San Pedro? I'd also appreciate any general tips, suggestions, or recommendations you might have on Ambergris Caye area and/or side trips.
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Old Nov 28th, 2004, 06:27 PM
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Belizean Shores is on North Ambergris, a water taxi or other boat ride away from town. You can bike or take a golf cart but it's a long haul (4+ miles, plus crossing the hand-pulled ferry). Banyan Bay is about 1 1/2 miles south of town (cab, bike, golf cart or walk to town).

Both are good, but Banyan Bay is a step up from Belizean Shores. In quality as well as price.

--Lan Sluder <but then I've only written a guidebook to Ambergris Caye>
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Old Nov 29th, 2004, 08:32 AM
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I don't know anything about Banyan Bay, but having kids we wanted a place with a great pool, and Belizean Shores has a great pool, and lots of options for the kids. For us, it worked out great. We found that going into town a few times was enough for us, but you might choose to go in more often, which would make Banyan Bay, or anyplace on the south side, a better choice. We went in for groceries, although there is a small store near B.S. that had the basics, and to have dinner twice. We rode bikes to town during the day, which was a fun adventure in itself, but went by boat at night for dinner. Whatever you decide, you should have a great time.
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Old Nov 29th, 2004, 08:46 AM
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Hey Pumpy:
I just checked out Banyon Bay on the internet. As Lan said, the accomodations look nicer that Belizean Shores and a big plus is that they are 2 bedroom, 2 bath. I believe all B.S. units have just one bath.
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Old Nov 30th, 2004, 03:45 AM
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Look at Xanadu and Banana Beach on Ambergris for more condo options. Placencia has Zeboz and will soon have two more condo options opening-one next to Turtle Inn and the other next to Roberts Grove. Both destinations are nice-I spent this weekend in Placencia and am now on Ambergris. I much prefer the trips to the mainland from Placencia over ambergris, but Ambergris will certainly appeal to a wider range of people because it offers more services and options. Placencia is more laid back and less developed. I would say the active outdoorsy person would be happier in Placencia. Do you need to be in a condo? Placencia has a nice selection of beachfront inns, some with a small fridge and microwave with coffeemakers. Another consideration may be the price of land trips, which will much higer from Ambergris. For instance, the 9wonderful) trip to Lamanai maya site is us$135.00pp from Ambergris by boat. Similar trip to the maya sites in near Placencia would be 85.00pp. Day trip to the mainland from Ambergris to sse howler monkeys would cost over 100.00pp with air or caving 150.00pp with air. Similiar from Placencia would be Monkey River for 45.00pp and Blue Creek for 85.00pp. Or visit Ambergris and then move to a mainland lodge inb Cayo for 3-4 nts for maya sites, caving, river trips and more.
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Old Dec 29th, 2004, 05:45 PM
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Stayed at Banyan Bay last Feb. and going back there next week - highly recommend...
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Old Dec 29th, 2004, 06:16 PM
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Good to hear (Hightide). Since I posted this thread, I've made the following reservations (Thanks Katie Valk):
3 nts Chaa Creek (Tree Top Suite)
6 nts Banyan Bay

Hightide, are you a diver or do any snorkeling? While I'm sure we'll go to to Ho Chan Marine Reserve & Shark Ray Alley, I'm really wanting to hear from someone who's been out to any of the Atolls. Did you go to any of the Atolls (specifically Blue Hole)? If so, is there enough to see snorkeling or is to deep and one really needs a tank to fully appreciate? I'm asking because I wondering if I should take my kids along on the boat ride out and let them snorkel while I dive (wife and I will take turns diving and watching kids)?
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Old Dec 29th, 2004, 06:44 PM
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No diving, minimal snorkeling, maximum relaxing and absorbing local flavor and food! We did take a day fishing/beach picnic trip and loved it. If you want, check out our trip report/pics here: http://www.hightide.com/travel/Beliz...elize2004.html
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