Tours in Belize

Old Feb 12th, 2009, 07:47 PM
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Tours in Belize

My boyfriend and I have have never been to Belize. I want to snorkel, visit the ruins, and maybe go to the caves. I also would like to visit other recommended islands. How much do these thing cost and are there agencies that have sales or specials?
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Old Feb 12th, 2009, 08:47 PM
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I recommend you buy a guidebook and read the background and highlight sections. It's really possible to plan your own trip. Many of us split out time between an inland spot as a base for ruins, hiking, caving things, and a beach or island spot. For example, head to the Cayo district first, do an overnight visit to Tikal in Guatemala, then head to blue water. If you read up a bit, decide on your time frame and general budget, and come back with more specifics we'll be able to help you better. Happy trails!
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Old Feb 13th, 2009, 09:12 AM
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Belize is the fascinating destination. You can begin your trip with Belize City and then go to Cayo district and stay in a lodge and explore Maya ruins and visit the caves. As for the snorkeling, Ambergris Caye is one of the finest dive and snorkeling sites in the world. I think the safest, surest and the most comfortable way to travel is to book your trip through the tour operator, especially if you donít now the destination. And if you are looking for the upscale and interesting tour I can recommend you Latour company www.latour.com, the company Iíve booked my trip to Belize with. You can take one of their a la carte packages or create your own itinerary. It will save you time and money in a long run.
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Old Feb 13th, 2009, 04:28 PM
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You may want to take a look at this forum for Ambergris Caye and Belize:
http://ambergriscaye.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/ubb/
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Old Feb 13th, 2009, 06:52 PM
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traveli - I don't share the same opinions. For a start, most of us bypass Belize City at all costs and the best diving and snorkeling in Belize would be on the outer atolls, though they're either trickier to get to, expensive, or both. You can get to good snorkeling and diving from Ambergris and Caulker but you can't snorkel from shore and the reefs get a lot of pressure.

Usually tour operators charge inflated prices and offer few choices. That doesn't mean a trip set up by a tour operator wouldn't be enjoyable for those who aren't interested in planning and can afford to pay. For me, the cushier resorts are insulated from the wonderful, various cultures and people of Belize which seems a shame.

No question you'll save planning time but please don't think you'll save money booking through a site like Latours. Just 7 nights on the Latours site would total $4-5000 not counting taxes or airfare. That's considerably more than my family of 5 spent for nearly a month of incredible exploration and adventure in Belize. I also find exception with a site that touts a "Romantic Jungle Resort" when the lodge is nowhere near the jungle but rather in an area of regrowth pines. I've heard the Blancaneaux Lodge is really wonderful, just not my style and not in the jungle.

It's true that many people trying a new destination for the first time, especially a developing country like Belize, prefer to stay at upscale places and have someone else make the decisions. It's my hope, though, that folks who do that will enjoy the country enough to return and explore a little wider - the country has so much to offer. We've stayed in Creole, Maya, and Garifuna villages, enjoying the variety of cultures and meeting locals. We've purchased produce from Mennonite farmers. In addition to the beautiful ruins we've explored, we have stayed in jungle lodges where we've been hiking, caving, rappelling, and canoing. On the islands we've kayaked, flyfished, snorkeled, dived, had races with hermit crabs, and eaten coconuts and mangos till we couldn't see straight.

Belize is one of the easiest destinations outside of the US to plan your own trip and that's half the fun for me. Since it's English speaking and has a huge internet presence and several excellent guidebooks, you can get lots of opinions about where to go.

There's my 2 cents' worth and my photos and travelogues are linked below. Happy trails!

http://flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections

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