traveling in belize

Aug 31st, 2004, 11:29 AM
  #1  
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traveling in belize

hello -
if we stayed at Ambergrise, how do you get to the jungle/mountain sites? Do we have to stay at another lodging then?
If we stayed at jaguar reef or placencia, could we just stay put and drive to the jungle activities? We're worried about moving a family of adult kids around!
Finally, where do we fly into for either Jaguar Reef or Ambergris!
Just trying to get a handle on how to plan travel, and appreciate any help!
Thanks, Catherine
boeckmann is offline  
Aug 31st, 2004, 12:41 PM
  #2  
 
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From Ambergris Caye (Am-BUR-griss Key) you can take day tours to the mainland, either by boat or plane. From Hopkins (Jaguar Reef) and Placencia, you can drive, though there's not all that much to see or do within a short drive of either place. Most of the sites of interest are in Cayo or in Toledo.

To get to any destination in Belize, you fly into the international airport near Belize City, then fly, drive or bus to your destination (for Hopkins, you'd fly into Dangriga; Placencia has its own air strip). To get to Caye Caulker or Ambergris Caye, you can also take a water taxi from Belize City.

--Lan Sluder
LanSluder is offline  
Aug 31st, 2004, 03:06 PM
  #3  
 
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Hi Catherine:

We stayed in the jungle for 4 days and then at Ambergris for 5 days. The plane trip from the mainland (we went there from the domestic airport near Belize City) to Ambergris was quick and painless although a little hair-raising! (Tiny plane and we went in a lightening storm). You can do day trips back to the mainland from Ambergris (we did one to Lamanai) but the boat ride back is long and you waste a lot of time going back and forth. I would recommend staying in 2 places for that reason.

Have fun!

Joni
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Aug 31st, 2004, 06:52 PM
  #4  
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Thank you Lan and Joni,
This is great advice. I must be reading something wrong, as 2 places seems like a lot of traveling for our family. If I read this right, I will attempt this plan:

1. Fly into Belize City
2. Drive (?) to Cayo (find jungle/mt. lodge)
3. Then do I need to drive back to Belize City?
3. Fly to Ambergris (find lodging)
4. Fly back to Belize City?

Thanks for any advice to make this easier, and I appreciate your help navigating travel to a new place! Any advice on a travel agent? Thanks.
boeckmann is offline  
Sep 1st, 2004, 11:17 AM
  #5  
 
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You might be thinking that Belize is a lot bigger than it is. To drive from Belize City all the way to the Guatemalan border is about 1.5 to 2 hours max. So it really isn't a lot of travelling to stay in two places. You will do a lot more traveling if you stay in one place and have to go back and forth.

I stayed at Chaa Creek in Cayo and it was incredible. A beautiful place, great staff, they arranged all the day trips and RT to the airport.

It is easy to go to Ambergris. They just stick you on the next flight that is ready at the time. We got to the airport 1/2 hr early and we were able to leave on the flight that was taking off in a few minutes. It is very casual there. There are no true airports in the Cayo area (except for some hotels having their own tiny airstrips) so you would drive back to Belize City to go to Ambergris.

We thought about Placencia too but decided against it because a friend of mine went there and was eaten alive by mosquitos, and her friend actually got malaria. In Cayo district there are hardly any mosquitos at all. And the Cayo area seemed closer to a lot of the activities we wanted to do, where Placencia didn't seem to have as much close by. Just my opinion of course.

I used Magnum Belize to book the trip. They were very helpful and actually charged less than I could have done on my own as they get deals at the hotels and also get consolidator flights.

Joni
JoniC is offline  
Sep 1st, 2004, 01:46 PM
  #6  
 
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Things do change in Belize: There are now two airports with scheduled flights in Cayo District -- near San Ignacio and in Belmopan. Maya Island is the carrier to these airstrips, with three flights a day from the international airport.

I'm also surprised to hear of someone getting malaria in Placencia, which is currently about a three to three and a half hour drive from Belize City. It could happen, I guess (I know a guy who got malaria in San Ignacio, where there are indeed few mosquitos) but this is the first time I've heard of a tourist getting it in Placencia. There is a good bit of malaria farther south, however.

Also, I've been going to Placencia for 13 or 14 years and rarely see a mosquito as long as the prevailing winds from the sea don't go calm. On the occasions when it is calm (mostly in summer) it can be very buggy there, or anywhere on the coast.

--Lan Sluder
LanSluder is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2004, 02:29 PM
  #7  
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Thank you Joni, Lan, and everyone for the excellent travel advice. It's perfect.
boeckmann is offline  
Sep 4th, 2004, 03:31 AM
  #8  
z
 
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I am surprise to see this kind of statement from Katie Valk on this board "I'm an agent, if you need more detailed info, ideas or suggestions to ponder." Is advertising your personal business now allowed on this board? One friend of mine is a travel agent. Can she also use this board to get new clients?
z is offline  
Sep 4th, 2004, 03:39 AM
  #9  
z
 
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Catherine, we also found Placencia to be invested with mosquitos. If you have any alergies to any bites of insects I would suggest visiting Ambergris Caye instaed. Ambergris Caye is beautiful. After 10 trips I can say that staying for 5 days in Cayo and 5 days on Ambergris Caye would be an ideal vacation. Have fun planning your trip
z is offline  
Oct 14th, 2004, 10:13 AM
  #10  
 
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We were struggling with the same questions you had and finally decided to stay 3 night in Ambergris Caye and 3 nights in the Cayo. We've got kids too, but it seemed easier to move once then going back and forth from Ambergris to the mainland several times.

Question - We are traveling to Belize in December. When do we need to make airline reservations between Belize City and Ambergris - and is there a difference in the airlines?
shari_traveler is offline  
Oct 15th, 2004, 03:37 AM
  #11  
 
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I'd go ahead and make plane reservations once you have your international flights arranged. You don't have to pay for the flights until you arrive in Belize City, then you can pay by credit card. We've always used Tropic Air, mostly because that's the airline our hotel booked us on for our first trip. Now we use them because their 'terminal' is almost right across the street from where we stay in San Pedro. No cab needed. The Maya Air terminal is across the runway, only a few blocks, not a consideration if you'll be using a cab anyway. Jean
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