Volcanogirl Goes to Belize

Jun 22nd, 2014, 10:33 AM
  #81  
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Thanks for following along! Hmmm, we're already mulling over future destinations, not sure yet, but open to suggestions!

I know Chan Chich is still a possibility. Or maybe somewhere in Costa Rica?
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Jun 22nd, 2014, 10:59 AM
  #82  
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When we were planning our tours, I had a hard time finding some of this info. online, so I thought I would post Lamanai meal and tour times to make it easier for people to plan what they want to do.

Breakfast hours are 7:00-8:30 a.m. (muffins and coffee available at 5:30 a.m.).

Lunch hours are 12:00-1:30 p.m.

Dinner hours are 6:00-7:30 p.m.

All meals have a set choice, but they'll work with you if there's something you don't like or are allergic to. Not an issue for us, but it's nice that they offer that. Even though we were the only people at the lodge when we got there, they changed the linens at every single table and dinner was served by candlelight. It was really nice. You can sit wherever you want; meals are not communal. You can see the river from the open air restaurant. The food was so much better than we were expecting it to be. We never felt like we were roughing it at all. My husband was worried he would be hungry, so he brought some snacks along, and we never even opened them. Portions were very generous. We never had any critters in our room, aside from our little pet gecko.

For tours, you have a choice of 6:00 a.m. tours - Sunrise Canoeing or Jungle Dawn, 9:00 a.m. tours - Lamanai Maya Ruins or Jungle Medicine and Village Life (this one has the cooking lesson), 4:30 tours - Sunset Cocktail Cruise or Nature Walk, and 7:30 tours - Spotlight Safari or Nightwalk.

They give you a little card when you get there with all the tour times on it. The card says 4:00 p.m., but all our tours started at 4:30, so I believe it's a misprint.

There are additional tours you can book for an additional charge. We didn't have time to do any extras other than the Savannah Birding, but there's also day or night fishing with line and or spear, tow boat water sports (I have no idea what that would be!), torchlight pontoon dinner, the Mennonite experience, howler trek, crocodile encounter, sunset airboat cruise, and birding excursions with departure times by arrangement.

We tipped our guides after each tour. When you check out, there are envelopes available for additional tips if you want to leave something for someone specific; you can also just put "staff" on the envelope, and it will get divided up amongst housekeeping, servers, etc.

When you take the boat ride in and out, I'd recommend wearing sunscreen. We both got burned on our legs because we were wearing shorts, and the boat doesn't have a cover. Bring binoculars along too if you can, and your camera. There's some good stuff to see along the river.

There wasn't much difference between Lagoon Front and Lagoon View rooms. Lagoon Front has hammocks out front, but the Lagoon View seemed a little more private to us since we had our own private front deck. Both of them have little wooden chairs on the porch that are nailed down - that's the one thing I wish they would change. I wanted to sit outside and watch the howlers, but I couldn't see them from where the chair was.

All the guides were great and really knew their stuff.

Three days was perfect for us, and we would both love to go back again someday!
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Jun 22nd, 2014, 11:04 AM
  #83  
 
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I certainly recommend Galapagos + a jungle lodge. We went to Sacha and enjoyed it. There is also cloud forest you can visit on a day trip from Quito.
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Jun 22nd, 2014, 11:09 AM
  #84  
 
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Three days is three or four nights?
Did you book directly through Lamanai and Victoria house?
Any other accommodations that looked attractive to you by Victoria House? Most likely we will go to Tranquility but I am having some doubts. VH is not working out for four in a room.
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Jun 22nd, 2014, 11:30 AM
  #85  
 
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And I recommend Australia! Great Barrier Reef + Yanguburra area for platypus, kangaroo, possums + Draintree for rainforest. All doable from Cairns and very easy!
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Jun 22nd, 2014, 03:25 PM
  #86  
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alisa, wow, yes, Galapagos would be fantastic. We stayed three nights total and left before lunch on our last day so we could do the early morning birding. We booked directly with both. Booking with Lamanai was a bit of a pain because I was e-mailing them, and every combo that I tried would be full. What about this date and that date, etc. I think it would be easier to call and just do it over the phone if you could. For Victoria House, their website shows the room types and availability by date, so it was pretty easy to find dates there that worked for us. We booked Lamanai a couple months ahead, and it was a challenge to find dates open. The birding group told me that they had booked a year ahead of time. I think Victoria House has one of the nicest beaches in the area, and the rooms were so comfortable and pretty. There aren't a lot of other accommodations near it; it's a couple miles south of town. The town itself is very busy, so we were glad to be a in a quieter area.
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Jun 22nd, 2014, 04:51 PM
  #87  
 
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Thank you for all the answers. I will try Lamanai this week as well then.
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Jun 23rd, 2014, 04:16 PM
  #88  
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Good luck - I hope you have a fantastic trip!
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Jun 24th, 2014, 10:41 AM
  #89  
 
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Thank you.
I do have one more question
Did you talk to Victoria House by e-mail? It is the second time I am writing to them and there is no response.
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Jun 24th, 2014, 10:53 AM
  #90  
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We used their online reservation system to reserve our room - just went to the type of room we wanted and hit the "book now" button. All the available dates came up, and we selected the ones we wanted. We did e-mail with them regarding our flight times and picking us up. That all worked great. My husband emailed them before we left to confirm that we would be picked up, and we never heard back from them on that issue, but they did pick us up at the appropriate time. Are you trying to book, or email about something else? Sorry they haven't gotten back to you. If I don't hear back, I'll sometimes call.
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Jun 24th, 2014, 06:42 PM
  #91  
 
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Got it, thank you!
I am trying to figure out which room four of us can fit into. But you are right. I need to just call.
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Jun 30th, 2014, 08:25 PM
  #92  
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For anyone interested, Luxury Link put up a deal for Victoria House today. Too late for me, but maybe it will help someone else.
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Jul 1st, 2014, 06:24 AM
  #93  
 
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I saw it yesterday...very tempting

Are you still working on the pics? Patiently waiting here...
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Jul 9th, 2014, 10:05 AM
  #94  
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x, are you on tripadvisor? I have some of my monkey pics uploaded over there and some nice shark and turtle ones.
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Jul 9th, 2014, 11:44 AM
  #95  
 
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Found you, thanks.

Love the turtles, we did not see them at the surface, just while snorkeling, enjoying their healthy grass lunch
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Jul 10th, 2014, 10:42 AM
  #96  
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x, yes, we saw tons of turtles; they even posed for us which was awesome! We had pretty good luck with the wildlife.
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Jul 15th, 2014, 07:12 AM
  #97  
 
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Hey there vg! Fantastic trip report - I was riveted! I would love to get to Lamanai one day. It sounds just amazing. And your trip to Victoria House sounds wonderful. Brings back great memories, although we stayed at a different hotel, we loved Ambergris Caye and all of the snorkeling trips as well! I'll have to get over to trip advisor and check out your pictures!
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Jul 15th, 2014, 07:36 AM
  #98  
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Hey, Shell! I think you're one of the ones that convinced us to try Belize in the first place. I remember wondering if we would love it as much as Costa Rica, and we did. It's funny about Lamanai because I started off thinking we would maybe return to BdC or go to Chan Chich, but everyone on the boards raved about Lamanai - I'm so glad we went. I think you would really enjoy it. Do you guys have any trips in the works?
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Jul 15th, 2014, 09:54 AM
  #99  
 
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Hey there! I'm glad I was one of the ones who got you to try Belize! It's definitely a place I'm looking to return to, and I really want to take the kids some day. They'd love it!

As far as our trips, actually, I just got back from Bermuda, we did a cruise which was really great. We've been trying to cut back on airfare since when the whole family goes the air ends up costing us as much or more than the entire trip! So we sailed out of NYC and spend three days in Bermuda.

Later this month Keith and I are heading to Mexico for a few days which will be nice and then we have a fall trip planned too. Another cruise, this time Caribbean. Mixing it up a bit!
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Jul 15th, 2014, 11:05 AM
  #100  
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Oh, wow, I went to Bermuda a few years ago and really loved it - very different from my usual tropical vacation. It felt so civilized - lol. Did you see the shorts?! My husband travels a lot for business, so luckily we usually fly for free on miles or I know it would be really pricy for us to travel. I hope you have a great time in Mexico and in the Caribbean too. Lucky girl! Are you still thinking of starting your own travel business?
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