what has better snorkeling

Nov 6th, 2002, 09:19 AM
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what has better snorkeling

What has better snorkeling, Placencia or Ambergris?
Nov 6th, 2002, 11:11 AM
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Neither has great snorkeling from shore. But snorkeling from Ambergris is easier. Snorkeling from Ambergris requires a 10-minute boat ride out to the reef. Snorkeling from Placencia requires 45 minutes to an hour to get to the reef. Once you get to the reef the snorkeing is quite nice in both areas. A little more crowded in Ambergris.
Nov 6th, 2002, 11:38 AM
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Thanks for the quick response. For some reason, I thought that the snorkeling in Placencia was better, but as you say, it may not be worth the one hour boat trip (unless you this IT IS worth it!). Is Ambergris difficult to reach from DuPlooys? While I'm asking, do you have any review of what the Pink House is like at DuPlooys? It is the only option they have open on our dates. We can rent the whole thing and therefore make it for us, but I am concerned that it is not as nice as their other rooms. And if I am not asking too much more, what do you think of a schedule like this:
2 nights Lamani
3 nights Du Plooys
3 nights Ambergris or Placencia

Thanks so very much
Nov 6th, 2002, 05:31 PM
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We stayed in Ambergris Caye in April 01 at Journeys End. The north end of the key is much closer to the reef. We paddled out in kayaks (provided by Journeys End) and snorkeled there. I am not a world traveler, but Belize was perfect. A must do is the Hol Chan Marine Reserve/Shark Ray Alley Tour. I tried to do alot of research before going. Not sure if you found it, but an exorbitant amount of information can be found on ambergriscaye.com. There is a board where locals and tourists converse about everything possible. I'd go back there in a second. Southern part of key is farther from the reef (would need a boat) and there is more boat traffic. The north end (where they filmed Temptation Island) has almost no boat traffic. Our 12 year old paddled out by himself. Feel fee to email for more information..Ralph
Nov 7th, 2002, 05:22 AM
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I think your itinerary/schedule is totally doable. We've stayed at DuPlooy's before but not in their Pink House so I can't give you info on that. But the resort itself is beautiful, great location on the river, and the food (family style service, chose from 3 or so entrees) was quite good. Lamanai is great - we loved it. As for the choice between AC and Placencia, AC is a bit more touristy (that's a relative term - think St. John USVI 20 years ago - nothing like Cancun or St. Thomas) with more restaurant and hotel choices. Placencia is a wonderful fishing village - much smaller and a lot less going on. The snorkeling is great in both areas, although I have not been to Placencia since Iris so the reef may be a bit ripped up down there.
Nov 7th, 2002, 05:35 AM
Lan Sluder
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I haven't stayed in the Pink House at duPlooy's, but I have looked at the rooms there. They certainly aren't as nice as the cottages, but neither are they basic or run-down. I think if you took the whole house, it would be a very nice option. duPlooy's is an excellent place. They are now also operating the Rainforest Medicine Trail next to Chaa Creek.

I think your schedule is fine, though it's a pretty long trip from Lamanai Outpost to duPlooy's, a full day if you take time to stop at Crooked Tree, the Zoo, etc. en route.

On a short visit, I personally would probably choose Ambergris Caye over Placencia. You get to see an island rather than spending all your time on the mainland, and as noted by others snorkeling trips are shorter and easier from San Pedro.

--Lan Sluder
Belize First Guide to Mainland Belize, San Pedro Cool, Adapter Kit: Belize, Fodor's Belize & Guatemala Guide, etc.
Nov 7th, 2002, 08:18 AM
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If good snorkeling is what your after, try the Tankah/Tulum area of Mexico. Good snorkeling right out in front of our villa (see pics on web site) www.casatropical.com and a cenote up the beach in Tankah. There are many cenotes and lagoons in the area for great diving and snorkeling. The Sian Ka'an biosphere reserve begins just a few miles south of our area. For more info email me.

http://CasaTropical.com (links to more photos here)

Hidden Worlds snorkel & dive tours of cenotes

Check out this web site for tours lead by the Friends of Sian Ka'an group. It is a non-profit organization and tour guides are usually biologists. Very informative tours lead by a very worthwhile organization.
Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve

photo of tankah's cenote'
Nov 7th, 2002, 08:21 AM
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Thanks so much for the great advice. It does sound like a lot to get to Lamanai. Am I better off just going to Duplooys and then on to Ambergris or Placencia? How far is it from Belize City to DuPlooy's and how does one normally get there? What would be the transfer then from DuPlooy's to Ambergris or Placencia? What is the most "upscale" place to stay in Ambergris (we were looking at Robert's Cove in Placencia). Should we give up totally on Lamanai, or should we go there instead of DuPlooy's? Is there another lodge we should be looking at?
Nov 7th, 2002, 08:34 AM
Lan Sluder
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No, I wouldn't give up on Lamanai. Lamanai Outpost is an excellent lodge and the New River Lagoon is a beautiful area. Another terrific place in that "general" area is Chan Chich. What I would consider, though, is renting a car. That would make getting from Lamanai (or Chan Chich) to duPlooy's easier, and you could make some stops on the way, such as at the Zoo and Crooked Tree.

There is currently no air service to Cayo (there is talk of some), so now you either have to rely on the hotel's transport (easiest but fairly expensive), take a bus or use one of the shuttle vans that run from Belize City to San Ignacio (for example the Aguada Hotel's service.)

On Ambergris there are a number of excellent upscale properties, including Villas at Banyan Bay, Victoria House, Mata Chica and others. Actually, the most upscale is Cayo Espanto on an island on the back side of Ambergris. VERY pricey.

--Lan Sluder

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