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Where To Go For Son's Graduation Trip...Belize or Costa Rica?

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Mar 7th, 2012, 05:40 AM
  #21
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Regarding vaccines, here's a link for CDC recommendations for various countries:

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm#d

I feel strongly that everyone should be vaccinated against Hepatitis A, and probably Hepatitis B. Hepatitis A is endemic in all of Central America. It's easily transmitted. Even if your own personal hygiene is meticulous, you're only as safe as the hygiene of those preparing and serving your food.

If you're an adult, you can get a vaccine that combines Hep A & B in a single injection. It is a series of three, spread over several months, but, you will get decent protection after the first one or two.

Chances are your son has already had the vaccines, they've both been recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics for years. Many schools and colleges require them.
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Mar 7th, 2012, 08:39 AM
  #22
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eliztravels-yes, it is a tough call and having not experienced either I rely heavily on all of the input I can glean from fodorites. I can do without the snorkeling except that swimming with the sting rays sounds very cool and I'd like to dip my toes in the Caribbean!
I appreciate your comment about driving as well. I'm one of those people that really enjoys driving but if I can rely on someone else to do it while I can relax and enjoy the scenery I believe that is important when you are on vacation. Nice also, to know about the medical system in CR being reliable.

qwovadis-thank you so much for the links! Tanacon looks amazing to be in teh clouds; and Fonda Vela looks incredible and I can almost feel those thermal waters.

JeanH-I really appreciate your input on the vaccines. Yes, I'm sure that Antonio (son) has had the vaccines, and I believe that I may have had them as well. If we had a little casita that we could cook in I'm sure that washing all the fruits and vegetables may or may not be enough as you never know.

YIKES - OK, yesterday afternoon I checked out airfare from San Francisco to both locales, and now I know why everyone said that I was such a nice Mom! Most flights were in the $900.00 range. Is there a particular month that has decent weather that is off season, in which I might be able to find more reasonable airfare? (Of course my thoughts keep going back to Italy, Turkey and Greece <3 but my son and I both want a new adventure). I know that school will come into play here as far as timing but I need to start figuring this out.
Victoria House looks lovely but the prices are a bit more than what I want to spend per night. Does anyone have any input on less expensive lodgings in either Belize or CR?
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Mar 7th, 2012, 09:09 AM
  #23
 
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Belize Jungle lodge choices
http://www.fodors.com/community/mexi...on-in-cayo.cfm

Some are less expensive eg Caves Branch
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Mar 7th, 2012, 09:18 AM
  #24
 
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Yikes, that is pricey. We can usually go to CR for around $400, but we're a lot closer, and I think airfares are running high right now due to fuel prices. For some reason, it was more for us to fly to Belize even though it's closer. In the Arenal area, we love the Lost Iguana and Nayara; if you're looking for something more affordable check Silencio del Campo - it's very popular. The Lost Iguana runs some great deals, so if it interests you check with them. We recently paid $165 for a room that runs for $275. They even had a Groupon recently. We've stayed at pricier places in Belize - Victoria House and Chaa Creek, but we got Chaa Creek on a Luxury Link deal, so it was more affordable. Did you check out Luxury Link at all? Good luck finding your spot! We like to travel in July when you can get "green" season rates.
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Mar 7th, 2012, 09:36 AM
  #25
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Just keep checking on airfares -- I've purchased as low as $288 from SFO-SJO and flew ORD-SJO June 2010 for 206 r/t, although I realize these are exceptionally low. I use the ITA matrix software site (google) on a daily basis when looking for fares -- it saves your search info for 3 itineraries and allows for month long flexible searches. This was how I was able to find $365 r/t total tix ORD-BZE for this past January as well. It's not such a hassle to check everyday, takes less than 2 min....
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Mar 7th, 2012, 11:06 AM
  #26
 
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mlgb - And some are less expensive THAN Caves Branch.
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Mar 7th, 2012, 11:48 AM
  #27
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mlgb-thanks for the link to this post. I checked a few places there. I liked Macal (Chaa Creek?), Caves Branch and lesser so, Duplooy's.

vg-yes, it was sticker shock when I saw the airfares, for sure. I just checked out Luxury Link and didn't see anything that struck me as far as traveling with my son; for an elegant romantic getaway...maybe! LOL I think July may be the month that my son is actually able to travel since he is finishing up units in the summer session too.

fishee-THANK YOU for the Matrix rec. It is now saved to my favorites and I will continue to check rates.
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Mar 7th, 2012, 03:21 PM
  #28
 
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We loved Macal River Camp:
www.belizecamp.com
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Mar 7th, 2012, 03:44 PM
  #29
 
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The high airfares reflect that you are looking at the middle of the summer vacation period, I would guess.

TACA has a sale on now from SFO for $569 R/t including taxes but flight dates only extend through May 15.
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Mar 7th, 2012, 04:49 PM
  #30
 
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fishee, wow, those are great rates! I'm going to have to check that site out.
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Mar 8th, 2012, 02:53 PM
  #31
 
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I would follow the CDC guidelines for travel to either place. When we went to CR, we got the Hep A and B series and also did the malaria treatment and carried Cipro (which we didn't need). Once visiting CR, the Red Cross will not allow one to donate blood for 1 year, so that tells me something.

Use Kayak as an easy way to stay informed about airfares. You can request a daily or weekly email on specific dates or a date range.
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Mar 9th, 2012, 08:06 AM
  #32
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Deb15July-Thank you for your good advice. My son has even mentioned the malaria issue. I am curious, what type of malaria treatment did you do?
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Mar 9th, 2012, 08:32 AM
  #33
 
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http://www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk/...laria-map.aspx shows a malaria risk map - it's pretty uncommon in most places tourists go. Dengue fever seems to be more common, but there's no preventative for that - just bug repellent.
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Mar 9th, 2012, 06:56 PM
  #34
 
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gale,
If I remember correctly, we took 4 or 5 pills, one per week starting a week before we left. There was also an option to take a pill every day for a specific duration, but I don't really remember the details. We went to a travel clinic to get all of this taken care of.
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