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Thread: Who's been to Belize?
03-28-2007, 03:32 PM #1u
- Join Date
- Oct 2004
Who's been to Belize?
Me and the future wife are thinking about going to Belize in November for up to 2 weeks, planning on the beach/jungle combo. So who's been there and where should we go? I'm looking at Actun Loch Tunich, Caves Branch, maybe Tikal. I want to go to one of the Cayes for 2-4 nights, do some scuba diving etc. South West Caye sounds like a great one, but kinda spendy. I've heard mixed reviews on Tobacco Caye. Suggestions???
03-28-2007, 04:08 PM #2
I was there last November. It is a great time of year to visit. We go to Cancun each year for 10 days over Thanksgiving. I threw out the idea of Belize for a couple of days. We drove from Cancun into Belize to Corozal. What a pain in the ass it is to drive from Mexico into Belize. I guess the countries do not get along and there are no flights from Cancun to Belize without flying to another country first.
Anyway, we flew Tropic Air from Corozal to San Pedro. If you are going to Tikal Guatemala fly Tropic Air http://www.tropicair.com as they rip. See website for destination info. I will see if I can dig up some pics. We went to Caye Ambergris to dive for three days. The diving is awesome. I need to remember who we used as they were fabulous. A family run business that is very eco friendly and gives you a free cd of your dives each day. Do some research on tripadvisor www.tripadvisor.com
We are going back this Thanksgiving to go to Tikal and possibly Punta Gorda. I highly recommend it as everyone speaks english being an old colony. The exchange rate is 2 to 1. One us bone = two Belizian bones. The prices were fine. The people are way cool.
03-28-2007, 04:15 PM #3Registered User
- Join Date
- Mar 2006
Does it snow there?
03-28-2007, 04:18 PM #4
I did some bone fishing a couple of winters ago on Ambergis Key (sp?). Cool spot, the little town is really nice with the dirt streets and golf carts running around. Great fishing if that is what you are into and some sea kayaking.
03-28-2007, 04:21 PM #5
I was there last July. We stayed on Caye Caulker, which I recommend. It was a very mellow backpacker scene with no cars and several dive outfitters that were competatively priced, for Belize. Our other choice was tobacco caye, but we didn't get that far due to time.
Go to Tikal!!! Do yourself a favor and spend at least one night staying at the park entrance. Flores is a sweet town as well, but do it separately.
03-28-2007, 05:00 PM #6
been there 10+ years ago.
Great Barrier Reef = OK, but kinda over dove and polluted
Lighthouse Reef (coral atoll many miles out at sea) = FKNA off the charts kick your momma in the head sweetness - only experienced divers (e.g., no kicking the coral, breaking sponges, etc) and clear pure water without pollution destroying corals and shit - also the "Blue Hole" dive in the middle of the reef was excellent as well. I think there are some live-aboard dive vessles that let you overnight there.
Ambergris Cay = okay sleepy beach village but its the main beach area near the barrier reef (prollly way more developed since then, you may wanna be at a smaller island)
Belize City = dangerous third world don't do anything stupid, dont hang out after dark kinda city. there's a small touristy area, but I couldnt see wanting to spend the night there when there are much nicer places.
Belize countryside = way cool, nice people, many cool Mayan ruins, etc., more Spanish/less British as you go West to guatemala.
Dated info obviously - I should go back someday - it is a really neat country."Fakers are Maggots" - T. Hall, 2011
only a fake Rasta could make a claim like that
03-28-2007, 05:09 PM #7
The Cayes are touristy. Fishing on the reef is amazing though.
If you want to see the real Belize, go inland. San Ignacio is the shit. Coolest fucking people I've ever hung out with.
Belize City=the gnar. Stay away. I've never been to a place so fucking crime ridden and sketchy. (blows away any USA "ghetto")
Going in the jungle, watch out for snakes. There are ruins everywhere.
Weed is legal, so you can't complain about that.....you'll understand the creoles much easier when you're blunted.
03-28-2007, 05:19 PM #8
Placentia down south...laid back friendly town with good food, beer, and diving. Will take you out to laughing bird or silk cayes for dives. Personally the diving was just ok, not a lot of color, my guess is they've gotten plenty of hurricane damage to the reef. Monkey River boat cruise is interesting too.
Ambergris caye is touristy with the 'resorts' and resort travellers that go with it. Diving again is fun but not impressive (try honduras or Cozumel instead). Good snorkle with nurse sharks in marine park.
I rented a 4x4 for cheap and drove all over country including cave placentia, pine mtn forest area, and tikal. hardly any other traffic so no worries.
You will have fun...the people are wonderful and amazing. Never have I met so many people living so simplistic with a naive view of the rest of the world...its charming.
03-28-2007, 05:39 PM #9Funky but chic
- Join Date
- Sep 2001
- Left Field
Well, I only went once, and it was an event (a reunion), so we were sort of trapped. So my perception may be skewed.
We were on Ambergris Cay, a few miles north of San Pedro. San Pedro itself is kinda cool in a third-world way, sand streets, obvious poverty, a couple of hotels and some cool bars, definitely some cool people.
I'm not a diver, so I don't know about that. They say it's amazing.
The three words I would use to describe our Belize adventure are; Mosquitos, Scorpions and Humidity.
Sorry. But it's true. Do yourself a favor and shake out your shoes before you put them on in the morning.
The beach was fake, a piece of imported sand in a spot hacked out of the mangrove forest. The boat trip to the Mayan ruins was cool, those fuckers fly through these channels in the mangroves that are EXACTLY one boat wide.
I guess I'm a spoiled American, but I've been around a bit and I'd go to St. Lucia or Grenada or a number of other places before I went back to Belize. Or at least Ambergris Cay.
03-28-2007, 05:44 PM #10
The wife and i spent two weeks there May of '05. First week was on Glover's Atoll Resort. Pretty cool spot if you are willing to spend a week in one place. Do a little web search for pics. Totally rustic, do it yourself backpackers place. Basically their boat takes you out there and you have a thatched hut for a week. You can bring food and cook, catch your own fish or buy fish or buy meals at their little restaurant. Good snorkeling, diving and usually fishing. Remember, the boat doesn't go back to the mainland for a week. One newly wed couple was pretty unprepared and paid big bucks for a boat ride back after one day.
Next was San Ignacio. Very cool town. Did one of the caves that you have to swim into. not scary but fun except for the New Yorkers in our group. We also went to Tikal for a day and could have used more time in that area.
Next was Caye Caulker. Great mellow spot. Very good food. Went snorkeling with a group called Raggamuffins. Pretty mellow as you can imagine.
AS has been said get out of Belize city fast and enjoy the country side.
I have a bunch of pics but don't want to spend the time uploading them. PM me your email addy if you want them.
03-28-2007, 05:52 PM #11
My info is similar to Core Shot's. I went in '97 for a few weeks after traveling from Panama by bus with the now Mrs. Comish.
We weren't really a huge fan, but our opinion is totally tainted by our other experiences on that trip.
Prefered the diving in Honduras, but we hit a bad spell in Belize for vis.
Tikal is FKNA impressive and totally fascinating. Definitely highly recommended.
Belize City was seriously Ghetto then, doesn't sound like it has improved. That having been said, there were some Honduran towns that were way scarier.
If you are stoked to go diving, sip rum beverages over the ocean, check out Tikal, definitely do it. Its a good spot. Not my favorite, but definitely worthwhile.He who has the most fun wins!
03-28-2007, 05:57 PM #12Originally Posted by blurred
03-28-2007, 06:55 PM #13Registered User
- Join Date
- Oct 2006
I wasn't impressed. I have to throw out the information that I'm not a diver so most of our time was spent inland. My wife and I have spent a decent amount of time in third world countries, but it still amazed me at how quick Belize can go from comfortable to super sketchy.
My take was the good people are overly friendly/nice and the bad people are very angry/violent. Just my take....all compiled from one trip a couple years ago so take it for what it's worth.
03-28-2007, 07:04 PM #14
this site has a lot of info about a.c. and you can easily find tons of info about other places in belize as well.
http://ambergriscaye.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/ubb/"We sit together, the mountain and I, until only the mountain remains." -Li Po
03-28-2007, 07:43 PM #15
Been to Ambergris via Corozal overland from Mexico. November, was rather stormy. OK, but you may want to consider Roatan, Honduras - stay in the West End.
03-28-2007, 07:49 PM #16
I went there once as a stop on a cruise. There was a cave tubing with the cruise for $200 and then there was some local offering it for less than $100. It was great to do it with someone who actually knew the area, and lived out there. It was a lot of fun. You walk through the rain forest, then you hop on a river with a tube and a light and find your way through the caves.
03-28-2007, 07:59 PM #17
Pack a fly rod and take pictures!!!!
03-28-2007, 08:22 PM #18
been there twice
In 95 and 03, first off I like mellow places, and Im a cheep bastard. that said Caye Caulker was nice, only like a mile long by 3 blocks wide, went snorkiling. not at good as the south pacific but hanging out with sting rays was worth the trip.
San Ignacio is great, we stayed in "the trek stop" very cheep and cool, but Mosquitos, Scorpions, army ants, hay its the jungle. I think they have a web sight.
I didn't find Belize City that bad, don't go out at night, dont flash money, leave your bling bling at home. My wife and I walked all around the city during the day with our 1.5 year old daughter and had no problems. nothing much to do there, but catch a boat to the caye's, I think we stayed in the "downtown guest house" cheep kinda crappy, but safe and kinda cool, lots of other backpackers.
Took a cool boat/ river tour out of orange walk to ruin, forget the name.
Tikal was cool but that was in 95, things must have changed by now. But Belize has some great ruins, not as big but there every place. We found some in local small town parks.
03-29-2007, 09:17 PM #19
I lived there for four years and have walked, swam or flown most all of it.
Belize city- It is what it is, a working third world city. I used to spend every Wednesday there picking up supplies. Thereís nowhere I would not go in the city in the daytime and very few places I would go after dark. Itís mainly the jumping off point to everywhere else.
Belize for the most part is a lot mellower than some of the surrounding countries that are mainly Hispanic and more fiery tempered.
The country is mostly Creole and as you head south, the Garafuna villages have a definite African vibe to them.
I personally donít care for San Pedro/Ambergris caye, their a little too touristy IMHO.
If you want to see the real thing, go West or south. Itís not hard to do since thereís only one road in each direction.
The main snake you have to watch out for is the Fer-de-lance. Itís a pit viper Known as a Tommy ĖGoff in Belize.
I would not spend much time worrying about them though.
If youíre into kayaking and camping, thereís a guy that used to have a rafting company in Moab. His company in Belize is called Slickrock adventures.
He has a small island (caye) that you can kayak to and camp on.
March is the beginning of the whale shark migration near Gladding spit off the southern barrier reef. If youíre a diver itís a dive of a lifetime.
Up by where I used to live the whale sharks were a traveling eco-system. You could tell they were coming by the Frigate birds up high and the Gulls and terns diving at the baitfish on the surface. The baitfish were attracted to the krill and fish larva that spilled out of the whale sharks mouth as it came to the surface. Small tuna and jacks fed on the baitfish and Bull and Black tip sharks fed on the tuna. It takes some stones to be the first person in the water with all that going on right in front of you.
If you fish go to the outer cayes.
If your core you can camp on my property. Itís between Punta Gorda and Placencia. You can camp on the beach with the ocean on one side and the jungle on the other. I say core because itís in the middle of nowhere, you have to take everything with you and hire a boat to take you there.
Pm me if you want directions.
On the other end of the spectrum is Francis ford Coppolaís place in the jungle, Blancaneaux. http://www.blancaneauxlodge.com/
Itís awesome, I love that place, pretty spendy but you feel like youíre in a movie set. Driving there, you go from the jungle and ascend up into a pine forest. Its way cool to watch the ecosystems change.
Good luck, get off the beaten path and itís a great place
03-29-2007, 10:57 PM #20
Placencia is an amazing place. The people are incredibly laid back and the jungle access is amazing. We stayed at the Maya Beach Hotel. The owners are incredibly helpful and are willing to to anything for you. If you are checking it out definitely pick the Coconut room. It has it's own deck with amazing sunrises.
From the Maya Beach hotel you are about 1-2 miles out of Placencia. It is very easy to hitch or catch the public bus. This is a must stay place. We are going back for sure.
03-30-2007, 05:59 AM #21
Nice. Was thinking about this as an option to a Keys trip. Time to start reading...Fresh Tracks are the ultimate graffitti.
Set forth the pattern to succeed.
Friends of Tuckerman Ravine
03-30-2007, 06:09 AM #22
H-man, I have spent a lot of time in KW and still go there quite a bit. It's still a fun place to visit but it's changed way too much for my tastes. In fact I still have a place there.
Do the numbers, if its even close, go to Belize.
03-30-2007, 06:25 AM #23
Will do Hook. Thanks man.Fresh Tracks are the ultimate graffitti.
Set forth the pattern to succeed.
Friends of Tuckerman Ravine
03-30-2007, 08:26 AM #24
I did the exact same thing on my honeymoon there a few years ago and I did days of research.
The absolute best trip we ever had and NOT EXPENSIVE!
1 week here for Fishing and Diving: http://www.blackbirdresort.com/
1 week here for the most incredible jungle experiance you will ever have:
Bannan Bank is owend by a Awsome family and there resort is gorgouse! Shower with wild orcheds growing all around you.
Non of these placed are action packed night life becuase there are very few people. One is in the jungle and the other is on a atoll You can't go wrong with these 2 places I've been there and there fantastic.
I looked at:
Ambergis caye - But it was total touristy hell.
Aggressor - Is great But very $$$expansive$$$ And Black Bird take you diving everywhere!
Last edited by freezorburn; 03-30-2007 at 08:35 AM."Hold my beer...Watch this!"
03-30-2007, 10:39 AM #25u
- Join Date
- Oct 2004
Thanks for all the info. We don't care about nightlife, and we definitely want to check out "real Belize" and will be doing stuff inland, but we also want to chill on an amazing beach and scuba dive for a couple days. So Hook, which Cayes in particular would you recommend? Thanks for the info about your place, but I dont think camping will work for us logistically. Is South Water Caye worth the money for a few days?