Belize

Discussion in 'Central/South America' started by jason8612, Mar 15, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. jason8612
    Original Member

    jason8612 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,428
    Likes Received:
    3,730
    Status Points:
    1,945
    So Im going to Belize for a few days in the end of april.
    Where should I stay? I want to do some scuba diving.
    Any tips? Recommendations?
     
  2. WanderLuster
    Original Member

    WanderLuster Silver Member

    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    191
    Status Points:
    335
    I was only there for one day - cruise stop. We did a cave tubing excursion with http://www.cave-tubing.com/. Super touristy, but super fun!
     
  3. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,215
    Likes Received:
    61,743
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Get out onto Amergris Caye. It is a fun (and relatively cheap) flight and has lots of options for hotels and dining. Belize City is pretty much a dump.

    We stayed at the Blue Tang Inn, just north of the main town area but an easy 5 minute walk to be in the middle of everything. Good rates, cute pool and a 2 minute walk the other direction to a dive shop. Most of our diving was with Chuck & Robbies and we had them set up the Blue Hole day we did with another operator.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Read more here. More photos here.
     
  4. weinskkb
    Original Member

    weinskkb Silver Member

    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    65
    Status Points:
    280
    Nice photos Wandering Aramean
     
  5. thegrailer
    Original Member

    thegrailer Silver Member

    Messages:
    679
    Likes Received:
    670
    Status Points:
    695
    Another wow for Wandering Aramean.

     
  6. jason8612
    Original Member

    jason8612 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,428
    Likes Received:
    3,730
    Status Points:
    1,945
    excellent photos! I will have to check out the dive shop
     
  7. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,215
    Likes Received:
    61,743
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Without knowing what you're used to or what type of diving experience you are going for I will couch my recommendation for those guys a bit. I loved going out with them. They were easy and laid back. That said, they run a small boat and you probably need to be willing to do a bit of the work with your gear and such to have the best time. They absolutely will help you out and such but with limited staff and resources I was keen to deal myself to maximize bottom time (and beer time).

    Thanks!
     
  8. jason8612
    Original Member

    jason8612 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,428
    Likes Received:
    3,730
    Status Points:
    1,945
    :)
    That's just fine. I used many small operators and dive'd many different environments. I don't plan to bring my gear down with me for the day of diving. I like diving that's not crowded with tourists at the dive site and friendly people.
     
  9. jfhscott
    Original Member

    jfhscott Silver Member

    Messages:
    458
    Likes Received:
    525
    Status Points:
    645
    I've been to Ambergris, but prefer Caye Caulker (see my avatar). In a nutshell, Caye Caulker is everything that Ambergris is, but more. Ambergris is relaxed, CC is more so. Ambergris is comfortable, safe and fits like an old glove - CC more so. Ambergris is low-key, disarming, and unpretentious, CC more so. Everyone is stripped of what/who they are at home when they arrive - and don't even try DYKWIA. Think European backpacker chic - not Four Seasons resort chic.

    CC is also closer to Belize City (which is helpful if you are taking the water taxi vs. flying from BZE. CC is a bit cheaper (when you go shopping, do note whether prices are in US or BZE dollars - 1 US = 2 BZE) and far more compact. If you are near the ferry dock, everything is walkable - on packed down sand roads. If you actually need to go somewhere not walkable (like the airport) golf cart taxis are available. In the years I've been going, new development keeps getting more and more upscale, and there is something to suit just about anyone's needs.

    I dive with Frenchie's, which is located up near the split.
     
  10. jason8612
    Original Member

    jason8612 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,428
    Likes Received:
    3,730
    Status Points:
    1,945
    Looks like Coco Beach Resort is an option as it is quite cheap and on sale. I might book that.
    What about getting to/from the island? How would I do it?
     
  11. jason8612
    Original Member

    jason8612 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,428
    Likes Received:
    3,730
    Status Points:
    1,945
    OK
    I booked the Coco Beach Resort. I couldn't pass it up. hotels.com had the rooms for $139/night (a lot less than the main hotel's site) and with a 10% off coupon I found online got the room for $400 total for 3 nights. 1 bedroom pool view.

     
  12. jfhscott
    Original Member

    jfhscott Silver Member

    Messages:
    458
    Likes Received:
    525
    Status Points:
    645
    Well, since you didn't take my advice and book on Caye Caulker[​IMG], I suggest that you fly from BZE to Ambergris Caye. Tropic Air and Maya Air (if it still exists) run hourly flights, but, in reality, they run hourly flights at a minimum. Often enough, such as midday when heaps of flights from North America arrive at about the same time, they just keep the plane running as fast as possible, sending them out as they fill. If, of course, you have a specific flight time, they honor it, but this means that you can essentially go "standby" on an earlier flight. If you find this too expensive, there is a cheap water taxi. First, you'd have to pay $25 to get from BZE to the dock, and then something like $15 per person for the water taxi. The only advantage here is that you would actually get to see Belize City - although it is not much to look at and you would experience the water taxi, which goes by some neat mangroves and over lovely water (view from the puddle jumper is also not to be missed). When I've done the water taxi, the ride has always been smooth and in its own way a bit fun.

    Were it my dime and if I made the "mistake" of choosing Ambergris, I'd fly, as the water taxi to Ambergris is a bit long, but you might find the water tax route to your liking.

    Also, since you will be on Ambergris, do learn in advance about where on ambergris you will be - it can be pretty spread out and if you are not in San Pedro town, getting around can require some coordination.

    I do have a small recommendation for your return, which I have implemented with success. This would involve taking the earliest flight from Ambergris to the MUNICIPAL airport in Belize City (typically $25 or so less than the same flight to BZE). Prior to doing this, make arrangements with a driver from a local tour operator (go to various internet sources providing cruise excursions). Have them take you to whatever mainland activity (zipline, cave tubing, Mayan ruins, etc.) you care to do, and then have them deposit you at BZE at the end of your tour. If there are no cruise ships in typically Friday through Monday, you will have the tour operator market, and sites, to yourself. This could help you make something substantial of your final day

    In my case, I arranged for pick up at the Municipal airport, transport for two to cave tubing and return to the airport for $100 for two . Time permitted, so our driver took us to the nearby zipline for $50 per person (which is the going walk in rate). Time and money well spent.
     
  13. jason8612
    Original Member

    jason8612 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,428
    Likes Received:
    3,730
    Status Points:
    1,945
    Thanks
    Where did you stay at CC?
     
  14. jfhscott
    Original Member

    jfhscott Silver Member

    Messages:
    458
    Likes Received:
    525
    Status Points:
    645
    Several places.

    I once rented the "Reef House" through caye caulker rentals. It was pleasant, but a bit far from the action. My dive buddy and I had to rent bikes to make up for it. I would not repeat this.

    I have also stayed at Caye Caulker Condos, which is actually a hotel with light housekeeping facilities. It has worked very well for me. Great location by my dive shop, near the split. Have not had the opportunity to stay at CayeReef, but it looks excellent. I've seen the rooms and factilities at Seaside Cabanas and would stay there any day, especially since it is right next to the ferry. All of the newer accomodations on CC have A/C, which could be a real issue by April - older accomodations might get a bit toasty.

    I typically go for divin' n' drinkin', but if you are going for a more "romantic" trip the Iguana Reef Inn would be appropriate.
     
  15. jason8612
    Original Member

    jason8612 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,428
    Likes Received:
    3,730
    Status Points:
    1,945
    Hmm
    Looked at some rates. Comparable to Ambergris...
     
  16. jfhscott
    Original Member

    jfhscott Silver Member

    Messages:
    458
    Likes Received:
    525
    Status Points:
    645
    You may well find that Caye Caulker properties are smallish and not particularly likely to be picked up by discounter sites - ones on Ambergris tend to be larger and more likely to be picked up on such sites.
     
  17. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,215
    Likes Received:
    61,743
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I would rather be in (or much closer to) town on San Pedro than out at the resorts. Did you look at the one I mentioned above?

    As for getting to/from SPR, I would fly. There is the ferry and it is cheaper but the flights aren't all that expensive and if you're lucky you can ride "shotgun" when they fill up the plane.
     
  18. jason8612
    Original Member

    jason8612 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,428
    Likes Received:
    3,730
    Status Points:
    1,945
    Thanks
    I did look at the inn, but about $60 more per night than what I was able to get.
    I don't really mind being away from the center (says 3.5mi from the center) as I'll be diving and relaxing. I'm going alone and plan to have quiet, so basically eating some breaky, getting some diving, relaxing and sleep.
     
  19. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,215
    Likes Received:
    61,743
    Status Points:
    20,020
    It might not be worth it at $60/night but if you're out at the resorts you're basically stuck there unless you pay for a ride into town. I guess you could walk it, but it'd be on the road, not the beach, and I don't think it is that easy to do. If you don't mind that isolation - I generally try to avoid it, especially when traveling alone - then I'm sure you'll do fine.
     

Share This Page