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Belize or Roatan

Wantagh, New York
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Belize or Roatan

We are trying to decide between the 2 or if we should take a cruise that stops in both and see how we like them for a future land trip. We enjoy snorkeling and nice beaches and also local restaurants.

Davie, Florida
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1. Re: Belize or Roatan

a cruise is a crap way to see anything of a locale. the only reason to take a cruise is to be able to eat all day. I have been to both and they each have their pros and cons. Roatan has better beaches and offshore snorkeling. Belize has better atoll snorkeling. The reef in both is pretty much the same. Both Belize and Honduras have great mainland activities but the Belize mainland is a little easier to get to from the cayes. Belize speaks english.

San Ignacio, Belize
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2. Re: Belize or Roatan

While I personally found Belize on a cruise over a decade ago, I'd never recommend cruising here. The port city is less than pretty, and the vibe is less than nice there. Although I always had the same strategy with all the cruises I took of finding the best couple of islands, and then hitting them for longer periods soon after the cruises.

I'd echo what Katzgar said above about it being the same Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, and the snorkeling is great all along it. It's the biggest living reef barrier reef in the world, and the second biggest barrier reef. And the mainland, and the cayes, have some great restaurants.

Enjoy!

Saint James City...
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for San Pedro
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3. Re: Belize or Roatan

I don't care for the entire large ship/cruise concept. Too hard on the fragile environments in most parts of the world. There are other reasons I don't choose to cruise, too much living by another person's schedule, having to dress up for dinner, waiting in lines to get on and off the ships. Expensive drinks. Nope, not for me.

I've been considering a short trip to Roatan this winter. I live on Ambergris Caye in the winter, so it wouldn't be terribly hard or expensive to get to. However, some of the recent reports on violent crime there has given me pause.

I know there is crime on Ambergris, but, what's been happening in Roatan seems worse. Would love to hear from anyone who has been to Roatan in the past few months. I've read it's no longer safe to walk between West End and West Bay. For me, if it isn't safe to walk between two tourist areas, I won't be going there.

Obviously, I really like Ambergris caye. Lots of restaurants. Lots of choices of lodging, in all price ranges. The beach is narrow, but, the sand is soft and white and the water is blue. Friendly people. Although, there really isn't snorkeling from shore, the reef is a very short boat ride away, there's also fishing and sailing to be done.

The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
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11,232 posts
326 reviews
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4. Re: Belize or Roatan

I echo Jean's cruise comments. We love Belize, too, but Roatán is tough to beat as we've found it to be a better value budget wise, especially where lodging, tours, and diving are concerned, plus it has nicer beaches and access to great snorkeling without needing a boat which is not common in Belize unless you shell out for a stay on a southern caye or outer atoll. Also, if you want to just hit one spot, there's good hiking and variety of villages to visit on Roatán. If you want to travel around a bit, it's true that it's easier to make your way around to Maya ruins, caving, etc. with Belize.

My photo collections with blog, travelogue, and review links are here if you're interested. Happy trails!

flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections

Saint James City...
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for San Pedro
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5. Re: Belize or Roatan

Hopefulist, when was the last time you were on Roatan? I get the impression safety has become a big issue in the past six months or so.....I really want to go, but, don't want to be stupid about it. If it isn't safe to be out and about, I won't go now.

The Dalles, Oregon
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for Guatemala, Belize
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6. Re: Belize or Roatan

We spent 2 weeks there in July, split between the Camp Bay beach area in NE Roatán (way off the beaten track) and the Sandy Bay area. We felt safe and didn't have anything bad happen - it was a great time and we're likely to return next summer. You can check out our photos collection with links below if you're interested. Happy trails!

flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections

Davie, Florida
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7. Re: Belize or Roatan

jeanh you sound like the other people wirth safety concers in Belize or Cancun or PDC.

Saint James City...
Destination Expert
for San Pedro
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8. Re: Belize or Roatan

I know Katzgar. I'm trying to figure out if it really is dangerous or not.

I've read so many 'don't leave the resort' threads in Jamaica that it's silly. We were in Negril last fall, didn't stay at a resort and always felt safe.

I admit Amgergris doesn't seem as safe as it did a few years ago, but, I suspect that's just because I know more of what's going on, not that there's that much crime.

If we do go to Roatan, it will be to West Bay/West End. Reports of shootings and people being told not to walk between the two places has me concerned.

Have you been there recently?

Thanks Hope for the info....

Davie, Florida
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9. Re: Belize or Roatan

was there in december, west end was safe enough then

10. Re: Belize or Roatan

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