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Second Timer - Looking for suggestions.

Vancouver and...
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Second Timer - Looking for suggestions.

So last year, I travelled to Belize for a week. We spent 2 nights in Crooked Tree and had a wonderful time birding and relaxing there. And also did the new river tour with a birding specialist and visited the ruins.

We then ventured down to Caye Caulker and again, loved it there. We did two nights at Colinda and two nights at Jaguar. Liked both places...very different from each other, but equally clean and comfortable.

On CC, I did a fishing excursion. We biked around the island, did the three stop snorket tour on the sail boat. All in all we found the island charming and a place we would visit again. By the 2nd day, we felt like locals eating at a wide variety of places off the main street.

Now, we are planning to go back to Belize. We are interested in the same activities. A fishing excursion for Permit, Bones and/or Tarpon. Some birding as well as visiting some ruins with some hanging with as many locals as we can, eating (and drinking) a bit off the beaten path.

I think we are looking at a combination type of trip to two or three places. We will likely rent a car as there will be four of us travelling together, so I think it is a cost effective way to get around. The four of us rented a car in Havana and toured Cuba, so we are aware of the potential "gotchas" and will prepare as best we can and take the precautions.

So, what would your suggestions be for a combination of beach lounging, birding/hiking, snorkeling, and ruins? I assume we will head to the south from Belize City along the Coast Hwy, and then inland from there via Hummingbird Hwy. Unless a better route would be to take the Western Highway Inland, then working our way back up the coast makes more sense?

Any thoughts on must sees, must dos, great eating joints, best beaches, other islands to visits, tours to take must stay accomodations?

Thanks!

The Dalles, Oregon
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for Guatemala, Belize
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1. Re: Second Timer - Looking for suggestions.

I haven't been tempted to rent a car in Belize so can't help with that part. We've enjoyed Placencia, and especially Punta Gorda and Hopkins Village. There are some wonderful jungly places in Cayo District and I highly recommend at least a night in Guatemala to see Tikal.

My photos with blog and travelogue links on the main page of each collection are below in case you're interested - all my recommendations are embedded there. Happy planning!

flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections

belize
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for Belize, Placencia, Ambergris Caye, Cayo, San Ignacio
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2. Re: Second Timer - Looking for suggestions.

For fishing, look at Hopkins, Placencia and Punta Gorda along the sea. for mainland, Cayo and Toledo, the district PG is in

Surrey, England
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3. Re: Second Timer - Looking for suggestions.

I'm also a second timer, Belize is awesome. Last year we stayed in Ambergris Caye, Placencia and in Lamanai in Orange Walk. This year we're going to Punta Gorda for some birding and culinary adventure and back to Placencia for some snorkelling and relaxation.

If you haven't seen the Lamanai temples, just think about stopping at the Lamanai Outpost Lodge. It's beautiful out there, just a short walk away from three temples nestled in the jungle. We saw many birds and monkeys in the area. It is off the beaten track. There's a village nearby and we had a lovely lunch there in a little restaurant run by the local women. The lodge also offers two complimentary activities per day, eg canoeing with a guide, night river safari, jungle walks etc.

Placencia is a charming village with many great local restaurants. Snorkelling is amazing given a choice of cayes. We liked the Lark Cayes and the Laughing Bird Caye. I have a longer trip on my wish list all the way to the Silk Caye.

Vancouver and...
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4. Re: Second Timer - Looking for suggestions.

It looks like Placenia is a can't miss. We did do Lamanai last year. We stayed at the awesome Crooked Tree Lodge and did a day tour on the New River and to the ruins. It was terrific.

I guess we will just grab a rental car and head south for a few days, how far we go remains to be seen. Then we will head inland.

I want to go back to Caulker, but i'm not sure about visiting the same place twice. It is just so charming, and I want to show it to the couple we are travelling with. Are there any places in Belize that are comparable?

The Dalles, Oregon
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for Guatemala, Belize
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5. Re: Second Timer - Looking for suggestions.

We enjoyed Placencia but aren't likely to return. Along the coast Hopkins and Punta Gorda are sure repeats for us and Caulker as well. 4th visit in a March!

Hollywood, Florida
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6. Re: Second Timer - Looking for suggestions.

Make the most out of a week in Belize

So you only have a week vacation and you’re wondering if that’s enough to travel to Belize? Yes it is, and with the right itinerary, you’ll end up doing a lot of amazing things. Take a look at the below guide to see exactly how you can schedule your 7 days in Belize.

One week in Belize

4 days inland, 3 days island (Cayo and Ambergris Caye)

Day 1:

Your international flight will land at the Phillip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) in Belize City.

You need to make your way to Cayo, specifically San Ignacio town.

Day 2:

Go horseback riding to the Mayan site of Xunantunich.

Stop for lunch in San Ignacio and explore the downtown area.

Go Cavetubing or Ziplining.

Day 3:

Action packed day as you explore Actun Tunichil Muknal.

Or

Choose to explore Mountain Pine Ridge. Things to do there include visiting Caracol, Rio Frio Cave and the Rio On Pools.

Or

Take a day trip to Tikal, Guatemala. You leave at 8AM and return by 5PM.

Day 4:

Time to head Belize City to catch a flight or watertaxi to Ambergris Caye.

Stop at the Belize Zoo, one of the coolest Zoo’s in the world.

Arrive in San Pedro Town.

Day 5:

See amazing wildlife by snorkelling at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley.

Explore downtown San Pedro. Eat at nice restaurants and do a little bar hopping.

Day 6:

Cross off diving the Belize Blue Hole off your bucket list.

Add the amazing Half Moon Caye Wall dive with the above and have an entire day of diving.

Day 7:

Do some last minute shopping in downtown San Pedro.

Catch a watertaxi to Belize City or fly directly to the PGIA.

Vancouver and...
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7. Re: Second Timer - Looking for suggestions.

I appreciate that suggestions.

As I mentioned in my original post, we never wondered if we could 'do it all' in a week. We are looking for a more balanced vacation week. A bit of exploring and a bit of lounging/relaxing/swinging in a hammock/eating/'Belikining' etc with a little fishing and snorkelling.

We've done Lamanai and Caye Caulker. The New River tour and several birdwatching trips. Also did Shark Ray Alley and Hol Chan.

I think we are going to set up shop in Placencia and use it as a jump off point. Hit ATM, Cockscomb, Mountain Pine Ridge for birding, and do some beach lounging. Make hit one of the outer Cayes for a night, Silk, Tobacco etc.

We REALLY loved Caulker, and would like a similar experience. I'm hoping we can find that at Placencia.

Hollywood, Florida
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8. Re: Second Timer - Looking for suggestions.

I think Placencia or Hopkins would suite what the type of experience you are looking for.

Saint James City...
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for San Pedro
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9. Re: Second Timer - Looking for suggestions.

I am so not an expert on mainland Belize, but, I'm not sure ATM is a feasible tour from Placencia. Or mountain pine ridge. You'll spend hours in the car. I'm not sure you can make it to where you need to be in time to go to ATM.

Vancouver and...
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10. Re: Second Timer - Looking for suggestions.

I'm not an expert either. But it didn't take me long to read reviews of experiences doing the same distance, and the use of google maps (even adding an hour to the estimated time) to see that it is quite feasible. Worst case, we grab a room for the night in SI.