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Family of four with two teens just returned from San Pedro

Washington DC...
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Family of four with two teens just returned from San Pedro

My husband, our two teen daughters and I just returned from two weeks in San Pedro. We flew into Belize City via DFW on American Airlines, then used the TropicAir transfer. We stayed at the Landings at Tres Cocos. We rented a golf cart from Carts Belize for the full two weeks. We ate at many restaurants and did two excursions - Lamanai and the all day snorkel and manatee watch, both with SEArious. Any questions while everything is still fresh in my mind?

Saint James City...
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1. Re: Family of four with two teens just returned from San Pedro

Did you have a good time?

Ambergris Caye
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for San Ignacio, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
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2. Re: Family of four with two teens just returned from San Pedro

What are a few things you enjoyed most on your trip?

Washington DC...
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3. Re: Family of four with two teens just returned from San Pedro

we had a wonderful time, the best vacation ever, for all of us. Favorite things - the people and the overall atmosphere of the island - many times we were out after dark, and during the day my daughters and I frequently went out without my husband. Granted we used common sense, but we always felt safe and welcome. We ate at many of the high rated restaurants, but we also ate at many of the food stands.

Staying north of the bridge is NOT a hassle like some people say - the managers of our condo community arranged for a bridge pass for us and never thought twice about it. Some days the dirt roads were better than other days - a lot is tied to the rain.

Even when down in San Pedro we never encountered any pan-handlers or even people aggressively hawking their goods. Lots of waves and greetings of "Happy New Year" was what we received.

Lubbock, Texas
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4. Re: Family of four with two teens just returned from San Pedro

Hi

We're leaving in a couple of weeks and are staying on the north end. Do you know if you can purchase the bridge pass at the bridge? Also, on average, how long did it take you to drive to town on the golf cart? Do you recomend the trip to Lamanai and how long of a day was it?

Was there anything you wish you had taken that you didn't and was there anything you wish you had known before the trip?

Thanks

San Francisco, CA
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5. Re: Family of four with two teens just returned from San Pedro

I'm going to chip in here since my boyfriend and I also just returned on Sunday from San Pedro. We also had a good time and felt very safe.

Anywhere in Latin America I always wish I had packed more money in small bills for tips. American dollars are widely accepted in Belize, and so many times it is useful to have $1 or $5 bills. (Yes, I know USD$1 equals BZ$2.) You can try to get change from your hotel or a bank, but it's easier just to get 20 or 40 $1 bills before you leave home.

We did use credit cards for some restaurant meals and add tips that way, but we always wondered if the server ever sees that money. If you tip in person (even if you use a credit card for the meal) you can be sure.

By the way, no one likes bills in bad condition (especially torn). We had a $10 bill that I received in change from somewhere that was carefully taped together from 4 pieces. I didn't notice it at first, but NO ONE would take it, though I didn't try an actual bank. We finally got rid of it at the Belize City airport on our way out, to pay the departure tax -- thank heavens the agent either didn't notice or didn't care because it was our last cash. (We were on TACA which doesn't include the tax in the airfare -- or accept credit cards for the tax.)

Laurie

Saint James City...
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6. Re: Family of four with two teens just returned from San Pedro

The person who started this thread stayed just north of the bridge. Essentially, it's walking distance to town, although I wouldn't want to walk it at night. How long it will take you depends on how far north you are staying. It sounds as if the road is pretty good right now, as far north as Grand Caribe.

Sorry, I don't know about the bridge pass.

I've been to Lamanai three different times over the past 10 years or so. Great trip every time. It's about 11 hours, get picked up about 7am and dropped off around 6pm.

Washington DC...
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7. Re: Family of four with two teens just returned from San Pedro

Saqsaq -

our condo managers, Roger and Susan, set up our bridge pass for us. It is $75US and good for four weeks, it cannot be purchased for a shorter time period.

We were just north of the bridge, so we were able to get into town quickly and easily, less than ten minutes to be in the heart of "downtown".

The trip to Lamanai was wonderful, but it was a very long and tiring day. We were picked up at the dock in front of our condo at 6:45am and we returned about 5:30pm. It was just over 60 minutes back to the mainland by boat, then a bus (think school bus, not luxury touring bus) ride of nearly an hour to deliver us to a dock on the New River. From there is was about 45 minutes up the New River to get to Lamanai. We used SEArious as the guide company for the trip. We had the same guides throughout the day. They were very knowledgeable and pointed out things along the way, so it was a pleasant trip getting there and back. It was much warmer at Lamanai than out in the Cayes and a little buggy (but it is the jungle!). The walking tour around Lamanai is not especially strenuous, but there is a lot of uneven terrain and some stairs. You are able to climb one of the structures if you choose. It is a very interesting excursion, but keep in mind it is not run by Disney, it's mainly walking around and seeing the ruins and listening to the tour guides.

I took anti-itch cream, antibiotic cream and several stomach remedies. We did not need any of the stomach remedies, but we used both creams. My husband seemed to attract the sand fleas and he also scraped his ankle on some rocks while snorkeling. I was happy I had both of the creams as we did not really see any familiar American brands of OTC medication in the markets. I took a large hat to minimize the sun on my face, but it was very breezy, so I was never able to wear it - I wished I had taken either a hat with a strap or more of a baseball cap that would have stayed on my head better.

I wish I would not have packed as many clothes as I did - I took several "nice" outfits which hung in the closet until we left. While the people were rather modest in San Pedro (no one walking around in small swim suits, etc like you would see in South Florida) it was totally appropriate to be dressed in shorts and a tank top pretty much anywhere. Also, no need to take any shoes other than flat sandals. Even the paved roads are not guaranteed to be smooth and you will likely end up walking in the beach sand on a regular basis.

I agree with Laurie about the currency. We only had one bill declined (by a small stand) because it had a small tear. I was able to use it without a problem at one of the larger restaurants though. Unless you are planning to make very large purchases, $100 bills will be difficult to use, given that is $200BZ. We used $50 bills at larger restaurants, etc without any trouble but tried to not use anything larger than a $20 at any of the small shops or stands.

Please feel free to ask any other questions that may arise. I'm sure you will fall in love with San Pedro as much as we did!!

Medford, Oregon
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8. Re: Family of four with two teens just returned from San Pedro

We just got back 5 days ago. Question, how far North of the Bridge are you staying? I have some advise and observations for you.

San Ignacio, Belize
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9. Re: Family of four with two teens just returned from San Pedro

Great idea that bridge pass. Glad you had a great time. Thanks for sharing.

Lubbock, Texas
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10. Re: Family of four with two teens just returned from San Pedro

We are about 4 miles from town. I'm not sure how far from the bridge. We are next to Las Terrazas resort if that helps.

Thanks so much for all the tips here.

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