We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Belize or Jamaica??

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
2 posts
5 reviews
Save Topic
Belize or Jamaica??

Hello All!

I am a female college student planning a solo trip this summer for about 2 weeks on a budget. Based on all my research I've narrowed it down to either Belize of Jamaica. Both are beautiful and are within my price range in terms of flight rates. The only problem is, I am having a hard time deciding on which one?!? I'll be staying at a hostel(s) and am interested in beautiful beaches, snorkeling, hiking, exploring, meeting new people, adventure, etc.

Any helpful advice is appreciated! Thanks!

Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
58 posts
115 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Belize or Jamaica??

Belize has a lot to offer. The water is beautiful. Snorkeling and scuba are amazing. Caye caulker is very unique! It does not have beaches on the island but rather docks you can swim off of. So you will want to book snorkeling trips. Jamaica was nice but I didn't feel safe venturing out or solo (this was back in 02 so maybe it has changed). I know a lot of people love the ATM tours, jungles, and Mayan ruins in Belize so it has a lot to offer. Good luck!

Saint James City...
Destination Expert
for San Pedro
Level Contributor
14,679 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Belize or Jamaica??

I've only been to Jamaica once, we went to Negril. The beach is awesome. Nice people. I'd go solo, but, I don't find it as 'comfortable' as Belize as far as being alone. We didn't snorkel, I understand it isn't great.

Since you have a decent amount of time, I'd recommend splitting your trip. Spend a few days in/around San Ignacio for hiking and jungle. Then, head to one of the Cayes for beach and snorkeling. With two weeks, you could even add another beach destination, either Placencia or Hopkins.

As mentioned above, Caye Caulker is lots of fun and has several cheap lodging options. Ambergris Caye is generally more expensive, it also has better beaches. Both cayes have easy access to the reef for snorkeling.

Utila, Honduras
Destination Expert
for Utila
Level Contributor
2,741 posts
264 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Belize or Jamaica??

the snorkeling in jamaica is some of the worst in the caribbean and unless you're staying in an upscale resort with security you will constantly be harassed by drug dealers, beggars and thieves on the beach. i'm not a huge fab of belize but its way safer and the water is much prettier than jamaica.

Marietta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Beach Vacations, Bonaire
Level Contributor
4,102 posts
52 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Belize or Jamaica??

The beaches are certainly much nicer in Jamaica, but that is about all I can think of in Jamaica's favor. For things to do and see, and for a save/comfortable place for a single/solo female, I think Belize is much better. (Coming from a person who has spent all of a week in both places.)

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
2 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Belize or Jamaica??

Thank you for all the helpful tips. I feel more confident about my decision now--- Belize it is!

St. Petersburg...
Level Contributor
142 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Belize or Jamaica??

Have been to both and am about to return to Belize for the third time. I will never go back to Jamaica . The safety a big issue but the people of Belize are so nice and happy and they have a love for their country that is so refreshing and they love sharing it.

Marietta, Georgia
Level Contributor
882 posts
163 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Belize or Jamaica??

Different strokes for different folks---I've been going to Jamaica for over 30 years and still find beauty every trip----very safe in my opinion (in Negril) and the Jamaican people are some of the friendliest anywhere....

That having been said, we are going to Belize this May for the first time, so maybe we will be switching our yearly trip there in the future!

Tempe, Arizona
Level Contributor
55 posts
33 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Belize or Jamaica??

We went to Jamaica (Negril) last summer and had a great time, but the snorkeling was terrible. Their tiny reef is in bad shape...The people were great. The One Love Bus was the highlight of our trip.

This summer we are heading to Tranquility Bay Resort in Belize. Super excited about being able to snorkel right out to the reef instead of having to book tours every day.

Washington...
1 post
Save Reply
9. Re: Belize or Jamaica??

I have also been to both Jamaica and Belize. I think both are great. I am a man, and not really tuned in to what it is like for a woman traveling alone. I felt safe in both places (Ocho Rios and San Pedro). I spent some time on Caye Caulker, and I would say that would be a good bet. Lots more younger people having a good time there.

Utila, Honduras
Destination Expert
for Utila
Level Contributor
2,741 posts
264 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Belize or Jamaica??

jamaica is beautiful (my favorite part is port antonio and the quiet east coast) but for a single woman traveling alone who wants to snorkel, belize wins hands down. jamaican men can be pretty tough on single ladies and the snorkeling is awful.

Edited: 07 March 2013, 23:09