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Staying in Punta Gorda end of November

Somerville...
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Staying in Punta Gorda end of November

We have traveled extensively but this will be our first time in Belize (actually our first time to Central America, jungle climate, adventure sport - a lot of firsts!). Looking for any tips on clothing, shoes & bug protection - i.e., specific brands that are better than others, etc. We're pretty good at super-light packing - always do carry-on only - so looking for good multi-purpose clothes suggestions. We will be doing some water activities - snorkeling, kayaking, etc. as well as short hikes.

Appreciate any & all suggestions!

Kansas City...
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1. Re: Staying in Punta Gorda end of November

We usually visit Belize in the fall, and wear long pants, t-shirts, long sleeved over-shirts and hiking shoes as we board. It saves on packing space. As crazy as it sounds, a pair of lightweight long pants and a long-sleeved shirt is worth bringing. PG can get chilly at night in November and December, down to the low 60's. I think anyone would tell you that clothing is the best defense against insects, as well.

Thin, light-weight clothing and towels will dry faster there. Water-sandals like Teva or Keen work well, however I had a pair of Wal-Mart brand that lasted for years. As for insect repellent, the basic "Deep-Woods Off" or similar works fine, although it will damage the face of your wrist-watch (and nail polish). The only insect repellent we use now is a lotion from Watkins.

We'll be leaving Punta Gorda just a few weeks before you arrive. I truly hope you enjoy your stay!

Davie, Florida
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2. Re: Staying in Punta Gorda end of November

if its windy certainly skeeters arent an issue but if you get into the jungle they can be. the best protection (tested) is ultrathon by 3M (REI and amazon) its a DEET product but has a polymer that allows slow release for up to 12 hours protection. Permethrin by sawyers is a spray for clothes that lasts through 6 washings and finally picardin which I think is in the OFF product. dryer clothes and vitamins and avon skin so soft are all tested to not work or work marginally. REI has pants that convert to shorts with zippers at the knees. spend time on gmaps as for such a small country the geography is confusing. You will find belizeans to be the friendliest people you ever met

Somerville...
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3. Re: Staying in Punta Gorda end of November

Thanks for your suggestions. We weren't sure if a standard brand "OFF" or the like would suffice, or if we needed to special order something stronger. Thanks for the tip on the clothing as well. We are really looking forward to this and want to be sure we're comfortable while there, so we can enjoy the beautiful location!

Somerville...
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4. Re: Staying in Punta Gorda end of November

@Katzgar thanks for your suggestions on the DEET product and permethrin. I hadn't known about a slow-release DEET, that's good to know. We have read there are permethrin-pre-treated clothes, do you have any experience with those?

Davie, Florida
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5. Re: Staying in Punta Gorda end of November

no, the ones i looked at were very expensive so we bought the permethrin (REI and wal-mart by sawyers) and sprayed the clothes ourselves. understand skeeters are really only an issue if you are in the jungle or it is calm out

Edited: 21 August 2011, 16:36
Placencia, Belize
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6. Re: Staying in Punta Gorda end of November

Mossies are rarely an issue in Belize but sand flies can be pesky on the shore and out on the Cayes. The sovereign remedy is Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard, I like the blue cream formulation. Never fails, we keep it here for visitors just in case. In extremis baby oil or even coconut oil works as a physical barrier, they are minute little things but they must be all mouth!

You need a sweater for the evenings, also, if you are going out to the cayes, a must of course, it can be cool on the way back in, so a windcheater is good.

You will love the Beautiful South, great choice.

Treat yourself to lunch at Machaca Rainforest Resort, it's gorgeous.

Vancouver, Canada
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7. Re: Staying in Punta Gorda end of November

Mosquito repellent.....we always travel pure carry on. "Off " makes deep woods deet-laden foil wrapped wipes that are great since they don't count as liquids in your carry on. There is another liquid brand we get in Canada called Bens that we used this summer for our 10 days in the jungle. One little bottle -2 or 3 oz- did the two of us + we had the foil wrapped wipes. I only apply the mosquito dope if they are around. The stuff makes me really hot for some reason so I only use it if it's needed rather than putting in on before setting out. We were in deep Chan Chich jungle this july and the skeeters were really only out about an hour before sunset.

Clothes: I always wore my thin pants in the jungle with a t shirt and then had a long sleeved cottony/techno fabric shirt in my day pack to put on for arm protection.

Shoes:I wore my water proof runners this year but last year I was fine with my all terrain keens for the jungle trails and everything else. I was nursing a broken ankle this year so needed a little more stability. I always take slip ons or flip flops for around the lodge and beach.

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8. Re: Staying in Punta Gorda end of November

FYI - regular Deep Woods Off is fine and probably you will be surprised at how few mosquitoes there are. At our place, we have bats that are natural deterrents but after 20 years of living in various places in Belize I think there are more mosquitoes on the cayes and coast than in the jungle anyway. When touring, we usually carry spray with us in case we need it, but we only apply as necessary. When walking our trails around the property, we don't need spray. For shoes, bring a wet/dry style hiker with closed in toes in case you do any caving or rocky hikes. One set of wet/dry clothes with long sleeves and pants will come in handy and you might have some cool weather if we have a norther come through. Have fun!

Somerville...
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9. Re: Staying in Punta Gorda end of November

Thanks, @gatopaja and @tranquilitylodge, very helpful! I love the idea of the wipes, too, as we only do carry-on so minimizing liquids is always our goal :)

We are getting more excited by the day!

Elsewhere
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10. Re: Staying in Punta Gorda end of November

Tranquilitylodge is right. While I was in the area recently, the item that got the most use were my wet/dry-enclosed hikers, although I wear the Merrell brand with the non-slip vibram sole.

Great hiking and caving in the area, so good enclosed shoes are essential. You will also be glad you are wearing them should you step on an ant colony while hiking in the jungle…Same goes for lightweight long trousers if you plan to climb around in caves.

Can’t say I found mosquitos to be a problem and I never have used that bottle of DEET that I bought five years ago. If you are in a lodge, remember that stuff can remove the lacquer from furniture too, best to apply it outside, if you must.