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Belize....after Costa Rica?

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San Diego...
posts: 334
reviews: 20
Belize....after Costa Rica?

We just got back from Costa Rica, and loved it!!! For our next trip, my wife and I are looking for something similar to Costa Rica (wildlife, lush green everywhere, beaches, etc.), but would like to snorkel as well.

1) Is Belize a similar experience to Costa Rica?

2) How's the snorkeling in Belize? We want to snorkel by ourselves...in shallow waters.

3) How's the water? Is it as clear and blue as the Caribbean waters? It looks like Belize is situated on the Caribbean side? I should really read maps more often than when planning vacations!

I think a mix of the Caribbean clear blue waters and the Costa Rica experience would be ideal....so....Belize then?

Hawaii was our first choice, but may not be feasible right now...

belize
Destination Expert
for Belize, Placencia, Ambergris Caye, Cayo, San Ignacio
posts: 5,622
reviews: 4
1. Re: Belize....after Costa Rica?

We have the largest barrier reef in the hemisphere and you'll be impressed by the snorkeling, in shallow water as well. Our mainland has Mayan temples and caves with artifacts, which CR does not and many other of the same zip lines, waterfalls, river and horse trips. We have diversified cultures and English is our offical langguge. You'll be quite pleased with Belize

San Diego...
posts: 334
reviews: 20
2. Re: Belize....after Costa Rica?

Thanks...is July/August a good time to go? We could do May as well....

Bar Harbor, Maine
posts: 832
reviews: 152
3. Re: Belize....after Costa Rica?

Hi, If you want to "snorkel in shallow water by yourselves," don't go to one of the large Cayes or a mainland destination where you will be dependent on a boat to get you to the reef. Choose somewhere like South Water Caye (I recommend Pelican Beach) where you can snorkel from a beautiful beach as much or as little as you want to all day. Splitting your stay is a great plan and Belize is smaller than Costa Rica, so you won't spend so much time traveling between place. Friends who have gone to Costa Rica and Belize preferred Belize because of much fewer tourists. Wildlife and ruins are super, as is the snorkeling.

Central America
posts: 1,337
reviews: 22
4. Re: Belize....after Costa Rica?

Ideal weather is March-April-May and maybe June.

Dec-Feb is peak tourist season, but it is also cold front season...like right now...BRRRR....

July-Nov is hurricane season. Weather during the day is typically quite nice, but tends to be squally at night along the coast....and of course your vacation could be effected by more serious weather.

The barrier reef, cayes, and atolls are really what differentiates Belize from CR. I suggest focusing on those.

new york
posts: 126
reviews: 7
5. Re: Belize....after Costa Rica?

We are looking between these two places as well for a trip in early march. Was looking for an all inclusive resort that also offered excursions. Definitely want a place on the beach. Leaning toward belize after reading some of the information offered here. Any suggestions for a AI resort????

posts: 4,492
reviews: 161
6. Re: Belize....after Costa Rica?

Not an expert here but I don't really think Belize has too many AI resorts. Since you mention beach I would guess you might be interested in staying on Ambergris Caye with the emphasis on water adventures. Part of the fun anywhere in Belize is eating at the various local restaurants and the hotels also have some nice dining options. Maybe some of the experts can recommend some AI in Belize but doubt too many would recommend one. Might be some in Costa Rica not sure there.

new york
posts: 126
reviews: 7
7. Re: Belize....after Costa Rica?

thanks for the info.....just starting looking at belize and looks like would need to regroup ideas for here with reading this and other info. Thanks so much.

Richmond, Virginia
posts: 2
reviews: 6
8. Re: Belize....after Costa Rica?

We went to Belize in Aug 2000. We stayed 3 or 4 nights at EkTun. (www.ektunbelize.com). This is inland and only for the adventurous. Its crazy getting there....Land Rover over dirt "roads", switch over to a boat to go down and cross river, then hike up to your cottage. The charm is that it is so remote. No electricity. We didn't have problems with mosquitoes, but then again, we don't have problems with 100% DEET. Phyllis is great and took us to Guatamala where we ate cow's hoof soup and saw a woman beating up some guy with her shoe. We also when tothe ruins of xunan tunich (we were the only ones there for a while) and Cahel Pech (which is right in town). Can't say enough about Ek Tun.

Then we spent 3 days on Ambergris Caye. Totally different. We went to Shark Ray Alley and snorkeling. Awesome petting nurse sharks and rays in the wild. Went on a Manatee trip (Swallow Caye) to see them...nice. The beaches are not really the kind you would lay out on. Anything that is clean of seaweed is maintained by the hotels, and not very well at that.

THEN about 5 years later, we went to Costa Rica. This time a few days on Tortuga Island. Saw turtles in wild laying eggs. Kayaking through the forest watching spider monkeys and iguanas. Forget the resort name. Then we went to Monteverda and did a night time forest tour which was cool. Hiked in the forest looking for tree frogs not realizing they are nocturnal. There's a little place in town that is an orchid garden, which was nice, cheap and interesting. Saw microscopic orchids and one that smells like chocolate. Then we went to Arenal and did a walking tour around the volcano. It was pretty awesome at night listening to the volcano rumble and watching the red lava tumble down it.

But I digress.

Belize is awesome. It turned us on to snokeling. It sounds like you're only interested in the beach stuff. Don't expect good beach, but expect good snorkeling. I urge you to also consider the interior.

Richmond, Virginia
posts: 2
reviews: 6
9. Re: Belize....after Costa Rica?

We went to Belize in Aug 2000. We stayed 3 or 4 nights at EkTun. (www.ektunbelize.com). This is inland and only for the adventurous. Its crazy getting there....Land Rover over dirt "roads", switch over to a boat to go down and cross river, then hike up to your cottage. The charm is that it is so remote. No electricity. We didn't have problems with mosquitoes, but then again, we don't have problems with 100% DEET. Phyllis is great and took us to Guatamala where we ate cow's hoof soup and saw a woman beating up some guy with her shoe. We also when tothe ruins of xunan tunich (we were the only ones there for a while) and Cahel Pech (which is right in town). Can't say enough about Ek Tun.

Then we spent 3 days on Ambergris Caye. Totally different. We went to Shark Ray Alley and snorkeling. Awesome petting nurse sharks and rays in the wild. Went on a Manatee trip (Swallow Caye) to see them...nice. The beaches are not really the kind you would lay out on. Anything that is clean of seaweed is maintained by the hotels, and not very well at that.

THEN about 5 years later, we went to Costa Rica. This time a few days on Tortuga Island. Saw turtles in wild laying eggs. Kayaking through the forest watching spider monkeys and iguanas. Forget the resort name. Then we went to Monteverda and did a night time forest tour which was cool. Hiked in the forest looking for tree frogs not realizing they are nocturnal. There's a little place in town that is an orchid garden, which was nice, cheap and interesting. Saw microscopic orchids and one that smells like chocolate. Then we went to Arenal and did a walking tour around the volcano. It was pretty awesome at night listening to the volcano rumble and watching the red lava tumble down it.

But I digress.

Belize is awesome. It turned us on to snokeling. It sounds like you're only interested in the beach stuff. Don't expect good beach, but expect good snorkeling. I urge you to also consider the interior.

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
posts: 3,872
reviews: 75
10. Re: Belize....after Costa Rica?

Some of the more remote jungle lodges (like Chan Chich and Lamanai Outpost Lodge) are all-inclusive by virtue of the fact that there's really nowhere else to eat near them.