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excursion costs and transportation

Thibodaux, Louisiana
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108 posts
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excursion costs and transportation

Looking for some advice regarding my trip to Belize. My husband and I will be going May 20-27, 2013. We currently have reservations at Xanadu for the entire trip, but I'm thinking perhaps we should change some things up. Here are the things we want to do: cave tubing, zip line, snorkeling, ruins. I don't want to spend the whole trip feeling like I'm traveling, which makes me think it would be better to stay on the mainland for a couple days. It could be cheaper if I do it right, since I won't be traveling back and forth to the mainland multiple times from AC and I can get a cheap hotel. Then after a couple days we can go to Xanadu. But I do like the idea of relaxing by the pool at Xanadu after a long day of hiking or some other fun adventure.

--If I do split the trip between Xanadu and the mainland, where do you recommend I stay in the Belize City area. I have read some places aren't that nice/safe, but I'm not sure what those places are.

--If I stay in Xanadu the whole time, what are your recommendations as far as the excursions go? I'm thinking I could save money by taking the water taxi to the mainland and go on my own booked excursions rather than the excursions booked at Xanadu. I don't mind ferries crowded with locals and the prices are so cheap! Did anyone else do this and feel you saved money? Did you feel like you spend a lot of time traveling? Did your guides pick you up from the ferry, or did you have to take a taxi to them? I've done the whole hiking around a continent thing (and I love that!), but this trip is meant to be more relaxed and fun, not spent on a ferry the whole time.

And one more question: getting to AC. I was definitely going to fly from Belize City to AC, but then I saw the ferry prices! It is $72 one way per person for the flight to AC, but only $27.50 one way per person on the ferry. Is there anyone, anyone out there that thought the ferry was worth it? I just can't help but feel I would much rather that extra money go towards some excursion rather than travel. I had also briefly looked at the Tropic Ferry, but honestly if I'm going to spend that much I would rather just fly there. Did anyone get so much free rum punch they felt the ticket price was justified? :)

Wow, this got long. Sorry guys!

Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: excursion costs and transportation

First off, do not stay in Belize City! There is nothing to see there and it is pretty rough looking. If you decide to stay on the mainland, I highly recommend San Ignacio. We found that the tours were much cheaper from San Ignacio than AC. If you do the ruins or cave tubing from AC it will be an all day event. We really liked it in San Ignacio..If you decide to go I highly recommend the ATM tour and the Caracol Ruins. We stayed at Midas, which has a really nice pool, but there are plenty of nice places around there.

We took the flight only because of time, but we did take the water taxi from AC to Belize City, which took about 1.5 hours and then took a shuttle to San Ignacio, which is about 2 hours. My recommendation is 4 days AC and 3 days San Ignacio.

Saint James City...
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for San Pedro
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2. Re: excursion costs and transportation

If you would like to visit the ATM cave and see the Mayan site of Caracol, you probably should spend some time on the mainland.

Otherwise, it's easy enough to combine a tour of one of the closer ruins with cave tubing or zip lining. That's still two trips to the mainland though, and they will be long days.

I've always just done tours from the island, rather than heading back to Belize City to meet a tour guide. It might cost more, but, it's nice to just get picked up at the dock and be returned there.

I find the ferry uncomfortable. The fact that it's sometimes crowded isn't as big an issue as the fact that if it's crowded some people don't have a back rest for the trip. My back would be very unhappy with no support on a 1 1/2 hour boat trip. You also need to add in the cost of the cab from the airport to the water taxi terminal, which is US$25.00.

Caribbean
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3. Re: excursion costs and transportation

If you do a split (and that's what I would recommend), I'd recommend staying in San Ignacio. SI has a wide selection of hotels of all budget ranges. It's the best base for the mainland activities you want to do, and Belize City is not a nice place to stay.

If you decide to commute, the water taxi trip to the mainland is about 1.5 hours each way and is cheap. Any good tour guide will pick you up at the water taxi terminal (note there are 2 water taxi terminals in BC), after all, tour guides are always waiting around BC for cruise ship visitors. By car, it's about 1 hour to Belmopan and another 30 minutes to San Ignacio. By bus, add 30 minutes plus waiting time.

Tropic Air now has flights to Belmopan and San Ignacio (Maya Flats airstrip).

There's nothing wrong with the water taxi -- it's a cheap way to go -- don't forget to add the price of the taxi from the airport to Belize City (BZ$50 or US$25). Your decision depends on your priority -- cost or ease/comfort/speed.

Thibodaux, Louisiana
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4. Re: excursion costs and transportation

The place I saw said a one way ride on the water taxi would be 15.00. Since it will be my husband and myself, I divided the price of the taxi by two to get the price per person one way, 27.50. This is where I got the price of the water taxi from: ambergriscaye.com/help/article-66.html. Does that look about right?

Saint James City...
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for San Pedro
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5. Re: excursion costs and transportation

That's pretty close. Within a few dollars anyway. It's definitely cheaper than flying. With what it costs us to get to Belize, for us, it's worth the extra money to fly.

Ambergris Caye
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for San Ignacio, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
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6. Re: excursion costs and transportation

you hit the nail on the head Jean in saying 'it's worth the extra money to fly'.

If it is in budget flying is such a great trip. For those who still want to get a boat ride in consider a shorter day trip to Caye Caulker on the water taxi.

7. Re: excursion costs and transportation

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