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CC or ambergris? Want nice beach for swimming/snorkeling

Phoenix, AZ
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15 posts
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CC or ambergris? Want nice beach for swimming/snorkeling

I am planning 10day trip, and trying to decide between CC and AC. Does either one have nice beach that you can swim in from shore? How about snorkeling and fishing? Do you have to go out with tour boat?

My boyfriend and I spent 2 months in Placencia and went island hopping from there and tend towards less commercially developed places. We are active and laid back, and want flexibility to do what we want rather than depend on tour operator schedules. Prefer to kayak out to reef if possible.

So the debate we are having is: cheap place on CC and spend on excursions, etc. Or higher end place on AC with private beach. We want house with kitchen as we plan on cooking a lot. Budget is about $200/day total lodging, food, etc. Looking at Canuck Cottage on CC that's below budget, and private casita in southern part of AC that is slightly above budget.

Any suggestions appreciated!

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Placencia
Placencia
Stann Creek, Belize
Saint James City...
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for San Pedro
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1. Re: CC or ambergris? Want nice beach for swimming/snorkeling

I don't think you will be at all happy with the beaches on Caye Caulker. The most popular beach is at the 'split'. There's a beach bar there, the Lazy Lizard, loud and fun. People also swim from there. I'd consider it the most touristy place on Caulker.

If you go way far north on Ambergris, you can swim to the reef, the only resort that far up is Tranquility Bay.

Most swimming on Ambergris is done off the docks. Sea greass and shallow water close to shore are the reasons. The beach at Ramon's and the beach at Banyan Bay are really nice. The sea grass has been cleared away and you can swim from shore. Ramon's has a small artificial reef off the end of its dock. You don't have to stay at either place to use their beach. Really no such thing as a private beach on Ambergris.

People do kayak to the reef to snorkel. The further south you get on Ambergris the further out the reef is. My condo is a mile south. We have a two person kayak for guest use. My neighbors frequently head to the reef for snorkeling.

The reef is quite a bit further out on Caulker, I don't think kayaking there is an option.

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Caye Caulker
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Lazy Lizard
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Tranquility Bay Resort
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Banyan Bay Suites
Banyan Bay Suites
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Ambergris Caye, Belize
Phoenix, AZ
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15 posts
2 reviews
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2. Re: CC or ambergris? Want nice beach for swimming/snorkeling

Thank you! That is kind of what I suspected.

I am thinking about renting this casita on AC that is 2 miles south of San Pedro. Says it has private beach, and you can kayak out to reef for snorkeling. Are you familiar with this location? We are both good with kayaking and biking to town, but just want to be able to get up and go into the water when I want.

This is the listing: it's called Casita Buena Vista. It got good reviews.

tripadvisor.com/VacationRentalReview-g291962…

Sounds like riding bikes into town would be simple and short too right?

Sandra

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San Pedro
San Pedro
Ambergris Caye, Belize
Davie, Florida
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3. Re: CC or ambergris? Want nice beach for swimming/snorkeling

typically that close to town you would swim off the dock like Jeanh stated.

Saint James City...
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for San Pedro
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4. Re: CC or ambergris? Want nice beach for swimming/snorkeling

I live one mile south of town when I'm on the island (we stay for three months in the winter). We walk on the beach almost every morning, alternating north or south. Anyway, I can't visualize this casita. The beach pictures look vaguely familiar, but, I'm wondering if the property itself is truly beach front.

I'd want to wake up and look out at the blue waters of the Caribbean.

It shouldn't be a bad ride into town. Although the streets are cobblestone pavers and are somewhat bumpy to ride on. It will be quite dark at night, might want to consider a cab.....

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Caribbean
Caribbean
North America
San Ignacio, Belize
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5. Re: CC or ambergris? Want nice beach for swimming/snorkeling

Not trying to get off topic, but since those cayes aren't known for their beaches, try Southwater Caye, the Sappodilla Cayes, Turneffe, Glover's, and other outliers. You'll be right there, be able to walk into snorkeling, and fish all you want.

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377 posts
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6. Re: CC or ambergris? Want nice beach for swimming/snorkeling

The Budget Traveler's Room at Tranquility Bay Resort would meet your financial requirements. One other thing to consider is how close the reef is to shore. On the south end of Ambergris Caye the reef is about a mile out. On the North end where we are located the reef is just off shore about the length of a football field. There are also patch corals on the way out to the reef. Of course riding a bike to town isn't really an option, but you can get to town on occasion with trips to Hol Chan or other activities. Take a look at the reviews on this site.

Cheers,

Carlos

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Tranquility Bay Resort
Tranquility Bay Resort
482 Reviews
Ambergris Caye, Belize
Ambergris Caye
Ambergris Caye
Belize Cayes, Belize
Phoenix, AZ
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15 posts
2 reviews
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7. Re: CC or ambergris? Want nice beach for swimming/snorkeling

Thanks. I have stayed at Glover's before and it was the best vacation I ever had! But, they were fully booked this time. South water Caye looks amazing, but it's about 5x cost of the place in CC. It is all inclusive though, and snorkeling and fishing available right there.

Have you been there? Do you think it's worth going for the price, even if not for full week? It's actually about the same price as place I stayed on Glover's.

Still checking other places you referenced.

Sandra

San Ignacio, Belize
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8. Re: CC or ambergris? Want nice beach for swimming/snorkeling

While I've used SW Caye as a starting and stop off point for diving excursions, we never actually stayed overnight. I like the feel of the place, and we did have some local food there, which was good. The dive shop is top notch too, by the way. You can walk in a snorkel right there, which is always a plus.

Bar Harbor, Maine
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884 posts
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9. Re: CC or ambergris? Want nice beach for swimming/snorkeling

I will strongly second South Water Caye; Pelican Beach is not cheap, but the price does include meals and snacks. You are RIGHT at a lovely beach with superb snorkeling. My husband and I were disappointed with how little underwater time we got at Ambergris because of being boat-dependent. At SWC we were thrilled to be able to snorkel our fool heads off morning, noon and night. We quickly realized that the only footwear we needed was fins and we didn't even really have to take a towel to the beach, because we could just go "home" and get land stuff. Loved it,, loved it, loved it!!

Santa Rosa...
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10. Re: CC or ambergris? Want nice beach for swimming/snorkeling

The reef is less than a mile from the eastern shore of Caye Caulker, so Jeanh is not entirely correct about kayaking from Caye caulker not being an option.

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Caye Caulker
Caye Caulker
2,505 Reviews
Caye Caulker, Belize
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