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Guatemala and Belize

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San Jose, California
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Guatemala and Belize

Hello,

We are planning a trip to Guatemala and Belize for 3 weeks in July. The plan is to land in Guatemala and drive to Belize. We have three kids ages 15, 13, and 10. Any suggestions and recommendatios are greatly appreciated.

Maryville, TN
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1. Re: Guatemala and Belize

I didn't spend much time in Guatemala but did go to Tikal. I can provide more information about Belize recommend the Cayo District to visit the ATM cave (your kids will love it) and the rainforest. Pook's Hill is a great place to stay there, close to the ATM cave and relatively near Xunantanich and Rio Macal.

And Hopkins is wonderful to visit the coast, kayak, and snorkel or dive at the reefs. I left my kids with the grandparents and just traveled with my wife, but I will definitely return with my kids.

I arranged my trip with Adventure Life, and they helped customize to combine my time in Belize with Guatemala. The guides the set us up with were fantastic. My regret is not spending time in Guatemala.

Edmonton, Canada
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2. Re: Guatemala and Belize

You plan to find a rental car that lets you drop off in another country? My understanding is it's hard to find a rental that'll allow you to just *visit* another country, even if you promise to bring it back.

Personally, I wouldn't try to pack two interesting countries into just 3 weeks. Maybe pick one and explore it thoroughly.

Tikal is wow.

The Dalles, Oregon
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3. Re: Guatemala and Belize

In Guatemala I'd split a week between Antigua and Lake Atitlán, then fly (or overnight bus?) to Flores/Tikal for a few nights. I've pasted my favorite Belize links below and my Guatemala hotel and tour recommendations (in addition to those below) are embedded in the travelogues and blogs linked with the photo collections. Happy planning!

________________________

My photo collections with blog, travelogue, and review links:

flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections/

My travel blog starting in 2012 (earlier ones linked with the photo collections):

http://hopefulistinlatinamerica.blogspot.com/

My descriptions and reviews on Trip Advisor:

tripadvisor.com/members-reviews/hopefulist

Guidebooks I like: Moon Handbook, Fodor’s Guide, and Explorer’s Guide.

Laminated wildlife identification cards: rainforestpublications.com/belizeFieldGuides…

A very cool checklist book for Belize for the young or young-at-heart:

amazon.com/Play-Belize-Mesa-Somer/…

87&sr=8-2

- - -

Budget to midrange lodging site: http://www.belizeexplorer.com

Great island and lodging downloads: http://www.belizefirst.com

Informative transportation blog: http://www.belizebus.wordpress.com

- - -

Shuttle recommendation: www.parrot-nest.com/belize-shuttle.html

Zoo: http://www.belizezoo.org

Great jungle camp in Cayo: http://www.belizecamp.com

Great budget lodging in Cayo: http://www.thetrekstop.com

Great value hotel with pool in Cayo: http://www.aguadahotel.com

Don't miss cave trip: http://pacztours.net/actun-tunichil-muknal/

Another, less-visited amazing cave option in Cayo: http://www.actunchapatadventure.blogspot.com/

Lodge with lots of adventures: http://www.cavesbranch.com

- - -

Roxy Ortiz - fabulous, fun tour guide: http://www.tikalroxy.blogspot.com

My favorite hotel at Tikal: http://www.tikalinnsunrise.com

Good choice in El Remate, Guatemala: http://www.30minutesfromtikal.com/

Favorite midrange places in Flores: http://www.corpetur.com

Good value budget option in Flores: La Mesa de los Mayas, mesamayas@hotmail.com

- - -

Great inn in coastal Garifuna town: http://www.hopkinsinn.com

Garifuna drumming center: http://www.lebeha.com

- - -

Apartment on the beach on Caye Caulker: http://www.staycayecaulker.com/sailwinds.html

Another Caye Caulker option: gocayecaulker.com/accommodations/maxhapan-ca…

Great day snorkeling trip: http://raggamuffintours.com/hol-chan-snorkel/

- - -

Very rustic atoll experience, cheap if you have a week: http://www.glovers.com.bz/

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A few more for good measure (2012 trip):

Great jungly place near Punta Gorda: http://www.hickatee.com

Off the beaten track diving and snorkeling, Sapodilla Cayes: http://www.reefci.com

(haven’t stayed there yet thanks to Hurricane Ernesto in August 2012)

Rental apartments in the heart of Placencia: http://www.oneworldplacencia.com

Secluded resort on N. Ambergris Caye with snorkeling from shore:

http://www.tranquilitybayresort.com

San Jose, California
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4. Re: Guatemala and Belize

I appreciate your reply and info!!!

San Jose, California
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5. Re: Guatemala and Belize

Much appreciated!!

San Jose, California
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6. Re: Guatemala and Belize

Thank you!

California
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7. Re: Guatemala and Belize

Hopeful, quick question. You state that Glovers atol is cheap. At $299/person for a week and then add that 12% tax and have to share a toilet, and no meals, is that considered cheap for Belize? I love rustic and can deal with sharing bathroom but this seems high to me. Please explain. thx

The Dalles, Oregon
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8. Re: Guatemala and Belize

Your points are well taken - it's just cheap relative to the other atoll options in Belize which tend to be thousands/week/pp with food included; in each case part of the expense is the boat trip out and back, ~40 miles.

Belize, in general, is far more expensive than neighboring Guatemala or Honduras and snorkeling from shore is only available in a few - usually pricey - locations. For example, you can have an island experience for much less/night on Caye Caulker, but you'll pay every time you want to go snorkeling and the quality of the snorkeling won't be on par with Glover's.

9. Re: Guatemala and Belize

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10. Re: Guatemala and Belize

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