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Help With Timing?

Maui, Hawaii
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Help With Timing?

Aloha all!

We are a pair of first-time travelers to Belize and was hoping to have a few questions answered for us. We'll be arriving to BZE on a Saturday at 12:30pm via Maui-Los Angeles-Atlanta [phew!]. We'll be staying at Midas Resort. Despite the recommendations on taking a public bus to San Ignacio, we will be hiring a shuttle service since our traveling time is so long and intense.

Assuming we will reach our hotel by 3:00, and only stop there to check-in and drop off our bags, will we still be able to make the Saturday Market? We mainly want to walk around, experience local life, and perhaps have a small snack.

After the Market, our plan is to catch a taxi and take a quick stroll at Cahal Pech Museum and ruins. What time does the site close? Can we tour the ruins in time before sunset?

Lastly, a visit to the Iguana Hatchery is planned directly after Cahal Pech. Are they open in the evenings?

I'm more than aware that this plan seems rushed, but we are two twenty-somethings who don't mind being on the go. In addition, we only have three full days in San Ignacio before transferring to Ambergris Caye, and will probably not be returning to Belize [although I'm guessing we will end up wanting to!]. Our other days will consist of ATM, Tikal, and perhaps horseback riding.

I'm already thinking that at this point, it might be more feasible if we cut out the Saturday Market altogether and stick to Cahal Pech/Iguana Hatchery, but would still appreciate any type of advice. Thank you so much in advance!

San Ignacio, Belize
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1. Re: Help With Timing?

The market generally winds down by 2 pm, and Cahal Pech closes at 4. Not sure about the Iguana hatchery, but I would assume it is a daylight tour.

I would check in the hotel, unwind, enjoy the pool, have a snakc there, and later in the evening take a walk around San Ignacio, and maybe have dinner in town. Erva`s Restaurant serves some great local food, and they don`t open until 6.

I understand you want to pack as much in as possible, but I don`t think your first day is going to permit much.

Enjoy your Belize adventure.

Ambergris Caye
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for San Ignacio, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
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2. Re: Help With Timing?

Makes sens to shuttle so you can comfortable recharge your batteries a bit after a long days travel.

The Dalles, Oregon
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for Guatemala, Belize
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327 reviews
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3. Re: Help With Timing?

I agree with both the above. If you hurry, you could catch Cahal Pech, then walk around town and have dinner. As CA markets go, the San Ignacio one isn't especially grand imo. The sun sets around 5:30 in the winter and 6:30 in the summer and it gets dark pretty quickly. Have a great trip!

Maui, Hawaii
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21 posts
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4. Re: Help With Timing?

A little bummed, but fantastic advice. Looks like we'll be taking it easy on our first day in Belize. Thank you all so much!

The Dalles, Oregon
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for Guatemala, Belize
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5. Re: Help With Timing?

The Belize Zoo is another option; the website says last admission is at 4:30.

www.belizezoo.org

Maui, Hawaii
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6. Re: Help With Timing?

Hi hopefulist!

I think we will stop at the zoo on our way out of San Ignacio to Ambergris Caye. We'll probably be using public transport instead of shuttle. Do the buses make stops there? Is there a place we can put down our luggage while we tour the zoo?

The Dalles, Oregon
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for Guatemala, Belize
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327 reviews
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7. Re: Help With Timing?

The express buses won't stop so be sure you get a non express bus and tell them you want off at the zoo. They'll let you out on the right hand side and you'll cross to the other side and continue to the zoo entrance. Ask them about leaving your bags; they'll likely point out the gift shop or the education room across from it to stow your bags. Be sure to keep your valuables (electronics, passports, debit cards, cash, etc.) on you.

When you're ready to leave, walk back out and cross the highway; watch for oncoming buses and be sure they can see you (step towards the road and wave your arms). If a bus doesn't stop, it's probably an express run. Happy trails!

San Ignacio, Belize
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276 reviews
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8. Re: Help With Timing?

The market at 3:00 will still have some stalls, but many will be packed up and leaving. Still worth a walk through. It's not half a mile to Midas from there. Unfortunately, it sounds like you might not be able to make the Iguana Hatchery since it'll have been closed by the time you get there. If you rushed to CP, you could do a quick tour...it is a small ruin. Since you'll be in Cayo for a while, check out the Best of Cayo for the best places to eat around town. http://www.bestofcayo.com We have some amazing restaurants in town.

Good idea with the zoo. You shouldn't have any problems. Just watch your bags on the bus, and don't put anything in the outside pockets. Have a great time!

Maui, Hawaii
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9. Re: Help With Timing?

Hopefulist: Those detailed directions are exactly what I need! I hope we'll be okay waiting on the side of the road when it's time to leave with our bags in tow. Buses come often though, right?

DrFeelAwesome: Yes, I've already researched the local eats and cannot wait to indulge!

The advice garnered from this forum is incomparable. I'm not sure where I'd be without it! Thank you!

The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
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327 reviews
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10. Re: Help With Timing?

The buses will pass every half hour or 45 minutes, I think.