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If only to hike one - Bocawina or Cockscomb?

Fort Collins...
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If only to hike one - Bocawina or Cockscomb?

We will be staying Hopkins at Coconut Row for 4 nights. We're planning on going out snorkeling 1 day on a boat, as this is something we enjoy a lot. We would do more of this, but we're headed to Tobacco Caye after for 4 nights, so we know we'll get plenty of snorkeling out there. We do want to do one day from Hopkins though to compare and see what it's like, so we know when planning future trips.

For another day we were considering hiking one of these places, as our hotel can arrange pick up/drop off for us.

*Hiking (unguided) in Bocawina

*Hiking (unguided) in Cockscomb

If you had to pick one - which would you pick and why? Keep in mind that we will also be doing a LOT of hiking on our third leg of the trip to Hidden Valley Inn in MPR. They have 7,200 acres, 90 miles of trails and 7 waterfalls.

I was also considering possibly the day tour to cave tube/then swim in inland Blue Hole. However, I'm wondering what the drive time/transport is from Hopkins to there. It seems like it would be pretty far. I know my daughter would love that (we had looked at staying at Caves Branch too), but I'm trying to figure out if we'd do that for a day or save it for another trip when we're staying closer to it.

We also considered renting bikes or a golf cart for a day to further explore the Hopkins area for a day as well.

Cleves, Ohio
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1. Re: If only to hike one - Bocawina or Cockscomb?

We love Cockscomb but there is more than hiking and tubing at Bocawina. The trails are great at Cockscomb. The first trail on the road in is a small aircraft crash that occurred, I believe in 1982. It's a short hike, the others not so much. The whole reserve is 122,000 acres. You see some small wildlife and jaguar and tapir prints in the mud. Nice waterfalls and pools to cool off in. You can stop at the Maya women's center at the road in and support local women by buying some of their handiwork.

We didn't make it to Bocawina but we'll get there eventually. We stayed in Hopkins for a week and then headed to Caye Caulker where we did our snorkeling.

Fort Collins...
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2. Re: If only to hike one - Bocawina or Cockscomb?

Yeah, we're not interested in any of the ziplining/rappelling at Bocawina, as we've done it before. I love both, but my husband/daughter don't want to do that. So it would strictly be for the hiking and sights to see. I think both have waterfalls, so I guess I'm wondering how the waterfall hikes compare to each other? Although, as I mentioned, we will get to see plenty of those in Mountain Pine Ridge while staying at Hidden Valley too.

I know that Cockscomb has the tubing and Bocawina doesn't.

We live in Colorado, so we are avid hikers and hike a lot. However, I will say that hiking in tropical areas is completely different! I did a 6 miles hike last summer in the southern Caribbean Costa Rica and it just about killed me! I swear I was just pouring sweat as soon as I started hiking! It's much different than hiking in our dry CO climate - even at 5,000+ elevation, I can go much further without dying!

Thanks for the tip about the women's center - that sounds cool.

We love Caye Caulker. Went there on a sailing trip in 2002 when we were married on Ambergris Caye. Then we went back in 2014 and stayed there a week at Colinda Cabanas - awesome! Snorkeling with Caveman is the BEST!

Cleves, Ohio
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3. Re: If only to hike one - Bocawina or Cockscomb?

Then I would definitely do Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve. There are 17 different trails from relatively easy to rugged and difficult. They are all unguided except for #17. !7 is a 3-4 day hike with a guide to Victoria's Peak. Here is the information for Cockscomb http://www.belizeaudubon.org/?page_id=3605

The Dalles, Oregon
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4. Re: If only to hike one - Bocawina or Cockscomb?

You'll buy your entrance tickets to Cockscomb at the women's center in Maya Centre so you'll want to stop there before heading into the Preserve anyway. You might want to read 'Jaguar' by Alan Rabinowitz to give your visit some color. It's a great place for hiking but be sure to take good bug stuff - the mozzies tried to carry us off there.

Don't miss an evening of drumming at the Lebeha Center - www.lebeha.com - while you're in Hopkins and stop in at Miss Bertie's Library. Colinda Cabañas is one of our favorite spots in Belize. I like your attitude about hitting whatever you miss this trip another time. :-) Happy trails!

San Ignacio, Belize
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5. Re: If only to hike one - Bocawina or Cockscomb?

Highlighting the waterfalls you mentioned in mountain pine ridge- its nice but a lot of driving, great but consider this instead when in the Cayo District. The Jungle pontoon waterfall adventure tour- a scenic wildlife tour with three waterfalls all different and unique. One you can even climb! Optional tubing, cliff jumps, short nature hike, swimming...and you can combine with a short horsebck ride! Recommended. Happy planning!

Fort Collins...
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6. Re: If only to hike one - Bocawina or Cockscomb?

Yes Stacey - we follow each other around - Colinda Cabanas - Roatan at Posada Arco Iris! My daughter and husband both really want to go back to Roatan, but tickets have been so expensive from here $800-$900. We went to Costa Rica for the 3rd time last summer, so we thought we'd hit up Belize again this year.

I had considered Hopkins Inn, as I know you stayed there. It was another place I've looked at, but also always wanted to try Coconut Row also. I was planning on visiting the drumming for sure. It sounds like there is a lot of drumming on different nights at different places.

Would you say the bugs are worse at Cockscomb versus Bocawina? Or about the same. I also am a bug magnet.

Cleves, Ohio
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7. Re: If only to hike one - Bocawina or Cockscomb?

I buy Maxxi Deet from Bass Pro Shops. I am a magnet as well. Make sure you spray well. The no see ums at Cockscomb still got my ankles a lot, not so much the mosquitos. I can't speak to Bocawina.

The bugs are worse at the airplane crash area, so if you go there make sure you spray yourself well.

Fort Collins...
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8. Re: If only to hike one - Bocawina or Cockscomb?

We have used Ben's 100% deet the last several years while in Central America. I really hate chemicals, but with the bugs, it's the only thing I've found that works.

The Dalles, Oregon
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9. Re: If only to hike one - Bocawina or Cockscomb?

We absolutely swear by Ultrathon which is a controlled release deet product. It doesn't melt plastic and synthetic fabrics like 100% deet but has worked 100% against mosquitoes as long as you apply it frequently enough; often once is enough and then we're back inside somewhere or the breeze picks up. I haven't hiked in Bocawina, either, so can't compare. With bugs, though - both mozzies and sand flies - sometimes it just comes down to luck.

Fort Collins...
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10. Re: If only to hike one - Bocawina or Cockscomb?

Right. I thought you did hike Bocawina?!

Now I had a lady recommend that I rent a car for a day to explore both. Anyone been to both - could we drive to one in the morning and one in the afternoon? Or do we need a day for each?

Car rental is $75/day (taxes included) - I don't know if that comes with gas or not though. The hotel said they could arrange transport for us (round trip to Bocawina for the 3 of us is $80 and round trip to Cockscomb is $90).

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