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#19677 - 09/14/05 12:22 AM How Long of a drive from Corozal to Placencia
SuzyQ Offline
I saw a post that said 2 couples had driven from Corozal to Placencia. We are planning to do that in May. Did you drive straight through? We thought we could make it to Belopam and spend a few days there before going on. Is Hummingbird paved or dirt or both? Thanks!

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#19678 - 09/14/05 09:39 AM Re: How Long of a drive from Corozal to Placencia
Richard Chambers Offline
We did that trip in 2000 before the northern & southern highways were paved. With all the rubbernecking/sightseeing it took us 2 days from Corazol Town! We spent one night outside Belmopan at JB's and one at Pelican Resort in Dangriga, both worthwhile events. You may be able to do it today with all the major roads paved, the Hummingbird Hwy is a wonderfull trip,but if you have the time don't be in a hurry! After all you're on vacation, smell all the flowers.We often got off the paved roads and travelled the countryside not having any idea where we were headed.We took a backroad/trail thru Spanish Lookout and Sta. Familia to get to San Ignacio.
I suggest a 4wd vehicle if you're the adventurous
type. We rented a Suzuki for a week and it was worth every penny!
Get a good map of the country before you attempt this.I used the International Travel Map of the country available in most of the gift shops.
We got ours from Lan Sluder when we subscribed to his Belize book offers at www.belizefirst.com
Happy travelling.........Richard

:p

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#19679 - 09/14/05 02:49 PM Re: How Long of a drive from Corozal to Placencia
belizelaw Offline
Suzyq, that was my post. We drove from Corozal to Placencia in one day as follows:

Left Corozal on Northern Highway to Belize City; then got on Western Highway at Belize City through Belmopan; right after Belmopan we went on the Hummingbird for probably a couple of hours; don't remember where we got off but we got off onto the Southern Highway for probably about an hour, then on the Peninsula Highway for the last twenty-something miles.

Total driving time was about 5 hours, though I believe it took longer because we stopped to eat in Belmopan, and we took a detour up through Spanish Lookout.

We left about 10:00 and got down right near dark. The Hummingbird was paved, in fact each of the highways I listed above was paved except for the road leading onto Placencia peninsula. It's a great way to see Belize. Basically, we rented a car at the airport, drove up to Corozal for a few days and then made our trip down to Placencia.
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#19680 - 09/14/05 03:01 PM Re: How Long of a drive from Corozal to Placencia
SimonB Offline
Grab a copy of Emory King's Driver's Guide along with your map. I did the country tour by road in June of 2000 and it was a great help.

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#19681 - 09/14/05 04:53 PM Re: How Long of a drive from Corozal to Placencia
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Driving from Coro, you'd probably want to take the Boom shortcut rather than going through Belize City.

Emory's Driver's Guide covers that.

Driving from Corozal to Placencia it usually takes me a little longer than 5 hours, but I normally make several stops along the way.

--Lan Sluder
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http://www.belizefirst.com

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#19682 - 09/14/05 11:36 PM Re: How Long of a drive from Corozal to Placencia
SuzyQ Offline
Great Info from everyone, thanks! We rented a car in January and explored the Cayo in January and did a Tikal trip and then AC. This year we want to drive to Corozal, backtrack to Belopam, and then down to Placencia before ending in AC again. Any suggestions for where to stay in Corozal? I have accessed lots of sites and have the Belize/Guatamala Fodors. Lan and Barbara K, I always pay close attention to your opinions and you haven't steered me wrong yet but I'm open to any suggestions. We were planning on spending a few days in the Pine Ridge area. I was considering 5 sisters. Good choice? Also, this is going to be a cycling trip, I will be the support vehicle. We're trying to get all the fun out of this trip that we can!

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#19683 - 09/15/05 02:57 AM Re: How Long of a drive from Corozal to Placencia
belizelaw Offline
Hey Suzy Q! I've stayed in Corozal about four times now, I think, both with my wife and without, in three different places:

Corozal Bay Inn
Tony's
Copa Banana.

Gregg and Connie, who also run Belize North Real Estate, run the Copa Banana and are nice folks. It's a guest house where you rent a room with a bathroom that gives you shared access to a kitchen and living area across from their home on the bay. It ran around $50 or so low-season, but really wasn't my cup of tea. However, most people who've tried it seem to have liked it more than me.

Tony's and Corozal Bay Inn, right up the street on Almond Drive, were both very enjoyable. Corozal Bay Inn has thatched roof cabanas on a sandy (artificial) beach. The bar is nice, the scenery is nice, there's a pool, and the cabanas are great. It's probably the most expensive.

Tony's, next door, is a little simpler, and is less expensive (about 50-60 low season, I recall). The rooms are a bit plainer than a cabana at Corozal Bay Inn. However, the grounds at Tony's are immaculate, there's a nice beach sitting area, and there's a security gate and a guard on duty. And the restaurant at Tony's is real good. When we've stayed at Corozal Bay Inn next door, we go to Tony's for breakfast. Hope this helps.
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#19684 - 09/15/05 04:49 PM Re: How Long of a drive from Corozal to Placencia
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
I agree with belizelaw's take on Corozal Bay Inn, Tony's and Copa Banana. Here are my reviews of those three plus some others that I've stayed in a few times.

--Lan Sluder

Corozal Bay Inn, Almond Dr., P.O. Box 1, Corozal Town; tel. 501-422-2691, fax 800-836-9188 in the U.S. and Canada; e-mail relax@corozalbayinn.com; www.corozalbayinn.com. Rates: US$80 double (with possible discounts off-season) plus 9% tax. V and MC accepted. Corozal Bay Inn has been around for several years, but owners Doug and Marie Podzun sold their original funky units (now renovated, called Hotel Paradise, and offered up by the new owner, locally known as “Herman the German,” as mostly weekly or longer-term accommodations, at affordable rates) and have created a charming new cabaña colony by the bay. Doug and Maria — she’s originally from Mexico, and he’s a Canadian by birth of German heritage who moved to Belize with his family when he was a youngster — have built 10 attractive cabañas on the water. The cabañas, painted in colorful tropical pastels, are surprisingly spacious and have bay thatch roofs. While most of them are situated to catch the breeze from the bay, they do have air-conditioning (though on a hot day the A/C units may struggle to cool all that open space under the thatch), tile baths, two comfortable beds in each cabaña, and 27” TVs with cable. Two units at the back connect, making them ideal for families. Doug had several hundred dump truck loads of sand brought in and created a tropical beach on the bay. There is a seawall, but you’ll love the water view and the concrete pier. You can sit by the pool, sip something cold in the redone outdoor restaurant and bar and, if you have a wireless laptop, check your e-mail, as Corozal Bay Inn boasts one of the only hot spots in Belize. All in all, the Podzuns have turned their place into one of the nicest spots to stay in northern Belize.

Copa Banana Guesthouse by the Bay, 409 Corozal Bay Rd., P.O. Box 226, Corozal Town, tel. 501-422-0284, fax 422-2710; e-mail relax@copabanana.bz; www.copabanana.bz. Rates: US$55 double/US$350 week, plus 9% tax. V and MC accepted. If you’re in town shopping for property around Corozal, or staying awhile en route farther south, you couldn’t do much better than this guesthouse, new in early 2004. The rates are affordable, you can cook meals in the common kitchen, complete with dishware, stove, coffee maker, microwave and fridge, and the owners even run a real estate business, Belize North Real Estate Ltd. Connie and her partner, Gregg, have done up two banana-yellow one-story, ranch-style concrete houses, with a total of five guest rooms (some with queen beds, some with two twins) across the street from their expansive home on the water. The house where my family and I stayed had three bedrooms, each with en suite bath and cable TV, plus a modern kitchen, dining area and living room, so guests have private bedrooms but share the common space. As it happened, there were no other guests when we stayed there, so in effect we had our own private house. A new apartment unit is also available, generally for longer-term stays. They also have a car or two for rent for US$70 a day, and scooters for US$8 an hour. There’s no pool, and you’re not directly on the water, but there is a view of the bay, and the owners are bringing in sand from the bay for a beach area. Water toys such as boogie boards, rafts and inner tubes are available for guests.

Hokol Kin Guesthouse, P.O. Box 145, Corozal Town; tel. 501-422-3329; fax 422-3569; e-mail maya@btl.net Hok’ol K’in (a Yucatec Maya phrase for “coming of the rising sun”) is a nine-room motel just across the street from the water. It’s run by a former Peace Corps worker/teacher, Marty Conway, and her Belizean partner, Francisco Puck. The restaurant serves inexpensive breakfasts, burgers and snacks. Unusual for Belize, one room is wheelchair-accessible. There are private baths, but used tissue goes in trashcans, not toilets. It enjoys a high occupancy due to business from medical missionaries and other groups and from Europeans. Owners have put the hotel on the market but no immediate changes are expected. Rates: US$40-$65 double year-round.

Casablanca by the Sea, Consejo Village (Mail: P.O. Box 212, Corozal Town); tel. 501-501-423-1018; fax 423-1003; e-mail info@casablanca-bythesea.com www.cbbythesea.com If you usually end up needing a vacation from your vacation, consider this little inn at end of the road in Consejo Village, about 7 miles north of Corozal Town on the bay. Corozal Town is a delightful place with not that much to do, and Consejo Village (Consejo is Spanish for advice) is Corozal in slow motion. At Casablanca, owned by Americans John and Beverly Temte and managed by Belizean Ervin Wade, there’s almost nothing to do, which at a certain time in one’s life is just the thing. There’s no pool, so you don’t need to feel guilty about not getting in your laps. There’s no beach (though local residents swim in the bay), so you don’t have to worry about getting the perfect tan. There are no phones in your room, and the TV, the last couple of times we were there, got only a few fuzzy Spanish language channels from Mexico (though Casablanca does promise satellite TV and HBO.) You can just sit under a little palapa on the bay all day long and read, or retire to your room, as you please, and relax on a comfortable bed. The food here, however, is only so-so –it’s helpful to have a car to get back and forth to town. At night, watch the twinkling lights of bustling Chetumal, capital of Mexico’s Quintana Roo state, across the bay. All the rooms feature saltillo tile floors and custom-made furnishings. The carved mahogany doors, though showing a bit of wear from the sun and salt, are museum-quality. The 10 rooms (the hotel recently expanded), if on the small side, are tastefully furnished and attractive and all have air-conditioning. Some have queen beds, others two twins. Rates around US$60 to $75 double in-season, US$45-$55 June-August.

Tony’s Inn & Beach Resort, South End (P.O. Box 12), Corozal Town; tel. 501-422-2055, fax 422-2829; e-mail tonys@btl.net; www.tonysinn.com. For 30 years, Tony’s has been a popular stopping place for visitors passing through from Mexico. (Sadly, the founder, Tony Castillo, passed away in 2004.) Of the 24 rooms with private baths, the “Deluxe Plus” digs are the way go to here — they’re big, with cable TV, king or two double beds, tile floors and some of the coldest air-conditioning in Belize. The standard rooms aren’t A/C. The old “Y Not” beach bar has been replaced by a classy new bar and grill by the bay, though it still has a thatch roof. Tony’s has a marina and all the usual hotel amenities. The hotel claims a beach, although it’s really more of a patch of ground with imported sand. Rates US$50-75 double in-season, US$10 less rest of year. Tony’s, with Hok’ol K’in are two hotels in Corozal that can be fully booked anytime, in part due to their popularity with mission and tour groups.

Other options in Coro worth looking at are low-moderate level Hotel Maya (the owner is very helpful), and Nestor's, a long-established budget place in the middle of town that has been renovated and expanded by new owners.
_________________________
Lan Sluder/Belize First
http://www.belizefirst.com

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#19685 - 09/16/05 04:52 AM Re: How Long of a drive from Corozal to Placencia
SuzyQ Offline
What great information. I just checked out the Inns listed above and they are great. Any of them would suite me fine. What are some of the must dos and must see in Corozal? I saw mention of some ruins and I quess going into Mexico is big. Is the border anything like trying to get into Quatamala? Thanks for helping me with this, May seems too far away! I know the rainy season starts around this time, is it safe to say we should go south to Placencia first and then back up to Corozal? We plan on coming down the around the 1st for two weeks.

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#19686 - 09/16/05 01:19 PM Re: How Long of a drive from Corozal to Placencia
belizelaw Offline
Hmmm, "must sees?" Well, there aren't that many things in Corozal Town proper to see. There's a little history museum, but I've not been in it. When I've stayed in Corozal, I've taken the following excursions:

--day trip to Chetumal (not difficult to get through);
--trip to Free Trade Zone (wasn't worth the time, in my opinion);
--driving around town and the Consejo village area;
--day trip to Sarteneja, going through Copper Bank, Progresso, etc.

Another day trip that looks like fun but we didn't do is a trip to the Lamanai Ruins, which can be arranged locally by either the hotels or a tour guide.
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