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#54790 - 07/12/02 11:22 PM Belize vs other Caribbean spots. Which is better?
trina Offline
Several recent posters have mentioned that they have been to other parts of the Caribbean and prefer Belize. Or not. My question is: I have never been anywhere in that "neck of the woods", EXCEPT Belize. (We just came back after our third trip/third year in a row!) Not even Florida. So I have no comparison. Can anyone who prefers Belize to other Caribbean "hot spots" explain why?

[This message has been edited by trina (edited 07-12-2002).]

#54791 - 07/12/02 11:35 PM Re: Belize vs other Caribbean spots. Which is better?
toad Offline
you answered your own question...awesome!

#54792 - 07/13/02 07:30 AM Re: Belize vs other Caribbean spots. Which is better?
o jackie Offline
I can only speak on my experiences. I have been on a Cruise (St.Thomas,San Juan,Haiti,Puerta Plata),Aruba(5 times),Turks and Caicos(3 times) and Cancun(2 times) and Belize(1 time-2nd in August2002)
In the US I have been to Florida-Orlando,Key West,Tampa,Miami,Fort Lauderdale,Daytona Sanabiel Island a dozen of times.
California-San Diego,San Fransisco,Sacramento and LA.

The cruise- it was nice and it gives you a chance to see if you would like to go to these places,well have not returned to any of them.
St. Thomas was beautiful.(touristy)
San JUan was nice and I probably will go back some day.
Haiti was very third world. Very scarey.
Puerto Plata somewhat like Ac. I was not there long enough to really get involved. Doubt if I will ever go back.
Aruba was beautiful in the first couple of years, but it started to become very commercial.Builing alot of luxery hotels and they had a McDonalds the last year that I went. That was 10 years ago so I could imagine now.
Cancun in 1986 is was getting developed but you could still enjoy the Mexican culture. In 1999 it was a mess, to me. Very touristy they,the builders, really took away for the Mexicans.
Turks and Caicos gorgeous island. Not so much developed,yet. But another one that was growing. I stayed at Club Med all three times and how many times can you do Club Med.Nothing to do outside the resorts as far as the island is concerned, alot of resort activities.
Florida is nice, I think that everyone should do Disney once. It is a decent vacation, I have no complaints about Florida, any part,but I am done with Florida,expect for the Miami airport(lol).
California,it never rains in Southern Calif. well it did everyday. That was an okay vacation but I wont go back, cannot get into the California way of life.
Belize, when I got off the plane on the island by myself, I was like OMG what did I get myself into. It was not even close to what I imagined. I was ready to turn back around. Then I was not even there 5minutes and people were talk to me, laughing and joking. It was unbelievable. No,AC is not the luxery island that I have experienced, but it is full of the best people one could ever meet.
So, I have decided that when I vacation from now on, it will be a vacation with the people of the island. I love to talk with them,if I wanted to speak to Americans,no offense, I would stay home go to CA. or NYC or Cancun for that matter. It is the culture of the people that I enjoy, not the luxeries of home. It just amazes me how they do not have the cares that we do. One little material thing happens to us and we feel as a though our world just ended. They do not have much and when they get less,for example, there tour does not go out that day so they do not work, that means no money and thye just blow it off like tomorrow will be here soon and enjoy the day. We would be in a frenzy. I know that most of there lives are based on tourism, but I hope that it does not turn into another Cancun or Aruba. I think that alot of people need to go there just to get a reality check. When things go wrong with them they survive,they rebuild and they stick together. I am not saying that they do not have there problems, drugs and robberies but I feel safe and free there. Like I could be me and relax and enjoy. So I will continue to vacation there atleast once a year, I do not think that if I went any where else I would be content. Actually I was checking into St.Lucia and Grenada but I could not do it for some reason.I know it is nice just travel the Caribbean and be on vacation no matter where you are, but there is just something so special about Belize, I think it is the feeling that you go home with, like contentment. The food is the best that I have ever had.
Well I hope that I made sense and I sorta answered you questions.
To sum it up, it is not Americanized or to touristy you could enjoy all different people from all different cultures.
This is my opinion, something that I am entitled to.

[This message has been edited by o jackie (edited 07-13-2002).]

[This message has been edited by o jackie (edited 07-13-2002).]

#54793 - 07/13/02 03:56 PM Re: Belize vs other Caribbean spots. Which is better?
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
I'm not a Caribbean expert though I used to go to the islands in the Caribbean a lot and probably have visited 14 or 16 over the years. I've also spent a good deal of time in the Mexican Caribbean and used to live in Florida.

Most places have their charm, and I always enjoyed the British Virgin Islands, especially Tortola, and also Saba, and visited both a number of times. Stacia I liked, too, though it was a bit too quiet and off the beaten path even for me. A few places I never did like much, including St. Croix and St. Thomas in the USVI and the more developed parts of the Bahamas (not technically a part of the Caribbean).

Belize of course is much larger than most of the Caribbean islands, except for Cuba and the Dominican Republic, and so offers more, more to see, more to do, more and different cultures, and much more diversity than the small islands. There is so much to do and see in Belize that it takes years to even begin to do it, whereas if you're going, say, to St. Maarten/St. Martin or Antigua, basically there are beaches and a few towns and a little bit of history and that's it.

To me, besides Cuba, Belize's competition is really Costa Rica and, increasingly, Panama. Costa Rica is absolutely fantastic, though it doesn't have the diving and the ruins that Belize has, and in recent years it has become fairly expensive.

Ambergris Caye of course isn't Belize any more than Hatteras Island is North Carolina or Roatan is Honduras. My take on Ambergris is that it's a great compromise, with a lot to offer in several categories (diving, hotels, restaurants, activities, partying), developed but not too much, and cheaper than a lot of alternative destinations in the Caribbean (or, these days, with the strong peso, even Mexico), without excelling in any one of them.

But it's like anyplace else -- some people visit San Pedro once and fall in love and others just think it's okay and a few, usually the ones who aren't happy back home either, don't like it at all.

--Lan Sluder
Lan Sluder/Belize First

#54794 - 07/14/02 12:13 AM Re: Belize vs other Caribbean spots. Which is better?
sweetjane Offline
(i stand by my previous statement...you are the man)

#54795 - 07/14/02 10:26 PM Re: Belize vs other Caribbean spots. Which is better?
BillandJeanne Offline
We went to Belize last year (got married there) and we loved it.

We just got back from St. Lucia, one week ago, and honestly it was the most beautiful place we've ever been. My husband has been to most of the caribbean, and St. Lucia is his favorite so far.

Our problem is, not that we don't want to go back, but there are so many beautiful places in the world, each with their own charm, that we want to see.

IMHO, as great as both were, I don't want to go to the same place every year. I want to go to Greece, South Pacific, Spain, etc. etc.

Personally, I think you appreciate certain things more once you've been somewhere else. I found myself thinking of AC more in St. Lucia than at home.

Of course, I'm going to the Big Island next week, so I'll probably be remisniscing about both awesome places.

One thing - the water in St. Lucia is way better, beautiful volcanic views, and awesome people. Great experience.

#54796 - 07/14/02 10:33 PM Re: Belize vs other Caribbean spots. Which is better?
o jackie Offline
I just did not want to hear that,St. Lucia was a toss up with AC, and well AC won out. See but I have a new plan, I will go to AC once and maybe somewhere else for my second vacation. But I doubt it.If I do decide St. Lucia or Grenada will be my choices. Flights are what kills me. I will waste a whole day traveling.

#54797 - 07/15/02 10:27 PM Re: Belize vs other Caribbean spots. Which is better?
BillandJeanne Offline
We spent about the same amount of time and money between St. Lucia & Belize.

I think you should try to go. If you really love AC, anywhere else will make you appreciate it all the more.

One thing I've noticed is that everyone really likes the kindness of Belizeans. people are the same in St. Lucia. One guy we met went out of his way to get us CD's of music we liked. Everyone was helpful. We would walk through town, and I would go to take a pic of my husband and a St. Lucian would offer to take the pic of us together.

If you go, stay near the Soufriere area. Castries and Rodney Bay are way to "Sandals".
We stayed at Ladera, but there are cheaper places I'm sure.


#54798 - 07/15/02 11:14 PM Re: Belize vs other Caribbean spots. Which is better?
denverdan Offline
Hey Jackie, we have learned no matter where we go... you have figure the entire day there and back as travel days. Ya know, lost... kinda gone with the wind...
Ya got to get on "Island time" prior anyway right? ;-)
I know NOW with the info I've learned planning our next trip, is that I should have listened to Jim. (Sandcrab)
We will be heading to Barbados in Oct and hopefully to the Grenadines. (oops.. I should prob tell MY post in the chat area that first huh. lol & sorry, I'll get there) But we did want to experience this area of the carib, and I was just to excited and made immediate arrangements. HOWEVER... dang and darn, I should have spent more time "listening!" This could be a $$$$ trip and I don't want to give up other trips for this one! I guess we will see. lol

Jeanne... I really think you should bring you're wedding pics up more often! They are totally FAB! AND... no wonder the prices were the same. lol
I'd love it if you could email me @ Barbados. denvereyeguy@hotmail.com Thanks much!

Oh and trina... as to your question, my two cents...
People are different, islands are different, heck everything is totally different anywhere. Ya just make the best of whom ya meet and where you are. Dan is a freak about Hawaii, Maggie (our youngest daughter is nutso about China, Anne our oldest, is pretty much a "Europe" person, especially England (which really surpirses me cause she hates history!) and I'm a cock eyed optimist (sp) about Belize. So go figeerr. ;-)
Hope this helps somehow.

P.S. to Jeanne, sorry for the eddit thing...
But I forgot to mention I have some info for you on the Big Island if you like. ? We were there in March.
In fact a Kona web boarder and her hubby came all the way out here to CO driving from Calif to attend the CCACS party just to learn more about Belize. :-) She lived in Kona for a couple of years and is an info of knowledge! MMMMMM the Huggo's BTL pizza!!!
Sweet huh!

[This message has been edited by denverdan (edited 07-15-2002).]

#54799 - 07/16/02 02:11 AM Re: Belize vs other Caribbean spots. Which is better?
Of all the places Iíve been (wonít name them all) we just got back a couple of days ago from Utila, spent two weeks there, and had a blast. I am a diver and found the diving not the best, but the euro-backpackers we met are a different breed of person, that was what made this dive trip so interesting. We Americans make a very small percent of the tourists, as we only ran into half a dozen. The island can be cheap to stay at with rooms as low as $4 bucks a night, meals being about $2 to $4 dollars, beers @ a buck or less. If you dive the costs are very reasonable also, $125 for a 10 dive package. It is definitely a very unique island. The have fights to Belieze city as well, no need to worry about a room, as they can be found all over.

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