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#64710 - 03/14/03 04:55 AM Tour Help
We5play Offline
Thank you for all the advice on where to stay- now I need help on what to do. I have found that prices of hotels and food seem to be reasonable. I am having a bit of trouble finding some reasonably priced tours on the web. There will be 5 of us,so a tour at $125 each makes it a very expensive day. Any thoughts on how I can get tours at a bit lower pricing. We will be traveling at the "off" season.
Thanks- Mo

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#64711 - 03/14/03 05:00 AM Re: Tour Help
B_b_f_b Offline
I've always found there's no harm in asking for what you want. What's the worst they can say? Odds are they might give you a discount. Also, when you get to the airport, if you fly over with Tropic Air they usually hand out this little book of coupons, sometimes there is a coupon for certain tour operators. Can't hurt to look into it.

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#64712 - 03/14/03 05:20 AM Re: Tour Help
KathyMLT Offline
Hi,
Unfortunately except for some snorkeling and picnic tours most major tours are on the mainland...The snorkeling, catamarran and some picnic things around AC run from around $25, $55 and $75 or $85. This might be an option for you. If you want to go to the ruins or cave tubing you may be able to get a discount for the kids. I'm not sure where you have decided to stay but if you are thinking of Banana Beach you could email the Monkey Business Travel Shop there and they will help answer your questions. There is a possibility that you can get a discount based on your group size since most tours require a minimum of so many persons to begin with.

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#64713 - 03/14/03 06:11 AM Re: Tour Help
Marie Offline
Hi! Do you want to mostly see AC and Caye Caulker, or do you hope to go inland? If you want to go inland, and it sounds like that, it's very worthwhile, and as many as there are of you, you might want to consider renting a car in Belize City, rather than going right to AC and going back and forth from there on tours. I haven't rented a car in a while, but I think we always used Safari right at the airport. I'm not sure if they are still in business. If not there are plenty of other places. If you book by email, you should save some money. Belize is not a large country, so you can get a lot of miles in in a day, I'd suggest heading West on the Western Highway towards San Ignacio, and you could stop at your leisure. The Belize Zoo is charming. As you go West, you will see lots of jungle lodges. Save them for the return if you want an overnight. Belmopan is pretty homely, really not worth a visit. You could stop at Guanacaste Park. Its pretty, but not spectacular. Go on to San Ignacio (interesting bridge) and head right to Eva's. Ask for the guy who runs it, as I recall Bob, he's 'information central for the area'. He will call the jungle lodges for you if you wish to stay there a night or two on your return, or the lodges down Mountain Pineridge, or anything else in the area. He regularily gets 50% off if they are slow, and they are this year. He has an email. He can arrange for everything, horse rides, cave tubing, etc. If time is a constraint, from San Ignacio, go to Xunantunich, the most accessible Mayan site of significance. Be sure to go there -very worthwhile. North of that is Clarissa Falls, beautiful. Also, a little restaurant there makes the best Relleno and Chimole ever. Great site. You could even stay there. You could do that in 2 nights, one if you really pushed it. If time is not a constraint, I highly suggest going to Mountain Pineridge, at least as far as the Five Sisters Lodge (over 5 waterfalls of the same name). There's a lot else to see and do in that area. Then you pop back to BC, drop off the car and hop the next plane to AC. Tropic and Maya alternate, so there's a fight every hour and half hour. Next thing you know, your in San Pedro, on to a very different part of BZ. Back in SP, most things you do there are on foot. If you want to see Caye Caulker there's a boat by, as I recall Shark's Bar that will take you. Very cheap. Makes a good day trip. Hope this has been helpful to you. Have a great time.

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#64714 - 03/14/03 06:29 AM Re: Tour Help
We5play Offline
Marie- You are such a wealth of information. I appreciate your expertise. Do you live on the island or have you visited a lot? If my husband comes along we will try the driving. I am not keen on driving in any foreign place. Are there locals who might drive you around, say in a van? We recently went to Bali and with there being 4 of use we were a tour- we got locals to drive us around for the whole day and it was very reasonable. I would definitely like to see the mainland, islands...everything! Thanks again-
Maybe you can tell me what the drinking age is on the island? Is there one? Thanks - Mo

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#64715 - 03/14/03 07:22 AM Re: Tour Help
Marie Offline
Hi Mo! Thanks for the compliment. It's my pleasure. I'd love to live on the caye, to get me out of these cold northern winters! Burr! No, I just love the place. We visit for about 3 weeks a year. We just returned last week...sob! I'm looking for three months one day! My interest is twofold, (1) Before I went back to college, I used to be a Sales Agent for 10+ years with Pan Am, now I still travel and like to share it for fun. (2) I fully believe independent travel is much better than tours because you almost always get way better rates especially for families, and its more fun if you're at all adventurous, you and the kids laughing your heads, finding new places. Re you driving. Not to worry. Drag the husband if you can, but you can do it on your own if needs be. These are very unpopulated roads with some exception in BC. How old are the kids? Note when you get here...you hardly ever hear a kid cry. These folks coddle kids to pieces!

Belize City is a little dicey, but the whole country is overall very safe. And, most folks speak English. It really is easy driving...just three main roads, and if you went to San Ignacio, all paved. In fact, most of them are now, except, I understand, far south. Back 'in the day' there were some hellish roads south! Once you get to San Ignacio, Bob at Eva's will find you a great deal..I've used them several times. So much cheaper than a tour. Sure, you run the risk of some problems, but I remember the difficult times (like when we were surrounded by a big herd of Brahmas in Costa Rica, and the bull looked really displeased with us) as the best memories of all! Try to go inland if you can. It's so worthwhile! Re drinking, I think I remember seeing a sign at the palapa at where I stay having a sign saying '18'. I'll check that tomorrow. Re vans...I've never done it, but I'm sure its possible. Let me see what I can find, but I think you'd like the freedom better. I'll get back to you on these tomorrow. When are you going, and how long? Have fun planning. More later! Oh, if you have some time and you are going inland, get Emory King's most recent "Driver's Guide to Beautiful Belize'. He's at Emory King, P. O. Box 107, Belize City, Belize, Central America. I'm looking on one of my old ones for the price, and I don't see it, but it was cheap. Maybe $15US. You might find it at the airport, but if there is time, write. I wouldn't take a chance getting it there. It makes the roads so easy. Good maps, tells you what mile from BC is. Excellent aide. M

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#64716 - 03/14/03 01:18 PM Re: Tour Help
Sandy C Offline
You mentioned a van. Our favorite van taxi driver on the mainland is called Spanish (real name: Eliso Alamilla). He is originally from San Pedro, but has driven a taxi on the mainland for decades; he lives near Belize City. He would give you a day rate (probably $150-175ish US) and he could tell you how many places you could reasonably see in one day from your list. He could pick you up at Municipal Airport, flying from San Pedro (that is half price from flights to Goldston). You could call him at home, after 7PM Belize time, 225-3770 for information and pricing. He has a van; not sure the AC worked last time we were there, but it was comfortable riding. Spanish is an interesting man and is a wealth of information. You could cost out the flights to Municipal and his cab fare (or rental car costs if you drive) vs. the day trip costs from San Pedro. Visiting multiple sites on the mainland with Spanish or a rental car in one trip might be more cost effective than multiple day trips from AC that usually visit 1 main site per trip. Happy family time.

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#64717 - 03/14/03 06:23 PM Re: Tour Help
Marie Offline
Hi Mo! Ok, got one part of the information I am trying to gather. Go on Emory King's Guide to Beautiful Belize. Then, under Matching sites, click on Emory King's Books on Belize. You can get it off the internet. That'll save some time. It's $12.50US. It's a year 2000 edition, I also wrote to see if a newer one has been done yet, haven't heard, will let you know. That very well might we the last recent one. We met Mr. King a few years ago at Municipal Airport. What a genial guy. But, he is aging and he may be doing less writing now. Mr. King is what the character. I think he moved here from the US in the mid-1950's. If part of your kids time here is 'learning time', be sure to order history of Belize books for them. A pleasant read, and very informative. Have fun planning.

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#64718 - 03/14/03 10:56 PM Re: Tour Help
We5play Offline
Thanks Marie and Sandy- Is the Municipal the airport in Belize? I will need to get a good map for all of this planning. I am so looking forward to our trip. My children are 9, 11 and 16 (he wouldn't consider himself a child!) They are great travelers. We took a trip to Bali and the trip time to get there was 29 hours! Not a peep out of any of them. They travel well so it should be easy. I think they will enjoy Belize and AC. I read on a message board (not sure where) that the writer liked Belizean Shores for families. Are you familiar with this hotel? If you have any info on it that would be great.
I will look into getting that guide. I just got some info on a book called San Pedro Cool. Kind of funny, because in all of the world it happens to be printed here in NC where I live!
Thanks for the help- I am sure that I will have more questions as time goes on. If anyone knows about the Belizean Shore that would be great!!

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#64719 - 03/15/03 01:12 AM Re: Tour Help
evening Offline
Thanks for all the info! I haven't even made my first trip yet (Tikal and AC next month), but am already planning the repeat visit inland and maybe down to Placencia or one of the atolls for Thanksgiving. Will print and save all your information. As an Eva, I'm really curious about this Eva's place I keep reading about!

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