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Joined: Nov 2000
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Hi! This will be our first trip to Belize; we are renting a vehicle and heading out to Chaa Creek- some of the guidebooks I've read have said that roadmaps to Belize are not easy to come by down there...I checked with AAA and they didn't have anything. Do the rental companies provide you with something that's useable? Any suggestions as to "must-see's" for someone who will only be on the mainland for 3 days will be greatly appreciated! Thinking about Xanantunich, Rio On Pools, The Belize Zoo...anything not on that list that you can personally recommend, or if you think one of those isn't worth the trouble, please advise! Thanks! Dawn

Joined: Apr 2000
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Most of the rental companies do provide some type of map, of varying quality, but there are two commercial maps which are extremely helpful to have when traveling in Belize. I use them both all the time.

One is the ITMB Traveller's Map to Belize, 1:350,000-scale. This is the best general and road map to Belize. It's US$8.95. (A company I own sells it, but it's available from some bookstores in the U.S. and at some shops in Belize.)

The other is Emory King's Driver's Guide to Beautiful Belize, a mile-by-mile guide to all the main roads and to many of the not-so-main roads in Belize. It also has fairly detailed maps of Belize City and major towns. Again, we sell it (US$14) but it's also available in Belize, usually for less than that, and Emory King also sells it via his Web site.

If you're going to do a lot of driving in Belize, I recommend you have both, but at least you should have one or the other.

--Lan Sluder
Editor & Publisher
Belize First Magazine http://www.turq.com/belizefirst/
-and-
Fodor's Belize & Guatemala Guide


Lan Sluder/Belize First
http://www.belizefirst.com
Joined: Nov 2000
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Thanks, Lan...will look for one of them in a local bookstore...or hope to get lucky in Belize. Don't thinks there's enough time to order one over the web and have it get here in time!

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If you don't find them in your local bookstore, we ship these items within 24 hours via Priority Mail, so delivery in the U.S. is within 2 to 4 days.

--Lan Sluder
Belize First/Equator Publications


Lan Sluder/Belize First
http://www.belizefirst.com
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Make sure that you get a 4wd vehicle! Remember that this is the "Wet" season and you will need it if you get adventurous!!The majority of the roads are not paved yet. They were working on the Major North and South Highways last summer and they were very rough even during summer! We traveled from Corozal to Punta Gorda via Dangriga and Plancencia, also to San Ignacio. The Hummingbird highway was great, but the rest was "iffy" at best!If you go to Belmopan you must stop at "JB's" for at least a cold one!
Have a good trip and enjoy the wonderful country.

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We have reserved a Suzuki Samurai with Budget...hopefully that will do the trick. I thought the wet season ended in November- apparently not! Have been watching the weather channel's website...looks a bit soggy down there! If I don't find a map today, Lan, I will be ordering one from your company online tonight. Thanks for your help, and will keep an eye out for "JB's"!

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The short wheelbase on the Samurai makes it behave like a bucking bronco on rough roads. I would suggest for your comfort you step up to whatever they have that is bigger. Also a bigger vehicle generally equates to more power which could prove quite useful in the mud. As far as suggestions on where to go, I heartily recommend Caracol.

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If we were to upgrade, would you recommend doing it now before we leave, thru our travel agent? I'm afraid we might get ripped off if we wait till we need the car-

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Try this site...it gave us a lot of information on the roads, where many gas stations are and where sights are located. I just printed what I needed. There are many ways to use this as a good resource.
http://www.belizewheels.com

Hope it helps. ENJOY.....

Joined: Apr 2000
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Budget is a quality operation -- they won't rip you off.

I've driven the Suzuki Samurai many times in Belize. I do agree that it's great to have a bigger vehicle -- a Cherokee or Trooper is super -- but the Samurai does okay on nearly any kind of roads. Its short wheel base makes for a rougher ride, I agree. However, it's a dependable little car that holds up well on Belize's rough roads.

The next larger model in Suzuki, the Jimny, is a big step up, though. It's a newer model with better ride and more weight. It shouldnt' be much more than a Samurai, maybe US$5 or $10 a day.

--Lan Sluder


Lan Sluder/Belize First
http://www.belizefirst.com
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