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Joined: Jan 2001
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Hello all - we are planning other half of our AC getaway in Cayo. At this point we are most interested in Duplooys and FiveSisters. Is it best to rent a car or do taxis? Heard duplooys is hard to get to and taxis don't like to drive up the hill? Please advise. Thanks....

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Another possibility - chaa creek jungle camp? any thoughts? thanks again...

Joined: Apr 2000
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duPlooy's is quite a little drive (the last 4 or 5 miles are pretty rough) from San Ignacio and Five Sisters is a much longer and rougher drive. You can get taxis to take you from San Ignacio -- how are you getting to San Ignacio? -- but of course having a car makes things easier, not only in getting there but in doing trips and tours once you're there. Tours are great if you can afford them, as guides have local knowledge about flora, fauna, etc. you can't possibly have, but they can get costly.

If you don't have a car, to duPlooy's you can take their shuttle from Belize City (US$25 each one way), but again once there you are pretty much tied in to doing tours with them, as the cost of taxis back and forth to San Ignacio (would guess US$20 or more each way) becomes prohibitive. Likewise at Five Sisters taxis are totally impracticable.

--Lan Sluder
Belize First Guide to Mainland Belize http://www.turq.com/belizefirst/


Lan Sluder/Belize First
http://www.belizefirst.com
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Thanks Lan. I guess I am just trying to figure out how to get the most BANG for my buck in the best location/accomodation I can get in West Cayo. Does that mean renting a car (which I've heard is approx. $100 a day!) or staying close close close to St. Ignacio so we can have easily taxi and have some options in terms of tours? Leaning towards duPlooys, but heard decent things about Nabitunich, Green Heaven and Clarissa Falls?

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Car rentals start at around US$55-$60 a day depending on time of year, size of car, length of rental and from whom you rent. US$100 a day figure you mention would be near the top end of the rental range, for something like a Trooper. Use a credit card that covers CDW to avoid having to pay the US$10-$15 a day CDW charge.

duPlooy's is excellent, with a variety of accommodations from near budget to deluxe. The grounds are beautiful, birding is great, and there is a botantical gardens planted area plus a new orchid house. Judy and Ken duPlooy are good people.

The other places you mention are good, too, in their ways, though they are somewhat different. Green Heaven is a good value, and it has the nicest pool in Cayo. It's on the way to duPlooy's but not so remote, and perhaps not as well located for nature lovers and birds and it's not on the Macal river as is duPlooy's. The owners, from France, are delightful, and they have a good but fairly expensive restaurant with some real French dishes.

Clarissa Falls and Nabitunich are on the Mopan River. Clarissa Falls is on a cattle ranch. Cabanas are pretty basic, but the owner, Chena Galvez and her sister Anna are wonderful folks. The little restaurant here is good and inexpensive. Nabitunich I haven't stayed at for years, but the setting is beautiful, with views of Xunantunich. The Juans who own it also are nice people.

If you don't have a car and don't want to spend a lot on tours, then among these you might prefer Green Heaven, Nabitunich or Clarissa Falls, all of which are within walking distance (Clarissa Falls being the fartherest) from the bus.

If you want to stay in or near San Ignacio, then I would recommend Aguada -- best deal in Cayo for US$25 a day including pool and A/C.

--Lan Sluder
Belize First Magazine
Belize First Guide to Mainland Belize http://www.turq.com/belizefirst/


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

Speaking of Cayo, and car rentals, and accommodations. Here is our PRELIMINARY plan. In your opinion, does it make sense?

1) fly from Philadelphia to Houston to Belize
2) rent a 4 x 4 (recommended?) at Belize Airport (municipal)
3) drive to our #1 choice lodging, Blancanaeux Lodge - HOW LONG APPROX. SHOULD THIS TAKE FROM BELIZE AIRPORT?

P.S. My MBNA Platinum Mastercard covers CDW - but not 4 x 4's. Would you recommend our renting a regular ol' car, or will this NOT do in the area(s) in which we plan on driving.

We are very experimental on trips, and will be driving to other destinations (such as Jaguar Paw) for cave tubing and night safari!

Looking very much forward to your response, Lan!

Lori (in PA)

Joined: Apr 2000
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A 4x4 is recommended in the rainy season, but in the dry season (until about June) you can almost always get by without 4-wheel drive.

It's about 2 1/2 hours from Belize City to Blancaneaux. The first 1 3/4 hours are on a good paved road; the last 3/4 hour is pretty rough.

If you are renting at the muncipal airport, your only choice there I think is Avis. (Muncipal is really just a little airstrip, not a real airport.) Other car renters will probably meet you at the airport or deliver there if you make arrangements in advance.

--Lan Sluder


Lan Sluder/Belize First
http://www.belizefirst.com
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Buses are extremely inexpensive, run often, and you get to talk to people who live there! It is nice to go and see a different country, but it is really a wonderful experience to interact with the residents.

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Unfortunately buses don't run to Blancaneaux or to anywhere in the Mountain Pine Ridge.

--Lan Sluder


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

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