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Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 3
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We'll be arriving via cruise ship and docking in Belize City, I believe. We'd like to do a snorkeling/beach excursion and wanted to know how far the Cayes are from the dock and which would be the best (and closest) for snorkeling. We're not sure what tour operators service the area and what transportation (cab?) we'd need to get there. Have been doing research on Ambergris, Goffs, Hol Chan, Shark Ray Alley, Mexico Rocks and others. They all look great, but need to know which are closest to Belize City. We'll be docked for 9 hrs. Any info would be appreciated!

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 38
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you'll have to take a boat or plane to san pedro.....considering your time constraints i'd grab a cab to the municipal airport and fly out to san pedro on maya or tropic (they both have websites with times and prices)both airlines have many flights thru the day...takes about 1/2 hour or less to get there by air and 1 1/2 or so by boat...as far as snorkeling most tour operators have 2-3 hour snorkel trips to hol chan and shark ray....it's a short walk from the airport to the beach where you can find one of many tour shops that can help you...normally you can expect to pay about $25 us for the 3hour snorkel trip...but considering your time situation you might have to pay more for a private snorkel tour....good luck...next time you come to belize stay awhile you'll love it!!!

Joined: Jun 2000
Posts: 1,157
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I'm suprised that the cruise line doesn't have a coordinated tour package for you to choose land/sea tours from.
I live on Caye Caulker. Caye Caulker is 45 minutes via water taxi from the Marine Terminal, and Ambergris Caye is 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hour. The Marine Terminal is located next to the swingbridge in Belize City. The price for water taxi is 15 bx one way or 25 bz round trip. Water Taxis leave from Belize City about every 1-1/2 hours, and return to the city every 1-1/2 hours. If you snorkel from Caye Caulker, you'll probably see Shark Ray Alley, Holchan and Coral Gardens. If you want to go to Goff's Caye, that is usually done on an all day manatee tour. You can email Carlos Eco Tours a reputable tour operator here on Caye Caulker at [email protected]
Ambergris Caye has some awesome dive and snorkel sites, but since you're only in port 9 hours, to get to there in a timely manner, you would could take a taxi to Municipal Airport and fly over to San Pedro, a 20 minute flight, 84 bz round trip or 54 bz one way. Flying is much more expensive, but the ride is awesome, right down the reef and over Caye Caulker.

--Silk
www.caribbean-colors.com

Joined: Mar 2002
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Thanks, I appreciate the info. Silkpainter, our cruise line DOES offer excursions, but they are pricier than if we plan one on our own. I've read some posts on other sites that say they've taken cabs or water taxis to their destinations and saved money over the cruise line's. We'll have to do some more research to see what we can do that will give us enough time. Thanks again!

Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 157
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Your concern is a good one. I've done several cruises all around the caribbean and I've stayed in San Pedro on three separate occassions for 10 days each stay.

I know that the cruise line's tour excursions are pricey but you have two built in safety factors. One is that a cruise line representative will accompany you on the tour and lastly, you can be assurred that the cruise ship will not leave without you.

Some people will say that the peace of mind is worth the extra price.

NOW, on the other hand, if you're the adventurous type and feel like you can do all that you want...all on you own...then by all means have at it.

I do know that when the ship is supposed to sail at 5pm and all the tours are back on board then the ship leaves at 5 sharp!

FWIW

Joined: Oct 2000
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Maya Island offers snorkeling trips to San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. Please check at our
tour desk at the terminal upon your arrival. We also offer day trips to the Maya ruins.

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 3
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Thanks, everyone! Since my last posting, I've looked into Caye Caulker, which looks great! I've read a post that said the marine terminal is walking distance from where the cruise ships dock in Belize City, and we could take a water taxi to Caye Caulker and snorkel there. I'm thinking this should take about 4-5 hours in total, including the 45 min. water taxi ea. way, which should leave a couple hours for a land tour, maybe hire a cab driver to take us locally? Anything to see in BC, or would we have to venture out of town? Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 9
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Okay I have to put my 2 cents in also since I was in Belize the first week of March. I reccomend flying to San Pedro which is on Ambergris Caye. The going to Ramon's Village which is a resort hotel and they have a dive shop there and they go out to Hol Chan Reserve and then also take you to Shark Ray Alley which is the coolest and you get to pet or hold nurse sharks and pet sting rays, don't worry the sharks don't bite. And I know they go out twice a day once at 9am and the other at 2pm. I payed $37 US for that trip and it was worth every penny. You can check out Ramon's Village website at www.ramons.com The airport is small or should I say airstrip and Ramon's is right behind it. You can literally get off your plane and look behind you and it's right there. Once you've had a taste of Belize you'll want to come back again. You'd better Belize it!


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