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#449731 - 10/25/12 05:37 PM Advice Please  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 13
tammdann Offline
tammdann  Offline
Coming back to AC for 10 days in January for our 8th time....can't wait grin

We'll be spending the first 4 days in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest for the first time and have the option of going for an all inclusive that includes transfers to and from the airport as well as guided trips and transportation to Caracol with a few other side trips. But we are do-it-yourselfers and would much rather rent our own vehicle to drive and explore.

Can't seem to find much in any of the forums about the safety or possibility of doing this. Has anyone done this or have any advice? confused

#449752 - 10/25/12 10:37 PM Re: Advice Please [Re: tammdann]  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 515
CaptOneIron Offline
CaptOneIron  Offline
On one of our early trips to Belize we rented a four wheel drive vehicle at the airport and drove all around the country including the pine ridge area. We didn't have any problems with safety (we did have a flat tire) at all and can highly recommend this way of seeing the area.

Last edited by CaptOneIron; 10/25/12 10:37 PM.

Captain One Iron
#449756 - 10/26/12 02:53 AM Re: Advice Please [Re: tammdann]  
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 333
Wizardofaahs Offline
Wizardofaahs  Offline
I highly recommend renting a 4wd vehicle and doing your own side trips. The Hummingbird highway is a spectacular drive. We rented from Panchos (a Belizean business), we rented a cell phone from him as well. The cars are well maintained. It's just so nice to have the freedom of your own vehicle.

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#449757 - 10/26/12 03:54 AM Re: Advice Please [Re: Wizardofaahs]  
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 609
Tim Callanan Offline
Tim Callanan  Offline
Rent a vehicle, they will meet you at the airport normally. The cell phone is a must,the road up to pine ridge can be a challenge to navigate with all this rain. Contact your hotel to see if the condition of the road and suggestions on where Togo and not for shopping eating and exploring.
We love Pine Ridge, hope to see you out on the Caye.

#449760 - 10/26/12 07:01 AM Re: Advice Please [Re: Tim Callanan]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 13
tammdann Offline
tammdann  Offline
Thanks for your responses everyone....can't wait to start exploring!!!!

#449761 - 10/26/12 07:02 AM Re: Advice Please [Re: tammdann]  
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 5,949
Diane Campbell Offline
Diane Campbell  Offline
Caracol is best done with a guide or in caravan. It's a remote place, no cel reception and if anything goes wrong you are very vulnerable.
4Wheeling is fun in Mt. Pine - I also caution you (cause we did this) to take the main routes and not even think of going off track. There are so many little logging roads that seem to go someplace - but where? It's very easy to get lost and you cannot call for assistance.
Agree that the Hummingbird is incredible. Really incredible. Heading south to Toledo is a remarkable drive as well.
Avoid night driving - there are places where the roads go over culverts and have no safety rails on the sides. These passages tend to be narrow and if you misjudge it can result in a bad accident.

#449771 - 10/26/12 07:39 AM Re: Advice Please [Re: Diane Campbell]  
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 68
doggirl Offline
doggirl  Offline
We stayed at Five Sisters two years ago. We did the trip through the resort to Caracol with an armed military escort. Well worth the trip.

#449918 - 10/27/12 07:39 PM Re: Advice Please [Re: Diane Campbell]  
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 13
tammdann Offline
tammdann  Offline
Diane, do you know if we can hire a guide at Caracol or do you mean that we should use the guided tour that our resort offers? What is a caravan?

Thanks again everyone. smile

#449923 - 10/27/12 08:30 PM Re: Advice Please [Re: tammdann]  
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 842
pamkillen Offline
pamkillen  Offline
Stop at the blue hole on the hummingbird highway and take a dip. You can also walk into Herman's Cave. You rent flashlights and hike in. It is fantastic. It will cost a dollar. Then wander to Xunantunich and hike around. Another dollar. Rent a car and explore. One year during a rainy Christmas trip, my son and I did a cart food tour. My blood pressure was horrible afterwards but it was so much fun and yep, lunch was a dollar. Just do an old fashion random skoot and see Belize slow and leisurely. You will not regret it and the memories will last forever. Word of advice, do not plan to drive hummingbird hwy at night. It is dangerous

#449965 - 10/28/12 05:05 PM Re: Advice Please [Re: tammdann]  
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 5,949
Diane Campbell Offline
Diane Campbell  Offline
In this case a caravan is a group of vehicles going in together - it's a wild jungle, a little close to the boarder and it's been known to have a bandito or two lurking looking for lone cars and unsuspecting visitors. In a group you should be fine, but it's just too rough a trip on your own.
Personally, I would probably opt for a guided tour for Caracol. The other spots you can see on your own, but this one would be best done in the company of pros - for safety, for comfort, for fun and to get the most out of the journey.
And don't forget to see Cahal Pec! Easiest of them all to see (right in San Ignacio) and one of the more interesting to visit.
The museum is fab.

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