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Honeymoon in May 2003! #55922
08/14/02 08:49 AM
08/14/02 08:49 AM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4
Sayreville, NJ, USA
jerseyjess Offline OP
jerseyjess  Offline OP
Hi everyone!
My travel agent has put together a 10-day trip for my fiancee and myself to consider -- it includes 5 days at the Hidden Valley Inn and 5 days at the Victoria House.
What do you guys think and what do you recommend in terms of activities and food??
We are definitely going to spend a few days at the VH SCUBA diving as that is our passion! And we are very interested in cave tubing.
Also, is this an okay time to travel to Belize in terms of weather??

Re: Honeymoon in May 2003! #55923
08/14/02 10:19 AM
08/14/02 10:19 AM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 42
Chicago, IL USA
Sammie Offline
Sammie  Offline
We were there for the first time this past May and the weather was wonderful....sunny, hot and breezy.

We stayed at Banana Beach (we really liked BB) which is a few properties North of VH. We took a walk through the VH grounds and it's quite beautiful. We considered staying there next year but we would miss having a kitchen in the room.

Cave tubing was a great day trip. We went with Elito at Seaduced and had an excellent time. I highly recommend it.

Our favorite eats on AC are Caliente (we'll probably eat there almost every day next time!), the Reef (not much to look at but cheap, good and plentiful), Emerald 2 (fast food Chinese right behind Banana Beach...very fresh and actually better than what we get in Chicago), LaPopular Bakery (cheap snacks and breads), Celi's Deli (rrruuuummmm cake!). There are so many great places to eat, I've only listed our favorites.

I can't wait to go back!

Re: Honeymoon in May 2003! #55924
08/14/02 11:03 AM
08/14/02 11:03 AM
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 50
Louisville, KY, USA
lilwings Offline
lilwings  Offline
I just returned from AC where I celebrated my weddingmoon. We were married at Captain Morgan's and also stayed there. Absolutely loved it. We are also big divers and enjoyed all of our dives. We went with Amigos Del Mar and I highly recommend them. They were wonderful. We also did the cave tubing, I'm sorry I can't say I recommend it but possibly it was just the day we went. My husband and I totally expected this laid back trip floating down the river having a good time. Our day turned into us both fighting for our life as we were thrown into rapids we did not expect nor were we told about. Also going through a pile of brush, full of trees with HUGE thorns was not on my agenda for the day. We were told these were in the water but our guide also told us to stay to the right. Well to right lead us straight into the brush pile. We booked this tour through our resort who went with Tuff E Nuff tours. I do think this trip could be fun given the right guides and a thorough explanation of what to expect and how to go about handling yourself. I hope your trip can be better than ours. At this point I will NEVER go cave tubing again. Nor will I ever white water raft and I've wanted to do that my whole life but not after a little cave tubing experience. I can't imagine what river rafting would be like.

Absolutely fabulous food. We did not have a bad meal. My list of recommendations are: Caliente, Elvis Kitchen, Blue Water Grill, Reef, Capricorn, Sweet Basil. Also do a BBQ at one of the resorts. We loved Captain Morgan's, it's on Thursdays.

I wish you the best of luck. AC is a beautiful place. I can't wait to get back there again. I can also tell you 10 days was not enough for my husband and I. Next time were planning at least 14 days if not more.

Re: Honeymoon in May 2003! #55925
08/14/02 11:42 AM
08/14/02 11:42 AM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Asheville, NC USA
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Lan Sluder/Belize First  Offline
On Hidden Valley, that property is in transition as it has been sold. I believe it is closed at present. The new owners, the same people who own SunBreeze in San Pedro and Biltmore Plaza in Belize City, apparently plan some improvements, including a pool and eventually some additional cabins. Someone else, perhaps Katie Valk of Maya Travel, can tell you more about what's happening.

I've stayed there and also visited Hidden Valley on a number of occasions. It has a beautiful setting in the Mountain Pine Ridge, with some wonderful waterfalls on the property. Unfortunately in recent years the property has been neglected and it has not been one of the top lodges. With the new management, things likely will change for the better.

--Lan Sluder

Lan Sluder/Belize First
Re: Honeymoon in May 2003! #55926
08/14/02 12:34 PM
08/14/02 12:34 PM
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4
Sayreville, NJ, USA
jerseyjess Offline OP
jerseyjess  Offline OP
Lilwings it sounds like you had a horrible experience! I'll remember that if we do venture out for some cave tubing. Fortunately, my fiancee and I are big white water rafting fans so, as long as we are forewarned, we would probably love some rough waters on the tubing trip! Don't give up on white water rafting, lilwings... it's so much fun. We did it in Costa Rica a couple years ago (another trip some of you Belize lovers should check out... beautiful and full of adventure!). It was so challenging yet thrilling... we both had huge smiles on our faes the entire time. With the proper instruction and equipment, you'll be fine.
As far as Hidden Valley... it's strange that I haven't heard about them being closed or remodeling or anything like that. I've been in touch with someone from the resort and my travel agent highly recommends it as one of the "less rustic" mainland resorts. Does anyone have more mainland resort ideas that are comparably priced?
Another question for you guys: is it wise to split up our trip in half? We'd really like to experience both the mainland and AC... but is five days sufficient in each place?
And something else I haven't read too much about on these message boards is safety... is AC pretty safe to travel around on our own (via golfcart so I hear)?
thanks again everyone... you guys are so helpful.

Re: Honeymoon in May 2003! #55927
08/14/02 12:55 PM
08/14/02 12:55 PM
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 256
Belize City, Belize
mayatravel Offline
mayatravel  Offline
HVI is presently closed for enhancement and reburbishment and reopens in November. The honeymoon package includes a 1/2 day on your own at one of the 7 private orchid laden waterfalls on the property with lunch and libations.

Maya Travel Services
Re: Honeymoon in May 2003! #55928
08/14/02 09:50 PM
08/14/02 09:50 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 13
Tallahassee, FL USA
Rick&Rachel Offline
Rick&Rachel  Offline
Don't be afraid of a little cave tubing!! Lilwings had a bad experience, but I can assure you that "in the right hands" you will have a blast! Being as you are in the "JUNGLE", thorns, tubing and hiking through some rough terrain should be expected (along with mosquitos, so be sure to carry your DEET!) We went through Belize Melmish Tours (our hotel's dive shop set it up for us). Tubing was such a fun adventure for us that we recommend it to anyone looking for something different to do on vacation!

Re: Honeymoon in May 2003! #55929
08/15/02 08:43 AM
08/15/02 08:43 AM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 42
Chicago, IL USA
Sammie Offline
Sammie  Offline
Sheesh, lilwigs adventure seems like a bad dream. As I said above, when we went tubing with Seaduced, we really enjoyed ourselves. The rapids we went through were very gentle and short...we were warned about them before we got into the river and again before we got to them. Also, I honestly don't remember coming close to any piles of thorny brush. The jungle hike was pretty gentle...there was a 2 year old on our trip and he had a great time. We even forgot our insect repellent and didn't get a single bite.

Re: Honeymoon in May 2003! #55930
08/22/02 11:33 AM
08/22/02 11:33 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 266
Atlanta, GA, USA
Seaislegal Offline
Seaislegal  Offline
Could be the cave tubing trip they did was at a different part of the river. Our group went with SeaDuced back in April and the river was mild and a lot of fun.

If you look back at my April trip reports there is a whole review and description of the day. I dont recall floating past any bushes nearby or anything and the rapids were real mild... The hike was easy and flat 90% of the way. Definitely a trip I recommend.

Andrea in Atlanta
Heading back to AC May 3rd week..!

Andrea in Atlanta
Re: Honeymoon in May 2003! #55931
08/22/02 12:53 PM
08/22/02 12:53 PM
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 3,281
Barbara K Offline
Barbara K  Offline
In May you shouldn't have to worry anout high river or rapids. June can be another story! I almost lost one of my agents when I suggested they canoe from one jungle lodge to another (Black Rock to Chaa Creek, via duPlooys) for their site inspections, and the river was 20 feet above normal and FAST! A June a few years ago. She still likes Belize even though she nearly "retired" there - permanently!

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