seeking advice Belize road trip

Posted By: olyimpic

seeking advice Belize road trip - 10/02/11 05:48 PM

we looking for some advice on how to approach a road trip inside Belize. We will have several days to travel and are pondering the big questions like where would be the best place to start and about things like road conditions, and of course our personal saftey. Any advice on where the best place would be to start? We would like to vist Lamanai, go cave tubing, visit Ignacio and Placencia for sure. I am interested in hearing about any "must sees" and advise on where to stay.

I have read you can rent a vehicle in one location and return it to another, is it worth it to do that or rent in multiple locations for a day or two? What are the roads like and what about our personal safety
Posted By: Barnacle

Re: seeking advice Belize road trip - 10/02/11 05:59 PM

one option,, rent a car right at the international airport when you arrive. this will give you the most freedom and since i assume you will be flying back out, just return it when you leave.
a good home base area could be san ignacio or belmopan area, about centrally located. from there SI is a short drive and most of the ruin/tubing/caves are very close as well.
when the day comes for the drive to placencia, it is on;y 2-2/2 hours from belmopan.
the roads are somewhat run down in spots, some pot holes and stuff but for the most part easy to manage. the road to placencia is brand new and very nice.
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: seeking advice Belize road trip - 10/02/11 06:05 PM

Drive in the daytime only - there are unmarked culverts that can be a disaster to encounter in the dark. I would not worry about personal safety other than driving safety - our roads are very slick in the rain, and you need to watch carefully for kids, animals and other drivers. Don't miss the Belize Zoo, take a quick turn around Belmpoan, maybe drop in at the Inland Blue Hole. San Ignacio, River trip, Cahal Pech ruin and museum.
A road trip south is also fun - rising rivers near Kendall could provide problems though - check for conditions before you set out.
Generally you would be leaving from Belize City and returning there - making the car thing easy but you also have the option of renting at Budget in Belize City and returning the car to Placencia.
Posted By: Barnacle

Re: seeking advice Belize road trip - 10/02/11 06:27 PM

some of my 'must see's would be the zoo for sure. located between belize city and belmopan. maybe even spend your first night there, across the road at the tropical education center.
then take in a night tour of the zoo as well.
st. hermans cave, but cave tubing depends on water levels too.
inland blue hole is so-so. hike about 20 yds and see the hole. it's Ok,, but you won't spend much time there.
hiking to waterfalls is high on my list.
billy barqider (sp) is my favorite,, no body hardly ever there! sshhh,, don't tell anyone.
mama noots has some nice trails and waterfalls also.
and any trails at the jaguar preserve. they also have river tubing.
the ruins down south near PG are OK. no big temples but a nice drive and worth the time.
once in placencia i recommend a day trip snorkeling, followed by some local bar action.
Posted By: elbert

Re: seeking advice Belize road trip - 10/02/11 06:32 PM

All good advice, I would add, drive down the Hummingbird highway and absorb the unique things you will see along the way by going slow and stopping often.
Posted By: olyimpic

Re: seeking advice Belize road trip - 10/02/11 06:53 PM

Thank you all for your input so far!!! We will flying in and spending a couple of days in Ambergris caye before we embark on the road and the questions keep comming. Would the advice be to boat back and rent in Belize City, (is it worth going up towards Corozal before traveling south?) Or would taking a boat to Placencia renting there and driving North be better (spending the extra money on a one-way rental.
Posted By: Barnacle

Re: seeking advice Belize road trip - 10/02/11 07:00 PM

you said you have 'several days',, how many is that? flying from AC back to the BC sounds like your best option.
i have no experience north of BZ city so i can't say about corozol area.
if you can find a boat to Pla, it will add at least 2 days to your trip as they stop and spend the night somewhere along the way.
personally,, i think you will be happiest if you fly to BZ city and rent there. then just drop it off on the way out.
Posted By: olyimpic

Re: seeking advice Belize road trip - 10/03/11 01:04 AM

we will have about a week for renting a vehicle and wondering about Belize. We are also wanting to visit tikal and are wondering about the safty issues in going there. We think we need to go by tour out of San Ignacio....any thoughts?? Is there a perferred car rental company?
Posted By: Dwight K Schrute

Re: seeking advice Belize road trip - 10/03/11 12:13 PM

One thing, If you are going to do a lot of driving and exploring, Remember it is the rainy season. A lot of the roads (especially to the ruins and in the South end of the country) are muddy and have big potholes.

DEFINATELY rent a 4 wheel drive. (you will thank me later) Almost all the rental agencies have them .

When you park, don't leave any valuables, camera's, laptops etc on the seats in plain view.

Watch for dodgy charachters around the ruins. They sometimes hang around there to rob tourists. Just use common sense, be aware of your surroundings, and you will be OK.
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: seeking advice Belize road trip - 10/03/11 01:10 PM

Olympic - do not drive to Tikal. Take a tour if they are going from Belize these days - there are a lot of security concerns.
Consider going to Caracol instead of the road is passable. It's more raw than Tikal and I liked it better. Take a tour to Caracol too instead of driving it yourself - it's a difficult road.

Posted By: olyimpic

Re: seeking advice Belize road trip - 10/03/11 04:21 PM

We will bed comming down at the end of November and staying the first week of December. Is that still considered part of the "rainy season"?
I am really appreciating the input. So hard to plan a trip to somewhere you've only read about in tour books!
If anyone is planning on comming to the Great Pacific Northwest, I'd be happy to help!!
Posted By: CoolCatMan

Re: seeking advice Belize road trip - 10/07/11 04:43 PM

Last year we stayed in San Pedro for 2 weeks during the time there we flew Tropic to the muni where I had rented a small 4x4 suv from Avis on line a couple of months prior ( it was waiting for us on our arrival). We drove to San Ignacio touring and stopping along the way (be sure to stop at Orange gift shop you can't miss it) we stayed at Martha's guest house. We toured through Spanish Lookout and surrounding area ruins then returned to Altun Ha and back to the muni and returned to SP with no safety issues. The rental contract is very straight forward you are not allowed to take the car outside of Belize. Lots of tours in SI to take you to Guat.
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