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need help deciding which island

Posted By: bram

need help deciding which island - 10/28/07 10:55 PM

This will be my first time to Belize, I can't decide which island AC or CC is the best choice for me to stay at. I am a budget traveller, I did find Rubys hotel on AC for less than $25 for a single. Thats the range I am looking for. Has any stayedthere?
I also dont need the crowds, is one of these islands less busy? bigger? more popular than the other? Can you find a more secluded piece of beach to hang out on or are they always filled with tourists?
Posted By: reaper

Re: need help deciding which island - 10/28/07 11:06 PM

Caye Caulker will fit your needs.
Posted By: seashell

Re: need help deciding which island - 10/28/07 11:17 PM

By the sounds of it, Caye Caulker is for you. Maybe even one of the other cayes, like Tabacco Caye.
Posted By: Cooper

Re: need help deciding which island - 10/29/07 01:36 AM

I live on Caye Caulker and think it is more what you are looking for. There are 5 or 6 places to stay for $20 or less, even on the beach. However the islands Motto is GO SLOW, we still have an abundance of restaurants, some night life and great live Rock and Roll, for the person on a budget it is overall less expensive, even snorkel and dive trips are less. You did not say when you are coming, at times its hard to find a place to stay.
Posted By: bram

Re: need help deciding which island - 10/29/07 01:56 AM

I was thinking of going at the end of January for 2 weeks. I imagine this is a popular time of year.

What would you say the biggest difference is between AC and CC?
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: need help deciding which island - 10/29/07 05:24 AM

Neither AC nor CC ever has crowded beaches. I found CC way too quiet and on AC you have a lot more choices. But then we all have our opinions.
Posted By: Cooper

Re: need help deciding which island - 10/29/07 08:51 PM

I am not sure if these places have websites but you can do a search for the following,
Marlas Place--$25 Very nice, near the split, great swimming area.
Tinas Backpackers Hostel from $18, great place to meet people on the beach'
Ignacios---- $18 very quiet more secluded and on the beach.
Happy Lobster has rooms above for $10 close to beach.
These places all have private bathroom shower etc. There are more places but this is a start. Yes the end of January is high season.
Posted By: bram

Re: need help deciding which island - 10/30/07 12:28 AM

Both Islands sound good to me, I will need to make a decision soon. Can you also tell me what things cost there like Beer? food? I'm not talking fancy, just local or casual stuff. Just want to budget correctly.

One last (maybe) question. It sems that ATM's are not plentiful, or you won't be able to use an international ATM card. So, do most people bring american CASH or travellers cheques? Is it easy to cash travellers cheques?
Posted By: Otteralum

Re: need help deciding which island - 10/30/07 02:01 AM

easy to use traveller's cheques, but I mostly use US cash -- just bring low denominations as change is always provided in Belize dollars

Locals will know better, but it seemed to me you could get by with about 10% less on CC overall. Both islands offer some good deals -- check the search feature on this page for restaurant info.

I love Ruby's (will be there in Feb myself), great people and good clean and inexpensive place. However, it can be a little loud -- it's in the middle of it all. You may prefer Pedro's Inn -- off the beaten path, but still on AC

Sounds like CC my be more your speed -- late Jan will be plenty hoppin on both islands.
Posted By: bram

Re: need help deciding which island - 10/30/07 02:16 AM

thats great. What about these tours I hear about, they seem expensive to me...can't a person take a water taxi or other boat to where the ruins are and tour around on your own?
Posted By: SimonB

Re: need help deciding which island - 10/30/07 02:49 AM

To put the tours in perspective a day at Disneyland seems incredibly expensive to me (and I've done it) and you go home and forget it. The tours here are expensive but you can go home and they will have an impact on the rest of your life (they did for me.)
Posted By: Cooper

Re: need help deciding which island - 10/30/07 03:30 AM

Plenty of tours you can go tourless. You can take the bus to Xanatunich (This is misspelled) Which is just north of San Ignacio. Hotels in San Ignacio are very reasonable, the bus is cheap. On that same bus route you can stop at the Zoo, I am not a Zoo person but we have a fantastic Zoo. You can go on a half day snorkel trip for $25, not exactly expensive. You would be better off figuring all that out when you get here as it can get confusing. If you are a budget eater, fruit and bakery for breakfast,stew chicken and rice and beans for dinner, burritos, tacos, and more chicken, and more fruit, you can eat good for $15 to $20 a day on C. C.. Beer is a bit spendy, Rum is cheap.
Posted By: AlJ

Re: need help deciding which island - 10/30/07 03:15 PM

bram
Here's a link to a bunch of our pictures from Caye Caulker and some maybe useful info as well. There's pictures and some information on our 2007 visit to Lamanai from Caulker as well.

The water taxis don't go where you need to go for the tours. You still need transportation from Belize City to whereever you're going. The tours are a lot simpler.
Posted By: AlJ

Re: need help deciding which island - 10/30/07 03:15 PM

And here's the link

http://www.alandsuejohnson.com/belize%20trips.htm
Posted By: Otteralum

Re: need help deciding which island - 10/30/07 03:26 PM

I did Xunantunich and Cave tubing in a one-day trip. It was a good combo and a full but not exhausting day. Great to have lunch in san Ignacio and see a different part of Belize -- beautiful!
Posted By: bram

Re: need help deciding which island - 11/01/07 02:25 AM

So is it safe to assume a person can take an early morning water taxi to BC and get a bus from there to some ruins, say Altun Ha or Xunantunich, then bus back to get the water taxi back to AC in one day?
Is the us service like Mexico's? lots of buses going anywhere yo want to go real cheap?
Posted By: Cooper

Re: need help deciding which island - 11/01/07 03:26 AM

Yes you could do Xunaantunich and back in one day, but you would be rushed and why be rushed on Vacation, and theres other things you can see. You could leave C.C. at 8;30 am, be in Belize City and catch the 9;30 bus, they leave every 30 minutes. Stop at the Zoo and check out the native animals, great Zoo. All outdoors, mostly rehab animals, get back on the bus to San Ignacio, The Cayo is just beautiful, find yourself one of the many inexpensive hotel rooms. Then walk up the hill and check out the small ruin right near town. Get up early the next morning and take the bus, get off at Xun, take the pull ferry across the river and walk in. If you have extra time when your done walk the 1/4 mile to the Trek Stop and check out the butterfly farm, again I never thought I would find a butterfly farm interesting, but I was wrong, I would not do this in one day. Dont do it on Sunday, bus schedule is different, not many buses run.
Total Cost including park fees, hotel, Zoo entrance, water taxi bus, and land taxi to bus station. would be around; $70 a person for a great 2 day adventure. all inclusive except food.
I believe the poster above was refering to a tour. I am not against tours, they can be expensive, but they make things alot simpler as you do have a guide and private vehicle'
Posted By: Otteralum

Re: need help deciding which island - 11/01/07 08:18 PM

great advice Cooper -- you know far more than I do. My trip was indeed a tour. I was also limited in time. If I had more than a day I would have done things a lot differently.
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