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a VirtualTourist member from Silver Spring

Ambergris Cay

Ambergris Caye or Placencia?? (URGENT!!)

Please help!! My husband and I are making last-minute plans to vacation from July 1-6. We want a nice beach vacation, not overly touristy but not too remote. We'd love to go somewhere with clear water and comfortable beaches, great snorkeling (right off the beach and/or cheap and easy to get to), and some kind of small town with local restaurant options.

We think we've narrowed it down to 2 good options: Ambergris Caye and Placencia. I understand that Ambergris Caye is a little more touristy than Placencia, but it doesn't seem like it's gotten too bad. Which place has the better beaches, the better snorkeling, the more interesting town? Or, is there anything else that we should be considering in comparing the two? Any information or opinions to help tip the scales would be useful!

(Side note: the two hotels were looking at are Corona del Mar in AC, and Maya Beach Hotel in Placencia.)

2 Answers

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Hesperia

You have a bit of everything in Belize. Some of the best water activities and the pyramids and jungles. Ambergis Caye is a bit touristy already but If beach/ocean based is what you are looking for, then Caye Caulker is the place to be. I would recommend the Lazy Igauna B&B on CC.

From there you can do all the water activities you can imagine. Take a look at the Blue Hole here.

However, you may want to spend a couple of nights or three in Belize proper, for atmosphere, jungle tours and the Mayan pyramids. Have a look at this place a bit inland in Belize but a great place to spend some time in the flora and fauna of the place.

At Table Rock you can do all the inland touring you should do while there, like the Mayan ruins and a jaguar jungle tour.

Same with this place. The Crooked Tree Lodge on the Tucan Trail. Here is a look at both.

You may want to consider a tour that will take you just across the border of Guatemala to the Ti-Kal ruins, which are some of the most impressive in the Americas.

If you are looking for resorts, I will include these two, owned by Director, Francis Ford Coppola (Godfather trilogy), just for comparison. Those are the Turtle Inn and The Blancaneaux....

One thing that may matter, is that Belize is the only English speaking country south of the US border. They also have a vibrant music scene that is a blend of Caribbean, soul and soca (soca means so= soul + ca = calypso), that is called punta music. Here is a sample from a Belizian icon.

Belize is a favorite of mine and I intend to move there in the near future. Check these sites out and come back for specifics......

I hope this helps........d:o)

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Belize District

San Pedro Town and Placencia offer different things. San Pedro is a proper town with four streets in a 6 block length and then residential areas stretching for several miles on either end. It is easy to walk the beach to town in San Pedro and there are lots of restaurant choices. If you want beach, Corona del Mar is not the hotel for you since it has a sea wall. Nearby Corona del Mar is Caribbean Villas which should be comparable in price which does have a nice beach and a long pier that you can snorkel from.
Placencia is also a pleasant beach community and the beaches on the whole might be better since it is mainland and further from the reef so you get a little more surf action and better sandy beach. But, the town isn't so organized and if you stayed at Maya Beach, you would not be in walking distance from town. The Placencia area is really a long peninsula - a narrow strip of land - and the village proper is at the southern tip. You might consider Laru Beya which is closer to town.
As for snorkeling, the best will be from a boat on the reef at either location. Probably cheaper in San Pedro and you should go with a reputable company, not a guy who comes up to you on the beach. Amigos del Mar is very trustworthy and knowledgeable.
Hope you have a lovely trip to belize.

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