Looking for travel partner/recommendations!!
Replies: 18 - Last Post: Nov 18, 2012 1:21 PM Last Post By: DigiNom
Oct 28, 2012 6:52 PM
Looking for travel partner/recommendations!!Hey everyone!
I'm doing my first backpacking trip solo this December starting the 7th for a few weeks to Belize and was wondering if anyone has a "must see/do in Belize" to share? I plan on going to San Ignacio and caye caulker and doing some diving, snorkeling, relaxing etc.
Anyone else going solo at this time? I have a little travel experience but nervous about going alone!! Any things I need to be extra cautious about (besides the basics?)
Thanks a lot!
Oct 28, 2012 7:10 PM
1Relax and enjoy Belize! It is a wonderful destination. In my humble opinion, San Ignacio is a great choice. I enjoyed going to Eva's restaurant (if it is still open...don't know) and it is a backpackers information point, right on the main street. The town isn't anything special. It does have a quirky charm. The area around is lovely.
Since you mentioned that you are a little nervous, I don't want to fill your head with all the warnings you may have been hearing from Grandma types. But in case you don't know, it is always a good idea to watch your things when you travel and pick a place to stay that looks secure. This is true in Belize or anywhere.
I hope that you have a beautiful trip. Frankly, I prefer to travel alone. The times I have gone with others were fun too but I remember one friend brought tons of luggage and expected me to carry half of it. He had so many suitcases, I asked him if Joan Crawford had risen from the dead.
Oct 28, 2012 7:42 PM
2Congratulations on going solo……may your life be filled with many more trips!
As far as must see/do in Belize.... depends so much on your personal interests. Both San Ignacio and Caye Caulker are great destinations. I assume you have a good travel book. Try not to be nervous about going alone. Read the advice from hopefulist, watch your back and don’t get lulled into compliancy….remember you are not in the States anymore.
Enjoy your journey!
Oct 29, 2012 4:52 AM
3No, she is from Canada. In the States she might have more to worry about than in Belize.
Oct 29, 2012 11:28 AM
after spending some time in Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico last Christmas, I plan on heading to Central America, making it a bigger trip. Going for about 5 weeks and trying to plan things out, saw your note online, and will be heading across the region from 1st december. maybe get in touch, I;m going solo and trying to plan where is best to go..been solo travelling before, but it's always great to meet travellers with a similar mindset on the journey,
Oct 29, 2012 2:37 PM
I just joined lonely planet for the exact same reason! And your post was the first one I saw. I'm also heading to caye caulker for December, probably solo, hoping to take in some sun and sea and meet some cool people. I think it would also be cool to see some Mayan ruins on the mainland as a side trip while there, and it seems like a great place to learn to dive. I'm planning on staying in a beach cabana, hammock time is important too. If you are interested I'm sure we could find each other for an adventure there! good luck on your first solo trip!€
Edited by: westtobest
Oct 29, 2012 4:30 PM
Oct 30, 2012 6:48 PM
7I am also traveling solo to Belize in December (18th-25th). First time traveling overseas alone. First time in Belize. I am excited! Would you recommend that I book accommodations ahead of time or wing it when I get there? I am looking to spend the first three days in San Ignacio to check out the ATM cave and ruins. Then head to Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye for the last 4 days.
Oct 31, 2012 4:11 AM
8Unless I am going during a holiday (such as Christmas!) or have my heart set on a certain small hotel or special deal...I don't make reservations and just show up. This gives me more freedom. But for when you are going, it may be a different story.
There are advantages and disadvantages on having reservations. One hotel I reserved at had a policy of charging for the whole stay (not just the first night) if you didn't show up. A storm had cancelled flights. So the reservation caused me worry. It turned out I didn't need it anyway. I also like to see a place first before deciding to stay, the internet may not show you it is next to a garbage dump or late night disco. However, since you are going at Christmas time having a reservation may not be a bad idea.
Maybe you had no choice on when you could go, but travel during this time is the absolute worst. Places are full, prices are higher. But, at least, you are coming back before the New Year holiday time.
Oct 31, 2012 9:20 AM
9I would definitely book your lodging that time of year - many of the coolest and best value places will already be booked. I'd choose between Caulker and Ambergris - maybe based on availability of lodging in your price range - rather than try to split between the 2.
For what it's worth, I always book my lodging in advance. I like the idea of winging it and keeping more flexibility but I love the research phase of a trip and typically fall in love with specific options and don't want to miss out on them. I also know myself and my travel style well and make good guesses about the amount of time I'm apt to want in an area. Since I return to CA every year, anything I miss 1 trip is just another excuse to return. If I have groups in tow, having reservations is especially important because it's harder to fit a large group in and also much less pleasant to go from place to place looking for space with a group waiting.
I use Trip Advisor to research my options so there's basically no risk of showing up and finding it is "next to a garbage dump or late night disco" as Roberto suggests, though without Trip Advisor reviews that could happen often in CA. In about a dozen trips to the region I've loved every single place we've stayed - no regrets.
Have a great trip, whatever you decide!
Oct 31, 2012 2:47 PM
10I am glad you find Trip Advisor hotel reviews to your satisfaction and sincerely wish you continued good luck with TA. I find, however, that they can fall short in the budget hotel category, as they don't even list the place I am interested in staying at on my next trip. Often with places that see few international or upscale clients, they either don't list them or have perhaps one opinion. Which may or may not be from the manager. May or may not reflect the current situation. May of may not be from someone bothered by something I would find a deal breaker. So I try get an idea from reviews and still like to see the hotel myself.
Anyway, glad we can agree that having a reservation during Christmas time makes sense.
Oct 31, 2012 3:41 PM
11When a place doesn't have a 'spot' on TA it's either new or no one has taken the time to jump through the hoops needed for a successful request. Budget travelers don't tend to take the time so you're correct that mostly what you'll find will be mid range and up costwise. I've developed an ear for the whiners or phony posts which helps me weed through. It's not perfect but has been a surprisingly great resource for my budget to midrange type of travel with the occasional splash out. Happy Halloween!
Oct 31, 2012 6:16 PM
12Thank you both for the help! I am going with cheaper hotels in San Ignacio and Caye Caulker. Then going to splurge a little in Ambergris caye. Anyone have any idea about the Casa Blanca Guest House Hotel in San Ignacio? And Da Real Macaw in Caye Caulker? Both are cheap but look decent enough (clean, own bathroom, AC, safe). I wont be spending much time in my room, only to sleep.
Oct 31, 2012 7:25 PM
Oct 31, 2012 8:13 PM
14A few years or so ago, the Belize Tourism Board awarded Casa Blanca as the best hotel (or small hotel). You could probably google for the details. And you probably won't be using a/c in December.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$155.00 per night
San SalvadorBook now
(4 star Hotel)
From US$113.52 per night
Islita AreaBook now
(3 star Hotel)
From US$303.00 per night