Belize and Tikal - trip report
Replies: 12 - Last Post: May 3, 2013 4:09 PM Last Post By: LatinTravel13
Feb 25, 2013 4:49 AM
Belize and Tikal - trip reportBelize January 20 – February 6th, 2013
The taxi from the airport to the Caye Caulker water taxi pier was quick and efficient ($25US).
The water taxi was cheaper than advertised as they were having a special ($13.50 Round Trip).
At Caye Caulker a golf cart taxi took us to Caye Caulker Condos ($5US) and we checked in. Nice studio condo with decent kitchen. Good TV and fridge. Hard bed. Right across from the waterfront. We could sit on our porch and watch the parade of people heading to the beach and the split.
Dove with Belize Dive Services which were professional and competent.
Very laid back island with lots of friendly folks.
Our favorite restaurant was Panda (on middle street) for the best Hot and Sour soup we ever had. The egg rolls were good also.
After a great week on Caye Caulker, we took a golf cart taxi back to the water taxi and the water taxi back to Belize mainland. Here we took a taxi to the bus terminal ($6US) and then the express bus to San Ignacio ($9 each) which took 2 hours. Walked up the street to Tropicool hotel and cabins. The cabin was barely acceptable. Old mattress and pillows, next to road, no AC, tiny TV, good fridge.
In town the prices are a little better than Caye Caulker (3.5 beers, 10 entrees) Definitly a tourist town with lots of friendly folks.
Rented a canoe for $25 and paddled up the river about 5 miles to a resort and butterfly farm and then back down the river. Excellent time. Lots of birds, igunaus and some bats even! Arranged from Flayvas restaurant and tour service. They asked $25 US which was by far the best price. Most do not offer this option as they want to push their $100 tours.
Also used Flayvas for our transportation to Tikal Inn ($35 US each). Mayawalk Restaurant and Tours offers this transport for $25 US each but they did not have a tour going, so they would not take us. As it turned out, Flayvas did not have anyone else going so they put us with a group from another travel shop. The driver/guide was excellent and very helpful. He handled money changing and then all the border transactions for us paying to get out of Belize (35 bz pp) and another fee to get into Guatemala ($3).
Tikal Inn is quite nice though without AC or TV, but meals are included. The dinner got mixed reviews as the chicken was at least edible which is more than I can say for the pasta. The breakfast was good though. The management is non existent and it shows.
The Tikal ruins are the best Mayan ruins that we have ever seen. Excellent complex with several ruin complexes and several that have not been restored yet.
We booked return all the way to Belize City (from the Jaguar Inn) where they let us out at the water taxi. ($40US each).
You get a mini bus at Jaguar Inn between 7:30 and 8:15 so you have to be there at 7:25, to the split (25 minutes) where you get on another bus that takes you to the border and then picks you up on the other side (in Belize) and takes you the rest of the way (2 hrs) and we got to the water taxi at 1:10. To cross the border you get your luggage and go to Guatemala customs where they will ask for $3 exit fee. Just say no - I just paid it yesterday and they will wave the fee. You then walk to Belize customs where they stamp you passport and may inspect your luggage, but unlikely (no fee). Then you wait for the bus and proceed. Caye Caulker water taxi was sold out for the 1:30 taxi so we walked down to Belize Express water taxi (2 blocks) and got on their 1:15 which left at 1:30. The taxi stopped in Caye Caulker briefly and then onto San Pedro. Arrived at 2:55pm. Caye Caulker water taxi is better, on time and more professional than Belize Express.
Took a taxi to Pedro’s Hotel ($5US) and checked in. Beer at the hostel is $5bz each which is high for the island and way too high for a hotel/hostel. Plain but clean room. The maids were efficient and quick. Two nice pools, but only one has any furniture or shade. The Pizza is fair at best and priced too high also. Dove with Aqua Scuba. 4 days of two tank dives for $200US each. The boat was fair but good enough for local dives (would not recommend this operator for the blue hole). Back flip into the water and hand up your weights, bc and fins before climbing into the boat. They ran on time and the surface interval was back at their dock. The dive master did not have a dive computer and seemed to run over the decomp rules (we used our computers). The Marine Reserve ($10US each)dive was the best. Like being in an aquarium. From there we went to shark – ray alley before heading to the dock for the surface interval.
Went to Captain Morgans resort for the casino one night and it was pretty good. One roulette wheel and two blackjack tables along with the slots. We went with friends and both couples ended up winners. They provide free water shuttle and then rum punch, wine or beer in the casino.
Food around town is quite expensive unless you hit the local hole – in – the – wall places which we discovered. Had good chicken plates, burritos and rotisserie chicken.
The island itself is very busy with way too many cars and golf carts. The is a lack of sidewalks outside of downtown so walking was often a challenge.
Took the water taxi back to the mainland and a taxi to the airport. Easy.
Feb 25, 2013 5:19 AM
Feb 25, 2013 5:55 AM
Feb 25, 2013 6:16 AM
Feb 25, 2013 6:55 AM
Feb 25, 2013 7:50 AM
Feb 25, 2013 7:59 AM
Feb 25, 2013 8:02 AM
Feb 26, 2013 4:57 AM
8Ferd I think the $5 was for the 'taxi',not for the room ;-)
OP..nice report! Tropicool has some nicer cabins and some really worn ones....
Feb 26, 2013 5:34 AM
9Caye Caulker Condos are not cheap. We paid $830 US for 7 nights and did not use the pool, but did use their free bicycles.
Tropicool does have rooms as well but I did not see any of those. The owner is only available sometimes. His store is open when it fits his schedule so be careful as you may have to wait a couple of hours to check in.
We paid $420 US for the room at Pedro's Hotel.
Tikal Inn was $120 US for the room with meals and we did use the pool. It is quite nice and clean.
Feb 26, 2013 5:48 AM
10Hi, Ok thanks. Way out of my price range though. I am glad you had fun but then again for that money you had better have fun! I get a nice room on Caye Caulker with a private bath for $15US. At Tikal, the Jaguar Inn is around $50 or $60, you can eat at the restaurant there or at one of the Comedors and swim at the Jungle Lodge for the price of a drink. But in the end, the experience is what's important.
PS Wow, the edit function is back. Yay!
I spend most of my money on the various trips as they can be quite expensive like a snorkel trip to the Blue Hole. There isn't too much you can do about those prices.
Feb 26, 2013 5:56 AM
May 3, 2013 4:09 PM
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