12-06-2004, 10:22 AM #1
Thinking of going to either Belize or Costa Rica for a vacation with my girl, anyone know a good place to stay in Belize? Any comments or experiences while traveling to belize are greatly appreciated.
12-06-2004, 10:52 AM #2Junior Member
Originally Posted by kman
- Join Date
- Aug 2004
12-06-2004, 12:20 PM #3
how much is a trip to costa rica? i want to go somewhere for vacation yet im poor..
12-06-2004, 01:07 PM #4
I lived in Belize for several years. It is a small country where a person can easily be known by most everybody else. There isn't always a lot of kewl ass fancy pants crap that we take for granted up here. You can't get gear over the counter. That said, if you do not speak spanish you might prefer Belize. There is a lot of cool stuff to see and do. Definitely visit Seine Bight and Placencia. Very slow and laid back. I used to have a farm up near Sibun River and I also lived on another farm on Northern River. There is a lot of wild country if you are into that. Try to find a White guy named Spruce out in Hattieville. Ask at Mrs Dolly's Shop. Me and him used to take tourists on canoe trips down the upper Sibun where it goes underground into the caves and comes back out here and there. Lots of jaguar tracks etc and the water is so utterly crystal clear you are afraid to dive in cause it only looks a few feet deep in the deep holes. Def see the ruins at Xunantunich. Not all overdeveloped like the Mayan sites in Mexico or Guatemala. You can climb up to the top of the main pyramid and get a hell of a view and often you are the only person there. Avoid San Pedro on Ambergris Caye unless you just like the touristy party scene. Caye Caulker, to the south, is a bit more laid back but I understand there are a couple of cars there, now. Fishing is great. There is an American on St George's Caye who does deep sea charter work. The bones and tarpon out at turneffe are fabulous and there is a lodge there but it is pricey. Lighthouse Reef is a pretty good long sail from the mainland but the fishing is teriff there too and it is really untouched. There is a redfooted booby sanctuary there. Belize City is party central. Watch for the petty street crime. Most of the crims are pretty weak and harmless but you never know. I was set upon by a mini-gang of kids who thought they were tough once and 5 seconds into the altercation the only one standing was running. Handguns, particularly of a meaningful caliber, in skilled hands, are a rarity among the criminal element. Whores tend to be a bit low-class compared to the nice clubs and services in Costa Rica though. Best bet is to try Raul's Rose Garden out on Northern Highway toward the airport. Taxis are pretty cheap but settle the fare before closing the door. Food is excellent but be advised that the national dish, rice and beans, is very dry and flavorless for American Palates and usually must be helped along with a dollop of ketchup. Try instead the white rice and stew beans. Try the local game meat too. Seafood is abundant. Don't expect to get a really nice steak unless you go to the Ft George or Chateau Caribbean etc. The fancy places are mostly on the more prosperous north side of the city. The south side has little for you except the Belleview or the Big Apple if you are feeling adventurous. Be sure and watch the Swing Bridge open and close every evening. It is the only manually operated swing bridge in the world still regularly used for vehicular traffic. It is the main route over Haulover Creek that seperates the north side from the south side. A gang of men come out from Public Works and insert this big bar/crank and all heave around on it and wala the bridge turns to allow boat traffic to pass. To get to the Cayes go down to the waterfront by the shell station and you will see the skiffs that carry passengers to/from. Settle your fare before boarding the boat. You will be there in a jiffy. Cops are fairly honest. They have to know you and like you before they will solicit or accept a bribe. Most Belizeans are extremely friendly and it is a very US-friendly country. More Belizeans live in the U.S. than in Belize, believe it or not. English is the official language but Spanish and Garifuna are widely spoken, along with Kekchi Maya and Mopan Maya. There is a thriving Middle Eastern and Chinese community and Chinese food is common and popular. Don't be afraid to eat the street food like Tamales (the big flat kind not the little dried out flavorless sticks of Northern Mexico) dukunu, Panades, etc. The "dollah chicken" stands are good values. It is so friggin easy to get laid it almost isn't even fun. Creole and Carib and Hispanic and Coolie (East Indian) chicks and every conceivable blend all compete for that American Weenie.
Belizeans keep their own time. Let's say you are on Caye Caulker and you make arrangements with a local fisherman to take a little sail on his boat out to the barrier reef for a bit of snorkling, and you are scheduled to leave at 8:00 sharp. Guess what?You might actually leave arount 10:00 because there will be one excuse after another reason, not least of which he wants to hussle up some more passengers and have one more Belikin or a lee chop a rum before leaving. Don't get impatient. It only makes you look like a horse's ass. Get used to the idea that promptness is a foreign concept in BZ. Oh, BTW, the scruffy littl neighborhood bars in the city are pretty cool. Rum is cheap cheap cheap. Buy by the chop, by the flask, or by the whole or half bottle, and youbuy your coke seperately. My first evening in Belize was quite an eye opener. I saw the prices up on a chalkboard in a place whose name I dont remember but the joint upstairs was called the Orange Bowl. The building burned down about 15 years ago but then it was a block from the old Batty Bros bus terminal which has since moved. Anyway I saw a flask of rum was $1.75 BZ and a drink was $1BZ so I ordered the flask and a coke. I got it along with a plastic cup and hmmm... no ice, hot coke, 90 degrees out, no AC... I asked for some ice, and this guy next to me figured me for a typical tourist so he says to his buddies, but speaking to me who he assumed did not know Spanish, that "hielo es por ninos, mujeres, y putos" and everybody started laughing. I joined in, and told the bartender "My friend here is right! Please give him a BIG piece of ice!" Well I had trumped his ass and he moved in, smiling, doing the old pat on the back "you my frien'!" and then slam the head into the bar trick, but I sorta beat him to it. They took him to get his forehead sewed up and the bartender made sure my drink was cold until I left, 4 or 5 flasks later. That was typical of those type of joints then, and things are more civilized now but it is still cheap drinks and lots of interesting characters to meet. You can get really messed up for less than ten bucks. U.S. dollars trade on the streets 2 for 1... in other words somebody charges you 2BZ for something you can pay with a US dollar bill.
Belize has its rough edges, sure, and I liked it better 20 years ago than now, for sure, but it is still pretty cool. If I had a choice between BZ and CR, even if I didn't have family (a son) and an ex wife and a bunch of old friends and ex GFs there, I would go to BZ.
Oh, take the bus. It's pretty cool. Catch an ADO bus at Matamoros, across the border from Brownsville, direct to Villahermosa, and catch another ADO bus on to Chetumal, at the Belizean border. At the Chetumal terminal, catch a Batty Bros or Venus bus to Belize City. You can get from Brownsville to BZ in about 40 hours, best case. You see some pretty country, too.
12-06-2004, 01:41 PM #5
hey baron thanks alot, I mean it. lots of info.. What about hotel/resorts any recomendations? Should I go all inclusive, basically looking to chill on the beach, eat, drink,fish,and bang...thanx again...
12-06-2004, 02:21 PM #6Originally Posted by kman
I would definitely spend the first two days or so in the city. Try the Belleview on the South Side. Be sure to negotiate a rate over the phone. It is kinda fancy but not so expensive as the places on the North Side. You can get info on tours etc there. Lots of local and tourist chicks go to the very nice bar in the hotel. Be careful and don't let a local chick from the rough trade lure you out into the meaner streets of the south side at night, especially if you are a bit buzzed. Right across the street on the waterfront you will find a boat that goes to the cayes and it is fully enclosed and air conditioned, which is nice when it is rainy. All the other boats are just open skiffs. For the North Side the Chateau Caribbean is nice, older and decadently classy. They filmed Dogs of War there. The Ft George is nice and they have the older building and the modern addition with great views from the upper floors. Nice bar at the top. They don't let the hos in there too much unless they are very classy (pricey that is) As for places to stay on Caye Caulker try Billy Martinez' Caribbean Inn (it might have a different name now) or any other hotel they are all about the same. Cheap and clean except for all the sand blowing in. Always a nice breeze from the sea. If you go down to Placencia there are several hotels but price varies wildly. In Seine Bight, ask at the postoffice/liquorstore for Mr Cas, and he can tell you if anybody is renting rooms out of their house in the village. Seine Bight is only a long walk up from Placencia so no biggie if you can't find accomodations there.
When picking up a ho in the city, if you decide you like her, be SURE to mention that you are going out to the cayes. City girls LOVE going out to the Cayes! And they might have an inside on a cheap place to stay, or else they take your business to somebody who remembers it as a favor later on. She might have a good suggestion on whose boat to take out to the cayes. Oh, there is a sand airstrip on Caye Caulker and also a paved one at San Pedro. You can fly out to Caye Caulker for about $20. Just don't expect Lufthansa grade service! We are talking about elderly Cessna 172s etc with extra seats squeezed in somehow. The FAA would crap their pants. I flew down to Punta Gorda once in an old Otter that had school bus seats and the overhead if the cabin was perf board popriveted in place. The pilot was a little too excited, in my view, when both engines started on the first attempt. Hey that's Belize for you.
So bottom line is if you want a hard and fast suggestion, look up the Belleview and have a reservation when you arrive. Pack light and walk out to the highway and catch the bus into town for 50 cents or take a taxi for $20 or so. Hang out a couple of days at the Belleview, hook up with a good ho, and let her show you around. Take her out to Caye Caulker. Eat drink screw and be merry. Oh, find a local Caye Caulker guy named Tito... an old friend of mine of extremely ill repute but who can put together a nice day of fishing for you out on the reef or maybe free diving for out of season lobsters. They taste better when they are illegal for some reason. He can find you some 'erb too if you like but he will smoke most of it. Hang out with the locals. Hang out with the toursists. Everybody mixes pretty freely on Caye Caulker. It is a shame to not do anything else IMHO but if you are into just chillin etc then CC is the place.
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