Have any of you ever been to Belize City, Central America? My husband and I love it!!!
Just a quick thought...when traveling by Carnival Cruise Lines to Belize City, the staff does not tell the passengers of ANY shopping in Belize City (ship backed or not). They also tell you very little about the shore excursions. They say this is because the city is not safe...
Let me just say that we have been to Belize many times and actually own oceanfront property in Southern Belize. It is third world, yes. However this does not make it dangerous to take the tender in to shop at the Belizean Tourism Villiage or out on the streets on the city either.
We have met some wonderful people in Belize, my best friend (and her husband) are actually the former owners of the Belizean Tourism Villiage. Go say hi. She runs the "Pharmacy Express" in the Village, her name is Angela (from New Orleans-former Wal-Mart pharmacist).
I'd be interested to hear more from an insider about Belize. Aside from shopping what do you recommend in the area to do?. Also what led you to invest in property there. Have you built on the property or is it for investment purposes? I wonder what ocean front property in that area run? Just curious. Also from a safety standpoint, what is your opinion on Belize?
We booked the Altun Ha Mayan Ruin tour through a local and enjoyed every minute of it. We only shopped at the pier area and some local stands on the return from the tour but found everything safe as far as we were concerned.
Tours booked on the pier are less then half the cost of those through the ship.
From the North banks of the Piscataqua.
"Keep your face into the sun and you can't see the shadows" - Helen Keller.
About Belize...it is the only english speaking country in Central America, that until 1981 was actually British Honduras.
If you really want to see the true Belize from a cruse ship tour, head west on the Western Highway towards the Belize Zoo. There is a great little place to have a local meal and local beer (Belikin), called La Democracia. Locals run the place, fresh food, great tamales, and good conversation.
The Central American Mountain range The Maya Mountains are visible from the road (looking to the south). Very beautiful.
Altun Ha is a good place to go for a day of climbing ruins and gathering history of the Maya in Belize. Snorkeling at Goffs Caye is a wonderful experience. It is a tiny island about 12 or so miles off shore, where you can snorkel from the boat of the island. Great fun. Cave tubing is a blast!!! The best. Be ready for a rainforest walk (45 minutes) but you will be rewarded with a cool float down the river into underground caves. Any or all are worth the money. Go to a vendor on the dock, they are much cheaper than the cruse line tours.
As far as shopping, in the Belizean Tourism Village you can get just about anything from Guatamalan carvings, local handicrafts, Cashew rum (made in Belize), good food and drinks, t-shirts, bags etc.... The vendors outside the village will come down on their prices some, but generally have less of a selection. It's great meeing locals here.
We decided to invest in property ther because we loved the country and it's people tremendously. They are friendly, and make you feel right at home. Also, we were looking for somewhere to retire when the time comes (20 years or so). We knew that anything on the Carribean would go up in value.
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From a safety standpoint, we have never had a problem anywhere. For more information on the goings on in Belize go to www.7newsbelize.com. Great site for updates on local things.
Thanks so much for your posts! Belize is the port we are most looking forward to on our next cruise.
Post Edited (03-26-05 12:23)
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Thanks so much for your thoughtful and insightful post. I hope we have enough time to check out half of your recommendations. Belize sounds like beautiful country and I can't wait to get there and experience it. I am printing out your post for our trip in November to bring with us. If you will be there by chance at that time let me know, d/h and I would love to meet you and your d/h for a drink or lunch.
We have been to Belize many times. The last time we took a tour by Natcho and his wife
Cynitha. They are local travel/tour company and very good at showing you the best places. We went to Atul Ha, the Bliss insitute, toured the city, shoppped at a local native craft store, and had a really goood time. I have his e-mail if any one is interested.
We have been there three times now and loved it each and every time. We have done the Cave Tubing adventure and taken the tour to Xunatunich and just wandered around town. We very much like the country and have a great time there and the people are very nice. We have even met your friend a couple of times and bought some meds that are cheaper there than here. I remember her well because of her Southern Accent. I don't think Belize is unsafe except for the main towns after nightfall and the cruisers aren't there at that time. We did not feel in danger at all when we wandered arouond but can understand why some would with the poverty that is there.
What are nice things to buy in Belize that are made there? Costa Rica has coffee what does Belize specialize in? Im glad I found this post Im going to Belize on the Legend next Wednesday and I feel safer having read this. Im going to do a private tour with Coral Breeze Limited do you know anything about them? Thanks for the wonderful post.
Belize specializes is Cashew Rum!!! Very yummy... also wooden carvings...go into mayan treasures at the village (where the tender drops you), there are some great deals there. Also, go see my friend, Angela in Pharmacy Express...tell her Sheri and Randy will be there Mya 20 on the Miracle!!!