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BELIZE - fantastic holiday with young teenagers

(9 Posts)
mummymeister Thu 01-Jan-15 10:55:24

When I picked Belize, I trawled MN and found no info on it and as I have been asked on other threads, thought I would just do my "bit" to promote this fantastic country! The highlights:
- malaria free, minimal jabs needed
- they speak English (formerly British Honduras)
- the Mayan ruins are spectacular and accessible. You can climb all over them, up them and round them
- Rainforest and Howler monkeys
- the second largest barrier reef in the world. snorkelling is easy in warm water you can stand up in.
- fantastic fusion food
- chocolate, we made our own
- ziplining, cave tubing, rapelling - you name it, if it is action packed they do it.
- Ambergris Caye is an island off the mainland and is the La Isla Bonita that Madonna sings about.
- You can drive from one end of the mainland to the other in about 6 hours.
- you can get there from Cancun
- night crocodile hunting
- swimming with sharks and huge rays in Shark ray alley

The only downside is that there are no direct flights from the UK. getting out there was harder than getting home. we went via America and had to have a layover for one night. Coming back it took 14 hours including a quick 2 hour change so much easier.

The weather in December was perfect for us - around 75 -80 every day as it is their Winter.

We did self drive which was "interesting" and no need for a satnav as there are only a couple of main roads.

Anyone fancy an adventure with teens then PM me and I will send more details.

We have travelled a lot and never met such friendly, welcoming people. The poverty in some areas was a real shock for our kids but the garden isn't always rosy is it! The lad at the chocolate making is 15, never missed a day off school ever and has to be up at 4am every day to get there on time. It certainly bought a lot into perspective for my kids. Very few British travellers there, just wish more people would give it a go.

MillyMollyMama Thu 01-Jan-15 23:20:46

Other South American countries are great with young teens too. We took ours to Ecuador, the Galápagos Islands and Peru. We used holiday companies which specialised in holidays for teenagers. I think Costa Rica would also score highly.

Pooka Thu 01-Jan-15 23:24:53

Sounds amazing. Am seriously envious!

Prob being terribly rude, but would you have a ballpark figure of cost? We are 5 in family and would like to do exciting hol when youngest is a fair bit older.

mummymeister Thu 01-Jan-15 23:47:31

Pooka, you can actually do it on a pretty low budget, it just depends on time of year and booking far enough in advance to get the deals. Certainly a cheaper holiday than our recent one to Canada or Florida by far. Flights were around £3,000 for 5 adult fares but we booked only a couple of weeks in advance. and car hire about half what it is in the USA. we found plenty of budget places to stay and even the expensive ones (considering it was over Christmas) were less than the local Travelodge over Christmas! PM me and I will be happy to send you the details on all the places we stayed. Eating out and self catering was extremely cheap especially fresh fruit and veg which was fantastic.

Millymollymama - agree about South America but we specifically did not want to go to a malaria area plus like organising our own stays.

MillyMollyMama Fri 02-Jan-15 16:45:11

We went into rainforest areas in both Peru and Ecuador and felt this, and the Galápagos cruise, were best organised for us! Belize is probably easier to organise. However, a family Adventure Company type holiday does give the added bonus of other teens to pal up with as they do teen only departures. We also thought their hotel choices were brilliant and our travel guide one of the best.

specialsubject Fri 02-Jan-15 16:58:19

just a reminder that places such as these may be malaria-free, but they have endemic dengue and possibly chikungunya. Make sure everyone uses DEET 24/7.

flashheartscanoe Fri 02-Jan-15 17:10:23

Thanks for the report- I have teens and am always looking for ideas. It sounds great. We will seriously consider Belize for next year.

mummymeister Sat 03-Jan-15 14:13:08

specialsubject we did use DEET all the time but still managed to get bitten a couple of times. its a risk wherever you go. chikungunya - Belize has only just had its first case so not endemic there and compared to some other South American countries dengue not so much of an issue. the places we stayed all seemed very aware of these issues and for example kept the grass cut and didn't have stagnant water around.

specialsubject Sat 03-Jan-15 18:58:48

good for them - this makes a big difference. As you note, even with DEET you may still get a bite or two.

unfortunately despite repellent and precautions Mr SS got dengue, probably from our time in Kuala Lumpur. You have to be unlucky but so many people seemed utterly unaware of it, which is why I am always banging on about it.

that's the end of our tropical travels as the risk of getting it twice is not worth it.

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