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6 hours ago, midtown said:

I pay $250 for a half day of reef and bay fishing...$140 sounds ridiculously cheap but maybe 18 years ago.  

This is correct.  Fly fishing charters are going to run you more obviously, but a guy in a skiff chasing reef snapper etc. is cheap and fun.

$140 back then is about right too.  There wasn't much demand and it was basically found money for fishermen to take out a tourist.

If you have your own snorkel gear, the guide isn't going to care if you are fishing, snorkeling, or both....But, to get to the prime spots in the marine sanctuaries, you need to go with a snorkeling outfit that has a license to tie-up there.  They regulate it to keep the crowds manageable and protect the reefs.   

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What is going on with airfare prices to Belize?  Right now the best I can find for late June is $1,000 for the two of us and that has us connecting in Dallas.  Southwest and United direct flights are both $1,500 and have been that way for awhile.  It also seems like there are fewer flights than the last time we went 2 years ago.

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Posted (edited)

I was down there last year at this time.  The Blue Tang was recommended on this board, and I highly recommend it.  Great value.

We stayed a night in Belize City.  Echoing above, it's a bit grimy, but what do you expect.  Don't be an idiot, and don't stay out late, and you'll be fine.

Also stayed 2 nights in San Ignatio, at Martha's Guest House; which I also recommend.  Pacz Tours does lots of things, and the're solid and honest.  The guy who owns it is an expat, and his guides are great people.

I was really surprised how much you can do, reserving hotels, reviews for hotels and restaurants, online.  You can rent a car from Alamo. ATT cel service on the main roads.  It isn't the "developing country" you might assume.

Edited by Parliament

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What is going on with airfare prices to Belize?  Right now the best I can find for late June is $1,000 for the two of us and that has us connecting in Dallas.  Southwest and United direct flights are both $1,500 and have been that way for awhile.  It also seems like there are fewer flights than the last time we went 2 years ago.
I've noticed the same thing with flights. I can only assume Belize is getting more popular and the airlinea either can't or haven't adjusted their capacity.. Less people going to Mexico maybe?

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Also the place right next to blue tang is nice too.

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Posted (edited)

I though aboutt the popularity also, but you can regularly fly to Europe for much less and the fewer number of flights doesn't really jive with increased demand.

Edited by kevwun

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18 minutes ago, kevwun said:

What is going on with airfare prices to Belize?  Right now the best I can find for late June is $1,000 for the two of us and that has us connecting in Dallas.  Southwest and United direct flights are both $1,500 and have been that way for awhile.  It also seems like there are fewer flights than the last time we went 2 years ago.

Mexico Affect - People are figuring out that they can get to BZE just as quickly and easily as they can get to the Mexican coast and avoid the issues (both real and perceived).

The difference in the number of causal travelers (not hard core divers or fishermen) is striking when compared to 7-10 years ago...hell....even 3-5 years ago.

More resort areas opening up, more people, and the same small airport.....

BZE has limitations and the airlines can't just throw more flights on the table........  Plus..... Jet is already working his fingers to the bone slinging Beliken and hot dogs.  Adding more flights in there would kill the little guy.

 

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17 minutes ago, kevwun said:

I though aboutt the popularity also, but you can regularly fly to Europe for much less and the fewer number of flights doesn't really jive with increased demand.

That airport doesn't really have room to add capacity.  They are building an airport on Ambergris Caye north of San Pedro so that will alleviate it quite a bit. 

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Posted (edited)

I understand that, but United and Southwest have fewer flights now than they did 2 years ago.  Southwest only has one direct flight a day from Texas now and it's arrival time makes making the water taxi tighter than I am comfortable with.  United only has 2.  I guess it's possible other airlines have squeezed them out, but they definitely aren't flying to Belize as often as they used to.

Edited by kevwun

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Yeah, I wish I would have booked when they were that low.  I was sure they would drop though based on the past.

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Hobbs Brewing is opening a brewery in Belize so there will now be other options other than Belikin.

https://www.brewbound.com/news/hobbs-brewing-co-opens-new-brewery-in-belize

Hobbs Brewing Co., which opened as brewpub in New Hampshire, in 2014, will begin distribution with 12 oz. cans and kegs throughout Placencia, Belize, in April.

“We recognized that this area really needed craft beer,” said Ash Fischbein, a partner of Hobbs Brewing Company. “And we started to put it all into motion last year.” Placencia is a small village located in the Stann Creek district of Belize. Placencia has a population of approximately 3,500, but is a prime vacation destination and home to many new resorts and other businesses.

Hobbs will feature two beers as it begins production in Central America: Wildcat IPA and Hummingbird Belizean Golden Ale.

Wildcat IPA, so named because Belize is home to the world’s largest Jaguar preserve, is a 6 percent ABV India Pale Ale featuring a tropical and citrusy hop character. Wildcat is the only IPA available in the country. Meanwhile, Hummingbird is a light, crisp and easy-to drink ale that is just 4.7 percent ABV.

They will be sampling these beers at the upcoming Easter Festival in the Village of Placencia on April 20.

“One of the most intriguing things about brewing in Belize is the incredible agriculture down here,” Fischbein said. “As we grow and continue to brew new styles, we really want to experiment with all the amazing ingredients that are literally right on our doorstep.”

Day-to-day brewing operations will be led by intern Anthony Swanick, who began to learn the craft at Hobbs’ location in New Hampshire over the last few years. For more information, please contact Hobbs Brewing Co. at info@hobbstavern.com.

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Hobbs Brewing is opening a brewery in Belize so there will now be other options other than Belikin.
https://www.brewbound.com/news/hobbs-brewing-co-opens-new-brewery-in-belize

Hobbs Brewing Co., which opened as brewpub in New Hampshire, in 2014, will begin distribution with 12 oz. cans and kegs throughout Placencia, Belize, in April.

“We recognized that this area really needed craft beer,” said Ash Fischbein, a partner of Hobbs Brewing Company. “And we started to put it all into motion last year.” Placencia is a small village located in the Stann Creek district of Belize. Placencia has a population of approximately 3,500, but is a prime vacation destination and home to many new resorts and other businesses.

Hobbs will feature two beers as it begins production in Central America: Wildcat IPA and Hummingbird Belizean Golden Ale.

Wildcat IPA, so named because Belize is home to the world’s largest Jaguar preserve, is a 6 percent ABV India Pale Ale featuring a tropical and citrusy hop character. Wildcat is the only IPA available in the country. Meanwhile, Hummingbird is a light, crisp and easy-to drink ale that is just 4.7 percent ABV.

They will be sampling these beers at the upcoming Easter Festival in the Village of Placencia on April 20.

“One of the most intriguing things about brewing in Belize is the incredible agriculture down here,” Fischbein said. “As we grow and continue to brew new styles, we really want to experiment with all the amazing ingredients that are literally right on our doorstep.”

Day-to-day brewing operations will be led by intern Anthony Swanick, who began to learn the craft at Hobbs’ location in New Hampshire over the last few years. For more information, please contact Hobbs Brewing Co. at info@hobbstavern.com.

Jesus. We're exporting hipsterism?

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Posted (edited)

as to the flights, I flew AA.  Have you checked them?

I believe that I made the original rec for the Blue Tang.  I found it to be perfect for a casual, relaxing vacation.

As to the beer, a bar owner told me that Belikin operated like the fucking mafia down there, and used bribery, extortion, etc to keep competitors out.   He told me that he went to Mexico in his boat, and brought back a couple cases of Corona.  A cop on the dock saw him unload it, and made him pour it out. 

Weird. 

Edited by Gil Bang

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As to the beer, a bar owner told me that Belikin operated like the fucking mafia down there, and used bribery, extortion, etc to keep competitors out. 


They better watch their ass or they’ll end up in the weekly murder tally.

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Bump...Headed back to Belize in August with my kids and a few other adults    Kids ages 13 and 10

Staying at Paradise Villas again.   I've never been with kids.  Any specific kid activities.

Fish, snorkel, pool, beach, food truck park, secret beach.


 

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Don't let a kid drive the golf cart. They take that shit seriously.  Other than that, day drinking is the best kid activity after snorkeling. 

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On 3/25/2019 at 2:48 PM, Gil Bang said:

As to the beer, a bar owner told me that Belikin operated like the fucking mafia down there, and used bribery, extortion, etc to keep competitors out.

Belikin is basically the government beer of Belize.  You aren't getting anything else down there.

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Just wanted to add a warning:  when we were in San Pedro a few years back, there was only 1 ATM on the island that took a chip card, and it was broken. 

Maybe that's changed, but make sure you take plenty of cash.    Also, the airport bar at Belize City is cash only. 

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On 1/20/2019 at 11:00 AM, Viper said:

Anyone been too Belize from a cruise? I'll be there in Nov and am wondering what's good to do. 

The cave float is what we did. Ride across the city into the country and into the jungle. Lunch then you leap off a 20' rock into the water, and float thru a cave system. Our family  dug it.  Get ready to hear it's UN-BELIIIIIIIZABLE       a lot.

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Amex doesn't work anywhere on Caye Caulker from what I have found.  Visa and Mastercard have been fine.  Always a good idea to have enough cash though.  We are heading down in 2.5 weeks. I can't fucking wait.

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Leave me some Belikin and make sure they have a pina colada ready for me at the Split.

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26 minutes ago, Gil Bang said:

Just wanted to add a warning:  when we were in San Pedro a few years back, there was only 1 ATM on the island that took a chip card, and it was broken. 

Maybe that's changed, but make sure you take plenty of cash.    Also, the airport bar at Belize City is cash only. 

The three banks in San Pedro all have ATMs now.  Obviously some cash is good to have but you won't be stranded.

Just about everybody takes cc now down there....even small shops use square, etc.  Certainly all the restaurants do.  I can't recall the last time I had an issue.

I keep cash on hand for tips, the toll bridge, etc. but other than that I stay away from paying in cash b/c I know I'll get Belizian dollars back as change and I don't want to mess with that.

If memory serves me correctly, when Jet redid his airport bar after the fire they now take cc.  I may be wrong but I'm pretty sure he does.

Beliken now has a company bar on the other side of the "terminal" competing with Jet - all they sell is beer and souvenirs but they for sure take cards, as do the little shops inside BZE.

Side note on the beer - I don't drink but on my last trip my buddies came back from the store with some non-Belikin beer.  I think it was called Caribe...They also have Heineken signs in all the grocery stores as well...if that's your thing.

 

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Yeah, Belikin distributes all three beers.  Heineken was sold in some bars, but I never saw it sold in stores. 

There were a few ATMs when I was there, but they didn't take cards with the chip.  That was the issue. 

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Posted (edited)

Two months out for me.  My third visit in 3 years.  This time I'm taking my kids.   Staying at the Paradise Villas again.  Anything more kid related that I should do?

Fish, snorkel, swim off the dock, food truck park, secret beach.  Anything else?

Edited by midtown

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Take them for ice cream at DandE’s Frozen Custard.   Nice older ex-pat couple from PA farm country. 

 

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If you have the time and the kids are of age,  the cave tubing is an unforgettable trip for as well....

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An American doctor was murdered in Belize in what local authorities are saying was a shooting involving a member of a gang.

Dr. Gary Swank was found dead Sunday alongside a local tour guide, identified by local authorities as Mario Graniel.

 

Chester Williams, the commissioner of police in Belize, said that Swank was a victim of circumstance.

Williams said the tour guide "had a misunderstanding with one of the notorious gang figures in San Pedro" and that his home was shot at before the murders.

 

"Police detained the persons who we suspected did the shooting, waited for Mr. Graniel to give the report," Williams said. "He never showed up to give the report. We maintain police presence in the area to protect him and the community from further shootings but we can’t follow the man everywhere he goes. He decided to go out with a tourist. We don’t have a boat to follow him and we can’t put police on every tour guide boat."

He went on, "We did what we could have done in terms of detaining those who we believe were responsible and maintaining presence in the area where he lived. I don’t see what else we could have done."

Superintendent Hilberto Romero, the acting head of the National Crimes Investigation Branch, said both Swank and Graniel had "multiple" gunshot injuries.

"One of the decreased was on board the vessel while the other was in the water. Both were taken out and taken to the San Pedro Polyclinic where they were pronounced dead on arrival," Romero said.

"We are working on several leads. We know that they were fishing in that particular area and thereafter the report came in that there had been a shooting," he said.

Word of the murders traveled to the U.S., prompting Swank's hospital to release a statement about the "tragic news."

"We are heartbroken at his loss. Dr. Swank was a well-respected and well-loved colleague who, each and every day, embodied the values that we hold dear," said Chris Turnbull, the director of corporate communications at the Carilion Clinic in Virginia. "His absence leaves a void in our team and in our community. Our thoughts, prayers and attention are now focused on helping his family navigate this difficult time."

The Associated Press reported that Swank arrived in Belize with his family on Saturday, the day before his death.

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Posted (edited)

This is a horrible tragedy.  Turns out that Mr. Graniel ran afoul of a local gangster by the name of Christian Espat, and Dr. Swank was "collateral damage".  A "young woman", who was "close to Mr. Graniel", has been taken in to custody.  

 

https://edition.channel5belize.com/archives/187141

 

This morning, a wanted poster for twenty-three-year-old Christian Espat, a well-known person to police and alleged gangster on San Pedro Town, began circulating on social media. Espat was reportedly wanted for questioning for the double murder of tour guide Mario Graniel and prominent US doctor Gary Swank. On Wednesday, several persons including a woman were detained for questioning. Both men were killed on Sunday morning while fly fishing a mile west of San Pedro Town. Investigators believe that Doctor. Swank was a victim of circumstances while Graniel is said to have been the target. Prior to his murder, a lone gunman targeted Graniel at his apartment in the Boca del Rio area, however, Graniel failed to report the matter to the police. According to Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, Graniel had a misunderstanding with a notorious gang figure in San Pedro town. And while police continue their investigations, Espat has taken to social media to not only deny accusations of his alleged involvement in the double murder, but also proclaimed his innocence.  Espat recorded a one minute video in which he says that he will hand himself over to San Pedro police because he has absolutely no involvement in the murder of Mario Graniel and Doctor Gary Swank.

 

Edited by bmbmd

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Seriously considering a quick trip here right after Thanksgiving, never been but what I am looking for is a relaxed solo trip where I can fish, dive and relax for 3-5 days. If I was bringing the wife, the Victorian looks like the type of place we'd stay but since Im solo a notch down will work

So recs for fishing guides (I want to do both fly and deep)

Hotel,  bar and restaurants, the idea of hanging at the hotel each night doesn't really do it for me  

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1 hour ago, Smax said:

Seriously considering a quick trip here right after Thanksgiving, never been but what I am looking for is a relaxed solo trip where I can fish, dive and relax for 3-5 days. If I was bringing the wife, the Victorian looks like the type of place we'd stay but since Im solo a notch down will work

So recs for fishing guides (I want to do both fly and deep)

Hotel,  bar and restaurants, the idea of hanging at the hotel each night doesn't really do it for me  

Big fan of Blue Tang Hotel.

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1 hour ago, Smax said:

marlin and tuna is not good in december? 

Those species aren’t good in Belize in any month. Belize is for bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook, reef fish.

Edited by justhookit

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6 hours ago, justhookit said:

Those species aren’t good in Belize in any month. Belize is for bonefish, permit, tarpon, snook, reef fish.

I've been reading up on fly fishing their flats, I've never done that before, but offshore isn't good I might need to rethink locations

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December

 

If the sun stays out there are plenty of barracuda, bones, and tarpon (40-80 pounds) on the flats. Jacks and ladyfish too. The full moon brings grouper and snappers to the reef to spawn. Reef fishing good to excellent.

 

Like others have said. It's all about the reef. Lots of snapper and a year ago I had a 30 lb cobia but lost him after his third run.

 

Blue tang is good and so is the place next to it. Paradise villas.

 

 

 

Baracuda are fun to catch and great to eat.

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Got a trip to the Lamanai Mayan Ruins booked for the day before Thanksgiving, I'm excited. Any recommendations on doing Little French Key? Book with a travel agency or just catch a taxi (boat) over there?

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57 minutes ago, mapplewhite132 said:

6d8c2890ada0c2a19ddd3790aa314e98.jpg

Just got back from Ambergris. Had a great fly fishing trip. My wife’s (no pics) first time fly fishing...she landed 5 or 6 bonefish on the first day

took my wife on her first fly fishing trip to belize a couple of years ago. probably said then yelled this 700+ times:

"PAUSE AT THE TOP OF YOUR BACKCAST AND LET THE LINE LOAD BEHIND YOU!!"

we wanted to murder each other by the 3rd day.

i spent the 3 months prior to the trip begging her to get out in the yard and practice casting with me. she did it once and decided she was good to go. couldn't get a fly 5 feet past her rod tip when we would see a fish.

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4 hours ago, Smax said:

I've been reading up on fly fishing their flats, I've never done that before, but offshore isn't good I might need to rethink locations

In December Panama has good inshore and offshore fishing, but you’d pretty much be stuck at the lodge at night. Same with Guatemala but it’s primarily sailfish with occasional marlin mixed in. Costa Rica will be a mixed bag offshore. Should be incredible fishing for dorado/mahi-mahi, good chances at yellowfin tuna and sails, and if you go on the full moon some shots at blue marlin. Lots more to do at night. But none of those 3 places have very good diving.

Cabo is Cabo, I’m very meh on it but it is what it is. In the states, south Fl and especially the Keys has some very diverse fishing, but no marlin. Maybe some blackin tuna.

 

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bd49881c0d99d7077bbe88b0df66c662.jpg

 

Friends of our got married right there on that dock in June 2018...

Had a great time on the island.  We were all supposed to go back in June, but my work had some crap come up so I missed it.  Made my GF go without me so at least ONE of us had a good time that week.

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