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Help with planning Belize trip with 7 yr old and 10 yr old

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5 posts
5 reviews
Help with planning Belize trip with 7 yr old and 10 yr old

Hi, I am planning a trip to San Ignacio (Midas resort) in late May for 3 nights and then a Hopkins hotel for 4 nights. I'm planning on renting an SUV.

I'm looking for fun excursion ideas for myself and children (7 yr old and 10 yr old) that can be done without spending a fortune. Around San Ignacio, we definitely want to visit Mayan ruins and would like to do a cave tour. However, I'm not sure which cave/tour would be appropriate for children. They would prefer tubing if that is possible. I would like to drive to these places if possible to save on tour transportation costs. Does that make sense?

Once in Hopkins, we would love to try snorkeling, again, if it's appropriate for children. My son found out that there are places where you can swim with sharks and he would really love that.

If anyone has any suggestions or tips on travelling in Belize with children, I would really appreciate to hear from you!

The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
Level Contributor
13,599 posts
331 reviews
1. Re: Help with planning Belize trip with 7 yr old and 10 yr old

My kids were older our 1st visit to Belize, but I still have opinions about traveling with kids. :-) Mainly, be aware of the heat and humidity since May is statistically one of the hottest months. Build in cool down activities and don't try to do too much. Sometimes a schedule sounds great on paper but in reality having a day to just kick back is what's needed so keep an open mind.

2 caving tours that spring to mind are Actun Chapat and Chechem Ha; the latter would be less expensive. I can't help with cave tubing recommendations as we've chosen other caving options. Barton Creek cave (you canoe in) would be an option, too. There are more adventurous caving opportunities that are popular but are not appropriate for a 7-year-old.

http://actunchapatadventure.blogspot.com

http://chechemhacave.weebly.com/tours.html

You can drive to both Xunantunich and Cahal Pech Maya sites and tour unguided. Also check out the Green Iguana Project and don't miss the Belize Zoo.

https:/…belize-iguana-project

www.belizezoo.org

Great for kids and adults, too:

Laminated wildlife identification cards: rainforestpublications.com/belizeFieldGuides…

A very cool checklist book for Belize for the young or young-at-heart (currently out of print, unfortunately, but maybe you can find a copy): amazon.com/Play-Belize-Mesa-Somer/…0615198546

Snorkeling from Hopkins will be spendier than from the northern cayes because the reef is a long way off shore (I think 10-12 miles). Hopefully others will chime in. Unfortunately for your shark-loving son, the opportunities he's heard about are near Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, too far from Hopkins for a day trip. There is a chance you'll still see sharks, but it's less likely.

Great hiking in both the Mayflower Bocawina site and the Cockscomb Preserve, relatively close to Hopkins. Also, don't miss an evening of Garifuna drumming at the Lebeha Center and you might want to stick your heads into Miss Bertie's Library. Maybe pack down some books to donate?

www.lebeha.com

My photos with blog, travelogue, and review links on the main page of each collection are below in case you're interested - all my recommendations are embedded there. Happy trails!

flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections

Level Contributor
5 posts
5 reviews
2. Re: Help with planning Belize trip with 7 yr old and 10 yr old

Thank you for the information. It's very helpful and your pictures are amazing.

Do you think that I should book cave or snorkeling tours ahead of time, or can I wait until I'm in Belize?

By the way, I tried searching for that book as it looks fun, but couldn't find it available anywhere online.

Any other tips or suggestions are welcome. Thanks again!

The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
Level Contributor
13,599 posts
331 reviews
3. Re: Help with planning Belize trip with 7 yr old and 10 yr old

If you're interested in Actun Chapat, definitely contact owner Ken in advance. Each tour is private and you have only a few days from which to choose plus you might need some time to receive word back from him about availability. For the other caves I mention waiting shouldn't be a problem. For snorkeling I would contact your hotel about that. Providers need a minimum number because the reef is so far out and gas is expensive; if the minimum number is 4 and there are just 3 of you, you would need at least 1 other person to want a tour the same day to make it work. Planning in advance will give you more options, I think. Have a great trip, whatever you decide!

4. Re: Help with planning Belize trip with 7 yr old and 10 yr old

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Removed on: 22 March 2017, 08:35
Milford, Connecticut
Level Contributor
121 posts
42 reviews
5. Re: Help with planning Belize trip with 7 yr old and 10 yr old

We went in February with 6 and 10 year old. Loved Barton Creek - wish we could have done something more adventurous but wasn't happening with my kids. Didn't book it in advance - just drove there and did it. We also made the trip from SI to Hopkins for a day of snorkeling with Happy Go Lucky Tours - can't say enough great things about them! Price was great and they basically book your day for what you want to do. My husband and I got to snorkel the reef with my 10 yo while the 6 yo stayed on the boat and fished our lunch. Long drive for day trip but nothing horrific and so worth it! We also did Xunantunich, Cahol Pech and Caracol.

Level Contributor
5 posts
5 reviews
6. Re: Help with planning Belize trip with 7 yr old and 10 yr old

Hi KS, thanks for the reply. Was Barton Creek a canoe trip? That might be a good option with my children. Also, do you know what the age minimum is for the snorkeling? My daughter is 7, but she's a pretty good swimmer and she really wants to do it.

Miami Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
26 posts
16 reviews
7. Re: Help with planning Belize trip with 7 yr old and 10 yr old

These are definitely good starting points for places to stay: caribjournal.com/2017/02/11/belize-resorts/

Apex, North Carolina
Level Contributor
662 posts
89 reviews
8. Re: Help with planning Belize trip with 7 yr old and 10 yr old

There's no minimum age so,long as a mask fits her securely and she is fine in the water. But you probably want to check with the ones who take you out.

I saw a lot of young kids snorkeling in Belize who did not look school age. They seemed to be doing great. They make kids' masks.

The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
Level Contributor
13,599 posts
331 reviews
9. Re: Help with planning Belize trip with 7 yr old and 10 yr old

I would consider buying some nice masks to take down with you so you know your masks fit - it's the difference between enjoying and no enjoying snorkeling for adults and is an absolute deal breaker for kids. Google 'scuba gear' and check out the discount/clearance options on multiple sites. Look for masks with silicone skirts. Happy trails!

10. Re: Help with planning Belize trip with 7 yr old and 10 yr old

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