My girlfriend and I are visiting Belize this August for a destination wedding in San Pedro. While I'm sure the resort and beach will be great we wanted to get a more well rounded and authentic Belizian experience by travelling to San Ignacio beforehand. Unfortunately our schedule only allows two nights so we want to make sure we get the most out of it. We'll be travelling with 2-4 others (one couple is not fully committed yet due to being part of the wedding party). We aren't sharing accommodations with them but sharing the cost of a rental vehicle(4x4).
Day 1(Saturday): Arrive at BZE at 2:30pm. Pick up rental 4x4 vehicle from the airport and drive directly to San Ignacio. Hoping to get there around 6. From my understanding it gets dark around then so I figure the first night we settle in our room (cheap room in Tropicool Hotel), get some food, maybe go out for some drinks and try to talk to people.
Day 2 (Sunday): Wake up early and check out the town (market/get some breakfast/maybe see the green iguana project). Then drive to Mountain Pine Ridge, stopping at Big Rock falls and Rio Frio pool/caves to swim and explore. Head back for a meal and then drive to Xunantunich, I'm counting on it being dark by the time we get back because I know it's a lot of driving. Then go out for food/drinks again, nothing too crazy since we'll have to get up early again.
Day 3 (Monday): Wake up, check out, get some breakfast. I'd really like to check out AJAW Chocolate and Crafts to see how chocolate is made. Maybe visit Cahal Pech if time allows, but I'd like to head out by 1pm so we can stop at Belize Zoo on the way back. Drop off the rental at the airport and then get a cab to Belize City, and a water taxi from there to Ambergris.
Are we missing out by not doing any tours? Obviously I'd love to experience the ATM and Tikal but I don't want to dedicate an entire day to one activity because of the time constraint. Split 4-6 ways, the rental also seems like a cheaper option. Any recommendations for other or alternative places to check out by car? I wish we could do more of a round trip, leaving in the morning and then not having to go back to San Ignacio till night, but the lack of roads doesn't give me much flexibility. Would it make more sense to do Xunantunich the first half of the day and then Mountain Pine Ridge in the afternoon?
Also I'm slightly nervous about renting a car in a foreign country. I've read a lot about the roads and have a good idea of what companies are reputable, but any tips would be greatly appreciated!
So that ended up being way longer than I expected, I'm probably overthinking things and would really prefer to have a more go with the flow attitude to this whole thing, but its our first international vacation and we have been saving money and vacation days for it, so I want to be prepared and get the most out of our time and money. Thank you for reading!Edited: 04 May 2017, 07:12