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Old July 23rd, 2008, 12:00 PM
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Default Belize and Costa Rica Port area Neighborhoods

We will be sailing on the Miracle in December and our ports are Panama (where we are doing the canal excursion) Costa Rica and Belize. We don't want to take an excursion in Costa Rica or Belize, preferring to just get off the ship and explore a bit since we won't have kids with us this time. Can anyone suggest anything nearby the port area that is not a US chain based place? I have heard about the Central Market (in Belize?) and would like that, for example. Thanks for all input.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 06:28 PM
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We traveled to Belize about 4 years ago. There was not a lot of anything near the port, hardly any shopping at all....They had a pharmacy there that was about the biggest attraction, you could buy just about any presciption drug you wanted without a prescription. The biggest seller, believe it or not were young women buying diet pills, and ******!!! They also have drugs not available in the US. They had a few small stores, but not much. Unless it has changes drastically in the past 4 years, there no chain type stores.

The town itself is fairly poor, but they are well on their way to improving things, and the area outside of Belize City is just beautiful!
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 09:32 PM
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Try the cave tubing excursion in Belize, it is a lot of fun. Bob
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 09:39 PM
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Yep! I forgot to say, that is what we did the cave tubing, and it was the best excusion ever! Well worth it
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 09:39 PM
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We were just in Belize in May on the Legend.

Hubby and oldest son did an excursion (cave tubing) but I am not into that...so I just rode the tenders to the dock and walked around on my own.

The last time we were there in 2006, I would not leave "the Village" (that is the area surrounded by a fence) The Village has several restaurants, bars, shops and yes, drug stores. The Wet Lizard (restaurant) has an open patio upstairs that looks out over the port.

However, this time I walked outside the Village (all by myself) and across the street. Stopped and had a beer at Iguana Rama. I talked with a family that had walked about 3 blocks and it started getting seedy QUICK so they turned back.

So as long as you don't stray to far...you should be fine.

We are going to Costa Rica for the first time in November and will probably just walk around.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: Belize and Costa Rica Port area Neighborhoods

Quote:
Originally Posted by CruiseFuse
don't want to take an excursion in Costa Rica or Belize, preferring to just get off the ship and explore a bit since we won't have kids with us this time. Can anyone suggest anything nearby the port area that is not a US chain based place? .
NOPE ! not from my experiences. Unless you wish to shop a little in Panama or Belize, there is very little within walking distance. In Limon Coast Rica I recall one shop at the banana pier we stopped at. I don't recomend doing indepent travel in Panama, Belize, or Costa Rica.
I did meet some fine folks who hired a taxi in each of the ports and therefor organized thier own tours.
Me I stuck with shore excursions. Safer for one thing.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 11:30 PM
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In Costa Rico, try the white water rafting. I forgot the company used by check shoretrips.com. They should have something. Bob
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Old July 24th, 2008, 09:58 PM
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We where there 2 years ago, and again this past Jan., Belize is Belize. This is a very poor country that's trying to pull itself up from it's bootstraps. Two steps ahead, boom, tropical storm, one step ahead, and here comes the heavy rains and floods. The tour of the countryside might break your heart. Take the Cave Tubing Tour, you'll the ride by the flooded lands for sale. You'll go through border checks with guards with M-16s, you'll see the mountain ranges of Honduaras. When you get to the the tubing spoy, you will forget all of that going down the river, trust me it's awesome!!!
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Old July 24th, 2008, 10:56 PM
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I guess I am a chicken, walking alone, outside of the tourist area, would scare the pants off me.
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Old July 27th, 2008, 02:45 PM
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Trip is right...again. Belize has a very high crime rate and corrupt police...well, corrupt might be too strong a word, but they are NOT looking out for tourists' best interests. I will walk around in Jamaica, in Mexico, and many other ports, but never in Belize!
Marty
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Old July 27th, 2008, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip
I guess I am a chicken, walking alone, outside of the tourist area, would scare the pants off me.
No, I would not call you a chicked. That is very good advice.

I would not have done it if my "RADAR" had gone off. But it did not.
Across the street from the Terminal One entrance is a lovely garden area. This is why Iguana Rama (which used to be inside the Village) is now located.

I would not venture far from there.

I think the folks in Belize have a bigger problem with the illegal gangs that come over the border than they go their local population.

As far as touring Belize...I have always recommended that people not go much past The Village unless it is on a Ship Tour or an Independent Tour.

Belize is not the place to grab a taxi on your own and go.
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Old July 27th, 2008, 07:54 PM
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I'll be on the Valor in January and I do want to buy a few local touristy items, so if there is a shop or two near the pier in Belize and Honduras I'll be happy. I plan on doing tours from the ship, so that is all well...I doubt cave tubing will be it....if anything the Belize Zoo!!!
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Old July 28th, 2008, 12:03 AM
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I highly recomend the ship tours for Belize. I did Xunantunich mayan site. Do NOT do that one on your own....chances are one would get left.
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Old July 28th, 2008, 01:31 PM
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The Belize Zoo is amazing. But, be aware that when they call it a natural habitat zoo, it means something entirely different than it does here!
There, they are already IN their natural habitat, so the zoo is just enclosures with gravel paths in between. But, a lot of fun. Do take bug repellant, though. The most carnivorous critters in the zoo are the mosquitoes!....chomp
Oh, and my all time favorite souvenir came from the zoo gift shop. A carved wooden box covered in metal shaped to the carvings and inlaid with jade. They had one...buried on a high shelf behind a ton of hokey stuff. So, if you go, take a good look at what is there.
Right ourside the tourist area at dockside is a craft area. Still need to watch your back, but I have found some truly fun handicrafts there.
Have fun!
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Old July 28th, 2008, 04:54 PM
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Roatan has a "trinket market" to the right as you walk out of the port area....along the street...across from the port.

It was very safe...I never felt uncomfortable. The people were not pushy at all.

In fact, I had to find someone to ask about one item!
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Old October 4th, 2008, 05:52 PM
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Thanks everyone for the words of advice. We plan on sticking close to the port here. I generally like to go outside of the terminal even if it's to somewhere nearby and will probably do that but will keep my good sense with me. We don't really want to do any excursions other than in Panama on this cruise as we really just want the "down time".
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