My next trip is booked. Well, the airfare and time off work is at least! I’m now in that month(s) long stage of tantalizing anticipation as I eagerly wait to throw my gear in a backpack, fold myself into a crappy airline sardine can and kick off another adventure.
I’ll be departing Phoenix on December 16th with a round trip ticket to Cancun, Mexico with a return date set for January 4th. Wait, why Cancun? Airfare! The cost of a round trip ticket to Cancun was some $200-$400 cheaper than airfare into Belize proper and having never been to Cancun before, I figured why not kill two birds with one stone! The unfortunate thing about travel between Dec. 15th and January 10th is that it’s holiday high season. Which means all of the airfares skyrocket. If i’d been able to extend an extra 3 or 4 days on the front or tail end of my trip i’d have knocked some $150-$200 more off of my airfare at least.
Total cost of the airfare with insurance was $530 ($488 sticker price) for a direct flight from Phoenix->Cancun on US Airways. Interestingly, the price for a direct flight was about $100 cheaper than a flight with a layover. Also noteworthy – the direct flight/route prices didn’t show up in Orbitz’s general search results. Only search results that requested direct flights only. This caught me off guard as conventional wisdom is that more layovers = cheaper airfare. It was also peculiar, since sites like Kayak etc. missed the cheaper airfare (probably for the same reason).
My current plan is to arrive in Cancun and bunk up in a hostel for a day or two before catching a Bus towards Belize. I’d like to explore Cancun in greater depth but am thinking about doing it on the tail end of the trip (around new years) when I head back to Cancun to catch my flight back to the states.
This is my first trip to Central America, so i’m expecting it to be significantly different from my previous trips which have mostly focused on North America/Europe.
Tips and Suggestions
So, here’s the deal. I know a lot of you have done Cancun/Belize and the surrounding areas and have a lot of tips/tricks/warnings/suggestions to share. In an effort to centralize all of your suggestions I’ve created this post which I’ll be able to access while on the road.
So, let’s hear it! Must see/must avoid places? Good hostels to stay in? Incredible ruins, natural wonders, or spots to see/dive/snorkel?
Please post them in a comment below! I treasure your wisdom and suggestions.