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Moon Belize (Moon Handbooks) Paperback – August 11, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Moon Handbooks has recently published a new Belize guide by former resident Joshua Berman. The 347-page paperback provides all the detailed information that makes Moon handbooks among the best in the business. In addition to such basics as sights, activities, restaurants and accommodations, the book offers interesting sidebars, bits of historical information and good details for those planning a trip to this small country just south of Mexico. The book has 43 detailed maps, a 24-page color section, sample itineraries and suggestions on viewing nearby Mayan ruins, diving sites, bird watching and ranches. --The Salt Lake Tribune, September 15, 2009

The newest edition of Moon Belize really is a gem. With over 40 maps, a colorful front section of suggested itineraries, readable and informative guide, and amazingly detailed background information, Berman produced a true traveler's notebook. --Gadling, November 11, 2009

About the Author

Joshua Berman writes an online travelogue called the "Muy Tranquilo Traveler," which he began during his Peace Corps service, and which he continues to update from the road. In addition to Moon Handbooks Nicaragua, Joshua is co-author of Moon Living Abroad Nicaragua and contributed text and photos to the fourth edition of Moon Handbooks Honduras. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: Moon Handbooks
  • Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing; 8 edition (August 11, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598802100
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598802108
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 6.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,818,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have used Moon guides in the past and have found the editorial approach, quality of writing, and level of content to be excellent (the Cuba guide is a particular gem!) The Belize guide is sadly not in this category. It reads more in the tone of a Chamber of Commerce report- everything is great, fascinating, the best, delicious, and comfortable. Anyone who has travelled anywhere outside of a luxury resort knows that simply isn't true, and it isn't true for Belize either.

The Moon guide also does not appear to be geared toward budget travellers, leaving out important information like how to get to and from the airport while avoiding the $25 tourist charge. The shortchanging of budget information is a particular problem in a country that is substantially more expensive than its neighbor Guatemala.

The guide also leaves out the city of Flores, Guatemala, but includes Tikal. Getting to and from Tikal (except on an expensive guided tour) almost always involves travel through Flores, and competing guides (like Rough Guide) include it, making them more useful than this guide.

The guide has a lot of detail- but if you are a budget traveler, you won't be able to afford much of it. This guide is really geared more to the well-heeled tourist who is driving around Belize either in a rental car or on a guided tour. Moon could, and should, do much better.
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Format: Paperback
Inspired travel-writer Joshua Berman lays Belize out like a fine banquet table in this indispensable guidebook. Contemplating Belize as your next port of call? Get this book. I liked it in my armchair, and loved it in the bush. Joshua's wonderful photos and exposition set the standard for Moon, a terrific publisher, but his practical advice is what really justifies the purchase. I'd wanted to stay on a budget, treating myself right on the occasional night, and I found Joshua's advice to be gold. I ended enjoying the trip so much I bought his Moon Handbooks Nicaragua (Moon Handbooks). Not sure if I'll two-peat to Central America for my next trip, but it's amazing how an unfamiliar place can feel like home with the right guide. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
I've never written a review on any book I've purchased, but after returning from Belize using this book, I feel compelled to let others know about our experience. I choose this book due to being the most recent publishing date, even thought I am much more familiar with the other more widely known travel publishers. This book was fine for planning in advance, although I relied on tripadvisor for more reviews. Once we were in the country, we found how much of the info in the book was either totally wrong or entirely misleading. This book is better for folks that prefer to get tour guides or book planned excursions rather than to explore on your own. Had it not been for our great jungle resort hosts, we would have been in a world of trouble. Info about banks, restaurants, sights and sight prices were all big issues. In fact at some of the sights, if the locals saw this guide book they said harsh words about the authors and how the book was written since tourists (like us) show up expecting one price or experience and that isn't the case. This was especially true in the jungle (San Ignacio) and surrounding areas. The info about Ambergris Caye was still missing critical info, but it wasn't as much of an issue as in the jungle. Do your own homework before you leave home and take extra info about the things you want to see and do in Belize, rather than relying on this book.
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Format: Paperback
Josh Berman, who calls himself a "Jewish Hillbilly," has delivered a truly useful travel guide in his MOON HANDBOOKS: BELIZE. His sense of humor is unobtrusively on display on nearly every page. (For laugh-out-loud funny, check his translations from Kriol. Yes, that's how it's spelled. Look in the index.) His relaxed style make this book a joy to read.

The book itself, as my title indicates, doesn't weigh much. You can fit it in your backpack or purse without dislocating your shoulder. Other guidebooks try to cover everything in depth and, as a result, gives the reader no clear idea of why he or she ought to visit the country in the first place.

Josh covers Belize district by district. In addition to providing general information about each district's major towns, he also includes sidebars that provide a reader with quick, accurate, and often very funny verbal snapshots. Under the heading Belize District, for example, he discusses the town of Crooked Tree, its wildlife sanctuary and nearby Maya ruins. He ends his account with info about how to get to Crooked Tree, and where to stay and eat once you've arrived. And on p. 62, there's a fascinating sidebar about Crooked Tree's annual Cashew Festival. Who knew!

As someone who once lived in Belize and has gone back several times to visit, I put Josh's book to good use on my last trip when I ventured inland to Belmopan and braved the expats on Ambergris Caye. I found it to be a helpful and funny travel companion. If you're Belize-bound, buy this book!
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Format: Paperback
We have used Moon and Lonely Planet, but for Belize, Moon was definitely a better guide. The organization and style efficiently puts details where they're easy to find, while allowing for small bits of color to be added by the author highlighting the stuff that makes Belize special. Those little tidbits made the difference - allowing us to quickly decipher which activities, lodging, and food was really worth it and what was more typical touristy fare. It was refreshing to enjoy some of the slightly off-the-main-trail places that were highlighted in this book. Travel logistics details were as accurate as they could be given the transportation systems, and the author is clear in which cases schedules are reliable and where operations are less than regular. Every recommendation for food or lodging that we experienced was right on, from the Morningstar Guest House and the cake guy on Caye Caulker, to the perfectly relaxing atmosphere and serene setting at Cohone Palms near San Ignacio. On the days when you want to just cruise, this guide will let you treat it like a crutch. On the days when you're ready to find something really memorable and do whatever it is that makes you happy, this book will point you in a safe and rewarding direction. Best of all, it's high quality writing, so reading the book has been a pleasure before, during, and after the trip.
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