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moehre Placencia - A travel report by Thomas
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Placencia,  Belize - flag Belize -  Stann Creek
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moehre's travel reports

Paradise at the End of the World

  16 votes
Page: 1 2
If the world had any ends, Belize would certainly be one of them wrote Aldous Huxley in Beyond the Mexique Bay (1934). And there are still some corners of the country that fit the description.


Broken Bus
Broken Bus
Belize is a small country and you get almost everywhere with old American school buses. One destination is Placencia. Only one or two buses go there each day riding a long and rough dirt road that connects the long stretched peninsula with the mainland. Chances are not low that the bus breaks - just adding to the adventure. Once you got to Placencia you slow down automatically and forget your worries. We found accommodation in one of the small locally owned beachfront hotels and enjoyed it. We got up early, idled on the beach under some nice palm trees or dozed away the afternoon in a hammock on the veranda. When we gathered enough enthusiasm to actually do something we went snorkelling on the nearby-reef. Other opportunities are to go sea-kayaking, try to spot some jaguars (Cockscomb) or visit one of the deserted picturesque 3-palm islands.

Favourite spots:
Placencia travelogue picture
The beach in the morning - it is not the perfect white coral sand beach of the Caribbean dreams but it is real and unspoiled - no big hotel chains are to be found. In the bay you can see the dolphins playing if you're up early enough.

What's really great:
Belize culture is a mixture of people of multiple cultures (indigenous Mayas, English loggers and pirates, descendants of slaves, immigrants from Spanish speaking neighbouring countries, Garifunas, Mennonites, chinese immigrants...). In Placencia the Caribbean mood is dominant. The air is filled with contemporary reggae vibes. What we also liked were the efforts that many individuals undertook to provide you with exact the details you need to relax at the end of the road. We were really surprised to find a superb gelateria (Tutti Frutti) - not a big chain but a lady that just realized her dream - sell good ice cream at the end of the road. The same with the Trattoria, a small French restaurant or the barista at the Secret Garden.

Sights:
Placencia travelogue picture
Typical snorkel tours go to the Laughing Bird Marine Reserve - where you can snorkel of the island and see sharks, barracudas and a lot of coral reef and fish. What I liked was that the people of Placencia are not simply exploiting the reef but also do a lot to preserve it. However - if you have bring your own snorkel-gear, the rental one are not really good (but work).

Accommodations:
The dominant type of accommodation are locally owned beachfront cabanas or hotels (30-50 USD per double per night)
We stayed at Seaspray and were satisfied with that. Clean, ceiling fan, directly at the beach. Others are Seranade, Cozy Corner, Julia's Guesthouse ...
An interesting alternative might be to stay on Glover's atoll or Ranguana Caye for the lost island feeling.

Restaurants:
Placencia travelogue picture
Good cheap steak is on the menu at the Cozy Corner. A real find is the Trattoria close to Julias guest house. And don't forget to snatch a cinnamon bun at John The Bakerman at 5:30 in the afternoon - you can carry it to the secret garden where you can enjoy the best coffee in Belize.

Other recommendations:
Placencia travelogue picture
If you want to see rich people you can walk up the beach north and look around at the Turtle Inn - a nice resort rebuild by Francis Ford Coppola after Hurricane Iris. Also interesting is Hopkins - a Garifuna Fishing Village.
I'm not going to describe any Maya Sites here since they can be better explored from San Ignaico or Belize City.

Published on Saturday January 13th, 2007


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Mon, Jan 15 2007 - 07:31 AM rating by downundergal

Hi Thomas, Great report with lots of personal observations. When I was last in Mexico time only allowed me to visit Belize or Cuba - I chose Cuba but have wanted to go to Belize ever since! Your report makes me want to visit even more!
Cheers,
Kerrie

Sun, Jan 14 2007 - 07:10 AM rating by marianne

very good information and good photos. I especially like the one of the broken bus, very typical. I hope you will write about the Maya sites in another report.

Sun, Jan 14 2007 - 04:41 AM rating by rangutan

A brief but excellent report and a wonderful exotic destination. [I'm sure the few spelling mistakes can be fixed]

Sat, Jan 13 2007 - 05:57 PM rating by mrscanada

Great report and picture perfect pictures.

Sat, Jan 13 2007 - 05:25 PM rating by mortimer

A nice read good information and some good pictures to light it up, well done! :-)

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