Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Belize, Part III

Part III:  Placencia

Mid-week of Spring Break we left Ambergris Caye and headed back to the airport to drop off our friend, Tim. Then came the grueling 3.5 hour taxi ride south to Placencia.

OK, so it wasn't that grueling. It was actually very cool driving through the jungle on the Hummingbird Highway. We passed through several small Mayan villages, and stopped at a surprisingly modern (and clean!) gas station to use the bathroom and stretch. Unfortunately I took no photos along the way… sorry!

We arrived in Placencia in the early afternoon and managed to find our second VRBO house with ease.

The location was idyllic. We were on a man-made canal, with access to the lagoon that separates Placencia's peninsula from the mainland. The VRBO provided kayaks, a canoe, and bicycles for exploring the area.

We never actually used the canoe, but Ted and I paddled the kayaks out to a tangle of mangroves, and I rode one of the bikes around town one day.

This VRBO, it turns out, was a little misrepresented online. There is an upstairs rental, and a downstairs rental.

Here's what we thought we were getting:

A spacious, light-soaked environment.

A much smaller, darker, studio where we got to know each other real well.

It didn't really matter since we weren't in Belize to sit indoors anyway. The backyard was plenty beautiful and an excellent place to relax.

OK, so the hammock was not that relaxing 

Our neighbors had sailed down from Rhode Island and had been there for a month.

We spent our time in Placencia walking up and down the main strip - both on the street and on a raised boardwalk that paralleled the beach. There were plenty of touristy bars and shops along the boardwalk, but there were also plenty of native Belizeans carrying on with their lives off the main road. It was a nice contrast to the separatist feel of Ambergris Caye.

Almost everyone in Placencia speaks English (it's the national language of Belize), but amongst themselves most people spoke a form of pidgin English or Creole. I couldn't understand it, but many of the signs and billboards were written in this language.

The side of this truck, for instance, advertised its contents as "Dis da fi wi chikin!" And also, "Chikin fi uno real Belizean fud!"

Your guess is as good as mine.

We did have some excellent stewed chicken from a local place - I can't really call it a restaurant per say... We also had some tasty breakfast burritos from a street vendor and authentic creole grub at, where else, Omar's Creole Grub. Kristen ordered the barracuda steak, which was... interesting.

All in all, Ted and I liked Placencia a lot. Did we like it more than Ambergris Caye? Not really; it was just different. We would definitely go back there.

The next post will be my final post about Belize (I think). I'll share some photos and information about the flora and fauna of the country, as well as any leftover pictures that were good but didn't fit into any previous blog posts.


  1. Did your friends scuba dive from Placentia? I want to hear about that too! Garifuna is the language that the natives speak when they don't want us to know what they are saying! I've heard that there are quite a few American and Canadian ex-pats living in Placentia, and it is an area that Richard and I were looking into, once upon a time.

    1. Yes! From Placencia they took at boat out to Glover's Reef - about 2 hours away (they took dramamine this time). They really liked it and saw a lot of sea life. I'll include some of their diving photos in my next post. They did another dive the day we left (they stayed on for a couple extra days), but I don't know where they went or how they liked it. Placencia is supposed to be a good 'shoving off' point for a lot of dives and snorkel excursions.