Placencia 2004

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Placencia Sidewalk

Al pondering a coconut tree.

After hearing Jim Morris and Jerry Jeff Walker sing of Belize and talking to fans of theirs that had been to San Pedro, we decided on an adventure.  I was planning a San Pedro trip while my wife was planning a Placencia trip.  You can look at the headings and see who won.

She told me we're going to Kitty's Place for a few days.  (Kitty's is now Saks of Placencia and we haven'tPlacencia Tropic Air Terminal stayed there since it changed hands).  I was a little skeptical about a town that featured a sidewalk but figured it was better than working.  We left on a Saturday and flew into Belize City.  No trouble so far.  We flew on into Placencia and that was more interesting.  The flight was through a storm and real bumpy.  As we got closer, I got a look at the airport.  If you overshoot the runway, you're wet.  If you undershoot the runway, you're wet.  Fortunately, we did neither and the rain quit just before we got there.

From there, it was off to Kitty's.  The entrance is beautiful with large bougainvillea.  Our cabanaThe people at reception were very nice and we got checked in quickly.  They drove us up the beach to Carter's Beach Bungalow.  It wasn't very impressive until you turned around and saw the spectacular beauty in front of you.  Your own private beach with palm trees. Our view Actually, the bungalow was more than nice enough and we'd gladly stay there again.  We only got to stay there for 5 nights and then had to move to Bud's Dome House.  Carter's was already reserved for part of the week.  Not a problem because Bud's was a very nice place too.  Nicer actually but without the view.  Kitty's did not own these two places but managed them.  If Saks also manages them, they're worth considering.

Kitty's restaurantWe ate most of our meals at Kitty's.  The food was good and the service friendly.  We enjoyed meeting the other guests too.  It seemed like the person you met at dinner was on your tour the next day.  Kitty's is right beside Francis Ford Coppolla's Turtle Inn.  It was too fancy for our tastes and we actually preferred Kitty's.  While we were there, I'd have matched Kitty's service against anyone.

We let Kitty's schedule all our tours.  It cost more but we figured they wouldn't lead us astray.  Our first adventure was up Monkey River with Jason.  It was a lot of fun but exciting wouldn't be a word to describe it.  He could spot iguanas like nothing I ever saw.  We had lunch at Alice's Restaurant.  You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant, as long as its chicken and beans and rice.  On the way back in, Jason took us looking for manatees.  He was determined to find one but they were proving to be elusive.  I was afraid we'd wind up spending the night.

Next we went to Nim Li Punit to see the Mayan Ruins.  We stopped on the way to see them working in theHauling Bananas banana fields.  They hang the bananas from an inverted V thing and a man pulls 25 bunches at a time through the fields into the processing center.  Looked like a lot of work.  The bananas are covered in blue bags to protect them from the insecticide spray.  Nim Li Punit was fun but not a very big ruin.  Stopping at the banana fields made the trip worth it.

On the way back, we stopped at what I think was called Blue Creek.  You had to swim through a good size pool of water to get inside.  I skipped it since I don't do cold water.  My wife went and almost drowned.  They didn't have life jackets.  You don't find all the safety standards here that you are used to at home.

French Louis CayeWe took off with Jason to go snorkeling one day.  Hind sight says it wasn't as nice as the reef but we had fun.  We ate lunch on Kitty's French Louie Caye.  All in all a nice place.  You can spend the night camping on the beach there or staying in the cabin.  Not cheap though.  While we snorkeled, Jason did his own thing and then did show an tell when we got back to the boat.  That was a nice touch.

We really didn't see much of Placencia but did spend one day in town.  It was too hot to do much but wePlacencia Sidewalk wanted to look around.  It was kind of sparse with lots of room between buildings.  I suspect that has to do with the last hurricane, though.  We didn't see it before the storm.  We walked the length of the sidewalk and looked in several of the shops.  We didn't check out the night life at all though.  I don't think there was much in any event.  The Shell station near the water sells rum if you're interested.  If you head back out of town on the road, you'll pass two grocery stores.  One on the left is obvious.  One on the right is less so but is much nicer.  From Kitty's, take the cab into town.  Too long of a walk and not that much to see.

We spent a day to and from Xunantunich too.  This is a much larger Mayan Ruin and was a nice trip.  You have to go past Belmopan and through San Ignacio to get there.  You crossXunantunich from on top the river one car at a time on a hand cranked ferry.  Glad the lines weren't long.  I'd share a lot of information about the ruins but frankly don't remember enough.  It was fun but a long way.  We stopped at Blue Hole on the way back.  The water goes from ankle depth to very deep causing the blue effect.  From Placencia, this is a fairly long trip.  We felt it was worth it because we got a good look at the countryside as well.

Our last day was a tour of the Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve.  We didn't see a jaguar but had a lot of fun.  British doctors (now) on our tourWhen we got on the bus, there were five young females.  Turned out they were all from Great Britain and were medical students.  In emails since then, I've found they're all doctors now so congratulations.  The tour was the only time I had seen leaf cutter ants.  Kind of like living the Discovery Channel.  After lunch, we went tubing down the river.  My wife would tell you that I wasn't going to go but reconsidered when we met the girls.  Don't believe her.

After all this, it was time to go home.  We had a wonderful time and hope to go back to Belize in the future.