Placencia, Belize

Published: February 2nd 2018
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Chuck and I went to Placencia last year to celebrate our friend Sarah’s 50thbirthday with her and her husband, Chris. This year we decided to end our trip with Cheryl by spending the last week there like beach bums. With Chris and Sarah we lived like beach bums. For two weeks we shared meals and drinks, went for daily walks, and read several books while soaking up the sun or lounging in the shade. With Cheryl we didn’t live like beach bums, because there was nearly no sun. We spent less time walking the beach and soaking up the sun, but still enjoyed our time being lazy and immersing ourselves in some good books.

Both last year and this, we stayed at Trade Winds, located at the very end of the peninsula. Rent for a beachfront cabana steps from the water was around $85 per night. The cabanas were not luxurious, but they did the trick! They provided enough space to be comfortable, the property wasn’t overcrowded, there was hot and cold water (most of the time), there was wifi (about half of the time), people were happy there, and we were happy.

My biggest complaint was the sand flies. They are a problem throughout Belize. They devoured my flesh both times. I’ve read that most people over time will be bothered less and less by the sand flies as their body develops immunity to the bites. For me apparently, this will take more than a couple of weeks over a couple of years. Locally produced salves and sprays were readily available and did seem to help at least some. Benadryl seemed to help at least some. Rubbing myself down with alcohol seemed to help at least some. And, consuming alcohol also seemed to help at least some. In the end, I cried some and dealt with it as best as I could while trying to not scratch my skin off.

The beach was kept fairly clean for being largely public, that is to say not controlled by colossal resorts. Although the resorts seemed to be beginning their approach. There were already a few in operation across the peninsula. The McMansions had their start as well. Hopefully this nice little town will be able to maintain its culture, history, and uniqueness and not turn into just one more cookie cutter place blocking off the beach.

Not far from Tradewinds is a local dive bar, J-Byrds. It’s really great to not be surrounded by nothing but tourists, to listen to Conway Twitty; it always reminds me of watching my mother dance the night away at her local honkytonk. It’s also great to not go broke ordering a round of drinks, although an entire evening of rounds of drinks could still break you, and it’s nice to just be among real people who were a part of where they were.

While in Placencia, if we wanted a gourmet meal it was available and it was good. If we wanted home-style cooking, it too was available and equally as good. We enjoyed stew chicken, everything shrimp, fish dishes, ice cream, chocolate habanero cannoli, ceviche, an endless variety of fresh made juices, and far too many rum punches. Everything is made fresh every day!

We really did enjoy Placencia. It still had its own character. There still were local businesses owned and operated by people vested in the community. The food was good, the service was good, and drinks could be stiff though, so I learned quickly to approach with caution. Even with not ideal weather this time around, life was good in Placencia. We met some people from our area of Wisconsin last year and met up with them again this year. We met some locals through our Wisconsin neighbors, who have been going to Placencia annually for some twenty years. Placencia isn’t necessarily a destination for exploring or adventuring (unless you’re a water person, then it’s really endless), but it’s a solid community with real culture and character. Placencia is the place for a person to be at home in paradise.


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