Placencia, Belize … A Bit of Heaven for Cruisers

Placencia Belize is remarkable for so many diverse reasons – its central location makes it a haven for cruisers to reprovision, recheck and hang out with friends in paradise, a special place for unique artists and art fairs, as well as central to exploring the Belizean Reef which stretches almost 350 miles from the Yucatan down most of the Belize coast.  Only Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is larger — and Belize has far fewer sharks!   The inner reef shelters more than 400 cayes of all sizes, most fringed with all sorts of hard and soft coral, most easily accessible from Placencia.

Great snorkeling, diving and spearfishing on the 2nd longest reef in the world!  Behind Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

Great snorkeling, diving and spearfishing on the 2nd longest reef in the world! Behind Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Placencia is an unspoiled mainland paradise, laidback, slightly artsy and an OK spot to be for a norther – IF the wind ahead of the norther is not strong from the south.   I’m not sure how I missed doing a Winterlude Update post specifically on Placencia, but while we were cruising, it was always a stop enroute to some fabulous caye or offshore atoll for more snorkeling, spearfishing and diving.

World Acclaimed

World Acclaimed “Narrowest Main Street”! Cute street with artsy shops mixed with Mayan craftsmen along the “road”.

Cruisers like to go to Placencia not only to check in, out or recheck, but also to resupply fresh veggies and mingle with other cruisers…

David's Veggie/Fruit stand

David’s Veggie/Fruit stand

Outlying farmers with fruits and veggies frequent the main street, along with the man with a wheelbarrow singing

Outlying farmers with fruits and veggies frequent the main street.

Also frequenting the “other” main street is the man with a wheelbarrow singing “anybody can buy” selling his wife’s (or mom’s, depending on the afternoon) HOT fresh cinnamon rolls and bread — if you hear someone singsonging “anybody can buy” get yourself over there with your sweettooth!

Wallen’s Supermarket has a good selection of provisions along with two good Chinese Supermarkets (Everyday Supermarket and more).   At Wallen’s, check to see if they still have the most wonderful pork tenderloins in the freezer section in the entire NW Caribbean.  But whatever you do, take any alcohol you want with you … from wine to beer (even Belikin) to hard liquor, prices – including taxes – are many times higher than surrounding countries.  Ouch!  When we left the Rio, Clos box wine (litre box) was $1.97 and in Belize the same box of Clos was $13.00 US — or $26.00 BZ.   YIKES!  bring it with you!!!

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Cozy Corner  on the “narrowest main street” for spicy fried chicken right on the beach.

Hang out on the beach outside Cozy Corner ... or anywhere along the beach.

Hang out on the beach outside Cozy Corner … or anywhere along the beach.

There’s a great little commuter airport allowing friends and family to fly in and meet you in down-country Belize, although they may need to change planes in Belize City.  Very convenient to pick up guests.

If you go to the airport, don't be surprised by bicyclists and pedestrians crossing the landing strip in front of you.

If you go to the airport, don’t be surprised by bicyclists and pedestrians crossing the landing strip in front of you.

Placencia is also a good place to weather northers, although the anchorage is open to the south – if it’s really strong, you could anchor on the beach side north of the anchorage; or even up in the lagoon if you happen to have a really shallow draft, or enough local knowledge to weave your way in & out.

“New” Tutti Frutti Location

And don’t forget Tutti Frutti!  David would stop several times on our way to and from getting veggies, provisions, visiting the beer/coke distributor or hardware store.

Incredible Assortment of Flavors for Every Taste at Tutti Frutti!

Incredible Assortment of Flavors for Every Taste at Tutti Frutti!

ENJOY!  Anyone else miss Placencia like I do?  Please leave a comment and share!  And if you’re waiting on the Rio Dulce to Panama Google Winterlude Cruising Route … I’m working on it!  Cheers!  Jan

Comments

  1. Margaret McGovern says:

    Good timing…we are in Placencia Harbor right now. We’ll be here for a few days working on some electrical problems. The big news locally involves a cruise ship company wanting to bring 600,000 tourists per year to this lovely laid-back village. The locals are fighting it with great spirit and organization.

    • Interesting Margaret! The last time we were there in 2010 they were fighting the same battle. Good to hear they haven’t lost … at least yet. Such a shame to spoil an unspoiled place like Placencia. Cheers! Jan

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