Read about our time in pretty and peaceful Placencia. We fell in love with this colourful town by the sea and found it hard to leave. Perhaps you would too.
I first read about Placencia in an article in Conde Nast Traveller. It explored Francis Ford Coppola’s hotel, Turtle Inn, in Placencia. The article talked about delicious food served at the hotel and in town, the white sand beaches and a chilled Caribbean vibe. It was the colourful pictures of the town that we found so enticing and Placencia was firmly placed on a bucket list, long before we had even imagined this trip.
We arrived in Placencia late in the evening after an eventful journey! After leaving Caye Caulker after too much rum, we got a boat, a taxi and we were halfway through our second bus trip of the day when the bus broke down.
All the locals huffed and puffed and started to disembark, muttering under their breath – “not again”! As the sun started to set we looked on our map and we were still a good 45-minute ride away, so as the driver tinkered with the engine, we had no alternative other than to wait. To our amazement, half an hour later the engine turned on, everyone jumped on the bus and off we set.
We arrived in town in the dark. As we weaved with our bags off the main road and down to the walkway, we were following Google maps to help us find our hostel and wondering whether we were in the right place.
After dragging our bags through the sand, we arrived a little bedraggled and sweaty at Anda Di Hous hostel. The lovely owner welcomed us and took us into the hostel. It wasn’t the Turtle Inn, but for us it was perfect.
Hammocks hung outside and upon entering there was a lovely kitchen area and table. The dorm room consisted of 10 beds with a bathroom off to the side. It was simple but so homely and we adored it upon first sight.
When we awoke with the light in the morning we looked out the window to see we were right on the beach. The views were spectacular. We lay in hammocks and made some calls to friends and family – the best WIFI we’d had in weeks. It instantly felt like home.
Needing to get food and wanting to explore the town, we headed out in the baking sun. The colours of Placencia make for beautiful pictures and just taking in the sights was a great activity. Splashes of colour adorn houses, pavements and even bike racks. It looked gorgeous.
During our time in Placencia, we had very varying weather. A few days of storms and grey skies, so we extended our stay, not ready to leave this relaxed town. Suddenly 4 days became 6 which turned into 7…we were so content.
One day everyone that had been staying at the hostel suddenly left and no one new came. It was like we had our own private Air BnB. It rained that day but we loved the solitude and space of our private abode. We spent the day relaxing and cooking yummy food, indulging in a film without headphones on. It’s funny what becomes a treat when you travel.
Our days in Placencia were lazy but there were always things to amuse us, from the lovely people we met staying at the hostel – Sarah, a private chef who had never left the US before but had found her passion for travelling to Katie, a seasoned traveller who recommended some fantastic places for us to visit as we continued our travels. There were lots of interesting characters to speak to.
Our days were varied and spent enjoying the wonderful scenery around Placencia. We went kayaking in the mangroves, fishing off the side of the boat in the morning. Struggling against the harsh winds, our arms aching by the time we returned to the hostel.
We chilled on the beach under palm trees and ate at the wonderful De Tatch restaurant where we tried Conch fritters for the first time. We sat on the pier with a fishing rod and watched dolphins swim past us in the bay. They played and jumped in the water, entertaining us for twenty minutes as the sun slid lower in the sky. Shortly afterwards we watched the most magnificent sunset as we dangled our legs off the pier. A truly magical afternoon we’ll never forget.
We both enjoy fishing and eating fish, so Ads has brought his fishing rod with him on our travels. After successfully catching our dinner the previous night we set off with bait to try and catch some larger fish. Having enlisted the help of a young boy who fishes off the beach with his father, he pointed out the best place to cast the line and soon Ads had a bite on the line.
Katie, who was staying in the hostel had come down to the beach with us. Upon pulling the fish out of the water Ads saw it was too small to eat but would be ideal as live bait to entice the bigger fishes.
As Ads cast his line out and the fish hit the water with a slap, Katie’s face looked horrified. We tried to continue our conversation but by the time Ads cast out his line again and there was another SLAP as the fish hit the water, Katie made her excuses to leave. We suddenly realised we’d effectively invited a vegan to join us as we tortured a fish. A proper vegan fail. Eeek.
One night at a local bar we sat and watched the Garifuna dancing. It was absolutely mesmerising. The drum beats were unbelievably quick and the drummers and the dancers had fun with each other, drumming quickly. The quicker the drumbeat, the quicker they must dancers had to dance to keep up. It was impressive to watch and really fun. A totally new side to the melting pot that is Belizean culture.
When it was finally time to leave, we were sad to go but excited to be heading to the world’s first-ever Jaguar Reserve. We would be staying in the park and hiking trails to waterfalls. After relaxing in hammocks on a beach, it felt like the ideal next stop, continuing our travels throughout Belize.