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Tips/Reviews after a recent trip to Placencia and Caye C

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NYC
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Tips/Reviews after a recent trip to Placencia and Caye C

Bellow are my thoughts on the places we visited and the things we did. I also added some tips which could be helpful when you are organizing your trip.

FOOD in Placencia

Rumfish y Vino -

This place is one of those "great one day - kinda sucks the next" types. We went twice, it was pretty good the first time...went second time and couldn't get either the owners or the waiters attention for 15 minutes, and the food end up mediocre. The interior is pretty cool, sit on the back porch, you can get the breeze, which is essential in surviving Placencia's heat. It maybe a bit on the fancy side if you go to Rumfish more than once or twice, meaning your dad and your stepmother might go there every day, but if you are younger it might not be your spot quite as often. A bit on the pricey side as well. Overall, good to check out at least once.

Tutti Frutti -

The ice-cream here is fantastic. Can't say enough of how awesome it is. We went 7 times out of 7 days. Forget about the guy down the road.

Omar's -

Delicious kitchen. This is your authentic, Placencia, Belize local spot. It's like if your mother lived in Belize and was able to cook much better than she does right now. Again - delicious! And its cheap in comparison to the "restaurants around". A must for at least several meals.

DeTach -

Bar/Restaurant on the beach. Decent kitchen, decent breakfast. Free wifi, while sipping your coffee. You will end up going there more often that you think, simply because of location, location, location.

Tipsy Tuna -

Like DeTach, on the beach. This place has a huge list of cocktails, and the bartenders will also make whatever you tell them to. Might get a bit flooded with drunken local dudes sometimes. Has a decent food menu too. Free wifi. Right next to it is the Tipsy Tuna Sports Bar, if you wanna watch the World Cup while having a beer as well.

Trevor's Pizza -

A small bar next to Tipsy Tuna. The also make brick oven pizza's. Pizza's are alright, nothing special but the place is on the beach and you can check it out at least once.

Cozy Corner -

Mediocre at best. Extremely annoying American waitress who will literally try to force you to purchase all sorts of stuff at all cost. "Fruit salad?, No thank you, 5 minutes later, How about that fruit salad? No thank you. Fruit juice? No. How about that fruit juice? No!" And that goes on and on till you finally leave. And the spot attracts annoying crowd of older, single white dudes, who have an attitude of plantation owners and are real irritating to be around. Skip that one.

Wendy's -

Another mediocre one. From what I understood, she had a different restaurant, got so popular that she had to open a bigger one. Well, good for you but this one is first, hideous in terms of interior, exterior. Looks like a "wanna be sophisticated" restaurant in Astoria, Queens. As we well know, the greeks in Astoria have zero sense of interior design, which had resulted in highly unappealing restaurants, which even when serving good food, have such a crapy atmosphere, you just don't wanna eat there. Well, this one is exactly like that, but the food is below average too. The music is terrifying country-pop which I personally can only stand between 3-5 seconds at most. The only bright thing was their cocktails which were tasty and looked fancy.

The Secret Garden -

Pretty cool spot, kinda hidden in a real garden, looks cool inside (outside) especially at night. Real nicely arranged and cooked meals. Lots of variety if you get tired of Chicken, Rice and Beans:) Great sangria. A bit price but worth checking out at least a few times.

Maya Beach Bistro -

You will either need a cab or rent a golf cart to get there. Cab will take you 10 minutes, golf car or scooter around 35-40. Maya Beach Hotel has a pool, so if you wanna trade the beach for a pool for a day, buy a cocktail at their bar and they let you use the pool as long as you want. The restaurant is pretty good as well, pricey but good atmosphere, and...you got the pool there so its worth it. Maya Beach beaches are not particularly exciting by the way which makes the swimming pool vital.

Grossery stores -

With the exception of Wallen's all are basically, Chinatown type grossery stores. Fact - 95% percent of Grossery stores in Belize are owned by Chinese people. Clothing/Shoe stores are dominated by Indians. Crazy stuff. The biggest grossery store and the one with the most products (including, medicine, etc) is the one located next to Scotia Bank (across the street). Get some of Rita's banana bread, they sell them next to the cash registers.

STUFF

Soccer Field -

Placencia's team plays every other Sunday during their football season. Fun stuff.

Golf Cart Rental -

We paid 50 US for a full day. Great to do once and to explore all over Placencia, and get to Maya Beach, even further. Go check out the lagoon, on the other side of the soccer field - its got a harbor with yachts, fancy houses and resort. Apparently none of it is doing good, because they were owned by some guy who got arrested for drugs, etc and now its all falling apart - or so i was told. Past Maya beach you can see a pretty crazy building development going on. Some italian guy is building, hotels, casino and international airport, hmmm ...interesting, The Godfather got to Belize.

Various Tips -

The beach is quite full of local dudes, who are super friendly, and often walk around with backpacks, selling, necklaces and other little things, which is more of a pretext for them to get your attention and (younger audience pay attention here) sell you some "you-know what". Beach service in Placencia, how about that. Of course some of those guys despite their friendly attitude will I am sure steal anything valuable, if they get a chance, meaning if you leave something too precious unattended so always be aware around them (mostly late at night though). In Placencia they do put good effort to clean the sand on the beach but they leave all the crap that the sea will bring at the very beginning of where you enter the ocean. On a calm day there is almost no trash, and water is clean and great to chill in. (bring goggles by the way if you wanna swim and see stuff, it is salty as hell) But if there are lots of waves it kinda gets dirty, with weird seaweed and trash. If you like avoiding huge tourist crowds and their annoying little children, go there, end of may beginning of June. Its low season, but almost everything is still open and the weather is great.

Avadon Divers -

This is the dive shop to go to, don't look anywhere else. Those guys were fantastic. Phillip and Ann-Marie are brother and sister and the owners. We did a 3 tank dive, had great lunch and various fruits all day, which they provided as part of your Diving package. They will send a free cab to take you to their dive shop and back. Get the CD with the underwater pics afterwards. Pricey (40US) but worth it!!! We dived with several "regular" visitors of Placencia who also always go to Avadon every time. Other Dive Shops might give you a 10-15 belize dollars cheaper deal, but Avadon has the best boat, equipment and attitude so I personally won't bother with anyone else. Every other Dive Shop I saw (including Splash) just looked too beat up and I had a hard time trusting the quality of the service. This is the thing about Belize and other countries like it. They try to constantly sell you things and services everywhere you go, and it looks so shady sometimes that you just have to do your homework before you go or you might end up real disappointed.

TO STAY

Ranguana Lodge -

Great place! Real nice cabins, right on the beach. Plenty of Beach chairs, Palm tree umbrellas, really pretty around the cabins, and extremely convenient location to everything else in Placencia Village. The maids cleaned and put new sheets every day. This place might be a bit more expensive than other spots (85 a night) and have a bit of a strange 50% non refundable reservation policy, but they are worth every penny and I would not hesitate to go back and stay with them if I go to Placencia again. Tip the maids at the end.

TRANSPORTATION

Belize Shuttle and Transfer Services -

I hate small planes, so i couldn't take one to get to Placencia. The regular bus service, takes like 7 hours, you have to change busses like 3 times and its a bit of a nightmare. However, those guys will get you directly to Placencia and back for around 3 hours each way. They are often just drivers with a Jeep that show up at the time you have arranged and have pretty decent cars with AC!. It about 65 US a person each way. Absolutely worth it and they were spot on time, and actually fun to talk to. Arrange your reservations with Timothy through their website (just google the name). Gas in Belize was so ridiculously expensive that the price we paid looked pretty fair to me. (Of course you should tip your driver if you wanna do things the right way).

ALSO...

Caye Caulker -

A bit disappointing. Its more touristy than you would expect from what you read online but a bit too ghetto in most places. Here and there you might find a few spots (Rose's, etc) but overall I wouldn't spent here more than 2-3 nights, (which we did). Moooore than enough time, unless you plan to scuba dive or snorkel the whole time. Don't stay at where we did - Da Real Macaw, Rooms are kinda beat up and real cheaply furnished, overall looks depressing when you get in it. The yard outside is kinda nice but thats it. The so called Beach Front Rooms are actually inside the yard, but even if they were on the front they will be facing the street with the Craft/CD/Tattoo stuff going on and you want see any water. And add this to the fact that Caye Caulker doesn't have real beach, you get the picture. Overal, unless you pay more and stay in one of the 2-3 fancier small hotel complexes (maybe a bit strong of a word here) the rest of Caye Caulker is just too beat up so dont expect too much from your accommodation. No ATM here, just one bank, grossery costs more cause you are on a tiny island and there are one and a half streets, which contain majority of the restaurants and places to stay, as well as extremely annoying locals who (i know they are just trying to make money but seriously...) would harass you to eat at their place or buy their stuff EVERY time you pass them. Even if you pass them 10 times in 10 minutes. It just gets old after a while. They do have Chinatown here, I am not joking go check it out. Swimming happens only at the split and its not that great so go snorkeling or diving at the coral rif, or take a water taxi to San Pedro, or you will die out of boredom.

Conlusion.

Belize is pretty great. I have never been in such a slow paced place and we loved our time in Placencia, which I highly recommend if you wanna really relax! It's a great place for scuba diving and other water activities and in terms of crime is super chilled in comparison to its neighboring countries.

Placencia, Belize
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1. Re: Tips/Reviews after a recent trip to Placencia and Caye C

Thanks for posting this long and useful review, I think you have hit several nails on the head. Glad you loved Placencia, and you found Omar's, well done - it's the place I eat when I want to go cheap, good and local.

Another tip for Maya Beach, you can eat from the cheaper lunch menu in the evening. And the service is the most impeccable I have encountered in Belize.

San Ignacio, Belize
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2. Re: Tips/Reviews after a recent trip to Placencia and Caye C

Right on the money with most of it, and your tips especially. I ate at Wendy's the other week, and feel the same way. I'd never go back since there are too many other great places. I need to write a review of them. Thanks for your exhaustive review!

Huntington Beach, CA
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3. Re: Tips/Reviews after a recent trip to Placencia and Caye C

Thanks for all the tips! My husband and I were in Placencia last year and are heading back this year, and remember many of the places you mentioned. The one place that we LOVED was the Maya Beach Bistro. EVERYTHING we had there was outstanding, and we ended up eating there a lot! I didn't think it was pricey for the quality of amount of food that you got. Another thing of note--they have happy hour every day, and many of their items are half off.

Harrisburg...
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4. Re: Tips/Reviews after a recent trip to Placencia and Caye C

Just a little correction about Caye Caulker. There is an ATM at the bank. I've used it on more than one occasion.

NYC
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5. Re: Tips/Reviews after a recent trip to Placencia and Caye C

True, I realized they do have an ATM in our last day there.

In terms of snorkeling recommendation I would go either with Carlo's Tours or an old guy called the Fish Whisperer (can remember his name, Julio maybe???)

London, United...
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6. Re: Tips/Reviews after a recent trip to Placencia and Caye C

Just a quick update...

We're in Placencia right now and there were 3 fires on Saturday night that damaged and/or destroyed 3 restaurants. The place that were destroyed were Serenade Restaurant and Sunrise Restaurant. Serenade has insurance and the owner is fully covered but Sunrise isn't as it was a wooden building and getting insurance for wooden buildings is impossible.

We were woken at 2.30am on Sunday morning to evacuate our rooms as we're staying in Serenade hotel, right next door to the restaurant. The flames were very high and we've had to change rooms as the rooms smelt really badly of smoke. Thankfully the hotel didn't get damaged but it was touch and go as the flames were licking the building.

Da Tatch was damaged but some of the guys drinking at the Tipsy Tuna managed to put the fire out with buckets of water.

Omar's was great, we went there the other night and loved it. There is a Chinese opposite Omar's which is pretty good value too.

Cosy Corner is ok, nothing special but they do a special for $5 (US) and it's great value as food is very expensive here. We love the Tipsy Tuna, really good atmosphere and the locals are a good laugh. I'm still feeling a bit rough today from overdoing it last night (too much rum!).

Oh, The Serenade hotel is nice. We managed to get a room for $25 (US) a night. The room has TV, private bathroom and a fan as we don't need aircon but every room has an air con unit (air con is obviously more money though). We've seen a few cockroaches but the place is clean. We've been here for 5 days and we're staying until Friday.

San Ignacio, Belize
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7. Re: Tips/Reviews after a recent trip to Placencia and Caye C

Oh no! Sorry to hear about that, and glad that it didn't hurt your hotel. Was just talking about our next trip to Placencia before reading this. Hope they get everything replaced by the next season.

8. Re: Tips/Reviews after a recent trip to Placencia and Caye C

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