Belize was so nice we went twice! My husband, Kevin, and I were looking for an easy vacation this summer since we planned it a little last minute. We just wanted to go somewhere to escape and sit on the beach after a stressful few months. We loved Belize the first time, so I figured it would be a fairly easy vacation to plan since we had already been there back in 2018 and loved it.
Last time we went to Ambergris Caye and my mom and I went inland to San Ignacio for two days. This time we decided to go south and check out Placencia. Placencia is a sleepy fish village that’s even more sleepy in the middle of August. No surprise that Belize is HOT and HUMID during August, but honestly it’s the tropics, so this is what I expect! I love it. Anyway, I personally enjoy going places during the “off season.” Yeah sometimes the weather is hit or miss, but each time I’ve been to Belize in August, it’s been lovely. Yes, hot, yes humid, but it’s so quiet and just really nice. It only rained once.
We flew into Belize City and decided to take a shuttle instead of a bus or plane. The shuttle takes about 3 hours and they will pick you up from the airport and drop you off at your hotel. It’s a little expensive ($229pp USD round trip), but I found this less stressful than needing to get into Belize City (which for us coming from SFO already requires a layover) and then navigate to the municipal airport to catch a puddle jumper down to Placencia. We used Barefoot Services and it was very smooth. The prices go down pp if you have a larger group.
We stayed at Dolce Cabana Airbnb, which is on the lagoon side of Placencia – just about a 5 minute walk to the Placencia sidewalk, which has a very interesting history and is where most of the restaurants, other hotels, and stores are. Dolce Cabana was great because it is RIGHT on the lagoon water and there’s a palapa and deck you can hang out on. You can swim in the water and it’s overall just gorgeous and very relaxing. They also have a small pool, which was refreshing. I personally like staying at Airbnbs because you can cook some of your own meals, which we did a few days for breakfast and lunch. One of my favorite things to do while traveling is hit up the local grocery store and see what people eat!
We spent most of the week relaxing, eating, and reading. I went scuba diving one day (Kevin doesn’t dive), which was breathtaking and fun. I booked this through SeaHorse Dive Shop. I actually decided to do a PADI refresher course because I hadn’t been diving since the last time I was in Belize and am generally an anxious diver – I have never gone without my dad (despite trying a few times, both of which were canceled due to weather or me having a bad cold), who is an extremely experienced diver. So I felt like having a chaperone would be nice, and it was! We took it easy and I was very satisfied.
We also did a Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary & Jaguar Preserve tour through the dive shop as well. Surprisingly our tour guide was our shuttle driver as well! This was unfortunately the day that it rained, so it did put a small damper on our tour because we couldn’t go see the waterfall because it was too slippery. Generally I was a little confused about this tour because I was under the impression it was a hike through the sanctuary and then a float along the river. We did float on the river, but the hike was more of a walk TO the river. We were carrying our tubes the whole time. The reason I was confused was because we were told to wear hiking shoes, long shirt/pants, etc for the hike, but then how were we supposed to wear that while in the water? So we walked the entire way in water shoes and bathing suits, which was not ideal – because it was slippery and also bugs! Anyway, because it was raining, the water was a bit rough and fast, but the tubing was a fun experience.
And the rest of our trip basically consisted of eating! Belize has really delicious food that has its roots in Mexican and Caribbean food. You’ll see a lot of tacos, quesadillas, and the like, but also things like cajun shrimp and fresh snapper (both of which I tried). And there’s also always a ton of bar food and those kinds of restaurants as well. I had my fair share of tropical drinks at those places. The one exciting thing I did get to try was a Fry Jack. I had read about these, but I didn’t see them when we were in the other parts of Belize. It’s basically a giant fried up piece of dough that sort of puffs into a ball, but it’s hollow inside. And don’t forget to try Marie Sharp’s hot sauce and Belikin beer.
We ate at:
The Tipsy Tuna
Wendy’s Creole Restaurant and Bar (we ate here twice!)
Cha Chi’s (great pizza)
De Tatch Restaurant (great breakfast and you can literally sit on the beach!)
Barefoot Beach Bar
Placencia Beach Club
Beaches & Cream (coffee shop)
Pretty much everything was the same about Belize from when we went the first time – it’s not super cheap, but also not insanely expensive.
The conversion rate is still $2 BZD to $1 USD (in cash, slightly more accurate on a credit card). All places still take USD and many credit cards.
There are many souvenir shops along the sidewalk. We ended up with two souvenirs – a handmade beaded frog and a small handmade wooden bowl.
Kevin did get bit by a few more mosquitoes this time. I found Placencia wasn’t quite as windy as Ambergris Caye and staying on the lagoon side was also not as windy as the ocean side.
Overall, we loved our second trip and perhaps you’ll be reading a round three at some point in the future!