Interesting Spots Around Placencia


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Nick.Halkowski
Nick.Halkowski
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Anyone recently been to Placencia/Southern Belize?  I'll be there in December skippering a charter, wondering what spots are "must sees."  The group has a few people seriously interested in snorkeling/water sports, with the rest more interested in visiting places on land.  I've poked around here and haven't found anything that's fairly recent.  All thoughts appreciated.
Dick
Dick
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Nick.Halkowski - 4 May 2023
Anyone recently been to Placencia/Southern Belize?  I'll be there in December skippering a charter, wondering what spots are "must sees."  The group has a few people seriously interested in snorkeling/water sports, with the rest more interested in visiting places on land.  I've poked around here and haven't found anything that's fairly recent.  All thoughts appreciated.

Hi Nick,
No, not recently, but...
I have cruised that area a few times and it was marvelous: but it has been 15-20 years.
Some highlights which may reflect our interests and these things have likely not changed: or changed a whole lot:
The atolls are all different and are all wonderful. I believe they are the only atolls in the northern hemisphere: or unique in other ways. For the adventurous, a dive into a blue hole is hard to pass up.
The barrier reef (and its edges) is always fascinating. Again, I think it is the largest in the northern hemisphere.
We hired a jungle guide out of Placencia who took us to the jungle for a fabulous day of hiking and being introduced to jungle flora and fauna, especially birds. He and the trip were terrific.
Placencia had one of the best ice cream stores we have ever encountered (and we try most) with the unfortunate name something like Bubble Gum Ice Cream.
We visited a number of Mayan ruins (a particular interest): Tikal is just across the border in Guatamala while Caracol and Laminai are in Belize. Laminai was particularly striking as we had fun trip up the river in one of their fast “long” boats with a guide who stopped to point out birds, snakes, crocodiles and other interesting sights at the water’s edge. We stayed in their lodge a couple of days: wandering at night among the ruins is pretty special.
Back then, cruising Belize in a boat with a 2m draft was not for the faint of heart. Guides were very dated (an author was around doing research for a new guide at the time) and the charts were merely suggestions of what you might find. We devised rat lines to get us to the first spreader which we used a lot.
And search out the opportunty to listen to some of the local Garifuna music which we found very engaging and still listen to. Their history is fascinating and worth some time learning about.
And watch out for “Northers” (not too hard to forecast a few days out, but local wx was hard to obtain). Many anchorages are exposed, which is generally fine in their mostly settled conditions. But the northers could be vicious. Our usual SSB contact with Chris Parker was dicey that far S, so we got a weather email every day from him. The 2-3 times a winter when that a norther occurred we would find a mangrove swamp to anchor in: sometimes a day’s sail away or more away, especially if you are out on the atolls.
Come back with questions. You and your guests will have a great time.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy


Nick.Halkowski
Nick.Halkowski
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Dick - 9 May 2023
Nick.Halkowski - 4 May 2023
Anyone recently been to Placencia/Southern Belize?  I'll be there in December skippering a charter, wondering what spots are "must sees."  The group has a few people seriously interested in snorkeling/water sports, with the rest more interested in visiting places on land.  I've poked around here and haven't found anything that's fairly recent.  All thoughts appreciated.

Hi Nick,
No, not recently, but...
I have cruised that area a few times and it was marvelous: but it has been 15-20 years.
Some highlights which may reflect our interests and these things have likely not changed: or changed a whole lot:
The atolls are all different and are all wonderful. I believe they are the only atolls in the northern hemisphere: or unique in other ways. For the adventurous, a dive into a blue hole is hard to pass up.
The barrier reef (and its edges) is always fascinating. Again, I think it is the largest in the northern hemisphere.
We hired a jungle guide out of Placencia who took us to the jungle for a fabulous day of hiking and being introduced to jungle flora and fauna, especially birds. He and the trip were terrific.
Placencia had one of the best ice cream stores we have ever encountered (and we try most) with the unfortunate name something like Bubble Gum Ice Cream.
We visited a number of Mayan ruins (a particular interest): Tikal is just across the border in Guatamala while Caracol and Laminai are in Belize. Laminai was particularly striking as we had fun trip up the river in one of their fast “long” boats with a guide who stopped to point out birds, snakes, crocodiles and other interesting sights at the water’s edge. We stayed in their lodge a couple of days: wandering at night among the ruins is pretty special.
Back then, cruising Belize in a boat with a 2m draft was not for the faint of heart. Guides were very dated (an author was around doing research for a new guide at the time) and the charts were merely suggestions of what you might find. We devised rat lines to get us to the first spreader which we used a lot.
And search out the opportunty to listen to some of the local Garifuna music which we found very engaging and still listen to. Their history is fascinating and worth some time learning about.
And watch out for “Northers” (not too hard to forecast a few days out, but local wx was hard to obtain). Many anchorages are exposed, which is generally fine in their mostly settled conditions. But the northers could be vicious. Our usual SSB contact with Chris Parker was dicey that far S, so we got a weather email every day from him. The 2-3 times a winter when that a norther occurred we would find a mangrove swamp to anchor in: sometimes a day’s sail away or more away, especially if you are out on the atolls.
Come back with questions. You and your guests will have a great time.
My best, Dick Stevenson, s/v Alchemy

Dick, thanks for the quick reply, appreciate it.

Nick


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