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#15625 - 01/08/03 11:18 AM Ambergris or Placencia  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 4
Schumann Offline
Schumann  Offline
My fiancé and I are planning to go to Belize for our honeymoon. We would arrive around June 23/24 and will stay until about July 5/6. We want to do lots of things such as snorkelling, cave tubing, visit Mayan ruins, Belize Zoo, Jaguar sanctuary and hang out on the beach. We want to make this trip as affordable as possible. So, would it be better (more affordable) for us to stay in Placencia or Ambergris. I worry about Ambergris since we would be travelling back and forth from and island and have a fear the cost for these tours would be more expensive, especially inlight of the fact being Canadian our $ is quite low compared to the US$

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated?

#15626 - 01/08/03 12:49 PM Re: Ambergris or Placencia  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Lan Sluder/Belize First  Offline
With that much time, what I would do is split the trip into a surf 'n turf -- part on Ambergris Caye (or Caulker, for more of a budget experience) and part in Cayo. You'll save money on going back and forth and have more time to do the things of greatest interest at both destinations.

Placencia has its charms, but while it's on the mainland it is not as easy at you might think to do things from there. For one thing, Placencia village is at the end of a 25-mile long dirt road, so to just get back to the Southern Highway you are faced with a 45-minute or longer drive, and beyond the Cockscomb preserve and Hopkins village there is not much to do or see unless you drive a long way, either to PG or to Cayo.

--Lan Sluder

Lan Sluder/Belize First
#15627 - 01/08/03 04:11 PM Re: Ambergris or Placencia  
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 550
mountain Larry Offline
mountain Larry  Offline
See my post on "General Chat"

#15628 - 01/08/03 10:00 PM Re: Ambergris or Placencia  
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 716
Richard Chambers Offline
Richard Chambers  Offline
Listen to Lan. He understands what you want,and knows what you need!

#15629 - 01/08/03 11:33 PM Re: Ambergris or Placencia  
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 147
karin Offline
karin  Offline
Hi neighbours, I have to agree with Lan once again... Maybe try and split your time between a Caye (Caye Caulker if you are on a budget), San Ignacio and maybe Hopkins (my personal choice)... Even with our canadian dollars, we can still find some good/nice/cheap places to go...

#15630 - 01/09/03 01:08 AM Re: Ambergris or Placencia  
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 288
trina Offline
trina  Offline
Lan is right...Placencia, even though it's on the mainland, feels more isolated, because it's way down south, a LONONONG bus ride (don't recommend that; take a plane if you have the choice). Also, Placencia is not as pricey to me, as Ambergris. You can still find some good bargains in accomodations and meals there. Ambergris seemed more pricey to me in 2002, than 2001. Anyway, I do love Placencia. It's so quiet, lazy and tranquil. But, for sheer number of things to do, and time efficiency purposes, best to stay in Ambergris and then Cayo. But I wouldn't want to miss Placencia...oh dear dear dear....I can't decide! laugh wink confused

#15631 - 01/09/03 10:56 AM Re: Ambergris or Placencia  
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 550
mountain Larry Offline
mountain Larry  Offline
As Trina said, a drive down to Placencia is a LOOOOOOONG bus trip, but to me any bus trip is LOOOOOONG! We rented a car and drove down from Belize City, it's a beautiful trip and with the exception of those last 25 miles no problem. As for flying into Placencia? that is one scary airstrip! After you see it you'll know what I mean.

#15632 - 01/09/03 11:57 AM Re: Ambergris or Placencia  
Joined: Nov 2000
Posts: 6,251
NYgal Offline
NYgal  Offline
We have traveled to Placencia three ways, flew drove and one day hired a boat to take us there from Hopkins. It's a good place to visit, you won't regret it.

I have traveled by bus once in my life and it was in NY, it seemed an eternity from one airport to another, yes. LONGGGGGG. wink

The flight was our first "small plane" experience and it was different to say the least, but while in the air, we forgot about the landing. It is a small landing strip but we had a perfect land, those pilots are amazing. smile

Plus, you get there quicker and have more time to enjoy your stay.
If expense, as you have indicated, too much in the flight, stay in Hopkins area. You will be closer to some of the mentioned tours.

Happy Travels.........any way you choose to go.

#15633 - 01/13/03 01:35 PM Re: Ambergris or Placencia  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 11
Mary Toy Offline
Mary Toy  Offline
I live in Placencia, so it's obviously one of my favorite places.

However, I also really like San Pedro for its beauty, number of restaurants, ease of getting around, etc.

Both places have economical places to stay, and I think the suggestions to split time between the Cayo District and the Sea is a good one -- and I often recommend this type of itinerary to my clients. (It IS easier to do jungle, ruins, rivers and caving trips from Cayo than either San Pedro, Placencia or Caye Caulker.)

Therefore, I think the primary consideration in deciding between coastal and island locations is the general "ambiance" of an area, and what the guest is looking for in their seaside experience.

Here's what I have posted on my site to help people decide between San Pedro and Placencia.

It includes a posting made on a bulletin board several years ago. Although some things have changed, I think the general analysis of both places is still valid. I don't know who wrote the message, and I can't give proper attribution, so I'll just stay thanks to whomever it was.

Here goes:

"San Pedro: Although San Pedro definitely isn't Cancun, San Pedro offers more of the "comforts of home" than does Placencia. Lots of lodging options including condos, time shares, resorts with swimming pools and air conditioning, apartments and houses for rent (short and long term). Also lots of restaurants serving a variety of foods, often decent wine selections and frozen drinks. Quite a few cute little gift shops featuring handmade crafts and artwork. More North Americans, and a lot more tours and tour operators to chose from. Definitely the place to go if you're looking for night life. I live in Placencia, but I also really like San Pedro - - people are friendly and helpful, and the whole area has a lot of sparkling Caribbean charm.

Placencia: Even after living here for a number of years, I still feel a bit like "Indiana Jones" when I travel the road from the airstrip to Placencia Village. It's an "end of the road" kind of place and the expats you'll find here are "end of the road" kind of people -- the ones who look at maps and always want to go to the place at the end of the road that hasn't been discovered yet. Native Placencians claim to be descended from pirates, and they may be - - they're fiercely independent and definitely don't like to be told what to do - - yet at the same time are some of the nicest people you'll meet anywhere.

But, if you come to Placencia, come for the people and the place, not the amenities. Parts of the road are dusty and bumpy (or muddy and bumpy, depending on the season). Grocery stores definitely don't regularly stock gourmet items, although you can now purchase olive oil and even sometimes balsamic vinegar, and the electricity and water occasionally (sometimes regularly) disappear for a couple of hours at a time. A few resorts offer North American style amenities (air conditioning, pool, Jacuzzis, etc.), but lodging is pretty basic on the whole, although when you're a couple of steps from the edge of the Caribbean, who cares anyway. Night life is fairly tame -- local bands on the weekends, karaoke (a lot different than in the States and actually a quite fun experience - at least once). That's about it, although Placencians, in true buccaneer spirit, do like a party - -and it usually lasts late and is always raucous.

Independent Comparison: following is a comparison of Placencia and San Pedro (Ambergris Caye) found on a bulletin board on the Web a couple of years ago.  Although a few things have changed, the comparison is pretty accurate.

"Placencia is a good bit different from Ambergris Caye.

"Ambergris Caye is more like the rest of the Caribbean, but 20 or 30 years ago.  It reminds me a little of St. Maarten in the late 60s or early 1970s, before all the development and cruise ships.

"By contrast, Placencia is a little like a bit of the South Pacific in Central America. Development is starting to take off with new hotels and such, but it is still undeveloped in many ways. Plus, there's no town -- just two small villages, and one, Seine Bight, a Garifuna village, is very, very poor. Placencia Village, a Creole village, is a little more prosperous, but not compared to San Pedro.

"In short, San Pedro is a resort area -- but not an overcommercialized one by any means, however -- with some good restaurants, bars, a few shops, facilities like small groceries that cater to visitors, plus a variety of small hotels, condos and resorts ... whereas Placencia has only a few shops and the grocery stores are definitely local-style and about the size of someone's living room. Hotels are all small, and A/C has just recently come to the peninsula. Placencia does have some good restaurants, though.

"Another difference is that San Pedro has a heavy Mestizo/Mexican influence, whereas Placencia is Creole/Garifuna -- very different cultures.

"There's more to do in San Pedro, but in Placencia you can more easily take day trips to places like the Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve, Monkey River, and some of the Maya ruins in Toledo.

"Diving offshore from Placencia is generally better than around Ambergris Caye, though still not as good as around the offshore atolls such as Turneffe or Lighthouse, but you have to go out a pretty good ways to get to it. Snorkeling is comparable to Ambergris, maybe a bit better than Ambergris -- you have to go out to one of the nearby cayes, such as Laughing Bird."
(author unknown)"

Hope this helps.


Destinations Belize
General Delivery, Placencia, Belize
#15634 - 01/13/03 02:38 PM Re: Ambergris or Placencia  
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 3,054
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Lan Sluder/Belize First  Offline

Good posting and good comparison of the two areas.

Just for the sake of full disclosure, the "Independent Comparison" you quoted at the end of your posting was by yours truly.

--Lan Sluder

Lan Sluder/Belize First
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