Friday, May 17, 2013

Placencia, Belize

As I hinted in my last post, Dave and I just returned from two fabulous weeks in Belize and Guatemala.

The trip was partially to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary at the end of May. When I returned from Fiji three years ago, I had Dave promise that we would go there for our fifth wedding anniversary since it topped both of our lists for all-time favourite places but we had each travelled there separately. As we got closer to actually planning the trip, we realized it was a long way to travel for a beach vacation plus I had a significant balance of Aeroplan points that were about to expire but not enough to get us to Fiji.

So I began to search for destinations where my points would get us... and found Belize.

(If you are looking to fly on points, Belize is a fantastic option. The flights are daily through Houston with very reasonable flight times and stop overs compared to Hawaii and the rest of the Caribbean. For example, had we chosen to go to St Lucia, the flights would have taken us from Calgary to Edmonton to Vancouver to Toronto to St Lucia. Ridiculous!)

We flew to Belize City via Houston. Our flight arrived late afternoon, too late to catch a bus on to anywhere, so we opted to catch a flight on TropicAir to Placencia at the southern end of Belize.

The flight was on a tiny 12 seater plane.

Our plane!

My parents had forewarned us that one passenger actually gets to sit in the seat beside the pilot so when they made the call for boarding Dave, who is normally the absolutely last passenger to board a plane, ran to the front of the line to make sure he got that seat!

The flight flew 15 minutes to Dangriga, landed to unload passengers, then flew 15 minutes further down the coast to Placencia. It was completely worthwhile to pay the extra for the flights simply to see the coast line and barrier reef from the air.

I found it a little unnerving being able to see the pilot in action though... each time we got a couple hundred feet in the air, he would switch the plane into autopilot and then proceed to sit with his hands in his pockets until we were on the approach for landing. I am well aware that most of the time planes are flown on autopilot but it is still unsettling to be in such a small plane and see the pilot sitting with his hands off the steering!

Look ma no hands!

Once we arrived in Placencia, we made our way to the Seaspray Hotel and to our room right on the beach! Not even 30 feet from the water!

Our room

View from our room

And then we went into vacation mode...

The next three days were spent swimming, reading, sleeping, eating and walking. This is one of the first vacations Dave and I have ever planned around doing nothing and we took full advantage of it!

The sidewalk

Where I spent the majority of my days

Rumfish Restaurant

DeTatch Restaurant

Espada's Yard - best BBQ in Belize!

Downtown Placencia


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