Rent or Own a Piece of Paradise

Night 1 In Unspoiled Placencia

The Placencia Peninsula is home to Belize’s best beaches.
Placencia Yacht Club, our home away from home.
Yacht Club owner Caroline and her husband are among the many who have left their native homes behind to find paradise in Placencia.
Heyson tends bar at Placencia Yacht Club.

Two couples from Lakewood were finishing up their dinner together at the Yacht Club while their children had excused themselves from the table to leap and play together just beside them in the ocean. We learned the families were staying together in one of Gecko Vacation Rentals’ guest houses that we were scheduled to tour while we were there. They raved about the house and its excellent private chef. They said that, though they had ventured out to try several of the excellent local restaurants, they kept coming back to the Yacht Club. We soon understood why. We had been in town just a few hours, and the authentic experience of Placencia and some of its special people had drawn us in. After some amazing drinks and appetizers at the Yacht Club, we made plans to come back the next evening. Caroline and her bartender, Heyson, offered to shop in the village the next day for Pina Colada supplies, and per our request, would make us the lowest-sugar version of them possible—with plenty of rum on top.

We enjoyed the moonlight and nighttime breeze as we headed safely back to the harbor. Our fellow traveler, Peter, who had invited us on this trip, pointed to the undeveloped part of the small island just north of where we had come from. He promised to tell us more about that the next day. Back in the small harbor town, we stopped at a restaurant to partake in some outstanding traditional fish stew before heading back to our condo.

It had been a long and adventurous travel day. After our three-hour flight from Dallas to Belize City, we boarded a Maya Air puddle jumper.  The plane was about as old and fancy as the fishing boat we would be on later that evening, but as soon as we were in the air, we were calmed by views of the sparsely populated rainforests and puffy clouds over the Maya Mountains.  After about 40 minutes of flying south, we spotted the small landing strip and were soon safely on the ground.  Peter was there to pick us up in a golf cart.

The Spaniards that traveled the southern coast of Belize gave Placencia its name. It was once named Punta Placencia (Spanish) or Point Pleasant (English). The Placencia Peninsula is home to Belize’s best beaches. Its 16-mile stretch is essentially divided into two parts: south of the airstrip and north of the airstrip. The Caribbean Sea is to the east and the Placencia lagoon lies to west looking towards the Maya Mountains on the mainland. We learned that the ancient Maya used the lagoon to produce vast quantities of salt which were then packed onto canoes and traded further inland.

Our condo was located to the south and just a few blocks from the colorfully painted original Creole fishing village and its harbor, where we had stopped first to try a rum cocktail.  On the way to and from the condo over the next several days, we would get the full experience of Placencia’s original dirt and stone roads and the speed bumps made of marine rope.  Each time, we passed the primary school and a lot of well-located places that looked prime for renovation.  This was the first of many times we would smell opportunity in Palencia.
We stayed at the stunning and modern Gecko Sunset condo four-plex.

Read next:  Day 2– Strolling Placencia Village’s “Main Street”;
Real Estate Discovery “North of the Airstrip”

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