cayo and Placencia Trip Report

Old Jul 20th, 2006, 10:21 PM
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cayo and Placencia Trip Report

We arrive in Belize City after 2 fights from San Francisco Area in 7 hours. After all my research and watching all the posts, I still didn't know what to expect. We landed at a lucky time and customs was a breeze. We don't ever check luggage so that was no problem. We are a family of five with kids ages 11, 9 and 5. Our family motto is, "If it doesn't fit in a carryon...you don't need it." (ski trips excluded!)

We venture out of the airport and our driver Giavonni was waiting for us from Chaa Creek. He greeted us indivdually by name and knew about where we were from. We were impressed.

The drive from the airport to Chaa Creek was a few hours that went by quickly. It was so relaxing to have someone else drive us and point out interesting things and funny antedotes about this country. Two things that surprised right away was the Amish people on the roads in their horse drawn wagons in Belize. I asked about them and asked what they do here. "They make furniture". I figured that much...Funny! The other thing that impressed me was seeing so many people mowing their lawns and people mowing the sides of the roads. What gives? The jungle is growing behind them but still lots of mowing. Giavonni said that it has always been like that since the British were here.

We finally get to Chaa Creek the last 15 minutes were on a bumpy dirt road through beautiful fields...already seeing wonderful birds and lizards and insects pointed out by our driver. Don't feel the jungle yet. We pass the amazing Chaa Creek stable with beautiful horses. The kids start getting excited. Then we drop down into a jungly feel and there is Chaa Creek. Wow! What an amazing place.

We are escorted to our Jacuzzi Treetop Villa. We keep winding through the property and I start getting nervous because we pass all these amazing cottages and hope the family will like what we have. We arrive at the most exquisite location. We are in the treetops, the kids get the hammocks out and explore the massive wraparound deck while we head inside. The huge screened in room is beautiful and there have been three big futons set up in the living room for the kids with frisbees and yoyo's on each bed. Our bed is up a short flight of stairs that look out above the kids. Lovely. Would have been very romantic sans kids!

The food was unbelievable! The chef from the Netherlands prepared dinners that rival any we have ever had in shi-shi places in SF, NYC, etc...! No kidding!

Our first full day, we hiked in the morning down to the river and on some of the other trails on sight. In the afternoon we all went horseback riding for two hours. They had helmets for all of us and wonderful horses. The jungle was dense and we saw lots of wildlife and insects. We all really enjoyed it. We were unable to ride up to the lookout point because the trail was too muddy for the horses and it wasn't safe.

Next day we were off to Xunantunich Ruins. We were aware that it isn't the largest or most impressive Mayan Ruins in the area but it was beautiful and most importantly very close (15-20 minutes). Armed guards at the ferry upon entering the park and a police check point on the road on the way there. (security beefed up due to Bandit activity) Before you go ask what days the cruise ships go there and pick another day or you will be with bus loads of cruisers. We were the only people on the top of the ruins when we went!

Our third day, we hired the canoe float with Lisa the guide to take us to San Ignacio for some paddling help with the kids. It took 2 1/2 hours but was a lot of fun. I had a giant water spider above my feet the entire time in the front. Lisa said that he won't hurt me. Had to take a photo to prove how big he was. 6 inches. We also saw tons of bats in shallow caves, bird including toucans and a 6 foot iquana. In town we ate at Hanna's restaurant. The food was very good and lots of it.

Time for bed! To be continued...
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Old Jul 21st, 2006, 06:14 PM
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Love your report! We stayed in a Treetop suite last summer and loved Chaa Creek! Did you all do the night nature hike?
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Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 07:49 AM
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We're heading to Chaa Creek in a month and I loved reading your trip report!

Like you, we are also staying in a treetop jacuzzi suite.

Now I'm even more excited to go - sounds like a wonderful place
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Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 11:56 AM
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Pumpy, thanks to your posts, we stayed longer at Chaa Creek and changed from the large family cottages to the treetop suite. You were right...4 nights was perfect! What an amazing huge....about 1000sq. ft....villa.

The report continues... On our third night it rained during dinner and we were booked for the night hike. We were worried it would be cancelled. The rained stopped and Hilberto was waiting. He said that we wouldn't see as much because of the rain. We wanted to go anyway. What else are we going to do? It was exciting and a bit scary for the kids at first. We had our head lights on and our jungle pants and long sleave shirts. We were sweaty. It all added to the experience. We did see quite a bit. Tralantulas, lots of spider eyes reflecting on our lights. Spooky! Mating armedillos...we ruined their romance! No big deal for Texans...us CA family enjoyed seeing them! The highlight was finding a small snake that the kids all got to play with. We were charged up after hiking through the jungle with who knows what watching us!

The next day was our last, our day was relaxing. We went to the Butterfly farm and the little museum. Filled up our jacuzzi tub with cold water and lived from incredible meal to meal. I did mention the AWSOME food? hee-hee! While I was out looking for Toucans to no avail...my family sitting in the living room took pictures of a toucan that flew onto our deck and stayed there for 5 minutes. We also had a bat family living under the thatched eave just outside our window. During the day we took our flashlight (Bring one they come in handy!) and watched them sleep. During the night they were noisy! Thank goodness the fans tuned them out!

Our last meal at Chaa Creek was really fun. We had gotten to know all the other guests by this time. When there are only 14 people there, you can't help but get to know them and trade daily stories. Many of us were leaving in the morning. The employees and guests plus Mick the owner, his dogs and friends all mingled and enjoyed ourselves. The highlight was my kids playing with Mick's friends local kids. They found Toads. They caught one toad the size of a volleyball. Not kidding. Tomorrow we are off to the Turtle in in Placencia.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 01:22 PM
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The Long Report Continues!

Giovanni drove us down to Placencia from Chaa Creek. The Hummingbird Highway was beautiful and we asked to stop at The Blue Hole National Park on the highway. Not the sea version. This was a very pretty pool of water with beautiful cliffs. People swim in it, we just waded because we had to keep driving. The mosquitos were bad!

When we finally got to the road that starts the Penincula of Placencia it turned to dirt road. Good at first and then very bumpy with giant puddles and near impossible driving conditions. Giavonni got out and waded in the water to see where the wheels would not get stuck. Good for him. At the Placencia Airport, there wa a tiny building with a sign for motorists to yeild for aircraft as we went by. Too funny. Then there is the understated Turtle Inn. We unload and walk to the reception. The view is unbelievable looking out to the beach. Everything is subtle and rustic yet so beautiful and well thought out. Lucky us, another amazing place.

The wind was blowing making it cooler. There were no no-see-ums because of the wind. Our two room villa again has no glass windows, just screens. Right on the sand. The veranda is huge with comfy furniture. 4 showers, two outside, two in. I walk into my bathroom and on the back landing to the outdoor shower is a four foot iguana. Inside a gecko and a blue footed crab. I was happy to have the wildlife because after Chaa Creek we thought we would miss that.

The food again was very nice. Italian. We took out the little Catamaran and Irwin gave my husband a refresher course. I took our little one out on the paddle boats. Nice and relaxing.

The next day we went to Laughing Bird Caye on a snorkling trip. 8 people max so it was perfect. We saw turtles and dolphins on the way there. The snorkling was nice there. Similar to Hawaii not as bright and exotic as the Virgin Islands ( We heard there are very beautiful places elsewhere though) The pretty island was tiny and the sand so soft. It was close and a good way to spend 5 hours. When we got back to the lagoon behind TI there was a small crocodile under the dock. Fun.

Others did the Monkey River thing. The mosquitos were so bad that they didn't get off the boat. It was too long, hot and buggy for us to take the kids. No one was overly amazed by it, then again most had come from the jungle first.

Placencia was fun to go into for a meal. De Thatch, Wendy's and The Galley were the places everyone went. We really liked De Thatch. We didn't go to the other two. Going down the "Smallest Main Street in theWorld" was funny. It is in the Guinness World Book of Records. It's a sidewalk size alley.

Robert's Grove was supposed to be good for a meal. We had lunch there. Robert's Grove is okay.

TI would impress anyone,however, the Mosquitoes were awful at night and TI had to spray after astorm because they were even biting us in our villas. We DEETED at night. Yikes. Those from CA, not used to them were freaky about them, the Belizians, Texans and southern people were not bothered. More Carribean/Bali like than the Cayo which made it fun.

5 Days there was very relaxing! The pool was relaxing, the staff were so kind to the kids and us. they taaught the kids to blay their bongo drums one afternoon. I am sure the other guests enjoyed it as much as I did. Kidding!

Most of the honeymooners we met had been to Blancaneux first. They liked it's beauty and quiet. Nice to start their honeymoons. It was isolated.
We miss Belize.

It was a wonderful trip!
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Old Jul 22nd, 2006, 02:07 PM
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Great report...glad you enjoyed your trip!
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