Planning a trip to Placencia

Old Aug 11th, 2002, 07:43 PM
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Planning a trip to Placencia

My friend and I are planning a vacation to Belize for this upcoming September (late planners.) I have several questions regarding our trip:

1. We plan to spend a week in Belize (Placencia area) in mid September. We realize this is hurricane season. Is it still possible to have an enjoyable vacation during this time? Is there anything we should know to better prepare ourselves for this season?

2. We are considering staying at the Inn at Robert's Grove. Can anyone offer information on this resort? We might buy one of their inclusive packages. Has anyone found this to be a good deal? How's the food/on-site restaurant? We are also considering Manatee Inn. Any opinions?

3. What is the bug situation like during September?

4. My friend and I are both young women. We have traveled together before but mostly in Europe. What type of safety concerns should we have?

Thank you for your help!

Old Aug 12th, 2002, 06:32 AM
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Have a great time. It has been a few years since I've been to Placencia but this is what I'd suggest:

1. Keep an eye/ear out for the weather just before arriving. It is hurricane season and Belize is in the "belt." I'm not sure about land evacuation there, the roads used to be very difficult to navigate. Hopefully someone can help with an update.

2. Don't know.

3. I had difficulty with sand fleas in the spring - even with repellant. They sell local stuff in the main store there that works somewhat. I'd take a high % DEET.

4. Two thoughts. Some of the young women I saw there went to experience Belize and the local guys also. No judgements but flirting may be thought to be a more serious response than other places. Secondly, I met a young lady in Cay Caulker who was given a drink with one of the date rape drugs in it. She woke up on a dock not knowing what and who happened. THis can happen anywhere so be cautious of unopened/unattended drinks AND food.

Have a good time. The people are great.
Old Aug 12th, 2002, 08:03 AM
Lan Sluder
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September will be a little slow in Placencia -- some restaurants and a few hotels will be closed. While September is hurricane season, the chance of a hurricane during any one period is pretty small. Until recently, Belize has averaged only one hurricane every 10 years ... though it has had three in the past four years, with Iris hitting Placencia last October.

You will have cable TV at Robert's Grove, and they have an Internet room where you can check e-mail and get on the Internet, so you will have plenty of information about potential storms. I sometimes bring a small battery powered radio (short wave/fm/am) with me, which also is handy for weather information. The Belize authorities and also the resort hotels stay on top of the weather situation, and if it looks bad you would probably be evacuated to western Belize (Cayo).

I've stayed at Robert's Grove several times, most recently in June. It's a beautiful place, well-run and very very nice. I recommend upgrading to a one-bedroom or two-bedroom suite if you can -- they are fantastic!

The food at Robert's Grove is very good. The food is not exactly exotic -- mostly American and Continental dishes, but very well prepared. The Saturday night beach barbecue (lobster, fish, chicken) is great. I never do inclusive packages myself, and there are a number of good, less expensive restaurants on the peninsula.

The Manatee Inn is a good budget place, run by a nice young Czech couple, but it is not even remotely in the same league as Robert's Grove. I mean it's like US$35 or so a day. It's not on the water, and there's no A/C, so you'd want to try to get a room upstairs that catches a breeze. It used to have a pool, but that was destroyed by Hurricane Iris.

Unless the prevailing breezes die down, you shouldn't have much of a bug problem as long as you are on or near the water. Sometimes there are sandfleas but they shouldn't be too bad in September.

Many single women, and women together, travel in Belize. Belize City can be a little rough, but elsewhere with the usual traveler's precautions you should have no concerns.

--Lan Sluder
Belize First, San Pedro Cool, Adapter Kit: Belize, Fodor's Belize & Guatemala Guide
Old Aug 12th, 2002, 08:39 AM
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Thanks for all your advice! Lan, regarding your comments pertaining to hurricane season, although the chance of a hurricane is slim, how much rain might we expect in a week's time?
Old Aug 12th, 2002, 09:08 AM
Lan Sluder
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Hard to say about the rain. I don't have the stats at hand for Placencia, but if I had to guess I'd say it gets about 15" of rain in September. Unless there is a tropical wave that comes through and stalls, what happens usually is that you will get heavy rains for a while, a few hours, and then the sun comes back. It's not as if it rains constantly. The road from the Southern Highway to Placencia village (about 25 miles) is mostly unpaved, and it does get a little messy during the rainy season.

--Lan Sluder
Old Aug 12th, 2002, 10:35 AM
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the inn at robert's grove get good reviews. the only downside is that you need to pay for a taxi everytime you go into town which can be expensive.
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