As you might already have figured out yourself, backpacking in Belize is not always cheap. But you can save some of your BZ$’s during you stay in Placencia if you plan a bit ahead.
One way of getting to Placencia is by bus, which you can catch from Belmopan. Don’t panic if you have to change buses in Dangriga. Ideally, when you go to Placencia, it is to stay for a few nights. You drive down a Peninsula, which takes a couple of hours.
My friend and I arrived late in the evening on a weekend and had not booked anything beforehand since it was off-season and hoped for the best. We had looked up hostels online, and found the hostel Anda di Hows.
This was a very laid back hostel on the beach with kitchen facilities and one room with 10 bunk beds. Two people can sleep in one bunk bed for a reduced price. If you are on a very tight budget this is the place to go. I recommend that you book beforehand if you decide to stay in this hostel for a few nights. As usually, you get what you pay for. The nights at Anda di Hows were humid, noisy and crowded.
Saving money on accommodation allows you for more fun activities in the day. If you are a light sleeper and value a good night’s sleep highly, this hostel is not for you 🙂
There are a lot of activities you can book in Placencia, such as snorkeling trips, island trips, cultural trips. Personally, we just spent a day on the beach, lying under the palm trees and enjoyed the peace and quiet. We went swimming and found a big starfish and even spotted a manatee!
Once you get hungry, there are many restaurants in Placencia, and I always recommend trying some local seafood when you are by the sea. We also had delicious pizza at Rick’s Cafe on the beach walk (see photo below).
We left Placencia to go to Cockscomb Basin by taking the Hokey Pokey Water Taxi to Independence. Note that in Independence there were not a lot of taxis, and it is a bit of a walk from the water taxi to the bus station, so make sure you have plenty of time to catch the bus. Alternatively, take the bus from Placencia and go from there, there is nothing wrong with that, we just wanted to see something different and try the water taxi 🙂. We did see an osprey, and the water taxi takes you through a mangrove forest, which is pretty damn cool.
Where to next?
If you are coming from the south, you can continue your journey north and visit laid-back Hopkins, look for jaguars in Cockscomb, head directly to the Cayes (the Caribbean style islands off the Belizean coast), or you can head to action packed San Ignacio. Here you can see a suggestion for your Belize itinerary.