If you've ever Googled Placencia, you've seen the beautiful soft sands, colorful houses, and enticing blue waters of our Caribbean gem. But the beauty of this place goes far beyond what the postcards show.
We asked some of our team members to tell us their secret spots and favorite stops to give you an insider's look at what life is like in the most perfect village in the world.
Our most pressing question: where do you take visiting friends and family?
Debbie Castillo, the Chef in our Staff Canteen known as "Luba Hati," opts to show off her favorite Belizean spots like "ziplining at Bocawina National Park, visiting to the inland Blue Hole – yes, there are two! – or a boat trip in Punta Gorda."
Our Sales Executive Jerel Keith loves to take people on the one-hour boat ride to the private island resort of Hatchet Caye for a day of remote relaxation. Office Manager Kimberley Viner enjoys showing off the "real life fish tank on our doorstep, and being at one with sting rays, turtles, nurse sharks and the brightest selection of fish imaginable."
And don't forget about whale shark season! Swimming with these giants is guaranteed to give friends the tale of lifetime!
Of course there's even more to love closer to home.
Sales and Marketing Coordinator Shaylene Todd takes her out-of-town guests on a foodie tour of the village. "Obviously we'll start at Tutti Frutti!!! They have the best gelato this side of Italy. Then we'll grab some great local food at Dawn's Grill n Go. And of course we'll head to Mojo's for dinner and the catch of the day!"
And somewhere in there she'll try to squeeze in a visit to Singing Sands' restaurant in Maya Beach for a cappuccino and a stop by Brewed Awakenings for their seaweed shakes.
At this point Jerel jumped in to recommend the Spicy Yucatan Chicken at Rumfish y Vino and Stephen Kelly, our Purchasing Manager, vouched for Wendy's Creole Food. And our Foodie-in-Residence Enrico Cordenons recommends everything from the Thai menu at Siripon to the vegetarian burrito by the bus stop.
Lesson learned: when you come to Placencia, come hungry!
Of course, not every day holds such a packed itinerary for our team.
On their days off, the #1 item on the to do list is soaking up the calming beach vibes. You can find Enrico meditating on the sands (or stargazing at night), while Stephen takes his two year old on long walks next to what Kim calls "the prettiest turquoise waters in the world."
As for Shay, she's going to spend her day off "by the pool at Turtle Inn with pizza and Sophia Blanc de Blanc." Sounds like an excellent plan.
When they want to get out of town, where does the Itz'ana family love to go? You'll find our Boat Captain, Captain Orlando of the ship Nick of Time, "either on the river in Big Falls or by the waterfalls at Maya King," and Debbie is a shoo-in for any excursion that involves cave tubing!
Meanwhile, Enrico will be on his way to the Maya Center "to buy chocolate and hike the jaguar trail in Cockscomb. But I'll be back in time for a beer at the sunset on the pier."
And Jerel? He'll be "boating up and down the Monkey River to see the beautiful mangroves, howler monkeys, crocodiles and toucans" and Shay will be "on the Daytripper Catamaran for a day of sailing, snorkeling & rum punch."
There's something for every kind of adventurer in and around Placencia, and we have every kind on our team!
And what about the weekend? Our team spills the beans on the best places to be on a Saturday night… "Barefoot and Tipsy Tuna are my to go places, but beach dinners at Itz'ana can't be beat" says Enrico. And you haven't lived until Orlando has taken you to local hangout J Dee's for karaoke!
Shay recommends skipping Saturday night and heading to Barefoot on Sunday for "Sunday Funday with a beachfront BBQ and live Caribbean music!"
A perfect way to soak up the best of Placencia!
Final question time: what does our team wish the world knew about Placencia?
"I love to say that ‘there is only one road and one sidewalk,'" says Shay, "it's a really cool notion for a lot of people. It's 16 miles of beach south of a rainforest that has caves and ruins and the largest living reef in the world. And only about 3,500 people live here. It's incredible."
We couldn't have said it better, Shay.
Ready to plan your trip to Placencia? Itz'ana will be opening its doors later this year, so sign up to be the first to know when rooms are available!
And if you'd like to join our family as an Itz'ana homeowner, be sure to get in touch with Shay and the rest our sales team – residences are selling fast and won't last long!