An alternative to checking into
Belize City which can be a an
inconvenience - try  
Big Creek
Customs.  It is just a 15 min
cruise from Placencia.  Follow
the channel markers into Big
Creek - a narrow passage
that dog-legs left and opens
to a small lagoon where the
local Banana Industry carries
out their export Business.

Be careful - You don't want to
enter at night as the buoys
are often missing or burned
out.  And Don't  rely on your
GPS or Electronic charts as
you would find yourself on
land.  Note the red tracking
line from our boat (green
icon) showing our actual
route compared to the GPS
Elec.Chart program

You will anchor in the lagoon
and there will most likely be a
freighter in there too.  Just
beach your dinghy up to shore
just right of the broken down
wooden dock.  Someone will
be standing there with
and vest for

you to wear as you walk
through their  grounds and
out to the
Customs office.  

From there you can either
walk2 Miles to the
neighboring town of
Independence - or the
customs officer is happy to
call you a Taxi - usually a local
that runs people around and
is employed by the Customs
The customs and
immigration was about as
simple as it gets and the
people are extremely
accommodating and friendly.
Placencia, Belize
"Adventure and Tropical Beauty!"

Placencia is a small village situated at the tip of the Penisula in the
Stann Creek Region of Belize. Way back when, the village built a
sidewalk through the town from the fishing docks. The village and most
of the activities centers around this 3 mile sidewalk. A dirt road also
runs parallel to the sidewalk and ends up on the other end of the boat
docks by the gas station.

Placencia is an ideal place to drop your hook
and stay awhile.  There is a New Moorings
facility there with a small selection of Cats.  We
joined a handful of other transient yachts in
good holding in the well protected bay from the
North-NE winds.  The weather was pleasant with
afternoon showers that lasted less than an hour.

From this beautiful anchorage at Placencia all
sorts of day trips are offered:  Monkey River
cruise, Mayan ruins visits, Jungle waterfall and
river tubing, all sorts of snorkel and scuba
adventures, and kayaking among the keys.
The quaint little fishing towns main street and
several walking paths take you past local artist
gallery's, numerous Belizean restaurants and
Internet cafés'.   A favorite place to meet
anytime of day is Yoli's - a Palapa styled bar
and restaurant on the water
where you will meet the
proprietors, Yoli and Reegan.
Yoli's mother Merlene taught
her some fabulous recipes
including one of the best fish
sandwiches we've ever had!
This is a Hot spot following
the excursion of the day,
to take down a few IceCold
Belikin Beers as we watch
the afternoon squall pass

When Reegan isn't behind the bar - he is swinging a line challenging
others to their popular brass ring toss game that governs a large
corner and is the focal point during "all included" competitions.     
There are three main bars in Placencia: Yoli’s is down near the harbor,
on the water, great breeze, and lots of yachters. The Barefoot bar is on
the beach front, half way down the foot path heading West. It’s a fun
and relaxed place, open air, great little bar and lots of seating to
spread out. And De'tach, another Palapa styled outdoor establishment
with a rotunda style room overlooking the beach that serves a
wonderful dinner and is a great place to watch the ocean as you sip a
glass of wine.  
Log Entry Start Date -
January 10, 2007
Log Entry End Date -
January 17, 2007
Location(s) Covered -
Placencia, Belize
Latitude:   16.31. 0N     
Longitude: 88.22. 0W
Weather: Partly Cloudy,
warm, afternoon showers
Last Port: Key West, FL
Distance covered since last
582 nautical miles
Reegan & Yoli
You can secure a tour of Monkey River
through numerous shops along the up
by boat and transport you to a village
south called appropriately; Monkey River
Town.  From there you walk up to the only
restaurant in this small town of 150 and
order lunch for when you return.  The
picture below is of the restaurant
(white building) and the town
gathering hall.  Other than those two
town buildings there is a school.

Then you get back into the same boat
and head up the river all the while
viewing numerous exotic birds, turtles
and other wildlife in this very remote and
wild area. After about 30 minutes into the
jungle via the river the guide runs the
boat up into an obscure opening in the
trees.  We entered the jungle there and
walked for about an hour guided by the
screams of the Howlers.  The closer we
got, the more intense the Howler
Monkeys became.  Soon we had them all
around us and were being told not stand
directly below them as they throw things
to ward us off or worse, the male will
defecate on you... and that is exactly what
they tried to do.

During our trek into
the jungle we
walked through a
mass of Bamboo
towering over us
from all directions.

Also many "Gumbo
Limbo" Trees, also
known as the "Tourist Tree" due to it's
burnt looking bark.  Many say it
resembles the sun burnt visitors that visit
Belize.  The trees are protected
from the parasitic plant life and vines
because they are unable to adhere to the
loosely shedding bark.   This tree is also
known to grow where there are
poisonous trees.  So beware and don't
touch plant life while in the area.

1986, the park is the culmination of many years of work and perseverance by individuals and national and international organizations.  In
addition to protection of the Jaguar, Cockscomb is home to 4 other endangered cats, Baird's Tapir, reintroduced Howler Monkeys, as well as 290
species of birds.  There are 14 hiking trails, the longest being 14 km.   Please note that a visit to the Jaguar Preserve may likely provide you with
signs of recent Jaguar activity, but it is highly unlikely that an actual Jaguar sighting will occur. These wonderful animals are masters of stealth
and their very existence is based on their seeing, but not being seen.
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary & Jaguar Preserve

After your morning walk you will return to the ranger station for lunch and rest
up for a hike to a beautiful waterfall; a great place to take a cooling swim.

Includes three hiking trails each winding through a dense jungle canopy
leading to beautiful waterfalls
Basin Wildlife Sanctuary located in the Stann Creek District about 1.5
hours from the Placencia Bay. Declared national reserve in 1984 which
today includes over 100,000 acres.  The only jaguar reserve in the
world and is home to a variety of wildlife including the jaguar, ocelots,
national animal).  They can weight 300-500 lbs,
"Mountain Cow"

Lush jungle - tropical moist forest in which
mahogany, cieba, cohune palm trees can be
found as well as orchids, tree ferns, climbing
vines, and a large variety of birds (over 290
species have been recorded).

While hiking through Cockscomb beware of where you place
your hands as many variety's of trees are either poisonous or
covered in spikey thorns.  
Note the armour of this
one inch diameter young
palm I almost grabbed
while stepping down.

After our 45 minute hike
thru Cockscomb we picked
up some tubes and hiked
another 25 minutes to
Stann Creek.
What an Experience!  
We spent an hour floating in
a surreal   dream state with
tropical birds flying and  
wildlife around us.  
Kim & Reegan playing game
The history of the Maya people is the history of Belize. Evidence of
be seen during tours of ancient Mayan ruins and artifacts found in
the jungles and caves of Belize.                                    These Mayan
ruins include such archeological                                    treasures as
Xunantunich (Maiden of the Rock)                                 a ceremonial
center that provides a panoramic                                   view of the
Cayo District.   
the first site in Belize to be road
and a ferry were built in 1954.

Ferry is hand cranked.
What you will see today is a
Classic period (300-900 AD)
ceremonial center, with
pyramids. The tallest is
the 130 foot "El Castillo,"
which is large by Mayan
standards and is only
exceeded by the Caana
Xunantunich Car
Customs - Big Creek
Gumbo Limbo Tree
Click on IMAGES to Enlarge
Why is Bob smiling ?
"Just another Gringo in Belize"

After an hour and half trek through the
jungle you return to the restaurant for
a special treat - home cooked
Belizean Food consisting of fish over
rice and beans accompanied by
plantain chips and a bread pudding.  
They speak Creole (shorten words &
sentences of English crossed with
Spanish) and it was difficult to know
what we were truly having for lunch.
Jan 10, 2007 - January 17, 2007
late 1800's, when it was explored by a British medical officer named
Thomas Gann. The first known photograph of the site was taken in
1904. Nothing further was done until Gann returned in 1924, at
which time he reportedly unearthed many Maya treasures. The
pyramid at Caracol. The recent history of Xunantunich began in the
late 1800's, when it was explored by a British medical officer named
Thomas Gann. The first known photograph of the site was taken in
1904. Nothing further was done until Gann returned in 1924, at
which time he reportedly unearthed many Maya treasures. The
recorded history of these items has been lost and, at present, no
one knows of their whereabouts. It is possible that many museums
and private collectors of Maya artifacts are displaying them, with no
idea of their origin.  We highly recommend that you make the steep,
but short, climb to the top of "El Castillo." as we did, shown above.
This vantage point provides a breathtaking, 360 degree, panoramic
view over the jungle canopy of the Macal, Mopan and Belize River
valleys, as well as a vast area of the Guatemalan
Peten District, which is only a few miles away.
(click on picture)