Weekend with the Owners: Placencia
Friday, 12 noon.
Arrive at Francis Ford Coppola’s Turtle Inn.
The hotel is a fantasy. You can feel a professional set director pulled it together. It tells a romantic story fit for the perfect weekend relaxing by the beach. It has a chilled out romantic aesthetic with Balinese influences. The small out door showers in our rooms lit up at night for a very romantic feel. The small beds in the villas were strategized by Coppola himself, who said that you are either in Placencia on your own or with your loved one, and thus should be close together even in your sleep.
Turtle Inn Resort. Placencia Village. Stann Creek District, Belize. (501) 523 – 3244
Friday, 8 p.m.
Dinner at Rumfish Y Vino
This gastro-bar in Placencia’s Village Square offers a curated wine list, personally imported by the owners of the restaurant. The Italian wines at Rumfish contribute to making the restaurant’s wine list one of the best in Belize. The atmosphere of the restaurant is perfect for a casual evening out. Favorite dishes include the signature small plate olive tapenade, made in house with ground black olives, capers, olive oil and served on crostini, as well as the Rumfish tacos, made with beer battered local fish filet on a bed of shredded cabbage with pico de gallo and a secret sauce.
Rumfish Y Vino, Placencia Village Square. Belize. (501) 523 – 3293
Friday, 11 p.m.
Drinks at Barefoot Beach Bar
The party is always on at Barefoot Beach Bar, Placencia’s local hangout. Enjoy drinks and live music every day of the week with a cocktail list that’s 14 pages long. Current specials include the Pink Mermaid and a Mango Banana Colada. The vibe is cool and casual with tunes ranging from reggae to rock, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Barefoot Beach Bar. Main Street. Placencia, Belize. (501) 523 – 3515
Saturday, 10 a.m.
Unwind after the evening fun by the beach at Turtle Inn. If you’re feeling adventurous, explore Placencia by boat and take a trip up the Monkey River. The enveloping untouched jungles contrast with the crystal clear water of the reef and make for an Amazon-like experience. Be sure to spot the howler monkeys, toucans and crocodiles lurking between the trees!
Saturday, 2 p.m.
Brunch at Maya Beach Bistro
Enjoy a mid day brunch at Maya Beach Bistro. The restaurant is located 6 miles north of Placencia but is very well worth the drive. The lobster grilled cheese filled with fresh chunks of lobster and melted brie and cheddar is reason enough for the trek. Another favorite was the blackened seafood gratin served in an iron skillet. The red snapper is baked over creamy, cheesy goodness and is served with a baguette on the side. The menu is eclectic and the atmosphere casual, perfect for a quaint afternoon with delicious food, drinks and company. Try their Bloody Mary, or choose a wine off their impressive wine list. The owner, Ellen, will gladly recommend a few places to stop by for your evening entertainment.
Maya Beach Bistro. Maya Beach, Placencia. Belize. (501) 520-8040
Saturday, 5 p.m.
Sail on the Caribbean Sea in a catamaran, watching the sunset over the deep blue water.
Saturday, 10 pm.
Enjoy a romantic dinner at Turtle Inn’s The Gauguin Grill where you will be served fresh lobster, jumbo shrimp and snapper in woven plates accompanied by an array of Balinese-inspired sauces and spices. Tables are set just a few feet from the sea, so that guests can enjoy the starry night sky and the sea breeze over candlelight.
Sunday, 11 a.m.
Sunday, 1 p.m.
Gelato at Tutti Frutti
This Italian couple brought a taste of Italy to Placencia with their artisan gelato shop. The ice cream is prepared with genuine Italian ingredients the couple brings back with them during their trips to Italy. Be sure to try the chocolate hazelnut and peanut butter gelato flavors.
Tutti Frutti Ice Cream Parlor. Placencia Road. Placencia, Belize.
To do: Placencia has an array of seasonal events that can’t be missed. June marks the start of the town’s lobster festival where fresh fare can be enjoyed straight from the sea. Whale shark diving from March to May is an out of this world experience. Swim under the full moon with sharks 40 – 50 feet long. Enjoy snorkeling, kayaking and diving off private islands and reefs.
To buy: The gift shop at Turtle Inn cannot be missed. Buy Eres swimsuits, DVD’s of Coppola’s favorite films and local handicrafts such as journals, wallets and baskets.
Getting there: New York direct flights 4 hours to Belize City on American Airlines, then take a local plane 30 minutes to Placencia. 2 1/2 hours from Ka’ana.