Well finally getting back into the Clud Mud travel. This time, after a lapse of 11 years, sort of a repeat, with a return to Belize but this time Placencia on the main land.
The easiest way to get there was a true puddle jumper from Belize City to the local airport. All the people involved were friendly and went out of their way to help. In the town it self there was the beach a main street and a walkway that paralelled the main street called "The Sidewalk". The central area is very walkable with a choice of restaurants and bars. Unfortunately, as in most such areas, there is a rise of ex-pats trying to make it just like the place they fled. One of the ex-pat bars even has a trivia night. The town has at least 4 well run supermarkets and places to rent a golf cart if you want to explore. We used Capt Jak. Price and service were excellent. The one thing I noticed through out the country was the friendliness of the people. Everyone says hello and is usally smiling. Even when I screwed up at the airport , all smiles. Just a nice friendly place.
Accomodations: There are very few true resorts in the town although there are several a 15 minute cart ride from town. In town there are rentals that go fron beach cabanas to airbnb. We did the latter to take advantage of air conditioning , washer/dryer and kitchen. I am not a big fan of airbnbs in general but the one we used had a staff thus provided local (not imported) employment. There are some small semi resorts on the beach that do offer cabanas, cottages a restaurant and a bar and lots of rental properties. You go north on the pennisula ther are a couple of true resorts. The resort that we spend two afternoons at was north of airport called Maya Beach and Bistro.. Great people, great service and great food and once again using almost entirely locals. Both times were very relaxing afternoons.
Diving: No beach diving here. You have a number of choices. The most common approach, also the closest, was to go to the local cayes and marine parks. After some ground work we chose GoSea Belize. They are down by the city pier, locally owned and locally operated. The staff was top notch for both snorkeling and scuba. High quality guides are provided for both. They spend a lot of effort on the guests with top notch rental gear. Where a lot of places a boat with 15 snorkeler/divers would have a captain and dive leader, they at least one for the divers and one or two for the snorklers. Nice ratio. A lot of dive operations seem to be all about the tip. The GoSea team got along great, went out of their way to help you yet they gave you space as your showed yoru ability level. They truely were about a good time. They focus on the cayes which limits the size of the boat they can use (mid 30 ft) and also means about a 40 -50 minute boat ride but it really doesn't seem that far. Boats were not crowded .
There are other operations that focus on big boats and longer trips, but GoSea focuses one a two tank dive with BBQ lunch during a leisurely surface interval on a beach that is a perfect way to spend a diving day. No bouncing around between dives. Expect 45 minutes dives with flat profiles between 45 and 70 feet with great visibility. Entries are back rolls. We had nurse sharks every day and lots of the other "usual suspects"
There aren't many dive operations that I compliment or admire, but GoSea Belize is certainly one that I recommend and admire