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Things to bring when coming to Belize

Remaxvipbelize: Rotary Beach Olympics

We are going back to the US for a visit and we have been keeping track of what we can’t get down here, to shop for at home. I have been asked a few times what things to bring to Belize that you can’t find here, and it is a common courtesy to ask your friends if they need you to bring back anything when you go for a visit.I have been trying very hard to simplify while we are here, so by no means is this an exhaustive list. I also haven’t bought any clothes for 3 months….today I was told that there was a 4 inch hole in the back of my shorts in an unfortunate place. I am now down to 3 pairs of shorts. This is a must buy 🙂 Different things are obviously important to different people; this is just a snapshot of our experience.

I so miss Target 🙂 It is really the only store I miss. I like going and getting everything I need at one place. When I get to go to (blissfully air conditioned) Target.

Here is the definite list of things to bring down to Belize:

  • Flea collars (for the dog, not me)
  • Dog treats made in the USA (no judging of other countries dog treats, just a precaution:) )
  • Queen sheets-hard to find sometimes, in the variety at home
  • Acrylic paint-pretty expensive and hard to find here
  • Sunglasses-these are pretty pricey here ($10 US–Ok that is not expensive, but I go through these really fast so I buy like $3 ones at home)
  • Razors-much cheaper at home and the brand I like is not here
  • Frisbees-can get cheaply
  • Snorkel gear-cheaper at home
  • Curtains-same reason as the sheets
  • Hand held can opener-for some reason the ones down here don’t hold up we have heard!
  • Eye drops-this comes from Chris, who needs them due to an eye condition, you can’t get good ones here
  • Clothes-you really can’t buy a large variety of clothes here
  • Flip Flops-same reason
  • Faucets-not a good selection here
  • More bathing suits-and not frilly ones, more like down to business sporty ones
  • Some things that we didn’t think we would need, already own, but are now bringing down:
  • Air pump
  • Label maker
  • Board games
  • Satellite radio
  • A computer to TV hook up
  • Iron
  • Hand Vac
  • Kitchen stuff like canisters, tongs, grill equipment, cookie sheets, casserole pan
  • Hiking boots
  • Galoshes
  • To go coffee mugs
  • A few other random bar and cooking tools

Lastly, we are bringing cornhole baggos and we are going to build cornhole boards–Cornhole is at most parties in Ohio–I don’t know how prevalent it is anywhere else but we are going to bring cornhole to Placencia!! I can’t wait!! it is the perfect environment for it 🙂

Remaxvipbelize: Build cornhole boards-

This will be another post at some point, but some things that came to mind of what we DIDN’T need and brought back…

Long sleeves

Dressy clothes

Dressy shoes



Nail polish and remover

Hair dryer/curler/straightener

Perfume and body spray (Off Woods DEET and SPF are my perfumes now)

Much less socks and underwear than you think you’ll need

(there is a definite theme here.)

And last thought on this topic….what I was anxious about doing without, but found I don’t miss…

Makeup-specific brands

Perfume and nail polish

Doing my hair all fancy

Wearing different varieties of clothes and dressing up

All of the super healthy food I ate at home (Vibrant Greens, quinoa and kale, Whole-Foods type stuff)

Protein Shakes

Good haircuts


Specific skin regimen stuff

Really awesome detergent and dryer-dried clothes (hanging the clothes makes them crunchy but who cares)

The gym (just exercise outside)

The awesome coffeemaker we had-the coffee down here is good even in a drip machine

A huge kitchen

A big house 🙂 (As long as I have a big bed 🙂 )

My own garden (with all the farmer’s markets and year round warmth….no complaints 🙂 )

Do you like our list of Things to Bring down to Belize? Leave a comment below!

In other news, this week we have been having  a great time with Ray. We had the Rotary Beach Olympics, where local businesses sponsor their teams and the winner gets a trophy, bragging rights, liquor, and a fun time. It was HOT Sunday, but beautiful, and here are some shots of the day:

Remaxvipbelize: Rotary Beach Olympics
Remaxvipbelize: Olympic Anouncement
Remaxvipbelize: Belize Olympic Day
 Not really winning anything.
Remaxvipbelize: winner gets a trophy
 Sue joining but also not really winning anything.
Remaxvipbelize: Winning Trophy and fun with Sue
Also, Ray’s first day, I took a picture admiring this sailboat:
Remaxvipbelize: Picture admiring this sailboat
Remaxvipbelize: sailboat

Only to find out that it was our friend Chris and his friend Tom! They stopped up and had a visit, they were awesome at maneuvering the boat!

We also went to the new restaurant on the lagoon side of Belize Ocean Club, and it had a BREATHTAKING view of the Maya mountains….gorgeous place to have dinner!

Remaxvipbelize : Lagoon side of Belize Ocean Club

The week is already flying by. We plan on finding some new free places to snorkel while Ray is here…and we are going to attempt to organize a beach BBQ while Ray is here, before we all leave 🙂

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Fun and Cheap Placencia Activities

remaxvipbelize: Only Love Painting wall

You can really blow a lot of money on any vacation by taking excursions every day, going to expensive dinners every night-but realistically, most of us need to find at least SOME fun and cheap Placencia activities to do on the “off days.” Some people are OK with lounging by the pool or beach for days, but others want to do adventures, so here are some ideas you can use! I recommend taking at least a couple excursions, but you can have a very fulfilling and meaningful vacation doing these too! (note, I used some googled stock photos so credit for some of these pics goes to the internet )

Remaxvipbelize: Placencia activities

1.) Rent a bike! You can rent them at Captain Jak’s (northern village on the main street). We offer bike usage to guests for free as well. So what do you do when you bike around? Some ideas:

-bike down to the pier and watch the fishing boats

-have a picnic on the MANY beaches-stop at street food stands and farmer’s markets, where you can eat very cheaply

-bike up to Mariposa and have a drink during happy hour-they have a pool and good specials!

-for the adventurous-bike all the way to Maya Beach–bring your own snorkel gear, or rent it from the gas station down by the pier–you can snorkel off of Maya Breeze, or further south, at Los Porticos. You can see a bunch of coral and fish!

-You can also bike to Maya Breeze and rent a kayak for cheap, and kayak to False Caye–a 30 minute paddle and you can see amazing underwater life!

-Bike to Belize Ocean Club, where you can hang out at their pool, paddleboard or kayak off their beach for free-just buy a couple drinks at their awesome bar 🙂

-Bike to Seine Bight and visit the Goss chocolate factory-right by Blue Crab Beach

Remaxvipbelize: Blue Crab Beach

2.) Fishing- if you bring your own pole, you can fish anywhere you choose, and if you take your fish to JD’s, they will cook it for you. If you stay with us, we have a beach barbecue you can use for free! You can also talk to the fishermen at the pier and get fish from them too 🙂

Remaxvipbelize: Fishing

3.) Visit Sunset Point behind the soccer field…you can walk out on the dock and get an amazing view of the sunset….see here!

Remaxvipbelize: Sunset Point behind the soccer field

4.) If you can stomach taking the bus-take the bus to the Inland Blue Hole-this is a turquoise hole where you can swim, you can hike, this is a really great cheap thrill!

Remaxvipbelize: Inland Blue Hole-this is a turquoise

5.) Happy hours at Tipsy Tuna and Barefoot Bar–the scenery can’t be beat….beachfront comfortable chairs where you can chill out and people watch….always something entertaining to see!

Remaxvipbelize: Happy hours at Tipsy Tuna and Barefoot Bar

6.) Yoli’s on Friday night….there is music and great specials, this is a highlight for most people!

Remaxvipbelize: Yoli's on Friday night

7.) Lunch delivery–I mention this a lot….get lunch delivered to your door, HUGE portion….for $5 US! You can try all the local food and not really leave your chair.

Remaxvipbelize: Lunch delivery

8.) At Caribbean Beach Cabanas, we have snorkel equipment, floats, palapas, beach chairs, etc that come with your room. I would recommend staying at a place that offers this kind of amenity because it allows you to have a couple very fun and free days. A SUPER FUN thing we do frequently is to snorkel out and collect shells and coral, which are also great souvenirs 🙂

9:) Speaking of souvenirs–do yourself a favor–visit any grocery store and buy a bunch of small bottles of hot sauce for people back home–less than a dollar and it is very local and fun present 🙂 Other ideas–small jars of guava/mango/habanero/banana/coconut jellies, which are a couple bucks.

Remaxvipbelize: grocery store and buy a bunch of small bottles

10.) Go on a dolphin watch–ask around when you are here–there are times of year where you can almost swim with them right off shore!

Remaxvipbelize: Dolphin watch

So, what do you think of our Fun and Cheap Placencia activities?

In other news, we are finally on Trip Advisor, and thanks to some internet magic, we are rated #14 of 24 specialty places in Placencia! The more good reviews we get the higher our rating so come on down! 🙂

We are also now on VRBO-

And finally, Here was a picture of a great sunset from the last couple days….

Remaxvipbelize: Beach side
 Nighttime under the palapa…..
Remaxvipbelize: Nighttime under the palapa
And, Ray, Dave’s best friend from childhood, made a last minute visit to us and we are having a great time with him! 
Remaxvipbelize: Ray, Dave's best friend from childhood
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10 Food and Drink Must Do’s in Placencia

Remaxvipbelize: Dragon fruit Juice with lemon

Most people will come to Placencia for relaxation, because the minute you turn to drive down the peninsula, you are surrounded by beautiful images of the water, gorgeous homes and hotels, palm trees, birds, the shoreline, etc. I have heard that Placencia is where people from the rest of Belize go to vacation. It may not be a place people visit to necessarily have a food or drink experience (no craft beer here– only Belikin beer can be sold…..but there are other unique drinks here); you can’t get all of these elsewhere, and it will really enhance your vacation(to have authentic local stuff as opposed to chains!) This Food and Drink list is based on my experience in the last 6 months, as well as the opinions of visitors and locals that I have talked to…

(not based in order of importance 🙂 )

10 Food and Drink Must Do’s in Placencia — A list

1.) Marie Sharps–a carrot based hot sauce made locally. It is so, so good, much better than tabasco or any other regularly used sauce in the US. There are many varieties, and at Ming market they sell small sample bottles for $.90 US–this is also a great souvenir to take home!

Remaxvipbelize: Food and Drink Must Do's in Placencia

2.) Tutti Frutti Gelato-it is as good as it looks in the picture! It is ridiculous. The owners bring their ingredients from Italy. It is in the heart of town, right by Rumfish, and you can walk there from our place!

Remaxvipbelize: Tutti Frutti Gelato

3.) Coconut rum with coconut water and a lime (preferably out of a real coconut!) Barefoot bar calls this “Crazy Coconut.” Not all the bars have coconut water. If you can find Marlin on your trip, he will sell you a large container of coconut water for $5 US, and you can keep this in your fridge and mix it with local coconut rum all week. You can also buy coconut water at any local store. The local brand Old Master is the tastiest coconut rum in my opinion 🙂 At our resort the first thing we do when you settle in is make one of these in a coconut!

Remaxvipbelize: Coconut rum with coconut water

4.) On to the Drink part of “Food and Drink”….at Rumfish they have premixed drinks at the bar, with fresh ingredients, and they make all kinds of margaritas and mojitos. The best one is a watermelon mojito and the orange jalapeno margarita. Ask what the mixes are that day, you can’t go wrong 🙂

Remaxvipbelize: Watermelon mojito and the orange jalapeno margarita

5.) Eat gibnut because it is a good story (you can tell people you ate rat). Gibnuts are cute, weird, and gross all at the same time. They taste fine and it is a local delicacy that even the Queen ate when she visited Belize, where it got its nickname The Queen’s Rat. It looks like Bambi and a rat had a baby. Just eat it. There is a spectacular local place to get local food called Mim’s–it looks like a shack from the outside but it always has a line of locals and tourists for lunch.

Remaxvipbelize: Queen's Rat

6.) Seaweed shakes–either from the Shak or Brewed Awakenings–they are so good and also nutritious. I felt I was coming down with something not long ago and after one of these I felt fine. Psychosomatic or not, they are fun and that is what matters. Brewed Awakenings is always crowded and has all kinds of coffee drinks that are way better than Starbucks–even their espresso shots–it should get its own listing.

Remaxvipbelize : Seaweed shakes

7.) Espresso martini from Maya Beach Bistro–this is a drive but you are going there anyway, so do yourself a favor and get one! This one is courtesy of Shannon, an espresso martini connisseur, and we agreed that it was the best ever.

Remaxvipbelize: Espresso martini

8.) Stewed chicken, rice, and beans-if you don’t add this to your Belize food list it is just not legit. A fun way to do this is–call Dawn’s Grill, Crow’s Nest, or the Galley, and ask them to deliver you lunch on a day you are lounging at the beach. For $5 US, these three places will deliver you the food and all three of these places are very good. Throw some Marie Sharp’s on it. It also comes with potato salad or coleslaw–mix that all up with the rice and chicken juice if you really want to have a good time. I have been eating this lunch about 4-5 x a week for several months. I still love it and despite white rice’s bad reputation for making people fat, I have never felt better and am in fact not fat yet. This also comes with a fried plantain which deserves its own listing. Yum.

Now imagine eating this on the beach:
Remaxvipbelize: Stewed chicken

9.) This one is a real sleeper and really sets my list apart. I originally thought that the tortilla chips down here were not so good. Then, I found these:

Remaxvipbelize: Tortilla chips

These are the best tortilla chips ever. One day you are here, stop at one of the many farmer’s markets and buy 2 large avocados, an onion, a couple tomatoes, some cilantro, and a lime. Maybe a jalapeno if you are so inclined. Mash all this together and add some salt. Then, get a belikin and sit on your beach chair and feel smug because you made this happen for like $5 US.

10.) The last item on our Food and Drink list is brought to you by one of our guests: Our guest Kate said that this wine was the best she had ever had, and the only place they have it is at La Dolce Vita-I am adding this to the list because there is a complaint that wine is not good here and it is expensive. This was good and not expensive, yay! They bring it over from Italy. That is two things on the list brought from Italy if you are keeping track. They are known for good food and wine, so that makes sense, and, you can have it in Belize instead of across the globe.

Remaxvipbelize: Montepulciano D'abruzzo wine

Some other random going ons here. Ray, Dave’s best friend from childhood, is coming to visit this week so Dave is like a kid on Christmas. We leave soon for a visit to the US and 2 weddings, and then we are back to start the end of low season and our first high season! We are starting to get some reservations for December through February and we couldn’t be more excited!

Dave and Vic are working on building brand new custom beds, kitchens, and built ins for the cabanas. It looks amazing but I am going to try to hold off on the pictures until it is done. I will add this picture of the bedroom in the casita–yes, we jammed a king bed in there temporarily, because it is the only bed we can tolerate sleeping on together, between our abnormal heights and the dog. Even though it is the smallest bedroom I have ever had it is my favorite 🙂 I mean, a turquoise ceiling??

Remaxvipbelize: Turquoise ceiling
I caught this picture the other day… has been an outrageously beautiful week, although the rain is back a little today:
Remaxvipbelize: Beautiful Beach
Dave caught this sunrise the other morning…
Remaxvipbelize: Beach Sunset View

And finally, this was this morning 🙂 Are you thinking “awwwwww!” I bet you are! The poor dog has oil based paint all over his back and legs, due to me painting the door frame yesterday (we held him for 99% of the time needed to dry. How does that 1% always get you??) so my next project is going to be to deal with that.

Remaxvipbelize: The poor dog has oil based paint all over his back and legs
Last thought for today is, it is Jaws week on A&E. Jaws was on last night, tonight is Jaws II and Wednesday is Jaws III. I have had a fear of being in ocean water where I can’t stand since I saw this movie when I was 10. I haven’t watched these movies since then. Now that I live on the water, this was poor timing on A&E’s part. They had the nerve to remind the viewers that most shark attacks happen in 3 feet of water, in case you thought that would keep you safe. And yes, I am going to watch them all.
Remaxvipbelize: Barracuda attacks
Ironically, the water has been so clear this week that Dave and I snorkeled out front, and we saw a ton of fish…..not the least of which was an irritable looking barracuda. You better believe I did research about the chances of this fish having a problem with us. Turns out there is very little chance of this. However, something to be aware of; and don’t YouTube Barracuda attacks on humans. if you see this fish, simply pleasantly swim the other way:
Remaxvipbelize: saw a ton of fish

Because after watching YouTube and Jaws, like me, the above fish will actually look more like this to you: (Also an actual barracuda but I am sure this one doesn’t swim near shore.)

P.S. If you’re in the mood to watch TV, why not watch our own appearance in HGTV’s beachfront bargain hunt?

Remaxvipbelize: Barracuda attacks
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What to pack for a trip to Belize?

Remaxvipbelize: Cancun-Resort-Vacation-Pool

Belize is a little different than other places in that when most of us think of an exotic vacation, we may picture luxurious resorts and hotels, expensive restaurants, trendy bars, etc. I created this article to get some information out there on what to pack for a Belize trip.

When I think about vacation I picture this:
Remaxvipbelize: luxurious resorts
 What I actually feel like most days here:
Remaxvipbelize: feel like most days here

Belize also has some interesting (awesome) cultural differences that make a trip here a bit unique. There appears to me to be a huge difference in the materialism between the US and Belize. In the US I think most would agree that we are judged on what we have, drive, are wearing, are carrying, etc, and others decide if we are worthwhile to get to know based on these factors. I do not see a lot of mixing of socioeconomic statuses in the US. Not the case here! In fact I have gotten the impression that if I were to walk down the street decked out in luxury brands, I would stick out like a sore thumb; it is NOT considered impressive or that you are a worthy person to know if you do this, and in fact I would look like a douche bag very out of place.

Don’t vacation in Belize if you feel comfortable with these people:
Remaxvipbelize: vacation in Belize
But if this looks fun (yes, that is a chicken; the crowd is waiting for him to poop on a number, hence the chicken drop)…then you are coming to the right place!
Remaxvipbelize : chicken the crowd is waiting

One of the nicest restaurants on the peninsula is the Maya Beach Bistro, and on our first trip here, after being told about this restarurant, I turned to Dave and said, “well let’s go up there for lunch, but I have to change.” I had been on a bike ride and had on what I would normally wear to the gym. The local guy who told us about it said, “Don’t be silly. In that outfit you will be the most dressed up one in there.” This sums up the fashion here. It is so true. If I wear a dressy sundress to the beach bars here, I am not comfortable and feel out of place. the more casual you pack, the better! I can’t stress that enough.

Also, you will want more casual, comfortable, clothes like you would wear to the gym or to do yard work (seriously!) and more bathing suits than you ever thought you would need. Only flip flops or whatever sandal you wear, and some running shoes if you are planning on doing hiking. I live in a bathing suit, cotton tank top and shorts almost every day. Bring twice the amount of bathing suits you think you needs, and half the amount of nice dressy clothes you think you need! No need for any long sleeves from March-Oct at least.

Here is an easy list on what to pack for a Belize vacation

-Every bathing suit you own. And buy a couple extra.

-Several–at least one for each day you are here, unless you do laundry-pairs of comfortable shorts (you will sweat A LOT and will not want to re-wear).

-The same number of tank tops or tee shirts.

-A sturdy pair of flip flops or Tevas, or whatever really comfortable walking sandal you have. I would bring a back up pair, and also a pair of running shoes you can hike in. I also brought a pair of water shoes and I recommend this. If you are interested in some no shit deep jungle hikes, maybe even a pair of galoshes.

-Bring a travel umbrella and a poncho–everyone looks like a tourist in a poncho but sometimes, who cares–it really can save a day from being ruined into being salvageable if you can be outside.

-Sunglasses, sunscreen (like 4 bottles), deep woods off (3 bottles), Avon Skin So soft or baby oil (the only repellent for sand fleas–DON’T leave this one out!), benedryl (in case of jellyfish sting).

Sand flea bites….they itch 100x worse than a mosquito bite…
Remaxvipbelize: mosquito bite

-Bring one long sleeved shirt if you are here in the winter months–don’t bother from March-Oct–I have not needed or worn long sleeves since we have been coming here at the end of January. Sometimes people like to snorkel in these too.

-Bring all your scuba diving needs if this is your thing. Bring snorkel gear in case your hotel doesn’t have it (we do!!)

-A surge protector is recommended–we have had no problems here, but during a storm the electricity can be erratic, and it can fry your electronics.

Remaxvipbelize: fry your electronics

-Bring lots and lots of ziploc bags. We provide these for guests—but in case of rain you will want to put your cell phone in one, if you go kayaking this serves as a waterproof bag, in your room–you will want to put any food in this as the bugs have food radar that is not of this world.

-For females–seriously, coming from a former high maintenance hair and makeup person—do not bother bringing a hair dryer, curler, straightener–I have not used one in 6 months and I am seriously high need in this area. you will not do anything but let your hair air dry once you are here, and if you try doing anything fancy with your hair, it will look like crap in 5 minutes. The more natural the better. A little mousse or gel if you have curly hair and let it air dry looks the best. Straight hair people–not sure what to tell you as this is really foreign to me. But hair doesn’t stay straight down here unless it is natural that way. For makeup, some lip gloss with SPF and some waterproof mascara really will be enough. Don’t bother with a manicure or pedicure as it will last 2-3 days down here!

Me before Belize: (note straightened hair, makeup still on face/not greasy, relatively together looking)

Remaxvipbelize: Me before Belize

Me after living here 4 months: (Note wet hair in a bun, sweatiness, sea water coming through my shirt because I have a bikini on, an outfit I used to wear to work out in, and harder to see but no makeup-this is pretty normal)

Remaxvipbelize: makeup-this is pretty normal

Back to this list — What to Pack before coming to Belize

-Bring a small backpack/athletic bag/tie string bag for your adventures. Always carry a ziploc bag, bathing suit, and towel, along with the SPF, baby oil, and bug spray wherever you go on your trip. Read more on the essential things to bring down to Belize.

In Belize you just get used to feeling kind of sticky and dirty, but it is in a fun way!! You do need to keep up on the SPF and the bug spray, and because you are on the coast pretty often, you are frequently on the sand. You just become a dirty mess with all of this. It becomes the new normal and hopefully by the end of the trip it doesn’t bother you at all 🙂 I was on the fence of being a prissy person when I got here. This place has thoroughly shaken me of that. My nails and feet are always dirty, I am always sweaty and sticky, but I love it now 🙂 Being cold is WAYYYYYYYYY worse! I just take a shower every night before I go to bed and this is always the best shower in the world.

It was a heat index of 106 yesterday….and this is the only place I have been where somehow you can tolerate it without air conditioning! You get to close so close to the sea here, and the breeze is so constant, that it really is bearable.

Welcome to 106 degree Paradise! (air conditioning is coming for the cabanas though 🙂 )
Remaxvipbelize: Welcome to 106 degree Paradise
 It just LOOKED hot yesterday.
Remaxvipbelize: LOOKED hot yesterday
 The water was completely awesome yesterday. SO clear–this is an undoctored photo, Yay for the Caribbean!
Remaxvipbelize: Caribbean
And, I learned that dogs love coconut water…came into the room and found this……I had to pull him away after he drank all of mine. I then had to research to make sure he wouldn’t need a pet hospital, turns out it is good for them!
 Remaxvipbelize: dogs love coconut water
Happy face after stealing.
Remaxvipbelize:Happy face after stealing
It's almost time to fly and you still don't know what to pack on your trip to Belize? Get advice from the local expat!