It will be fun, they said. “The plane! The plane!” is all I could think about once I realized I had to get on a tiny plane to get to my final destination in Placencia, Belize. The truth is that traveling takes courage and commitment, and if I have learned anything, it’s that life isn’t going to come and get you. There is a very blurry line between the things we can and cannot do. Maybe we write things off as impossible a little too quickly when they really aren’t.
As I boarded that tiny plane, I texted my husband and boys that I loved them—terrified, but so excited for the days ahead. The world is larger than our notions of it, as are we. Belize, a Caribbean country on the northeastern coast of Central America that borders Mexico to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and Guatemala to the west and south, is a gem you must experience to believe.
After my arrival to Belize City, I made my way to Tropic Air Airlines for my 20-minute flight to Placencia, home to Sirenian Bay Resort and Villas. I was greeted with cocktails made from Belizean rum, and after settling into my gorgeous villa, I proceeded to take full advantage of a relaxing massage at the in-house spa. It was just what I needed after a full day of travel. Dinner at Inky’s Restaurant & Bar, a Sirenian Bay staple, was also a highlight. Be sure to try the calamari and zucchini noodles—delicious dishes that will not disappoint!
Room service? Yes please! The Belizean breakfast was the sustenance I needed for the activities that followed. I stepped into the resortowned Captain Jak’s tour bus for an unforgettable day of adventure. Zip-lining at Stann Creek, which houses the longest and safest lines over the tropical forests of Belize, gave me a bird’s eye view of the jungle canopy from 400 feet in the air. In all, I conquered seven zip lines that crisscrossed over the river and valley below, ranging from a couple hundred feet to 1300 feet long!
Afterward, we took a short drive to the Mayan King Waterfalls to enjoy its beauty and tranquil atmosphere. I headed back to the resort feeling fearless and proud of facing my fear of being suspended hundreds of feet in the air. This tour is easy for all ages. Dinner back at the property was preceded by a rum-tasting at Snooty’s Pool Bar, also on the property. The Belizean culinary experience was truly delightful. The flavors reconnected me to my native homeland of Dominican Republic as the overlapping similarities were undeniable. I felt connected to my roots while also dancing to the sounds of the Garifuna drummers by the ocean. Talk about dinner and a show!
It is said that diamonds are the way to a woman’s heart. If you ask me, I will tell you that it’s actually chocolate. And I have to say that I feel a little spoiled after learning the traditional way of making chocolate like the Mayans. There’s a chocolate farm about an hour away from the Sirenian Bay property. The family that both lives and works on this farm is a Belizean gem all on its own. I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and gratitude observing the simplicity of their every day. It’s a way of life that most of us who live in big cities often take for granted and would never properly adapt to. Caribbean life is often misunderstood but one that the people of Placencia have managed to sustain and thrive on.
The highlight of this day was that it was also Belize’s Independence Day, which kicks off around 4am with what is traditionally called J’ouvert. The locals all gather on the main street of Placencia for a parade where music, dancing, cocktails, and mud baths all mesh together in a daylong celebration. It was definitely a sight! Later in the day I saw how different groups in the community worked together to make costumes representing diverse nature elements such as fire and wind, among others, and also parade though the main part of town. It was a beautiful and colorful display of pride and community.
I ended the day back at the Sirenian Bay property with a fabulous wine-tasting experience at the resort’s exquisite Wine Room followed by dinner from Inky’s on the beach.
Captain Jak’s powered up its boat and we headed to an island tour of Placencia. We first docked at Silk Caye and snorkeled around the island. I was welcomed by the breathtaking coral reefs and swam with nurse sharks, sea turtles, and rays. Later, we headed over to Moho Caye for a delicious lunch and spent some time soaking up some sun and exploring the island.
Later that night, I had my first ever martini back at the Sirenian Bay property during our farewell dinner at three60 Martini Bar. The bar opened in January 2022 and sits atop a two-story building on the lagoon side of the peninsula. The bar also serves a tapas menu that includes local favorites you can enjoy as an evening out, or you can reserve the complete space for a special event.
The boutique resort’s name comes from the manatees, also known as sea cows or sirenians, that inhabit the bay. Tradition has it that the exploring sailors in the past saw manatees from a distance and believed them to be mermaids.
The Sirenian Bay Resort and Villas experience redefines the luxury, boutique feeling you’ll have the moment you step off the plane and
walk into its doors. It is truly one of the best vacation destinations you can look forward to.
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