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San Antonio, Texas
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46 posts
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Trying to decide between Ambergris Caye (Mata Chica), Placencia (Turtle Inn), or going out all the way to Turneffe Atoll.

I dive, my wife likes to wander in/out of shops a bit.

Not looking for "nightlife" and want to have peace and quiet, mostly. Cost not an issue.

I know if I were just going alone, I'd go out on the atoll, but my wife is not a diver or snorkler. She likes some beach-time, but really needs to look at things she might consider buying to have a good time.

Which of the three areas would be likely to give us the best of both worlds?


Destination Expert
for Belize, Placencia, Ambergris Caye, Cayo, San Ignacio
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7,113 posts
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1. Re: Diving/Shopping?

Turneffe will have the best diving for you, nothing for her.

Saint James City...
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for San Pedro
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2. Re: Diving/Shopping?

More shopping on Ambergris Caye, but nothing really upscale. She'll have to rely on scheduled boat trips with Mata Chica or a water taxi to get to town.

You can walk to town from Turtle Inn, but it's a bit of a hike.

Have you considered Victoria House, a couple miles walk to town, or a cheap, regular cab ride. Or you could rent a golf cart.

On Ambergris, you can do a two tank dive in the morning and be back in time for a late lunch with your wife. Most, if not all,trips from Placencia will be all day.

My husband dives and I don't. I'm quite happy walking in the morning while he's gone, maybe do a little shopping, stop for coffee (or in my case Coke Light) at Island Perk.

San Antonio, Texas
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46 posts
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3. Re: Diving/Shopping?

Thanks, Jean h.and Katie

OK, I've given up on going to the Atoll (unless I go by myself).

Placencia sounds like the best combo of peace and quiet, little shops (they don't have to be "upscale" -- we go enough other places for that kind of thing -- just interesting, like places w/ locally made art, handmade jewelry, etc) and diving that won't take more than a day.

Turtle Inn looks beautiful. What are other options?

Want rustic but well-kept and good service. Want as close to the edge of the water as I can get (preferably elevated). Thatched roof with an outdoor deck (screened is OK) w/ view of water and hammock/places to hang out for at least 4.

Options for places w/ cooking facilities? What do you think of Colibri House or something like that?

What kind of grocery stores are there in Placencia? We usually eat most of our meals "picnic style" with one or maybe two trips to unique restaurants during a typical week long trip. Thoughts on restaurants? Only requirement for a restaurant is that the food is outstanding and no flies! Good service is a lagging third.

Again, price is not an issue.

Thanks for all comments.

Milton, Delaware
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375 posts
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4. Re: Diving/Shopping?

Other place to consider staying in Placencia for upscale, exclusive, smaller and closer walking distance to village than Turtle Inn, is Chabil Mar Villas. I like it because it is close to town but all amenities exclusive to guests. Restaurant and bar not open to public. You can walk or use golf carts or bikes.

My favorite restaurants in Placencia:

La Dolce Vita - nice Italian food

French Connection - ever changing creative menu

DeTache - on the beach and open air

Pickled Parrot - local menu items are very good

Barefoot Beach Bar - on the beach and very casual

Tutti Fruti - terrific gelato

Several grocery stores in Placencia. Sometimes you have to check among them to get the freshest fruit or the best meats.

Plenty of day tour variety from this one location:

Jungle - Monkey River or Cockscomb Jaguary

Mayan Ruins - several sites to choose from

Fishing - captains will pick you up at pier

Snorkeling and diving - let local staff select the best

5. Re: Diving/Shopping?

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