A Pirate Hideaway in Belize and Other True Stories

We love it when we hear about cool new places to go. Maybe even to live. That’s why we have joined forces with InternationalLiving.com. That’s what they’re all about! For example, Len Galvin’s story about a Pirate Hideaway!

“I suppose you’re going to tell everyone about our little beach town?” It was said with a smile by the woman from Texas who had lived here for 10 years. But it sounded slightly more like an accusation than a question. Since arriving in Placencia, I hear something similar each time I mention Iwork for International Living.

I can’t blame anyone for wanting to keep this peninsula in southern Belize to themselves. Miles of beach in an English-speaking, genuinely friendly country. I was seduced by the area in less than 20 minutes. That’s about aslong as it took to get from the little airstrip outside town to the beach hut I rented for $80 a night. A small restaurant that served great coffee a few minutes to my left, a 10-minute walk along the beach into the village on myright, the Maya Mountains visible in the distance behind me, and the Caribbean Sea stretched out in front of me.

Belize_dockForty years ago, when Belize was still under British rule, no-one came to Placencia. With no air access or roads, the only way to get here was by boat. Now there are 20 flights a day on the 15-seaters that Tropic Air and Maya Airways run out of Belize International. And the road to Placencia has improved so much that the car rental agencies will even let you drive down here.

I met two types of expats while I was in town— those who have lived here more than 10 years…and the newbies. Some of the long-timers think Placencia Village has become too busy and too crowded. They’re moving farther up the peninsula to find a quieter life (and cheaper property) that’s more in linewith what they had in Placencia 10+ year ago.

belize-beachesBut any recent additions to the expat population think Placencia offers the perfect simple beach life. One IL reader, Don from Ohio, told me it reminded him of the small towns he grew up in during the 1950s.

I’m probably giving you a conflicting image of Belize— and Placencia in particular. The “undiscovered” Caribbean outpost that’s been attracting people for years.

Belize isn’t a secret— 250,000 tourists come here every year to dive, fish, sail, and relax on the beach. And although only about 30,000 of them make their way to Placencia, there are plenty of million-dollar houses and celebrity property owners along the coast. Yet, most people you know probably haven’theard of Belize…and even if they have, they certainly haven’t heard of Placencia. Chances are, you won’t find a Belize guidebook in your local book store.

But this is a small, sparsely populated country— like the population of Tampa in an area the size of Massachusetts. It doesn’t take many visitors to make it feel “discovered” even though you’re part of a relatively small group of pioneers.

InternationalLivingCatch up on all the great places to explore at InternationalLiving.com.

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