a VirtualTourist member
We are chartering a catamaran in Placencia to sail for 10 days and then sightsee for 5 days.
Where are the available grocery stores and what types of food/supplies do they offer? Are prices high, low or average with respect to what we would pay in the U.S.? (I assume that they are much lower than what we are paying the charter company!!!).
Someone indicated that we should bring some U.S. foods/supplies to use as barter for local fish, lobster, veggies, fruits, etc. Besides Spam (which I understand is at a great premium), what other "goodies" should we consider bringing for this purpose? Does anyone know if we can legally bring "food" into the country in our suitcases? I called American Airlines and they were not able to give me a straight answer.
Also, what local art/crafts are desirable to bring back from Belize? I know that there are slade carvings (probably quite expensive???) but anything else that we may be on a look-out for (and what would be a reasonable price to pay for some of these things, including the slate carvings).
As this is our first trip to Belize, any input would be greatly appreciated.
It's been a few years since I was in Placencia, but if I remember correctly, Wallen's was the biggest grocery store and was within walking distance to the dock. There's only one main road in Placencia so you can't miss it. It would be on the right as you're heading into town. There was another one on the other side of the street maybe another 1/4 mile away further out - again, you really can't miss it. I remember most things seemed to be more expensive in Placencia compared to the rest of Belize, but still less expensive than at home on average. But then we were only buying snacks & beverages. My guess is you'll pay about the same - maybe slightly less than what you'd pay at home for groceries. Don't expect to get all the name brands you're used to and Belizians tend toward rice, beans & plantains - but there is a sizable North American crowd in town and I'm sure you'll find most of the foods you're used to - certainly all the staples.
See customs.gov.bz/traveller_inf... for info on importing goods into Belize. Doesn't sound too promising.
Yes, lots of slate carvings. I got a small 7-inch slate Mayan calendar myself from some folks at a roadside stand for about5. They had larger ones for under20. Then on another trip I spent60 on an 18-inch tall Mayan-style painted wood carving (again at the roadside). My husband thought I got ripped off, but I liked it so much I didn't care - and anyway I talked him down from90 and the design is pretty intricate which I'm sure took some time. I think you'll find a lot of great, affordable souvenirs in Belize.
I bought some black slate carvings home.You'll pay top dollar for perfect ones in the gift shops but if you buy from a roadside stand-The guys at the xunantunich ferry site for example-You can pay alot less.They aren't perfect but they have charactor.
There are some tropical hardwood carvings for sale on the streets-barter the venders down.
On Ambergris there is an exellent Black Coral shop.It's all legal stuff- harvested responsibly and government regulated-really beautiful work-but expensive---Enjoy Chris