Out in the calm Placencia seas I’ve known since childhood, I pop up like a manatee for a deep breath. A view that never gets old during my early morning swim greets me. I can see the entire stretch of golden sandy beach. Everything from Tradewinds’ colorful cabanas nestled among coconut trees near to the faint sight of Francis Ford Coppola’s thatched beach bar, this is home. A vast blue of sun-glittered water separates me from two miles of glorious coastline. Set against the silhouette of the Maya Mountains in the distance, it’s all mine – and all yours – to enjoy.

I follow up a meditation-workout combo with a Sunday morning breakfast at the Maya Beach Bistro. Placencia Village offers several charming spots for a killer Belizean Kriol breakfast. Fry jacks, refried beans and guava jelly, are worth the 20-minute drive to Maya Beach. An international twist on fresh and local ingredients has me choosing between the shrimp and grits or the eggs “buenadict” where spicy pork green chilli kicks up traditional European fare. A warm homemade cinnamon roll is surely gracing the table for a sweet start to a hearty breakfast.

Diving into The Placencia Experience

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