Sunday, 2 February 2014

The perfect Caribbean escape| A Day Well-Spent At Laughing Bird Caye National Park

The boat ride out to Laughing Bird Caye was not only short-lived but also exceptionally exciting. We departed from Placencia village and took a boat ride out to the island. I knew I was not only visiting an island but a protected one. I have visited other cayes in Belize such as the popular San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and the laid-back Caye Caulker but I had never visited an island that is also a National Park and a World Heritage Site, protected for its natural beauty.  

Laughing Bird Caye National Park is distinct from the other islands as it is a part of the famous Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System and it is a snorkeler's paradise. The natural beauty surrounding this island is sumptuous. In order to visit this paradise you must book a day tour with a licensed tour operator: our recommended choice is Splash Dive Center. Not only are the licensed guides friendly and informative, but also the BBQ grilled fresh on the island is a delightful lunch!

So, if you are still asking: what is so special about this island?  Well, let me describe to you the beauty.  Snorkel around the island and you will encounter a diverse and abundant marine life living below. The area is covered with a variety of coral reef habitats that sparkle and give life to other marine species. The island has a distinct elongate shape that forms a faro. A faro can be best explained as an angular atoll that is situated on a reef. The faro is elevated and encloses a central lagoon, which gives Laughing Bird Caye National Park its shallow waters surrounding the island.
If you are visiting the southern coast of Belize, there is much to experience on this beautiful island. The perfect Caribbean escape! The beach is formed by powdery unspoiled white sand, a heavenly and perfect texture. While on the day-trip we were told that the island earned its name due to the Laughing Gills that once populated the island. Today, Laughing Bird Caye is known as a nesting place for a variety of birds including
Brown Pelican, Green Heron, Melodious Blackbird amongst others that call Belize their home.

The northern end of the caye is a very busy rookery and for that reason it is off limits to the public.  The northern end of the caye is opened up one day each year for the annual cleanup by 100 or more school kids and volunteers organized by Splash Dive Center.

If you are visiting Placencia a day-trip out to Laughing Bird National Park will complete your visit to Belize!

Email Patty at to find out more about this beautiful Gem!

Friday, 24 January 2014

Visit Placencia, Belize My Top Five Must Do!

The Placencia Peninsula is easily accessible either by road or a short flight from the Phillip Goldson International Airport in Belize City. When you first arrive at Placencia you will find it to be a small, secluded, friendly village. My first impression was that Placencia is certainly a laid back area to escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life and to have my dream Belizean Getaway enjoying the sandy Caribbean beach! The longer I stayed in Placencia the more I learned. 

My top “Five Must Do Activities” in Placencia includes a little bit of everything for families, friends, or couples:

1.     Visit the Great Belize Barrier Reef

You simply cannot visit Placencia and not take the fun boat ride out the Belize Barrier Reef to snorkel or dive. The waters of Belize are truly spectacular it opens your mind to a whole new world.  Belize is the home of true natural resources. Much of Belize’s marine environment is heavily protected in order to preserve an authentic diving experience. Book your dive trip with Splash Dive Center, a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center! Explore the Barrier Reef and choose to dive Placencia’s Outer Reef, Placencia’s Inner reef, Glovers Reef, Gladden Spit, Turneffe, Lighthouse Atolls, or the famous Belize Blue Hole.

2.     Monkey River Tour

One of the most relaxing ways to go back in time and see the authentic Belize before “civilization” is to take the boat ride up the Monkey River and revel in the natural jungle-life of this Caribbean country. The Monkey River Village is located 12 miles south west of Placencia Village where you will meet and greet the “ambassadors of the jungle”: the Black Howler Monkeys, commonly known in Belize as the “baboons”.  The Black Howler Monkeys are not only the largest monkeys in Belize’s rainforest but they are also the “loudest”.

3.     Bunches of Fun Banana Farm Tour

Spending some worthwhile time on land learning all about how to plant and care for and harvest bananas!  You pick up an amazing understanding of this complex plant and get to taste the product including fresh banana cake and banana chips.  We visited the Sagitun Farm located in Riversdale, Placencia only a short drive from our resort and had “bunches” of fun. We even participated in preparing the bananas for exportation by sticking on the Fyffes stickers on the “bunches”.  The best part was meeting the people and learning the process of having bananas in our kitchen fruit basket.

4.     Enjoy Diverse Dishes

Placencia town is populated with great restaurants serving diverse and unique Belizean flavors. Whether you are looking for an upscale five star restaurants or looking to kickback under a palapa hut by the beach your meal is a guarantee satisfaction. One of my favorite restaurants is Wendy’s Creole Cuisine.  A trip to Placencia is always a trip to the ice cream/gelato shop, Tutti Frutti. Tutti Frutti uses local ingredients to make authentic fruity gelato.

5.     Sunset Cruise

Enjoy a romantic moment with your special someone cruising the Caribbean Sea past Placencia Village and explore Placencia’s picturesque canals before watching the sun go down with a glass of wine and some tasty hors d’oeuvres at anchor secluded by the mangroves on serene Placencia Lagoon. The view is breathtaking as you take a magical moment as the sun slowly sinks behind the Maya Mountains.

Start planning your visit to Placencia, Belize contact me at or visit our website at 

Monday, 30 December 2013

Splash Dive Center: Exceptional Professional Service Year in Review 2013

The year 2013 has been a successful year for Splash Dive Center and we are grateful to each and everyone that continues to support us. As we approach the end of the year we look back on our accomplishments as a professional dive center located in Placencia, Belize. Splash Dive Center is more than just a regular scuba diving & snorkeling operator. We aim for excellence! Each year we continue to develop and grow and this is evident in the work we do daily and through our accomplishments.

Splash Dive Center continues to actively participate in Tourism Travel Shows across the world promoting the natural beauty of Belize. This year alone we attended 9 travel shows including The Canada Road Show jointly with the Belize Tourism Board. In May Splash Dive Center was presented by the Belize Tourism Board with the Tour Operator of the Year award 2012. Patricia Ramirez known to everyone as Patty started Splash Dive Center as a small but safe professional centered licensed tour operator in 2000. Today Patty continues to work alongside co-owner Ralph Capeling to offer only the best to its customers incorporating quality, creativity, and personalized tours.

We are enthused to reveal that Splash Dive Center is now a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Resort. Patty a certified PADI Course Director and SCUBA Instructor will continue to develop and grow the scuba diving industry in Belize. We are particularly pleased that two “graduates” of our Splash Kids Club are currently attending our first Instructor Development Course - every year we teach some local kids to dive free of charge as part of our commitment to the community.

PADI Five Star Instructor Development Dive Resorts meet all PADI Five Star Dive Resort standards and offer PADI Instructor-level training as well as Instructor Specialty courses. Splash Dive Center values highly the quality of PADI teaching materials and the rigorous standard of safety set by PADI.

Splash Dive Center has now exceeded our PADI targets for diver education for the fourth year in a row and recently received the PADI Green Star Award!

Join us as we continue in maintaining and developing highly professional scuba diving tours in 2014.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Splash Dive Center: Expanding with our Second Location

We are expanding our reach just for you. Stop by and visit us at our downtown Placencia office. Splash Dive Center downtown office is conveniently located at Placencia’s most famous restaurant: Wendy’s Creole Restaurant & Bar.  Wendy’s Creole Restaurant & Bar is certainly a local treat and a must “try” for all!

Wendy’s Creole Restaurant specializes in local authentic Creole and Spanish cuisine. Come in and try a Belizean Breakfast Fry Jack, or stop in for lunch and try one of their authentic cow foot soup served with white rice. A true Belizean experience! After a satisfying breakfast, lunch or dinner stop in and visit our trained personnel and find out about our daily tours, and our many scuba diving packages.

A few of our scuba diving packages include the BIG 6:
·        The Grand Slam
·        Barrier Reef Package
·       Glovers & Barrier Reef Diving Package
·       Blue Hole & Barrier Reef Diving Package
·       Whale Shark Scuba Diving Packages
·       Blue Hole & Whale Shark Diving Package

    Come dive with us! Our friendly professional staff awaits you at Splash Dive Center, Placencia, Belize. Contact Patty at and find out more about our second location!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Autumn in Belize: A Thanksgiving Twist

In America as fall sets in the cool air drifts by and the beautiful colors of autumn are everywhere. Two of the best holidays are right around the corner: Halloween and Thanksgiving. Fortunately, both holidays are celebrated extensively in the warm, tropical, Caribbean country of Belize. Thanksgiving is about being with the ones we love, feasting on an abundance of food maybe just a bit too much, and giving thanks for all the blessings we have received. Belize puts a twist to the traditional Thanksgiving feast.

In addition, to celebrating a traditional Turkey day, Belize also gives thanks to the diverse cultures that make up Belize. In November the Garifuna culture celebrates its arrival to Belize and gives thanks to their ancestors. Along, with feasting on turkey, cranberry, gravy, and stuffing you are able to incorporate the many traditional dishes of other Belizean cultures such as the famous rice and beans dinner. If you enjoy the adventure and the diversity that life has to offer you will enjoy a Thanksgiving in Belize.
Vibrant colors continue to surround this marvelous country certainly putting a twist to the fall earth-toned colors: orange, yellow, red, and brown. The temperatures are a bit low to what most Belizeans are use to but the lowest would be at 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Which if you ask me is a warm weather for my t-shirt, shorts, swimsuits and flip-flops. Life continues to blossom all year-round. The trees are filled with colorful green leaves and the chirping and singing of birds can be heard from your bedroom window.

Have a jungle, adventurous, wildlife tour through the mystery forest of Belize. Or simply enjoy the quiet, and peaceful, environment with your family feasting on a grand Thanksgiving meal. Enjoy the Caribbean Sea throughout seasons. A Thanksgiving with a twist! Swim and dive with the most exotic sea creatures imaginable and spend your evening relaxing on the beach in a hammock. Thanksgiving in Belize is a time to share with your family a memorable vacation.

Enjoy a tropical Thanksgiving. Start planning your Thanksgiving vacation in Belize by contacting Patty at

Belize offers a Thanksgiving Twist!