Should I drive or fly to Placencia?
There are 3 options, rent a vehicle and drive, take the prop plane, or hire a shuttle.
In a nutshell if you are economically driven and want to be able to explore the country on your own without guides, driving is your best bet. If you want to relax, spend most of your time doing beach and ocean activities, flying is your best option. The only reason to do the shuttle would be if you are a nervous traveler and do not feel comfortable driving or flying.
Driving – for a week trip as long as you have at least 4 people per vehicle driving ends up being less expensive than flying. The drive is 3 hours with easy to follow directions. 1 hour is through the rainforest and unbelievably beautiful. If you drive you have the benefit of having a vehicle to do inland excursions. Also you can usually make time on your way in or out to stop to zip line, explore St. Herman’s cave or go to the Belize Zoo maximizing a travel day. We do advise trying to get to the house pretty close to dark as there aren’t a lot of street lights in Belize. With that being said a flight arriving at 4pm or later will not allow you to get to Placencia before dark and the drive in the dark is much harder and NOT advised!
Flying - the flight is only 30 minutes so even with wait time in Belize City and drive from the Placencia airport to the Villa you are only looking at 1:30 max travel time vs. the 3-hour drive. The flights cost $220USD + tax round trip per person. WE WILL BOOK YOUR LOCAL FLIGHTS FOR YOU AND ARRANGE FOR YOUR PICK UP AT THE PLACENCIA AIRSTRIP. All you have to do is forward us your international flight details so we can get you booked right on local flights.
Where do I park?
If you rent a car and drive yourself we have a secured parking area in Placencia Village on Sunset Point Road where you can leave your vehicle and meet the shuttle boat driver. You will need to be able to make a local call on your cell to contact our caretaker to let him know when you arrive at the parking/launch area so he can come pick you up in the boat.
How far is LHC from Village and how do we get there and back?
LHC is less than one mile from the Village. When arriving staff will pick you up at the airstrip and take you to meet the island’s boat in the village. Vision Properties is in the process of purchasing a tract of land that is adjacent to the airstrip. Once completed, visitors to the island will simply walk or take a short golf cart ride to the island’s boat at our airstrip dock. Staff will be available to take guests back and forth from Placencia upon request. Remember it is a very short distance and even in very rough seas or windy days guests will be able to use a lagoon-landing site in the village that is protected ensuring the short trip is smooth and safe.
What amenities are on LHC?
This is a unique high-end island home with all or certainly most of the features and comforts you would expect in a high-end home in the US. One big note here is the island is totally off-grid and self-sufficient with respect to power generation. We use a very high-end solar system with a back up generator. The system is capable of handling the island’s power needs provided guests use the energy responsibly. This means turning off lights and in room AC when not in use or needed! Each bedroom is equipped with a top of the line high efficiency AC unit. Each room was specifically designed and oriented on the island to take advantage of the prevailing trade winds so most days and even nights the use of AC is not needed. Obviously, summer months are hotter and some nights there is no breeze, which is why bedrooms are equipped with AC for comfort. See detailed amenity list for a complete list of LHC amenities and room configuration here.
What services are offered on the island?
The island has a full-time, professional and well trained staff. Chef - Prepare meals up to 6 days a week. Caretaker/Concierge – Ensure all needs are attended to such as shuttle to mainland, setting up tours, getting out kayaks, any maintenance needs or questions on how to work something, cleaning pool, providing clean towels, etc. Housekeeper – Ongoing cleanliness of home. Separate private staff housing provided and staff onsite 24/7.
How much does food cost for the chef prepared meals?
Before your trip, Talia will email you our chefs’ standard menu. If you want to make changes or have dietary restrictions just send Talia those; we are happy to accommodate you. The menu is subject to change even after you arrive based on availability of ingredients in Placencia. With the menu, there will be a list of snack items and beverages he can stock for you as well.
The chef will need to be reimbursed for the cost of food in cash. She will provide you with an invoice and copies of receipts, nothing will be marked up. The food cost usually runs no more than $40-$50 per person per day if you stick with the sample menu.
How do I get on and off the island?
The island comes with a shuttle boat and driver to take you back and forth to the mainland. You will be able to use the local cell phone we provide you to call the boat driver when you want to be picked up. If you are driving yourself to the island you will need to make sure you have international calling on your cell phone to be able to contact him when you arrive to Placencia.
How far is the island from Placencia Village?
The island is less than a mile from our private launch site and in protected water so never rough. The trip to/from the island is less than 5 minutes.
How big is the island?
The island is approximately 1.5 acres in size. A rock wall surrounds all but the leeward side. On the leeward side, there is a nice white sand beach for swimming and sunbathing. The front of the island is surrounded by shallow corral.
What is the water, beach, fishing and snorkeling like at LHC?
Typically, the water around LHC is very clear with good visibility. Obviously, weather and time of year can affect the visibility of the water as in most places. The LHC beach is perfect for swimming due to the amazing white sand and lack of undercurrent. Coral is visible while snorkeling on the front or south side of the island. The backside of the island and dock is typically the place to fish. The water is deeper and on the edge of natural deep channel leading into the Placencia Lagoon.
Can we use the boat for fishing/snorkeling?
No, sorry – we aren’t able to do that various reasons.
What is the beach/ocean like at LHC?
Most of the island is surrounded by rocks to avoid erosion but there is a beach area with a sandy graded entry. The beach on the island is cleaned and maintained by the staff. The water is warm and with a sandy bottom suitable for swimming. There are normally no large waves or undercurrent issues. You do occasionally find jelly fish but that can’t really be avoided in any ocean.
Do you have ____ at the house?
The house is well appointed. I get asked a lot about a blender, beach towels, and hair dryers. We have all of these items. Feel free to email me if there is something specific you want to ensure we have. There are also some board games, yard games like horseshoes, paddle boards, kayaks, ping pong table, pool table, etc. to keep all busy.
What are the check in – check out times?
Official check-in is 3pm and checkout is 12pm. If your flights/plans don’t correspond with those times our staff will work it out with you. They may just need to keep your things out of the way while they finish preparing the house for you or begin getting ready for the next guests as the case may be. They will not leave you at the airstrip until 3pm or anything like that.
What staff are on the island and included in stay?
We have a great local staff that consists of a young couple (Osmar & Silvia), a chef Victor and his wife Jessica, and a night watchman/gardner. All live on the island in the separate staff house located behind the kitchen.
Can we fish on the island?
Yes, and we have some fishing poles but if you are really into fishing we suggest bringing your own gear. As keeping gear on the island working and all in one piece is not as easy so depending on when you come and more importantly who just left it may or may not be in good order. ALL FISHING AT LHC IS STRICKLY CATCH AND RELEASE. SINCE BUILDING THE ISLAND WE HAVE HAD A VERY GOOD RESIDENT FISH POPULATION THAT WE WANT TO KEEP AND ALLOW ALL GUESTS TO BE ABLE TO CATCH AND ENJOY DURING THEIR STAY.
Should I plan my excursions before I arrive in Belize?
It is a good idea to pre-book ALL excursions before your arrival, especially if you want to do an excursion your first non-travel day due to timing. The guides and dive shops in Placencia are great if you wake up and water is rough they don’t take you out for a miserable day on rough seas, they will just tell you to go the next day. That being said it is good to book your ocean adventures early so if you need to push it back a day or two due to rough seas you have that option. Talia or Mabel, our staff concierge will be in touch with you before your trip to book all excursions you are interested in and help you plan your trip before your arrival.
Do I need anti-malaria drugs?
We have never taken them or heard of anyone getting Malaria in our 10 years of travelling to Belize. Here is what the CDC says.
When traveling in Belize, you should avoid mosquito bites to prevent malaria. You may need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria, depending on your travel plans, such as where you are going, when you are traveling, and if you are spending a lot of time outdoors or sleeping outside. Talk to your doctor about how you can prevent malaria while traveling. For more information on malaria in Belize, see malaria in Belize.
How much money to take and should I exchange?
You do not need to exchange money in Belize, US Dollars are accepted everywhere. The exchange rate is simple 2 Belize $$'s = 1 US$. There are several ATM's in the village where you can get additional cash. You can also use credit cards most places. Most of the inland excursions do require you to pay in cash and you will not pass an ATM on the way so plan accordingly for those days. You will also need to reimburse the chef on Saturday/Sunday upon arrival in cash for items already purchased before check-in. The chef will then go purchase items for the rest of the week and present the final invoice Friday to be paid in cash before departure.
Can we also cook and prepare our own meals?
Yes, the kitchen was designed and laid out to do that and the chef can do as much or as little as your group would like.
How do we get form the Placencia airstrip to island?
One of our staff will meet your flight at the airstrip and take you in on one of our vehicles to the LHC boat launch site.
Do we need a car to get around Placencia?
No, you do not. The 4 seat golf cart which is included with house rental, is perfect for getting around. We usually have an extra golf cart available if you need to rent it for the week, $300.
Are the bugs bad on LHC?
NO, they are basically non existent which is a huge plus for the island. To date I have really not seen any there due to the fact that the island is far enough off the mainland to make it difficult for them to get there in the first place, the grounds are always raked and maintained and we spray the sand and grounds on a periodic basis to ensure that we do not get them.
Does the island have TV and WI-FI?
Yes, the main area and all bedrooms have TV and internet. The internet and TV quality is typically very good and is provided by a point of site antenna system. We also have a DVD player in the main room and a projector and portable screen for movie night on the beach. SO BRING A FEW OF YOUR FAVORITE DVD MOVIES TO WATCH!
Is the chef, boat drive, staff included in the price?
I know the website covers this but we have been asked this now many times so we thought it was worth adding to this list. YES ALL INCLUDED WITH RENTAL. As with any service of this nature tipping for good service (which you will receive) is certainly appreciated which brings up the next related question below.
What is suggested gratuity for staff?
Obviously, any tip given should be earned and is totally at the guest discretion and assuming you are pleased with service. I would think for a group of 8-12 for a week stay, a fair tip would be 10% of your rental rate for ALL the staff. We provide a lock box and the staff divides tips among themselves on pre-set guidelines to help foster a team mentality.
How is the infrastructure at LHC different than a normal home?
LHC utilizes state of the art technology to deliver eco-friendly power and water solutions to the island. The island has a high end solar power system that can easily power the entire island with no environmental impact. In the event of cloudy weather, there is a backup diesel generator to supply power. In addition to the eco-friendly solar system, LHC utilizes a rain water collection system. Combining both of these systems significantly reduces the cost of both electricity and water to LHC owners. The solar system virtually eliminates electricity costs and boosts owner’s return on investment from electricity savings. LHC is a true off the grid property, with design features and carefully selected appliances to reduce overall electricity loads across the island. LHC stands alone as the premier eco-friendly island off the Placencia Peninsula.
Please provide any additional information regarding the local areas around the LHC?
We like to say LHC offers the best of both worlds. While you are on your own private island with all the privacy and solitude that has to offer you are in no way trapped on the island. Just a short boat ride takes you to Placencia Village. In the Village you have access to shopping, restaurants, night clubs and the endless tours Belize has to offer.