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Aug 17, 1999

Water taxi service to Placencia

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Many of the Belizeans and tourists heading out to San Pedro this weekend for the Costa Maya Festival will be catching water taxis from the Marine Terminal. But San Pedro is not the only beautiful spot in Belize accessible by water taxi. As Janelle Chanona found out, the new southern route is also a really nice ride.

Janelle Chanona

“Up until now if you wanted to go to Placencia, you had two choices: you either paid for an expensive flight or braved a bumpy bus ride. But now there’s another choice, and I’ll let you know how it turns out.”

Friday’s inaugural run, organized by the B.T.I.A.’s Marine Terminal and the Caye Caulker Water Taxi Association, is the first of what will initially be twice weekly round trip service to Placencia and Dangriga. The organizers hope that booming traffic between Belize City, San Pedro and Caye Caulker will soon spread down the coast.

Julian Rosado, Boat Captain

“Lot of people always come and ask about boats to Placencia and it seems like nobody ever start this so between the B.T.I.A. and the Water Taxi, you know. I think it’s going to work out.”

With the south rapidly emerging as the new frontier of Belizean tourism, it was only a matter of time until the high powered skiffs so common in the north, arrived to serve this growing market. Even the weather smiled on the maiden voyage and before we knew it, the town of Dangriga loomed off the starboard bow… complete with a wet and dry welcoming committee.

Ida Sauceda, President, B.T.I.A.

“Well at this time I think the B.T.I.A. and the Marine Terminal are footing the bill for right now. We hope to make it something that will sustain itself and financially it stands on it’s own and bring in some money for the Marine Terminal. I’d also like to say that in just, now just being a financial one, we’d also like to see this as a promotion of the southern districts and we hope to see more tourists come into this area: Stann Creek, in Placencia, knowing now there’s another way to come down into this area, a more adventurous way to come down into this area.”

From Dangriga southward the coast appears to have changed little since the days of the Mayan trading dories or pirate ships which sought shelter in the secluded waters behind the reef. Armed with sunscreen instead of gunpowder, today’s passengers enjoyed the smooth ride at a comfortable 30 miles an hour.

And before most of us could even enjoy a short nap, the once distant village of Placencia, as laid back as ever, was ready for another party of happy tourists.

Q: “Well we’re here. What’d you think of it?”

Tourist #1

“It’s beautiful. Very beautiful.”

Q: “How was the ride?”

Tourist #1

“Not bad. Not bad at all.”

Tourist #2

“We were getting a ticket to go to Ambergris Caye and then we saw the sign and we checked it out and saw what the price was and said, “Oh! If it’s only two hours, yeah we’ll go!” Because some other people had said Placencia was really nice to come to.”

Janelle Chanona

“Well here I am just two and a half hours later, walking Placencia’s famous sidewalk. A little windblown and sunburnt but definitely ready to hit the beach. Janelle Chanona for News Five.

The trip to Placencia costs $50 each way. It departs Belize City on Fridays and Sundays at 1 p.m. and returns the next morning at seven. The Caye Caulker Water Taxi Association and the B.T.I.A. hope to extend the service as far south as Punta Gorda and Puerto Barrios, Guatemala in the near future. News Five would like to thank Luba Hati Resort in Seine Bight for the overnight hospitality.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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