I just got back from a Ladies Trip to Belize City, what fun! We saw a bunch of doctors, ate some Dim Sum, and did a bit of shopping. A very productive day, an excuse for a change of scenery and some gal-pal time, and a cost effective way to tick those routine/ preventative medical boxes off your to-do list. Here is a breakdown of who we saw and what it costs to see healthcare specialists in Belize.
It is a 3 1/2 hour drive to Belize City from Placencia so we planned on a 2-night trip. We left Placencia on Sunday and took a leisurely drive north, stopping for lunch at Trey’s Barn & Grill just outside Belmopan. Our meals were excellent and the owner was telling us some plans for a global food festival sometime in August so think about following their Facebook page for details as they’re announced. We also stopped in at Old Belize to scope the place out for a future, family-friendly visit. This place looks like such fun!
We spent a very comfortable Sunday night in the city at Harbour View Boutique Hotel (near the cruise ship port), who gave us a great rate for direct booking. I was disappointed to find nearly everything closed on a Sunday evening- stores, restaurants, bars, even the streets looked nearly deserted. We found some Dim Sum at Chon Saan Palace, who was doing a bustle business for takeout/ delivery.
First up on the docket of doctors to see were the gynecologists. We all just needed the routine show-and-tell, easy and quick. I saw Dr. Navarette at Belize Healthcare Partners for $127bz and the other ladies chose to see Dr. Cohen at Belize Medical Associates ($65 +$32 for the Pap). They are both wonderful OBGYNs, Gough has seen several of my friends through pregnancies and Navarette has expertly performed hysterectomies on not one, but two of my pals recently! He took the extra time to try and teach me how to self administer a breast exam but I only listened half-heartedly… that’s not my job, that’s your job.
Next we headed over to Palomo’s to get our mouth holes detailed. A friend recommended Palomo’s to me years ago and from my first visit I was hooked. Two dentists, a husband and wife team, run this humble practice and Dr. Virginia gave me the BEST, most thorough cleaning I’d ever had in my life. Mitch saw Dr. Alfonso last year for his first big-boy dentist visit and did phenomenal. They are so kind and accommodating and a regular cleaning is just $85bz. My friend, Nina, got a night guard for grinding for $200.
Just next door to the dentist is Hoy’s Eye Center. Nina and Vicky got exams and glasses in the same day. $650bz for frames, lenses, and the exam. Vicky also got a box of contact lenses for around $300bz which she thought was very inexpensive. They were a brand she’d never heard of so she Googled them… the brand is discontinued and I guess Belize got a great deal on the remaining inventory- lucky us!
Broken Back Doctor
Amanda decided, out of necessity, to forgo seeing any other doctors so that she could see someone at BMA about her busted back. She’d been in mayor pain for days, a sad shell of her usual bubbly self, gingerly scooting around instead of bouncing along with child-like enthusiasm. We suspected it was serious and sure enough, it was- a broken vertebrae. She had 2 shots of some narcotic while she waited (which didn’t agree with her and she spent most of the day vomiting), $80bz. Had a consultation with the orthopedic surgeon for $60, and had a front/side x-ray for another $60. MRIs are available but run closer to $1000 to have done. The x-ray took about an hour to print and clearly showed this fractured vertebrae; an old injury that has become aggravated. She got 2-weeks worth of anti-inflammatories and pain meds for $230. She was very happy with the care she received, from registration to the concerned nurses and knowledgeable pharmacist. And guess who she ran in to! This is a “so Belize” moment: the Prime Minister sees the same Orthopedic. Imagine running in to your country’s leader on any given day as you go about your chores… totally normal, no big deal.
Not a medical appointment but a beauty procedure- I got microblading! You guys know I’m not a girlie girl; I don’t go in for makeup or have my nails done, I don’t have my hair professionally cut or colored. My day-to-day look is: garbage person. But I’ve been yearning for nice eyebrows forever and I finally had the opportunity to get this semi-permanent treatment by LUXE Artistry. The biggest beauty splurge of my life at $1000bz, it can (and damn well better!) last for 2 years.
We hardly had time for shopping but I was able to quickly grab a pinata at Celebrations Party Store on Queens Street and we took a quick run through Mirabs, THE department store of Belize. They have an escalator and everything! You could spend all day, and a small fortune, in this store.
That was our big trip to the city! I sorta can’t wait to go back.