There are legions of great guides not just in Placencia but throughout Belize; organized, friendly, and knowledgeable are hallmarks of a good guide and the Belize Tourism Board actually has quite rigorous requirements for licensing guides. Guides must complete a training program as well as keep current first aid certification and annual renewal up to date. In the crowd of good guides on the peninsula there are a few that stand out for their greatness, Dr. Lyra Spang of Taste Belize Tours is exceptional and is my choice for Top Tour Guide in Placencia.
What sets Lyra apart from the pack is her seemingly bottomless well of knowledge. A fellow attendee on one of her recent tours turned to me and in an awed whisper said, “Oh my God, she’s like an encyclopedia. She’s incredible.” She is! I’m nearly certain she knows everything about everything to do with Belize, its history, its topography, its cultural makeup, and sustainable tropical farming. Lyra isn’t your average tour guide, she has a PhD in Anthropology and Food Studies and she grew up on an active, off-the-grid, organic farm in Southern Belize. She is hands down the most qualified agritourism guide in Belize.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the trend of agritourism lately and how Belize is perfectly suited to excel is this arena. Food is not just fuel for our bodies. The food we source, how we prepare it- this is our heritage. Every humble ingredient has a history and every dish can tell a story of the people who consume it. What better way to gain an appreciation for a place, to learn of its cultural history, than through the flavors of its foods. Taste Belize aspires to do just that.
From cultural cooking classes, to walking food tours around the village, to farm visits and chocolate making- Taste Belize should be your top choice for cultural and culinary experiences in Placencia. Check out their website: https://tastebelize.com/ and follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TasteBelize/ Read Lyra’s popular articles, From the Fire Hearth, in the Placencia Breeze newspaper.
And for further reading on Belize’s burgeoning culinary scene (and quotes from our very own Lyra), check out this Conde Nash Traveler article: