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Old 17-04-2012, 11:24   #1
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Provisioning in Placencia or the Rio Dulce

We are in Placencia now and are leaving shortly for Honduras and the hurricane season in the Rio. We are wondering about availability and prices. We can shop at a brand new market here which has everything a person needs but a little more expensive then the states or should we wait for the Rio?
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Old 17-04-2012, 11:46   #2
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Re: Provisioning in Placencia or the Rio Dulce

In general, better off to provision on the Rio or other location in Guatemala.

(I wrote a more detailed reply first but my connection crapped out and it was lost!)

Be happy to answer specific questions also.
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Old 17-04-2012, 12:41   #3
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Re: Provisioning in Placencia or the Rio Dulce

When you say better are we talking price, availabilityor both,
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Old 17-04-2012, 15:52   #4
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Re: Provisioning in Placencia or the Rio Dulce

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Originally Posted by Nauti-Nauti View Post
When you say better are we talking price, availabilityor both,
Provisioning options have increased dramatically in Placencia in recent years. In prior years it was just Wallens. There are an almost absurd number of stores there now. However, pricing in Belize is higher -- especially for imported goods (way high customs duties -- #1 source of revenue in Belize ahead of even tourism!). If you buy regional products rather than USA products the the costs are lower, but everything in Belize tends to be high. THere are also a few new veggie stands there now. So, availability is not bad now, certainly better than it used to be when I lived there in 2005-2006, but price is relatively high.

A few unique things you can get in Belize: New Zealand canned butter -- quite yummy and stores easily (metal can), "Squash" a fruit juice concentrate, some specialty sauces by Marie Sharps and others (although Marie Sharps hot sauces are also available in Guate).

On the Rio prices are generally better. Some specialty USA/import brands are available at Miriams and Chiques, but they are of course more expensive than local/regional brands, but less than Belize. If you leave the Rio to Morales/Puerto Barrios/Guate City then the range of available products goes up dramatically and the prices are better than Belize. In Guate City you can buy virtually any product you want. Produce here on the Rio is WAY better than Belize. Hit Fronteras on a market day and a wide variety of produce is literally spilling over into the street. Much better produce availability and price than Belize. Coffee and Rum are both way better in Guate -- some of the best in the world of both (neither of which are generally permitted to enter Belize) -- in contrast to the mediocre options for either in Belize.

Honduras Bay Islands prices are relatively high, but good availability on USA imported items (one reason I think many Americans like it here). Prices and availability on mainland Honduras are better.
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Old 17-04-2012, 16:25   #5
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Re: Provisioning in Placencia or the Rio Dulce

A few more thoughts...

Just returned from a minor provisioning run here in Roatan. If you choose to do any provisioning in the Bay Islands then Roatan is by far the best in terms of availability and price. Several well stocked super markets to chose from. Mainland Honduras is even better...almost USA-like in some locations (not that I necessarily view that entirely as a positive).

For any of these venues, if you adapt to local/regional products then you will find provisioning a less frustrating and less expensive process. And, I think, more interesting.

On the Rio: Tienda Reed (Chique's) is quite popular with the cruisers...lots of specialty items including nice meats and cheeses and a variety of miscellaneous boat stuff. Miriam's is somewhat similar, but minus the boat stuff -- mostly specialty items for the gringo cruisers and a well stocked liquor store. Despensia Familiar (DF) is the closest to a developed country super market you will find on the Rio (in fact it is owned by Wal-Mart!). Casa Guatemala's store in town has a good selection of meats and cheeses. Jodi's tienda (forget the name) by Brunos also stocks specialty items for cruisers. The place to go for produce is the alley ways off the main street -- loaded with all sorts of good local produce. So, availability of provisions is good on the Rio, but you have to run around quite a bit. All of these places are accessible by dinghy.
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Old 17-04-2012, 16:34   #6
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Re: Provisioning in Placencia or the Rio Dulce

Thanks for that wonderful assessment. We'll be there eventually this summer.
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Old 18-04-2012, 07:21   #7
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Re: Provisioning in Placencia or the Rio Dulce

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Originally Posted by wahoo40 View Post
Thanks for that wonderful assessment. We'll be there eventually this summer.
You're welcome.

Also, prices on the Rio are in general a bit higher than elsewhere in Guate.
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