It was hot, Bastian went snorkeling… what else would I do other than go Bananas?!
I’ve always wondered how Bananas actually grow. They look like a bunch of siblings hanging down in a big bundle. And then one day in Puerto Vallarta I found out that Bananas actually grow pointing up, almost like a baseball glove waiting for the ball to arrive. Mysterious, favorite fruit…
So I packed the kids in the car, brought a lot of water and drove over to the ‘Bunches of Fun! Bananan Farm Tour’ close to Placencia, Belize.
One of the coolest things happened even before we really arrived: A cable car with a long row of banana gondolas crossed our way. You can see it in the video too:
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Three other people took the tour with us. We watched a short movie about the history of banana plantation. The only thing I understood was that bananas originate from Asia. Otherwise I was busy distracting Mika, who thought it would be a great time for singing while everyone was quite for the movie.
Then we walked out and into the middle of the banana plantation to learn something. Did you actually know that there are female and male bananas? And that all male bananas are removed right in the beginning of the growing process? All bananas we eat are females! They are self-pollinating so no guys needed.
And did you know that the one end of the banana, the one opposite of where it’s attached to the other bananas, in real life grows a flower? The cute little thing gets removed when the bananas are still little.
There are a lot of steps of manual labor required to get the bananas big enough and bruise free so they can be sold in perfect shape. Because only the perfectly shaped bananas are actually sold. Every little bruise is a reason for a banana to end in the compost.
The demonstration of how the bananas are harvested was very impressive, my kids marveled at it open mouthed. A guy with large machete strikes the whole stalk off the plant and hangs it as a gondola in the banana train. Then with another bold strike cuts off the upper part of the plant: All the huge leaves are off the trunk with one zip. The plant is done. No more bananas from this one. Now a new plant has to grow for the next stalk of bananas.
Great tour! Very informative, even for young kids. Not too long either. If you’re in Placencia or are planning to go in that region, check out this tour!
Location: Mile 8 Placencia Hwy
How to find them: From Placencia Village drive North, off the island. After the left curve it’s on the right side of the highway
Cost: 30 Belize Dollars (= 15 USD)
What to bring: Bring a lot of water, a head and sunscreen lotion. Also be prepared to walk off the trail in between the banana trees (not far though).
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