Placencia is quickly growing and becoming one of the more popular spots for travellers wanting a coastal spot on Belize’s mainland. Once a sleepy village, the peninsula is now home to some of the most luxurious resorts in the country. Fortunately, its growth spurt has not affected its quiet charm and Placencia village remains a quiet getaway spot where golf carts are still a popular mode of transportation.
The expansive stretch of beaches and luxury resorts are not the only things that are enticing travellers to visit this village – it’s also a prime spot for diving and fishing. Especially during whale shark season, Placencia is regarded as one of the best bases for diving in Belize. Its close proximity to the southern cayes and ample dive sites within a short boat ride make this an increasingly popular vacation spot year round.
Placencia also offers close access to inland adventure with the ability to travel to some of Belize’s least visited waterfalls, rivers, and rainforests. Two villages, Placencia and Seine Bight, are the prominent areas to visit.
Things To Do
Scuba diving and fishing reign supreme in this region, but snorkelers will find plenty to keep them occupied in the underwater. The peninsula is fortunate to boast some of the clearest water in Belize, making it easy to just step off the beach of your resort and find plenty of sea life. Mark your calendars for whale shark season, which can vary slightly each year, and take advantage of one of the many snorkel and dive options that can take you up close and personal with these one-of-a-kind docile creatures.
Another popular option from Placencia is the Monkey River tour that starts off with a boat ride followed by a jungle adventure in search of the howler monkey. Laughing Bird Caye National Park is about 11 miles from Placencia and is a protected area on Belize’s Barrier Reef. You can go snorkeling or diving, or just spend the day relaxing above water.
Food and Drinks
Seafood is abundant, fresh, and often times very inexpensive in Placencia. Lobster is a prime staple in the region, with the area holding an annual celebration, much like the Lobsterfest celebrations in Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker.
One “must try” in Placencia may surprise you – authentic Italian gelato. Tutti-Fruitti is one of the most visited spots in town and for good reason. It features quality Italian gelato with traditional flavors like Stracciatella (chocolate chip), but also some local influence like soursop.
For a night out on the town, one of the highlights in Placencia is a visit to the Turtle Inn, owned by Francis Ford Coppola. Here you can dine in a romantic setting while enjoying an extensive selection of Coppola’s own California wines. I also recommend you try Rumfish y Vino for a superb dining experience!
Despite the trend of more luxury resorts, Placencia is still to home to a number of budget friendly spots and families might even prefer to rent one of the many vacation villas available in the area.
Stay in town at one of the luxury resorts, several with their own dive centers onsite, or venture to a private island like Hatchet Caye Resort where you can experience one of Belize’s remote cayes. Serious fishermen will want to check out Whipray Caye Lodge, a private island designed with serious fishermen in mind.
It is easy to get to Placencia. A few options include taking a flight from the Phillip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) to a small airport near Placencia Village, renting a vehicle and driving there, or taking public transportation (bus). Another popular option is a private or shared shuttle which is usually scheduled beforehand.