A Quick Guide to Placencia Belize
Veteran travelers have been known to joke about vacations they’ve taken that sent them to a different area of one or more countries daily. “If it’s Tuesday, it must be Orange Walk!” we overheard a woman say as she tried to match the day with her itinerary. Of course, seeing lots of places when going abroad is fun, but nothing surpasses an immersion, which is why we recommend targeting one area of Belize: Placencia.
Arrange to spend your holiday on the Placencia peninsula and you won’t regret your decision. The sheer number of things to do and see in this destination are diverse enough to suit even fussy travelers. Besides, Placencia has a sampling of everything there is to see and do in Belize, minus the stress that comes from having to pick up and move every few days!
Placencia by the sea
Chances are, you chose Belize because you can’t get enough ocean time and by selecting Placencia as your hub, you’ll literally be surrounded by water thanks to the district’s finger-shaped landmass. There are 16 miles of what travel writers call the best beaches in the country, so you can arrange with your lodgings host to sail catamarans, boats and kayaks among the string of islands that runs the length of Belize’s shoreline.
>> See also: Top 5 Things to see and do in Placencia Belize
Need a fishing fix? What’s your preference? Go deep water fishing and land a specimen that puts Hemingway’s nautical conquests to shame or opt for little wildlife atoll havens set into the ocean like jewels. Head for a remote destination like Laughing Bird Caye to see marine wildlife, birds and marine mammals. If you can arrange to visit in May and June, the whale watching is spectacular!
Placencia by land
You already know that the Caribbean provides the ideal backdrop for sunny days and enchanting nights, but if your tour excursion preferences tend to revolve around land-based sites, you’re in luck. Placencia is home to fascinating Mayan ruins. Book a trip to Nim Li Punit, a small historic site filled with ancient structures. Known internationally for its huge numbers of stelae—Belize’s answer to Stonehenge!—you’ll see pyramids, tombs and plazas, but the tallest stelae in Belize at Nim Li Punit is bound to impress both you and your camera most.
Visit a larger Mayan settlement near Placencia by touring Lubaantun, the Place of Fallen Rocks. Architecturally distinct from other Maya compounds because the buildings here have rounded silhouettes, Lubaantun is the perfect complement to Nim Li Punit because they’re a study in contrast. There’s not a single stelae at this site, despite the fact that the area happens to be southern Belize’s largest Mayan compound. You won’t be disappointed despite a lack of staele because the temples, pyramids, tombs, ball courts and a museum full of ceramic vessels and artifacts are fascinating in their own right.
Placencia’s wild side!
Frequent visitors know that they don’t have to leave “town” to have a super time of it. The center of Placencia is a little bit yesterday and a dash of today, so the Caribbean vibe pervades shops, restaurants and bars. If you’re the sort who is content doing nothing more than hanging out, spend your time sampling delicious seafood dishes and exotic cookery reflecting Belize’s cultural diversity or make lots of friends on a pub crawl that introduces you to more friendly faces than you’ve encountered anywhere else on earth. Drinking beers as the sun sets—or just lounging on the beach with a cocktail in hand—has been known to relax even the most frazzled tourist.
Of course, if you must get out and about, follow the lead of vacationers who wouldn’t think of headquartering anywhere but Placencia because the water sports are plentiful in this area. Dive the Belize Barrier Reef, snorkel offshore or combine the two by booking a fun excursion that pairs a beach barbecue with water time that won’t cost a fortune.
When you’ve had your fill of wet suits and waves, visit the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, 150 miles of tropical forest that serves as a refuge for Belize’s endangered jaguar population. Hike around and see how many of the 200+ species of birds you spot flying overhead or perched in trees. For the ultimate pleasure, book a guesthouse here so you have 24/7 access to this wonderland–and don’t leave without seeing the Placencia Lagoon where manatees, crocodiles and exotic birds coexist nicely amid mangrove forests.
Who says a traveler can’t find everything they desire in just one place? Not us. And not the tourists who visit so frequently, they know the names of staff members at their favorite resorts! Treat yourself to the best Belize has to offer in just one idyllic place: Placencia.
Ten Things to do in Placencia Belize:
Kayaking in the Caribbean Sea
The clear Caribbean waters that front the Placencia Peninsula are perfect for a kayaking adventure. Because there is not too much tide action and the waters are not confined, it is easy to kayak through them. If you are a kayaking enthusiast, make sure to check out Laughing Bird Caye, a beautiful island that is not far away from Placencia Village and is considered an amazing kayaking destination.
Kayaking on the Placencia Lagoon
You will encounter an abundant of wildlife like manatees, dolphins, rays, birds and fish when you kayak the Placencia lagoon. Because the water in the lagoon is passive, you can go at your leisure and enjoy the pristine natural surroundings at your own pace.
Go snorkeling at Silk Cayes
Just 20 miles away from Placencia Village, Silk Cayes is perhaps one of the most beautiful islands in southern Belize. The vividly clear turquoise waters that surround the cayes make it one of the most popular snorkeling destinations in Belize. Enjoy spotting trumpet fish, barracuda, angelfish, damselfish, rays, nurse sharks, and sea turtles on your snorkeling adventure.
Go Scuba Diving off the coast of Placencia
If you love scuba diving, you will love Placencia thanks to the miles of underwater canyons and topographic formations that have created an extensive range of cayes that are perfect for diving.
If you visit Placencia during the months of March, April, May and June, you can’t afford to miss scuba diving with whale sharks at the Gladden Spit Marine Reserve.
Located 30 miles east of Placencia, Gladden Spit Marine Reserve is used by over 20 species of Caribbean fish to release their eggs during the months of March, April, May and June and it is the eggs of the Black and Cubera snappers that the whale sharks show up on cue to feed on.
You can explore the majestic Belize Barrier Reef in southern Belize by going on a sailing adventure. Check out Laughing Bird Cayes, Silk Cayes, and Long Coco Cayes, three amazing destinations that can be explored on a day trip by boat. If you are interested in staying overnight at any of these cayes, make sure to check with your hotel concierge.
Once a fishing village, Placencia has become a booming fishing destination in Belize. Tourists come for the thrill of hooking the elusive permit, tarpon, snook and bonefish. Fly-fishing, drop fishing, and trolling can all be done in Placencia. You also have the option of either fishing in the Placencia lagoons or in the open Caribbean Sea.
Go Bird Watching and Animal Spotting at Monkey River
Monkey River Village is not far away from Placencia Village and is a destination where you can gain access to the many sites and wonders found in southern Belize. Nature Trails, Manatee watching, Bird watching are just a few of the tours available to do in the area. However, the major attraction is the Howler Monkey and the River, hence the name Monkey River.
Go River Tubing at Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is not far away from Placencia Village and is a great destination to experience Belize’s exotic flora and fauna, track down the elusive jaguar and go inner tubing in the meandering river. Sit on your inner tube and drink in the spectacular beauty of the area while you lazily float downstream.
Go Hiking at Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
Some of the best jungle trails in Belize can be found at Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Snactuary. Spot iguanas, lizards, exotic birds, wild deers and even footprints of the elusive jaguar on your hiking expedition. Make sure to ask your hotel concierge for information on the best hiking trails at Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary.
Enjoy Garifuna Culture in Placencia
Make sure that you allocate some time to experience the Garifuna culture in Placencia. Whether it is through food, music, and art the Garifuna culture is prevalent in the Placencia Peninsula and you can’t afford to experience it. Check with your hotel concierge for more information on how you can experience Garifuna culture.
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