Guide to Stann Creek District
Located on the coast of southeastern Belize, the Stann Creek District is home to the popular tourist destinations of Placencia Village, the peninsula of Placencia, and the Garifuna village of Hopkins.
With approximately 34,000 residents, the Stann Creek District is home to a wide variety of indigenous and local peoples, including the Mestizos, the Creole community, the Garifuna, and descendants of the Maya. Without any large metropolitan areas, visitors are drawn to the Stann Creek District because it is a unique opportunity to explore the authentic slow-paced Central American lifestyle of Belize.
The district gets its name from the archaic term “stanns”, which meant “safe havens”, an important attraction for early settlers fleeing persecution in Europe and elsewhere. The capital of the district is Dangriga, formerly known as “Stann Creek Town”. Most of the local inhabitants are engaged in fishing or in harvesting the rich abundance of bananas and citrus fruits that grow in this region.
Things to Do in Stann Creek
The pristine beaches and sapphire waters off of Stann Creek District make fishing, sailing, canoeing, sea kayaking, snorkeling, and diving popular activities. Just off the coast is the Belize Barrier Reef, the second-largest in the world, and the largest in the Western Hemisphere, home to a rich variety of marine life. Several cayes (islands) dot the coast of Stann Creek District, home to luxury resorts and access to prime diving, fishing, and snorkeling activities.
Visitors can explore the numerous villages in the Stann Creek District to get a taste of authentic Belizean life, including the fishing town of Hopkins Village. To the south of Stann Creek District, visitors can climb Victoria Peak, the second-highest point in the country at 1,120 meters (3,670 feet) above sea level. From there, visitors can hike the lower slopes of the Maya Mountains.
Another popular attraction is the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, home to indigenous jaguars and hundreds of species of tropical birds.
Food and Drink
With a rich blend of indigenous and local peoples, Stann Creek has many special delicacies on offer for visitors, especially fresh-caught seafood. Particularly popular during the season are lobsters, made in dozens of different ways by local chefs. Visitors to Placencia can taste a wide variety of cocktails, including the “Crazy Coconut”, a blend of coconut water and lime served in a real coconut.
Stann Creek Lodging
Most vacationers to Stann Creek District will find lodging in and around Placencia Village, particularly popular during the high season. A number of cayes (islands) just off the coast offer luxury accommodations and full-service lodging for visitors seeking a more inclusive experience.
Getting to Stann Creek District
Most visitors to Stann Creek District fly into the Phillip Gordon International Airport in Belize City. From there, taxis or shuttle services can take you south along the scenic Hummingbird and Southern Highways for the 90-mile journey to Stann Creek District.