Travel Tips for Exploring Placencia, Belize

Welcome to Placencia, a breathtaking peninsula located in southern Belize, boasting 16 miles of pristine sandy beaches. Situated between the Caribbean Sea and the Placencia lagoon, with the Maya Mountains as a backdrop, this picturesque destination offers a wealth of natural beauty and exciting adventures.

Explore the two distinct parts of Placencia, easily navigable on a golf cart or beach cruiser bike, and indulge in the vibrant local culture. With a wide range of accommodations, delightful dining options, and an array of activities to choose from, Placencia is the perfect destination for an unforgettable vacation.

Getting There

Placencia is conveniently located in the Stann Creek District, southeast of Belize. Travelers can reach Placencia by various means:

By Car: Drive from Belize City on the Northern Highway, then take the Western Highway to Belmopan before heading south to Placencia. Alternatively, you can opt for a scenic plane ride from Belize City, which takes approximately 30 minutes. Total drive to from Belize City to Placencia is approximately 2.5hrs to 3hrs.

Local Flights: Book a local flight from Belize City to Placencia for a quick and convenient journey.

Shuttle Service: Choose a private or shared shuttle service to reach Placencia, offering flexibility and a chance to enjoy the sights along the way.

Bus Transfer: Take a shuttle transfer from Belize City to the south and catch a bus heading to the Stann Creek District for an affordable travel option.

Beautiful Beachside Accommodation

Placencia Peninsula offers a diverse selection of lodging options to suit every traveler’s needs. From budget-friendly rooms with shared baths to beachfront cabanas with kitchenettes, air-conditioned apartments, luxurious hotels, and stunning villas, there’s something for everyone. While swimming pools are not common, several luxury hotels and resorts such as Naia Resort and Spa, Robert’s Grove, and Turtle Inn feature refreshing pools. If you’re seeking a beachfront experience on a budget, Trade Winds, Seaspray Hotel, Lydia’s Guesthouse, Sailfish Resort, and Ranguana Lodge are excellent choices.

Delicious Dining Experiences:

Placencia is renowned for its white sandy beaches, vibrant nightlife, and mouthwatering cuisine. Indulge your taste buds at some of the top dining spots in the area.

DeTatch: This popular beachfront restaurant specializes in delectable chicken and seafood dishes inspired by Caribbean, Belizean, and North American flavors. With fresh ingredients and speedy service, it’s a must-visit.

Rumfish: Located in a charming wooden building, Rumfish offers a pub-style wine bar experience with Central American flair. Try their ceviche, Yucatán chicken, or Caribbean fish stew while enjoying the balcony views.

Omar’s Creole Grub: Known for its fresh seafood, Omar’s serves mouthwatering crab, lobster, shrimp, and conch prepared in traditional Creole, Caribbean curry, or coconut curry styles.

Brewed Awakenings: Start your day with perfectly brewed espresso coffee and flavored seaweed shakes, known for their healthy vitamins and thickening properties.

Above Grounds: Enjoy great coffee, bagels, muffins, and people-watching from the raised wooden veranda deck while sipping on organic Guatemalan coffee directly sourced from farmers.

Including these dining establishments in your Placencia itinerary ensures that you savor the flavors of the region and make the most of your culinary experience.

placencia sidewalk
fish swimming coral
diving in Belize
Green iguana

Things to do in Placencia, Belize

Placencia offers a wide array of activities that showcase the best of its coastal and inland wonders. Explore the following attractions and experiences during your visit:

  1. Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary: Home to five species of wildcats, this sanctuary features majestic waterfalls, nature trails for bird watching, and camping grounds.
  2. Snorkeling Trips: Dive into the crystal-clear waters of the Belize Barrier Reef and marvel at the diverse marine life, including rays, nurse sharks, whale sharks, turtles, and colorful fish. Join us on a private tour to Silk Caye/Turtle Alley, Laughing Bird Caye National Park, and neighboring islands, where vibrant coral reefs teem with a kaleidoscope of fish and fascinating marine critters.
  3. Fishing Charters: Embark on a fishing adventure and try your hand at catching the big one while enjoying the scenic beauty of the Caribbean Sea.
  4. Island Adventure: Join a day cruise and island hop, discovering the beauty of small islands and basking in paradise.
  5. Scuba Diving: Delve deeper into the underwater world with scuba diving excursions, exploring vibrant coral reefs and encountering fascinating marine creatures.
  6. Monkey River Tour: Cruise up the Monkey River and spot manatees, dolphins, crocodiles, howler monkeys, and other wildlife along the riverbanks.
  7. Maya Ruins Exploration: Visit nearby Mayan ruins such as Nim li Punit, Lubaantun, Xunantunich, and Cahal Pech, and immerse yourself in the rich history and architectural wonders of the ancient Maya civilization.
  8. Local Food Tastings and Cooking Classes: Delight in the flavors of Belize by tasting and learning to make local dishes such as Garifuna food (Hudut and Tapou), Creole cuisine (Rice and Beans with stewed chicken and Johnnycakes), Mestizo specialties (Relleno and Escabeche), and Maya delicacies (Caldo and Tamal).

Explore Stann Creek District

The Stann Creek District, where Placencia is located, is a captivating region brimming with natural wonders and a rich cultural heritage. With a population of approximately 34,000 residents, the district showcases diverse cultures, including Creole, Garifuna, Mestizo, and Maya.

Experience the charm of Dangriga, a small town known for fishing, drumming, and its bustling citrus and banana industries. Discover the district’s lush jungles, crystal-clear rivers, enchanting waterfalls, and rolling mountains. Make sure to visit the Thousand Foot Waterfalls, capture stunning photographs, and consider joining a guided hike to the majestic Victoria Peak, the country’s second-highest point.

As you journey south, you’ll encounter delightful roadside fruit and vegetable stands, small shops, local fast-food restaurants, and inviting bars. Enjoy the laid-back atmosphere, fresh treats, and awe-inspiring views along the Southern highway.

Handy Travel Tips:

  • Pack essentials like sunscreen, hats, and insect repellent to protect yourself from the sun and bugs.
  • Wear comfortable shoes for beach strolls and exploring nature trails.
  • It’s a good idea to have some cash with you, as not all places may accept credit cards.
  • Respect local customs and traditions, and help preserve the environment by avoiding littering and taking care of nature.