As a second stop on our round trip in Belize we chose Placencia to get a breath of sea air. Placencia is picturesquely framed by the sea on a peninsula in the south of Belize. If you ask yourself: What is there to do in Placencia? What sights and highlights does Placencia have to offer? How do you get there? And is it worth the visit at all? Then hopefully we have some answers to your questions here in our travel report.
Beim Klick wird Youtube.com aufgerufen (Datenschutzerklärung) | By clicking, Youtube.com opens (Privacy)
We are Sabrina and Andreas, two adventurous travelers who never miss an opportunity to discover the world. Whether by plane to distant countries or with our campervan Bruno, we just love to travel. We hope to give you helpful tips for your next trip on our blog.
Sabrina & Andreas Globetrotters, Travelers, Adventurers
Belize Placencia: The Peninsula
Placencia is a very relaxed village on a small peninsula in the south of Belize. We had thought longer about whether we should go to Placencia at all. Also, our first look at the beach in Placencia rather shocked us a bit, as the beach was full of washed up seaweed piled up in piles all over the beach.
Our initial negative opinion quickly turned into the opposite and we felt very comfortable in Placencia. Of course, this may also have been due to the fabulous weather and our really cozy accommodation near the beach. The village of Placencia stretches over a few kilometers at the tip of a 25 km long peninsula and has actually continuous sandy beaches on one side and mangrove forests and marinas on the other.
The Beach Sidewalk
Placencia’s visitors tend to be older and there are many fancy and also rather expensive beach hotels. The special thing about the hotels in Placencia is that most of them are not located directly on the street, but a bit off the road. The hotels are connected by a so-called sidewalk, a small asphalted path that is only reserved for pedestrians.
On this path you can stroll from beach section to beach section and from one souvenir stand to the next. And all this without street noise or the fear of being run over.
The Beach of Placencia
The sandy beach in Placencia, like many beaches in Belize (e.g. on Caye Caulker), has to deal with sea grass. This not only looks unattractive, but of course also spoils the swimming fun. But something is being done about it. The sea grass is regularly swept up and cleared from the beach by tractor. Otherwise, the beach is very beautiful and completely public.
Although almost every hotel has a private beach section, but this is always located a little further back on the beach, so that you can walk the entire beach without stepping on private property. The sand in Placencia is not as fine as on other beaches and also the waves are a bit rougher. The water is turquoise blue and wonderfully clear.
If you want calm water without waves, but with more people, you have to walk to the small harbor at the end of the peninsula. There is hardly any swell and during our visit only a few more tourists than at the other sections.
Stores close at 5 pm
This is at least true for the souvenir stores and tour providers. At 5pm or 6pm at the latest everything is closed here. So if you want to make a tour for the next day in the late afternoon or want to store for souvenirs after a long day at the beach, you might run out of time. Restaurants and supermarkets are of course open longer.
The Best Restaurants in Placencia
A highlight in the small, tranquil town are the restaurants. Placencia is said to have the best restaurants in southern Belize and there are really many on the main street or on the beach. Prices range from Bz$25 to Bz$50 per dish, depending on the restaurant. We have less experience in this area, because we prefer to cook ourselves for cost reasons.
From others, however, we have heard only good things about the numerous restaurants in Placencia. However, we have made the acquaintance of a damn tasty ice cream parlor on site. Tutti Frutti is the name and is run by real Italians. There is really super delicious ice cream.
How to get to Placencia?
Placencia is pretty easy to reach by public transportation via bus from any tail of Belize. So there is no need for an expensive shuttle or rental car. If you want more detailed info on bus services in Belize, check out our separate article on bus travel in Belize.
The Best Things to do in Placencia
Placencia is a very laid back and relaxed place and that is what it is best to do here. Relax! But of course there are other things and sights to do here.
Lying on the beach
First of all, of course, relax, lie on the beach or swim in the sea. To our surprise, the beaches here were deserted in early July. And that can’t just be because of the tons of seaweed that regularly washes ashore. We really enjoyed the time and the peace and had a great time by the sea despite the somewhat rough seas.
Excursion with a Catamaran
This was really the highlight of our Placencia stay. Actually we wanted to see the famous Silk Cayes (see below) and make a trip there, but when we heard about this tour with a sailing catamaran, we knew we wanted to do it.
The provider Daytripper Catamaran Tours in Placencia offers trips on an amazing sailing catamaran. On the catamaran you can lie in front on a kind of net and enjoy the atmosphere. You are fully catered with delicious lunch, all kinds of drinks (including rum punch) and a damn nice crew.
On the catamaran tour you drive to two different snorkeling spots and can even go ashore at a small and dreamlike island. On this tour we had such a cool time on the boat that we totally want to do it again. The weather was gorgeous, the coral was super colorful while snorkeling and the time on the catamaran was just totally relaxing. If you are in Placencia you should not miss this highlight.
Snorkeling Trip to the Silk Cayes
This is one of the standard programs when you are in Placencia. An excursion to the small, gorgeous island of Silk Caye and to other snorkeling spots in the area. The excursions usually cost about US$90 per person and include lunch, drinks and a full day at sea. However, we skipped this excursion in favor of the sailing catamaran excursion mentioned above.
Golf Cart Rental
When we heard about this, we definitely wanted to do it. We thought it would be cool to cruise through the area in a golf cart and you can see some people with their golf carts cruising through Placencia. The price to rent such a golf cart for one day is about 50-60 €. But when we thought about where we would actually go with this thing, we couldn’t think of much.
And actually, such a golf cart doesn’t make much sense in Placencia. Because there are not really far away beaches or other sights to which one could drive. At most you can go shopping or to a restaurant and that only makes sense if your hotel is further away. So you can actually save the money.
Rent a Bike
This would be the cheaper alternative to the expensive golf cart, but honestly Placencia is so small that you don’t really need bicycles to get from one end to the other. Walking is quite enough here, and you’re not allowed to ride a bike on the idyllic Beach Sidewalk. But if you plan to be out and about a lot, renting bikes might be worth it.
Hotel Recommendation in Placencia
According to our research, the hotels in Placencia are quite expensive and we therefore searched for a long time for a good and cheap accommodation. The location of the hotel is not that important, because Placencia is, as we said, very small and almost all hostels are located off the street at the beach.
But there are two rows of hotels. The first row is located directly on the beach and usually even has its own beach section. The second row is behind the Beach Sidewalk and is still super close to the beach and off the road. We found Guesthouse Lydia’s after a long search, which is in the second row on the beach and is quite cheap for Placencia at just under US$30 per double room.
The rooms are not really big, but clean and have fly screens, two big fans and there are 2 shared bathrooms for a total of 6 double rooms. The owners are not the nicest, but that was not a bad thing. We were super fast at the beach and could cook us in the communal kitchen every day what delicious to eat.
Our cheap hostel near the beach*
Check out our hostel* here, where we spent 3 nights. It is not super luxurious, but still clean and especially for Placencia with less than 30 USD for a double room very cheap. In addition, it is very quiet and you only have to walk a few meters to the beach. But as you can see in the photo, it is actually already in the sand.To Lydia's Guesthouse at Booking.com*
Is Placencia worth a visit?
In our opinion, definitely. The town is completely tourist oriented and consists almost only of restaurants and hotels, but still the atmosphere here is totally relaxed and calm and we felt really comfortable. Since all hotels are located off the road with little traffic, you only have the chirping of the birds in your ear and the fine sea breeze in your face after leaving your accommodation.
Also the audience in Placencia is completely different than for example in Caye Caulker. Here you see mostly families or older couples and actually hardly any younger or even party-seeking tourists. Finding a party here is rather difficult.
Our travel report summarized: Definitely go to Placencia if you are looking for peace and relaxation and like to visit good restaurants.
Did you have other experiences in Belize Placencia, do you think Placencia is not worth it or do you have questions about the place or the surroundings? Then write us a comment!