Placencia Village, known more simply as Placencia, sits at the very tip of the narrow Placencia Peninsula in southern Belize. As a result, it feels more like an island. It’s just a few minutes walk from the lagoon side to the open Caribbean.
Less than 500 people are lucky enough to be considered permanent residents of Placencia, Belize’s tranquil community. The majority are Creoles, and descendants of European settlers and African slaves. The Placencia Peninsula is sixteen miles long, home to two other communities: Seine Bight and Maya Beach, The name “Placencia” is actually a distortion of Punta Placentia, the name the Spaniards gave to the peninsula in the 1800s. In English, it means Point Pleasant. It’s not surprising.
Placencia’s beaches are often declared the very best on mainland Belize. The village’s tourism association calls them “Barefoot Perfect”. But that designation fits the rest of the town as well. There are no paved roads in Placencia Village, merely a series of pathways for foot traffic. Main Street is a just a sidewalk! However, a number of luxury resorts have sprung up along the peninsula, adding a little more rush to the Placencia lifestyle.
What to do:
Relax like you’ve never relaxed before! Belize is famous for its laid-back attitude, and Placencia is the perfect place to celebrate it. Everything on the peninsula is calm and stress-free, from the breeze in the coconut palms to the waves lazily lapping the shore. String up a hammock and read, draw, take a nap, or work on that “I went to the Caribbean!” tan.
If all that relaxation does seem a little repetitive, never fear. Placencia’s people know how to have fun. Because the second largest barrier reef in the world is just offshore, the snorkeling and diving are phenomenal. The smooth waters are also perfect for other water sports like kayaking, fishing, and sailing. Bike to Seine Bight, or book a river float tour down the nearby Money River. Tour guides also offer trips to offshore cayes and atolls, as well as nearby Mayan ruins.
When to go:
The average temperature in sub-tropical Placencia is 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and the average humidity is 83%. Generally, the dry season (and the most popular time to travel there) is January through May. June, July, October and November are typically the rainiest months. Rainstorms are usually short, but powerful.
Placencia’s Lobsterfest, held in June, is the village’s most famous festival. The festival is filled with music, games, frosty Belikin beers, and of course, lobster—-in every form imaginable.
Art-lovers will enjoy the newly established Sidewalk Art Festival, held every February.
Getting there and around:
Buses out to Placencia leave Dangriga at 12pm and 4pm. It’s easy to find a bus to Dangriga from Belize City. If you prefer to fly, Maya Airways and Tropic Air both offer flights from Belize City International Airport to Placencia’s airstrip for around $65 USD. Once you’re there, getting around is easy—-just kick off your shoes!
Tips and Practicalities
Most important services, like tour guides, dive shops, grocery stores, and the post office are located at the very tip of the peninsula. Visitors are treated like family in Placencia—-they’re even allowed to check out books from the paperback library.
Accommodations range in price, but the most inexpensive are located in the village itself. A number of luxury resorts stud the beach farther up the peninsula. Restaurants in Placencia are abundant, and seafood is incomparably fresh.
As for currency, Belize makes it easy. $1 USD is equal to $2 Belize Dollars. US dollars are accepted everywhere, and an ATM is located in the village’s Atlantic Bank.
Fun Fact about Placencia Belize:
Placencia’s Main Street sidewalk has earned the distinction as the World’s Narrowest Street in the Guinness Book of World Records!