A charming and gorgeous Peninsula in Southern Belize, Placencia is an ideal vacation destination to do many fun things. Below are five fun activities that you can do when you are in Placencia:
Explore Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
This is Belize’s most famous, and one of its biggest, protected areas – the huge swath of tropical forest became the world’s first jaguar sanctuary in 1984. Today it’s home to an estimated 40 to 50 jaguars and a vast array of wildlife. Visits are restricted to an eastern pocket where there’s an information center, accomodation and walking trails.
Cockscomb became a forest reserve and no-hunting area in 1984. A small part of it was given sanctuary status in 1986, and the rest followed in 1990. The people of the Mayan village of Quan Bank were compulsorily relocated – many now live in Maya Center and make a living from the sanctuary.
The sanctuary itself is not big enough to support a healthy breeding population of jaguars, but it adjoins other reserves, thus promising a hopeful future for this emblematic and threatened big cat. Belize’s four other wild cats – the puma, ocelot, margay and jaguarundi – also live here, as do tapirs, anteaters, armadillos, snakes brocket deer, otters and birds galore. You may even spot a black howler monkey. Tours can be arranged in Maya Center and are usually conducted by Maya who were relocated there.
Dive or Snorkel with Whale Sharks at the Gladden Spit Marine Reserve
The Elbow at Gladden Spit is a magical place. For up to 10 days after the full moon, from March to June, awesome but gentle whale sharks (the world’s largest fish – up to 18m/60ft long) gather to feast on the eggs of cubera snapper and other fish that spawn in huge quantities at these times. Prepare for a jaw-droppingly brilliant experience.
Dive or Snorkel at Laughing Bird Caye National Park
There are some great snorkeling and diving opportunities at Laughing Bird Caye. While the coral has suffered damage from hurricanes and careless snorkelers, there’s plenty of marine life – from stoplight and queen parrotfish to spotted eagle rays to the semi-tame lemon sharks that feed off barbeque leftovers turfed into the sea by the inebriated.
Have a cold Belizean drink at Tipsy Tuna Sports Bar
Occasional live bands spice up the program at Placencia’s shiniest bar, featuring pool tables, big-screen TV and a concrete apron spreading onto the sands. A fun-loving crowd gathers most nights, and happy hour runs from 7pm to 8pm.
Enjoy a delicious Belizean meal at the Cozy Corner Restaurant
A popular open-air beachside palapa, Cozy Corner scores with generous portions of seafood, steaks, chicken and burgers – and several types of enormous burritos for BZ$10 or less.