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The Official Placencia Belize Travel Guide: What to Expect

By 2/13/2019 4 minutes  (1)

About Placencia Belize

If you're looking to spend your vacation in a tropical retreat, there's no better place than Belize, and there's no more tantalizing region than the Placencia Peninsula in Southern Belize. This enchanting peninsula is bordered on one side by a tropical lagoon and on the other side by the Caribbean Sea. It's known both for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and for the gregarious and gracious nature of the residents - many of whom live in the self-name placid fishing village of Placencia. Despite being 19 miles from tip to tip, the width of this peninsula is only a half mile wide, and that means gorgeous beaches are never out of reach.

Placencia Travel Guide
Placencia Travel Guide
And despite the prominence of luxury resorts, there's still a down-to-earth charm to Placencia. This is a region that has stubbornly resisted commercialization, a philosophy in step with Belize's natural disposition towards ecologically friendly practices. Restaurants in the village regularly feature fish freshly pulled from the Caribbean, and the 4,000 foot "Main Street" of the village is vivid with life, featuring shops, boutiques, and colorful murals and artwork that reflect the artistic passions of the local population.

While the local color is an incredibly persuasive argument towards a vacation in Placencia, this region also serves as an important access point for outdoor adventures. Fishing, sailing, and scuba diving are popular options for day trips, but there's plenty to do on land as well. Whether you're looking to explore preserves for some of the local wildlife or set out on a tubing or cave diving expedition, local tour guides will always be ready to provide you with the guidance you need.

How to Get to Placencia Belize

While Placencia is home to wild frontiers, and many of the residents get by on foot or by bike alone, that doesn't mean you'll have to arm yourself with a machete and cut through the undergrowth to make your way there. Many airlines offer direct flights from the United States to Belize. While Belize City Airport offers five daily domestic flights to the Placencia airstrip (and flights last about 40 minutes), most visitors opt for taking ground transportation. The route from Belize City to Placencia is about 160 miles, and you can easily get to your destination in the course of about three hours.

Placencia Travel Guide - Shuttle Service
Placencia Travel Guide - Shuttle Service
And while it's possible to rent a car from your terminal at the Belize City Airport, you'd be doing yourself a disservice by not taking advantage of the shuttle services. Not only does renting a car force you to plot your course and navigate the winding roads of inland Belize, but making the drive yourself means that you'll miss out on the beautiful and scenic journey to get to the southern peninsula. The 160 mile journey offers a beautiful cross-section of Belize's diverse ecosystem. The scenery you'll see along the Hummingbird Highway is particularly nice, and the tourist shuttles covering the stretch of Belize are comfortable and well appointed. If you're looking to book a shuttle from the capital to Placencia Village, get in touch with Belizing.com to find convenient and cost-effective solutions catered to your schedule.

Top Things to See and Do in Placencia Belize

A trip to Belize can be overwhelming. There's so much to see and do, and that extends to both the land and the water. But it's not that hard to transform that anxiety into exhilaration. Here are some of the most popular activities on the Placencia Peninsula.

Silk Cayes

Silk Caye Marine Reserve actually constitutes three separate islands, and it's one of the most well preserved areas around the Belize Barrier Reef. That - along with the fact that it's home to 25 different species of reef fish and a huge habitat of diverse corals - makes it one of the prime spots for both snorkeling and scuba diving.

Laughing Bird Caye

Another popular site for scuba diving and snorkeling, Laughing Bird Caye has actually been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. What sets it apart from other landmarks is that it's a faro, or an angular atoll enclosed around a lagoon. That allows a greater level of diversity for explorers and a unique environment you'd be hard pressed to find anywhere else in the region.

Placencia Travel Guide - Snorkeling

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

Cockscomb is the first jaguar sanctuary in the world, but it's just as remarkable for its geographical landmarks and its local fauna. Natural trails, waterfalls, and mountain views are available in abundance, and it's also home to a rich variety of different tropical birds. It's also a great location for launching off on a river tubing excursion.

Monkey River Tour

Monkey River Village is home to 200 residents, but it's not the "village" part of the name that's going to incite the curiosity of visitors. This rainforest is home to a huge community of howler monkeys, and they aren't afraid to make travelers aware of their presence with their trademark cries.

Zip Lining

Rocketing down a zip line isn't the best way to soak up the natural beauty of Southern Belize’s jungles, but it's a phenomenal method for getting the blood flowing. Fortunately, you'll have plenty of opportunities to observe your surrounding on the hike up to the platforms. Your guides will provide you with all the training and equipment you need.

Chocolate Farm Tour

Tourists with a sweet tooth should absolutely indulge themselves on this local tour. You won't just get the chance to taste one of Belize's most delicious natural treasures. You'll also get to see how the agricultural workers of the region make their living.

Mayan King Water Fall

While Belize's climate is delightfully warm throughout the year, sometimes you just want a cold dip to recharge your batteries. The majestic Maya King Waterfall can provide that. It's a water feature varying in depth and difficulty, making it a great place to dip for swimmers of any age or proficiency.

Placencia Travel Guide - Mayan King Waterfalls

Overnight in a Private Island Paradise

Belize is a remarkably laid-back country, but sometimes it's good to just get away from everyone. This full-day tour allows for you to retreat to the sanctuary of a private island for swimming, diving, snorkeling, and a sumptuous barbecue lunch. The only local residents you'll have to interact with are the friendly nurse sharks, turtles, and rays.


The beautiful waters and rich variety of wildlife off the shores of Placencia make it a popular destination for snorkeling and diving, but it's also a great environment for fishing. Hook up with a tour guide who understands the conditions, and they can guide you to the most prime fishing spots around.

Where to Stay in Placencia Belize

Placencia Peninsula is known throughout the world for the opulence, prevalence, and hospitality of its local posh resorts, and while a small number of major players tend to naturally dominate the spotlight as far as vacation destinations are concerned, failing to do your research could cause you to miss out on some charming hidden gems. The expansive market of resorts means that there are a wide variety of options available to consumers, and there are high-quality lodgings available for travelers working with any budget and demanding any number of needs. Dominating the conversation are resorts like Chabil Mar, Robert's Grove, Laru Beya, and Turtle Inn. These resorts may sometimes crowd out others in the market, but they've earned their reputation through the quality of their service and the breadth of their amenities. Other top-tier options to consider include Sirenian Bay Resort & Villas and Captain Jak's Rentals

Placencia Travel Guide - Where to stay
Placencia Travel Guide - Where to stay

Regardless of your proclivities or budget, it's important to do your research and carefully evaluate the options available to you. Popular travel search sites like Expedia.com, Booking.com, and Tripadvisor.com can help you find everything from budget to luxury hotels, but you'd be well-advised to check out Airbnb as well. While the major resorts provide a highly curated experience where hospitality is put front and center and your every need is waited on hand and foot, renting a condo, home, or apartment from an actual Belizean can be one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the culture and learn about the people that make Placencia so special.


There's no doubt about it. Belize breeds spontaneity. It's easy to book a plane, a shuttle, and a resort, and then stage your plans from there, but you could be missing out on some of the best options available to you. Whether you're just curious about what the Placencia Peninsula has to offer or you've picked out the excursions you want to go and would like to book them in advance, be sure to make a virtual vacation to Belizing.com.

Belizing.com is the largest marketplace for transfers, tours, excursions, and more in Belize, but that doesn't mean we're a clearinghouse. Instead, we build strong partnerships with some of the best vendors in the country and then offer them in a transparent and open market for visitors looking to make the most of their vacation. Booking your adventures at Belizing.com can make all the difference in the world in terms of the quality of your vacation, so visit us today to browse the adventures on offer and learn more about our mission.

Placencia Travel Guide
Placencia Travel Guide

In this episode we speak with Dorian Rivero, owner of Private Belize Adventure and tour guide of over 20 years, to discuss what activities are available to visitors in and around Belize ... moreCity. Take a virtual walk-through of cave tubing destination Nohoch Che’en as well as the Mayan ruins of Altun Ha.
Guest Name:
Dorian Rivero

Belizing Staff

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I love all the info. I definitely need to do the Monkey River! I used your article coupled with this one and made my trip amazing! https://inspiretraveleat.com/must-do-unique-things-to-do-on-the-belize-mainland/