One of the most popular destinations in Belize, Placencia is a charming, low-key fishing village located at the southern tip of the Placencia Peninsula in southeastern Belize. Bordered on one side by a lovely mangrove-lined lagoon and on the other by the Caribbean Sea, Placencia is renowned for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the country.
The Placencia Peninsula measures approximately 19 miles from north to south but is just half a mile wide. With the look and feel of an island, it’s no surprise that Placencia is often described as the “caye (island) you can drive to.” But despite its popularity as a tourist destination, the main activities in Placencia are strolling the beach or motoring around on an electric golf cart.
The southeastern coast of Belize is famous for its natural beauty. Although luxury resorts and condominium developments have sprung up, Placencia has successfully managed to retain its old-world charm. Locals still head out to sea every morning in small boats to bring in the daily catch, and visitors can meander along the village’s 4,000-foot long “main street” that is a pedestrian-only sidewalk adorned with colorful murals and artwork.
Placencia is just one of three villages located on the peninsula but has lovely shops, charming cafes, seafood restaurants, a small medical clinic, and an airfield.
Whether you coming for a family vacation, a destination wedding, or romantic honeymoon, Placencia is one of the most beautiful spots in the country. It also serves as the gateway to the southern reef, a mecca for maritime activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, and sailing.
And on the mainland, nearby attractions include hiking through the vast Cockscomb Basin Nature Reserve (home to some of Central America’s last surviving jaguars), learning about native wildlife and plants on a boat trip up the aptly named Monkey River, and touring ancient Maya ruins such as Nim Li Punit and Lubantuum.
Lonely Planet, the largest travel guide book publisher in the world describes Placencia as follows:
“How you wind up feeling about Placencia really depends on what you’re looking for. If it’s laid-back ambience, varied accommodations and some of the best restaurants in Southern Belize, this beachfront paradise may well prove to be your personal Margaritaville. If it’s off-the-beaten-path adventure and cheaper living you’re after,Placencia might serve better as a way-station. Come on down for a few days of sandy beaches, sunny skies and great seafood before heading off to less trodden paths.”
If you are traveling to Placencia very soon, here are 25 things you need to know:
- Placencia Village sits at the very tip of the narrow 16 mile Placencia Peninsula in Southern Belize.
- Chabil Mar is located in Placencia Village. While other resorts along the Peninsula regularly advertise their location as Placencia Village, they are on the Placencia Peninsula as much as 12 miles north of the Village, in the communities of Seine Bight and Maya Beach, for instance.
- To a lot of people, the Placencia Peninsula feels like an Island but it is not. Less than 2000 people live in Placencia Village.
- The Placencia Peninsula is also 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.
- The Main Street in Placencia Village is just a sidewalk! In fact, the “Guinness Book of World Records” recognizes it as the narrowest main street in the world.
- Many people visit Placencia during the months of April, May and June to swim, dive or snorkel with giant whale sharks at the Gladden Spit Marine Reserve.
- Placencia’s Lobsterfest is the village’s most famous festival and is held in June of every year. In 2013, the Placencia Lobsterfest won an award from the Belize Tourism Board as the Festival of the Year!
- An Arts Festival is held in February each year, that brings artists from all over Belize to showcase their art along the 4071 foot (3/4 mile), 4 foot wide Placencia Sidewalk.
- Placencia was once a sleepy fishing village.
- The Placencia Peninsula boasts 16 miles of tranquil beaches.
- Many travelers who vacation in Placencia do the Monkey River and the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary Tours.
- Placencia has a range of Belize resorts and hotels that can fit almost any budget.
- Placencia is 35 minutes away from Belize City by air.
- The road into Placencia Village is bordered by the lagoon on one side and the turquoise Caribbean on the other, and ends at the end of the Peninsula.
- Placencia is world renowned for offshore fishing, diving and snorkeling.
- Placencia is also well known for its very laid-back, no-shoes ambience where locals go out of their way to make sure you enjoy your visit.
- The average temperature in sub-tropical Placencia is 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Anytime of the year is good to visit Placencia.
- Getting around Placencia is very easy.
- Francis Ford Coppola, the American Film Director, Producer and Screenwriter owns a resort in Placencia.
- Placencia is home to many world class luxury resorts like Chabil Mar.
- Laughing Bird Caye is a favorite camping site for reef kayakers who base their expeditions in Placencia.
- Placencia is also known for its great food and restaurants.
- The Placencia Lagoon is an imperative breeding area for saltwater crocodiles, marine turtles and the rare and endangered manatees.
Visit our website chabilmarvillas.com for more information on Placencia Belize, and don’t hesitate to send us an email, or call US/CAN Toll Free: 1-866-417-2377, Local: (011-501) 523-3606, if you have questions or need help in planning your Belize vacation.
15 thoughts on “25 Things You Need to Know Before You Travel to Placencia Belize”
Went to Placencia with Bookbag Santa group the last of July.
Had an awesome time! Hope to go back next year!
We just returned this January from a two week visit The first week we spent on a catamaran from Moorings and explored the reefs. What made this extra special was our captain Dwayne, as well as being a great navigator he was a superb fisherman and chef so we enjoyed the bounty of the reefs.
We were interested in the local culture and music so we spent our last three days in Hopkins, a quiet friendly place on our last night we enjoyed the punta rock at one of their eateries
The only draw back were the taxi’s who could take advantage of you in their charges
I’m visiting Placencia in June. It’s nice to discover this is the season of the lobster festival and whale sharks. Thanks for the write-up.
When in February is the annual art festival in Placencia?
We are so sorry to say that the 2021 Arts Festival, typically held in February, was cancelled this year by the Placencia Town Council.
There will be an Artisan’s Market on July 3 & 4 this year, to coincide with the opening of our Lobster Season in Belize. Maybe you could make it to that celebration?
We are retired educators and traveling to Belize in August. On other similar vacations the cities and or resorts were collecting school supplies. Does Placencia have anything like that that supports students and their education?
Thank you very much for asking. Yes, we do. We have partnered with “Pack for a Purpose” to support St. John’s School in Placencia. Are you staying at Chabil Mar?
If you are not at Chabil Mar, then you can contact the St. John’s directly or bring your donations to Chabil Mar and we can get it to the school. Here is our listing with “Pack for a Purpose”.
My little family of 3 will be in Placencia for Christmas this year. It is our first trip to Belize. Any happenings on Christmas? Any tips on where to snorkel and charter a boat to go out fishing and snorkeling?
Hello, Sarah. Are you staying at Chabil Mar while you are in Placencia?
If you are, we suggest you contact our concierge for information about tours and to-do’s while with us. You can email them at email@example.com or call from the US/Can toll free: 1-866-417-2377
If not, another very good source of information about Placencia is the local tourism board website: http://www.placencia.com.
So glad to hear that you are coming to Placencia for the Christmas holidays! Welcome to Belize, welcome to Placencia!
Also, here’s a blog that we posted regarding the holidays in Placencia that we think you might enjoy reading:
Thinking of coming down in March or April & have this question of the times : What is Covid 19 doing to you all? Restrictions include…?
Hello, Ric. Thank you for your question. We would be very pleased to have you stay with us at Chabil Mar. We have very many guests now, and December is nearly sold out for us. With regard to the restrictions in Belize, by the Government of Belize, they change so regularly that we suggest you go to the Belize Tourism Board website, travelbelize.org, where any updates are posted as they occur. They have been changing nearly monthly for the last year, so that is our recommendation for knowing what they are at any given time.
Currently, there is a curfew at 10PM on weekdays and 11PM on weekends. Mask wearing is required. At Chabil Mar, as a private, guest exclusive resort, our guests wear masks into our Registration Office, if they need to speak with a front office person, but most just call the office and both arriving and departing processes occur via email communications, what’sapp or outside on site. All tours are available and our staff wears masks at all times.
Also, for information about Villa availability in March, April, or any other dates, it is best to contact our reservations manager, Mr. Jordan. His email is: firstname.lastname@example.org. We do have about 25% of our Villas reserved in 2022 as of today.
Thanks again for your question. We encourage you to contact our Reservations Manager for more information.
I just retired in California I had planned to move to Belize before I retired and now here I am in Placencia I have been here two months and the people here are so amazing they are beautiful people the beaches are beautiful the food is great And the vibe it’s amazing I think I made the right move
Hello, Thomas. That is such great news from you. We concur. Living life in Placencia, Belize is beautiful because the people are beautiful. The scenery gets most of the attention, but it’s the day to day interactions with the people of Placencia that seals the deal, as they say. All the best to you.
Is this recommendable for 70 year olds on a small income to visit?
Your question brings a friendly smile to my face. I am 73 and love it in Placencia. As far as income, we hope, of course, that Chabil Mar’s luxury Villa accommodations, excellent service and amenities are affordable to you. Staying close to Placencia Village would be important to keeping costs down, while having access to the local markets so you can prepare your own food, assuming you stay at accommodations with kitchens, and, the local culture, while walking through the Village also provides much entertainment and education for free. We hope you will be able to visit with us sometime soon. Personally, I have been loving it for 16 years.