25 Things You Need to Know Before You Travel to Placencia Belize

Placencia Belize
Placencia Beaches

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.

Placencia Belize Guide
Silk Cayes, a popular snorkeling destination off the coast of Placencia

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 Belize Guide - Where to Stay
Chabil Mar in Placencia Belize
  1. Placencia Village sits at the very tip of the narrow 16 mile Placencia Peninsula in Southern Belize.
  2. 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.
  3. To a lot of people, the Placencia Peninsula feels like an Island but it is not. Less than 2000 people live in Placencia Village.
  4. The Placencia Peninsula is also home to two other communities: Seine Bight and Maya Beach.
  5. The name “Placencia” is actually a distortion of Punta Placentia, the name the Spaniards gave to the peninsula in the 1800s.
  6. In English, it means Point Pleasant.
  7. 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.

    Placencia Belize Guide - Things to See and Do
    Whale Sharks off the coast of Placencia Belize
  8. 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.
  9. 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!
  10. 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.
  11. Placencia was once a sleepy fishing village.
  12. The Placencia Peninsula boasts 16 miles of tranquil beaches.
  13. Many travelers who vacation in Placencia do the Monkey River and the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary Tours.

    Placencia Belize Attractions
    Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the top tours to do from Placencia
  14. Placencia has a range of Belize resorts and hotels that can fit almost any budget.
  15. Placencia is 35 minutes away from Belize City by air.
  16. 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.
  17. Placencia is world renowned for offshore fishing, diving and snorkeling.
  18. 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.

    Placencia Belize Guide - Things to See and Do
    Laughing Bird Caye is another popular attraction that is located off the coast of Placencia
  19. The average temperature in sub-tropical Placencia is 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  20. Anytime of the year is  good to visit Placencia.
  21. Getting around Placencia is very easy.
  22. Francis Ford Coppola, the American Film Director, Producer and Screenwriter owns a resort in Placencia.
  23. Placencia is home to many world class luxury resorts like Chabil Mar.
  24. Laughing Bird Caye is a favorite camping site for reef kayakers who base their expeditions in Placencia.
  25. Placencia is also known for its great food and restaurants.
  26. 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.

The Most Beautiful Beach Destination in Belize

placencia belize beaches

Placencia: Where Belize’s Most Beautiful Beaches Await

It’s a topic that continues to be debated by vacationers obsessed with beaches: Which is the best beach in the Caribbean? Insert yourself into this conversation and listen to what seasoned beachgoers have to say—-especially if the debate compares the beaches of Belize.

This small country has more coastline per mile than most nations of comparable size and hundreds of cayes with their own beaches. According to TripSavvy.com, “Approximately 450 Belize islands and islets stud the Belize Barrier Reef” alone. Sound a bit overwhelming? We can help.

From formal surveys to anecdotal research, you would be hard pressed to find beaches that receive more compliments and reviews than those lining Belize’s 16-mile-long Placencia peninsula.

Why Placencia?

For frequent visitors weary of the pace found at the Belize hot spots frequented by folks seeking the trendiest locations, Placencia offers a perfect compromise of beauty, tranquility and just enough nightlife to make things interesting.

For a resort like Chabil Mar, this combination of excitement and relaxation attracts couples seeking a unique wedding, honeymoon or couples experience and families are equally taken with this gorgeous oasis of luxury.

But it’s the beaches that are the focal point of tourists who, when offered myriad choices, choose Placencia over all other locations, and their reasons for doing so could convince you to join them!

most beautiful beach destination in belize
Reasons to put Placencia beaches atop your preference list

-Placencia is known as “the caye you can walk to,” so if island vacations don’t float your boat because you’re not a fan of isolation, this peninsula checks off both boxes.

-Placencia separates the Caribbean Sea from a protected lagoon so guests can explore both sides for a more diverse landscape.

-Access to Belize’s popular natural wonders are in such close proximity, Chabil Mar guests can book excursions like diving, seeing whale sharks in season, fishing, cave tubing, and barrier reef exploration without having to be driven miles to get to a launch point.

-That lagoon is amazing. Endangered manatees, dolphin, turtles, stingrays and other marine life find safe harbor there, so your chances of seeing these marvelous creatures increase.

-Placencia’s beaches offer secluded spots where nobody is around to ruin your privacy.

-If you’re a student of cultural diversity, Placencia could remind you of the United Nations: Residents and visitors include Latinos, Creoles, Maya, Mennonite, Chinese, East Indian, European and North Americans.

Stay at Chabil Mar for all the right reasons

belize beach vacations

Access to the resort’s spectacular beachfront is a big tourist motivator, so you couldn’t choose a property that offers such close proximity to the white sand and soothing waves lapping along the coastline.

Every luxury you desire is included in a Chabil Mar experience: posh accommodations, delicious meals, the spa, and that beach!

Summer awaits at Chabil Mar, and in addition to those spectacular beaches, summer rates are in effect, so if you can think of a reason why you shouldn’t join the Placencia beach fan club before summer fades, we’d like to hear it!

Cahal Pech Maya Ruins in San Ignacio, Belize

cahal-pech-maya-ruins-belize

Now perched on the highest hill overlooking San Ignacio Town, the Maya ruins of Cahal Pech were originally built as an enclave for the elite. Located in a gorgeous natural setting and surrounded by tropical birds and colorful jungle fauna, Cahal Pech is one of the most popular visitor attractions in Belize. An informative museum on the grounds gives visitors an introduction to the hilltop city and features a dazzling collection of artifacts found at the site.

Layout of Cahal Pech Maya Ruins

Today, archeologists have excavated a total of 34 structures in Cahal Pech in an area measuring just over two acres in size. The “downtown” portion of Cahal Pech includes several temple pyramids, residence buildings, and seven impressive courtyards. The tallest structure on the site is a temple that measures 77 feet high. Other attractions at Cahal Pech include a ceremonial altar, five historical stelae, and two ball courts.

History of Cahal Pech Maya Ruins

Archeologists estimate that Cahal Pech was first founded around 1,000 years Before the Common Era. During the Classic Period (300-800 of the Common Era) of the Maya civilization, most of the surviving buildings, including the largest temples and palaces, were constructed during this time. Around the year 800, the citizens of Cahal Pech abandoned the city for unknown reasons, particularly mysterious because nearby Maya sites in Belize continued to be thriving population centers for several more centuries.

Although the original name for the site is lost to history, today it is called Cahal Pech, a combination Yucatan/Mopan Maya term meaning “place of the ticks”. This was the name local cattle farmers in the 1950s gave to the area.

Cahal Pech Maya Ruins Tour Information

Visitors to Cahal Pech are encourage to wear comfortable, loose, lightweight clothing and proper shoes. Long pants are recommended over shorts as they will help give additional protection from insects. All visitors are encouraged to bring plenty of drinking water, and fair-skinned individuals are recommended to make ample use of sunscreen and hats.

The Cahal Pech Visitor’s Center is open Monday through Sunday, and contains a reconstructed model of the entire site.

Chabil Mar in Placencia & Cahal Pech Maya Ruins

The award-winning Chabil Mar resort on the Placencia Peninsula offers its guests organized tours and vacation packages that include a visit to Cahal Pech. Guests can choose to include a tour of Cahal Pech as part of the resort’s popular Belize Reef and Jungle vacation package.

For more information about things to see and do in Belize, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: concierge@chabilmarvillas.com or contact our Reservations Manager at: reservations@chabilmarvillas.com. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

3 Beautiful and Enchanting Mayan Ruins to Explore in Southern Belize

The Maya Empire was among the most advanced civilizations in the world for more than 2,000 years, and the epicenter of the civilization was located in Belize. At the civilization’s peak, the area now known as Belize was home to more than two million Mayan people, making it one of the most densely populated areas of the Mayan civilization in Mesoamerica.

Many who visit Belize today will take time to explore some of the Mayan sites located across the country, and three of the most overlooked yet fascinating archaeological sites to visit are Nim Li Punit, Lubaantun and Uxbenka. With a closer look at what these Mayan ruins have to offer, you may decide to spend time exploring them on your upcoming trip to Belize.

Nim Li Punit

nim li punit
The Nim Li Punit ruins sit in a scenic location overlooking the Toledo plains and rain forest area. The site features a ball court, a pyramid and a main plaza as well as several other buildings that you can explore in greater detail. The area notably has 26 stellas and fascinating carvings that make it unique from other Mayan ruins. In fact, one of the carved columns is the largest of its kind in Belize.


See also: The Best Maya Temple Sites to Visit in Belize


Lubaantun

Lubaantun-Mayan Ruins Belize

Situated in the southern end of the Toledo District, the Lubaantun ruins are also worthy of spending time exploring while you are in southern Belize. Lubaantun was once a ceremonial center of the Mayan civilization, and it boasts several large pyramids and residential buildings that you can explore in greater detail during your visit. The ruins uniquely have no mortar binding them, and some of the buildings were made from perishable materials. Because of this, the area is known as the “Place of the Fallen Stones.”

Uxbenka

Uxbenka

Uxbenka is the smallest of these three Mayan ruins, but it is fascinating to explore. It is also a ceremonial site that offers stunning views of the Blue Creek Canyon and the Maya Mountains in the distance. Notably, the area has a main plaza and several smaller plazas, terraced grounds, seven stellas, a water supply tower and an open tomb.

If you are interested in exploring any of these 3 Mayan sites or other ancient Mayan cities while on your Belize vacation, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: concierge@chabilmarvillas.com or contact our Reservations Manager at:reservations@chabilmarvillas.com. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

21 Reasons to Get Married in Belize

belize wedding packages all inclusive

Do you crave a destination wedding but the distance issue is scary? No worries. Belize is fast becoming the destination wedding capital of Central America and resorts like Chabil Mar have a talent for turning even small celebrations into extravaganzas. From basic arrangements to all-inclusive packages customized to suit your taste and budget, why go elsewhere?

Here are 21 great reasons to get married in Belize:

1. You don’t have to feed the multitudes, including Aunt Mary who ruins most weddings anyway. Enjoy a lavish wedding for less cash because your wedding party is likely to be small enough to make the day both lavish and affordable.

2. Your photos will be perfect–especially if taken late in the day when golden rays of the sun make everybody look gorgeous, even mothers-in-law!

3. Find out who your real friends are. Invite your nearest and dearest; if they can’t get to your Belize affair, you know where you stand.

4. Make other newlywed connections. Since Belize is fast-becoming Central America’s wedding destination, you could bond with other newlyweds and stay in touch over the years.

5. Save money. According to The Knot, today’s average 150-guest wedding averages $29,000 USD. Compare that to a full-blown Chabil Mar affair. If your party is big enough, reserve the entire resort just for your big day.

belize wedding resorts

6. Everyone speaks English in Belize. Forget struggling with a second language as you put together your wedding celebration using skilled Chabil Mar event planners.

7. Beach? Jungle? Waterfall? All things are possible in this wonderland, so whether you want your wedding on a beach, in a cave, at a Mayan ruin or at a quaint local church, your choices are unlimited.

8. Save a bundle on your honeymoon. You’re already in Belize. Voila! Instant honeymoon.

9. The food is delish. Treat your guests to gourmet meals prepared by Chabil Mar chefs skilled in European cookery and ethnically-rich plates that reflect Belize’s diverse cultures.

wedding vacations in belize
10. Your host does all the work. Included in Chabil Mar’s basic wedding package are the honeymoon suite, bouquets, beach or pier deck ceremony, help with your license and tropical reception, all at one price.

11. Chabil Mar offers a wide range of extras, like reception planning, couples massages, in-country airfare, photographer, videographer and even clergy.

12. It’s easy to get a marriage license. Show up three days before the big day. Present your passport with photo as proof of the day you arrived in Belize and you’re done.

13. Your marriage will be recognized everywhere, so it’s just as official in Belize as it would be if you exchanged vows in Ottawa, Detroit or Los Angeles.

14. The weather is divine. Year-round. Seriously.

15. Wear what you like. White gown. Floral sarong. Bedazzled pedal pushers. Swimsuit. Bridal Fashion Police officials avoid Belize, so don anything you fancy.

belize beach weddings

16. No clothing restrictions for guests, either. Inform guests that your ceremony and/or reception is to be held on a boat, on the beach or at Chabil Mar Resort so they can wear whatever they consider appropriate.

17. It’s easy to get to Belize. Anyone wishing to attend your wedding can find lots of flights from Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. Adventurous guests may wish to make your event the object of a long and relaxing road trip!

18. Stress-free planning. Use your phone or the Internet to do all of your planning with Chabil Mar staff. Since no grumpy, frazzled couples are permitted in Belize, you fly down and hit the beach to get the tan other couples pay for at tanning beds back home.

19. Save on pricey décor because Mother Nature is another of your wedding planners. Brides lament that their floral bill is as daunting as a student loan, but in Belize, everything is perpetually in bloom.

20. Take advantage of rate drops during low season at Chabil Mar and save even more on airfares and accommodations so you can spend it on the reception instead.

21. Make exceptional memories. This reason to marry in Belize is strictly up to you!

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