One of Belize’s top destinations is the lovely Placencia Peninsula, a gorgeous finger of land measuring one mile across and 16 miles long on the country’s southeastern Caribbean coast.
With a north-south orientation, the eastern side of Placencia Peninsula fronts the sparkling waters of the Caribbean while the western side is framed by a bio-diverse mangrove-lined lagoon. The pristine beaches are ideal for swimming or relaxing under the shade of a coconut tree while the lagoon side is an angler’s paradise, teeming with gamefish all year round.
The world-famous Belize Barrier Reef is just a few miles offshore, making Placencia an ideal jumping off point to enjoy some of the best fishing, sailing, snorkeling and diving opportunities in the world.
At the southern tip of the peninsula is the area’s unofficial capital, Placencia Village. Still a small, active fishing village, Placencia is featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the smallest main street in the world (a 4,000 foot-long sidewalk that measures four feet across at its widest point). With several colorful cafes, ATMs, bars, and dive shops, the village makes a great base for visitors seeking to explore the nearby reef or mainland attractions.
Placencia Peninsula’s Attractions
Beyond the delicious foods and drinks, the village of Placencia is a popular attraction in its own right due to its position as a center of Garifuna culture. Visitors can meet and learn from master craftsmen or take classes to learn the unique Garifuna drumming techniques.
Just a few miles west from the village is the Cockscomb Basin Nature Preserve, a vast protected area covered in hiking trails that allow visitors to see exotic wildlife like monkeys, tapirs, and jaguars in their natural habitat. Another popular nearby destination is the Monkey River, where visitors can enjoy a leisurely boat ride up the river while observing tropical flora and fauna. Placencia is also close to the Belize Barrier Reef, including Gladden Spit Marine Reserve where travelers can snorkel or scuba dive with whale sharks.
Where to stay in Placencia Belize
One of the finest resorts on the Placencia Peninsula is Chabil Mar, named for a Maya term meaning “Beautiful Sea.” With 24 beachfront villas equipped with all modern amenities, visitors can relax and be pampered in one of the most luxurious resorts in the country.
Located just a few minutes’ walk from Placencia Village, Chabil Mar has its own tropical gardens, award-winning restaurant, and infinity swimming pool.
Chabil Mar offers guided tours to all of the top attractions on the mainland and the Belize Barrier Reef.
How to Get to Placencia
The peninsula can be reached by car or private transportation from Belize City in about three to four hours. There are also regular domestic air connections from an airstrip just outside of Placencia Village to Belize City and other locations in the country.
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