Placencia: The Sailing Adventure Capital of Belize: The 23-mile Placencia Peninsula, located in the southern district of Stann Creek, is one of Belize’s most sensational seashore communities. Often compared to Cancun’s famous Caribbean Hotel Zone beach and Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman, Placencia serves up a stunning shoreline rimmed by the turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. As you wend your way from north to south along the peninsula from the Placencia Water Tower, you’ll pass through Riversdale (home of the new international airport), The Plantation area, Maya Beach, The Villas at CocoPlum, Seine Bight Village, south of Seine Bight Village to the airstrip (serviced by Belize’s domestic carriers, Tropic Air and Maya Island Air) and to Placencia Village at the southernmost tip of the peninsula. Follow the map from Riversdale (north of Placencia) to the tip of the Placencia Peninsula.
Once a fishing village, Placencia Village is the main hub of the peninsula. With a population of less than 1,000 people, Placencia is a charming village that boasts a variety of quaint shops, restaurants, inns and tour outlets. Belize’s spectacular Placencia Peninsula is renowned as the “Sailing Adventure Capital of Belize”.
Aquatic Activities in Placencia: Placencia is brimming with activities to suit and inspire landlubbers and sailors alike. The world’s best diving and snorkeling is only 16 miles offshore (and a short boat hop away) at the world-famous Belize Barrier Reef . Placencia is a perfect location to spot frolicking dolphins from the comfort of a palapa-shaded beach chair. Or you can swim with the big fish in Belize. Plunge into the brink and swim with the whale sharks as they migrate through Belizean waters from February to June annually. The biggest fish in the world, whale sharks grow up to 50 feet long and weigh up to 50,000 pounds. The annual whale shark migration is a big event in Placencia.
Other aquatic activities along the eastern shore of the Peninsula include swimming, sea kayaking, sailing/boating, windsurfing, deep sea fishing, saltwater fly-fishing and expeditions to the offshore Cayes. Along the western coast of the Peninsula, the Placencia lagoon is rife with wildlife, birds, and is home to the “sea cows”, the gentle manatees.
Landlubber Activities in Placencia: Endless land-based activities in and around Placencia include excursions to Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, the world’s largest jaguar preserve; tours to Monkey River, where Howler Monkeys (considered the loudest land animal in the world) swing in the trees; horseback riding in the rainforest; spelunking/cave explorations; mountain biking along the peninsula; zip lining in the tropical rainforest; trips to nearby nature preserves and national parks; and expeditions to Mayan ruins and caves. Birders, beachcombers and butterfly fanatics will discover great finds, too, along the Placencia Peninsula. Entertainment options also include beach volleyball, bowling, horseshoes, bingo, beach bars and karaoke.
Festivals in Placencia: For the more culturally inclined, Placencia boasts a vibrant arts community and hosts the “Placencia Arts Festival” . Placencia’s famous Lobsterfest Festival takes place annually in June.
Cafés and Restaurants in Placencia: Gourmands can nosh at any number of local, upscale eateries in Placencia, including Francis Ford Coppola’s Italian restaurant at his “Turtle Inn” . Some 40 restaurants, bars and cafés line the Placencia Peninsula, ranging from ice cream parlors (TuttiFrutti Ice Cream Parlor), cafés (Michelo’s Belgian Café), international cuisine (Siripohn Thai Food, Danube Austrian Restaurant, French Connection, La Dolce Vita Italian Restaurant) beach bars and entertainment clubs (DeTatch Seafood Beach Bar & Grill, Maya Beach Bistro, Green Parrot, Pickled Parrot Bar & Grill, D’Eclipse Entertainment Club, Rumfish Y Vino, J-Byrd’s Par, Tipsy Tuna Sports Bar, Wendy’s Restaurant & Bar, Yoli’s Bar & Grill) through to upscale establishments like Robert’s Grove.
Shops in Placencia: There are several grocery shops in Placencia, including Wallen’s Market, Everyday Discount Grocery and Nang Kee store. In addition to groceries and staples, Wallen’s also operates a pharmacy and hardware store in Placencia. There is also a fresh fruit and vegetable market behind the RE/MAX Belize Property Center office on Main Street in Placencia Village. Placencia roadside kiosks sell fresh fruits, veggies and herbs such as oranges, bananas, apples, onions, potatoes, broccoli and cilantro. The Fish Co-op sells fresh seafood at very good prices. Liquor, beer and wine are available in most retail food outlets. Placencia has three banks – Atlantic Bank, Scotia Bank and Belize Bank, with numerous ATM machines located throughout the Village.
Getting to Placencia: Airlines that offer flights to Belize include: American Airlines; Continental Airlines; Delta Air Lines; TACA Airlines; United Airlines and US Airways. From Belize’s Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport, you can hop a flight to Placencia on either of Belize’s domestic airlines – Tropic Air or Maya Island Air. If you drive from Belize City, the road into Placencia has recently been paved and upgraded, making for a smooth and comfortable trip along the Placencia Peninsula.
Real Estate in Placencia: If you are interested in Belize real estate, Placencia offers many enticing options. Choose from luxury beachfront condos in Placencia; beach houses in Placencia; upscale villas in Placencia; development property in Placencia; oceanfront lots in Placencia; commercial opportunities in Placencia; luxury homes in Placencia; resorts for sale in Placencia. The experienced Belize real estate team at RE/MAX Belize Property Center can help you find the ideal property in Placencia – whether you are seeking a Belize retirement home, vacation property in Placencia or investment opportunity in Belize.
Candee is a freelance writer; and the Marketing and Public Relations Director of RE/MAX Belize Property Center. She is a member of the Advisory Board of Better in Belize, a 130-acre eco-community in Belize. Her enthusiasm and interest in environmental issues prompted her to write a book about SARS entitled “SARS: the Epidemic – and Other Modern Day Plagues” and “The Buzz about West Nile Virus“. Candee has also written about initiatives to rescue the rainforests, organic cacao in Belize, saving the wild parrots of Belize and Belize’s Crystal Skull.