Placencia is a 16-mile peninsula in southern Belize, surrounded on one side by the Caribbean Sea, and on the other, by a lagoon with views of the Maya mountains. It’s often called the “caye you can drive to” as it has an island vibe, but can still be reached with a car from the mainland.
Placencia is also known for its endless beaches, rustic look and beach-chic vibe. Although once just a fishing village, Placencia now gets a lot of attention worldwide because of its warm, friendly, artistic atmosphere.
The village offers everything from upscale restaurants, to some of the best Belizean street food options available. Just walking around the village you’ll find charming coffee houses, farmer’s markets, small stands selling hand carved Maya wares, family-owned restaurants, beach bars, and a gorgeous pier. There are also festivals throughout the year in Placencia, including the famous Lobsterfest, and The Sidewalk Art Festival. Visitors here love that they can stay right in the village and have no need for a car, or even a bike to get around.
Recently, several world-class resorts such as Itzana and Naia have opened in Placencia. But wooden, candy-colored cabanas still line the famous Placencia sidewalk—at one time, the smallest “main street” in the world. Or if you prefer, you can also stay in spa quality boutique hotels, or the iconic Turtle Inn, owned by the movie director Francis Ford Coppola.
The reef, just a 40-minute boat ride away, has some of the best deep-water diving and fishing available in Belize. Visitors also come to dive with whale sharks, to hike the amazing trails, and to see some of the country’s majestic waterfalls. Others come for one of the most relaxing, laidback beach experiences in Belize.
Placencia is also home to a varied mix of locals, expats, and visitors, who can be found playing horseshoes at Barefoot Bar, listening to Garifuna drumming at Tipsy Tuna, or watching sports at the Pickled Parrot. Placencia is truly a barefoot beach town that has allowed change in, but very slowly.