Placencia, Belize: A Coastal Oasis For Relaxation and Adventure Seekers

Discover the historic fishing village, full of vibrant culture and rich traditions.
Placencia, Belize
Placencia, Belize / John Haynes

Hidden along Belize’s southeastern coast lies the charming peninsula of Placencia. This slender city stretches just one mile wide and 16 miles in length, and is a highly-cherished destination for anyone seeking both relaxing and adventurous travel.

Placencia’s story begins with the arrival of the Garifuna people in the 19th century. The descendants of Afro-Caribbean and indigenous groups infused the town with a long-lasting vibrant culture that visitors can experience today through live music in town centers and the delicious aroma of traditional seafood dishes.

Placencia, Belize
Placencia, Belize / John Haynes

Originally a fishing village, Placencia has blossomed into a sought-after tourist destination, thanks to its pristine sandy shores, welcoming waters and laid-back pace of life. 

Placencia has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, emerging as a leading destination for beach vacations and ecotourism within Belize. The surge in tourism has sparked investments and more development, all contributing to a diversified economy in parallel with increased interest and need for environmental conservation, sustainability and preservation.

Nina Agdal on set
Nina Agdal on set / SI Staff

The town of Placencia is renowned for its rich tradition of craftsmanship, with local artisans skillfully crafting intricate woven baskets and exquisite wood carvings. These historically inspired crafts not only serve as beautiful souvenirs for visitors but also play a crucial role in supporting the local economy and preserving the region’s cultural heritage.

Best places to stay

Placencia, Belize
Placencia, Belize / John Haynes

Itz’ana Resort, where rustic charm meets modern comfort.

Naia Resort & Spa, which offers a tranquil sanctuary amidst lush tropical gardens.

For more intimate experiences, consider Sirenian Bay, Ellysian Boutique Hotel or Turtle Inn.

Waterfall / SI Staff

Must-visit bars and restaurants

Salty Dog, where fresh seafood and tropical cocktails are served with a side of stunning ocean views. 

Rumfish y Vino beckons with its eclectic menu featuring Belizean fusion cuisine paired with an impressive selection of wines and spirits. 

For authentic local dishes, head to Wendy’s Creole Restaurant, a local favorite known for its hearty stews and seafood specialties. 

Unwind at Tipsy Tuna Sports Bar, where live music, cold drinks and delicious pub fare create a lively atmosphere. 

End your evening at Barefoot Beach Bar, where sand-in-your-toes dining and refreshing cocktails set the stage for unforgettable sunsets.

Best activities and experiences

Placencia, Belize
Placencia, Belize / John Haynes

Enjoy kayaking, paddleboarding, snorkeling or diving at the Belize Barrier Reef.

Explore Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, a nature reserve established to protect the forests, fauna and watersheds of the eastern slopes of the Maya Mountains.

Immerse yourself in Garifuna culture through through music performances, traditional drumming and delicious seafood dishes.

Embark on a tour of the Monkey River, known for its abundant wildlife sightings, tarpon fishing, jungle walk tours and howler monkeys.

Soak up the scenery and unwind with friends or family through sailing or a sunset cruise.

Beach / SI Staff

Local shops and galleries

Browse artwork by local artists at Art n Soul Gallery and Above Grounds Coffee House, savor ocean views at The Shak Beach Café and Gallery, or shop for authentic Mayan handicrafts at Nim Li Punit Gift Shop. Treat yourself to locally produced gelato and sorbets at Tutti Frutti, a vibrant and colorful ice cream shop near the water.

Wildlife and nature

Placencia, Belize
Placencia, Belize / John Haynes

Placencia boasts a diverse array of wildlife, from colorful marine life thriving in coral reefs to tropical birds flitting through mangrove forests. Encounter West Indian manatees, iguanas, crocodiles and various species of snakes amid the lush landscapes.

Must-visit beaches

Placencia, Belize
Placencia, Belize / John Haynes

Laughing Bird Caye, Silk Cayes, Tobacco Caye and Moho Caye are ideal beach settings for sunbathing, swimming and snorkeling.


How to get to Placencia

From the Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport, visitors can take another 20 minute domestic flight to the Placencia Airport, or rent a car and drive for about 2 1/2 hours.

Best time to visit

Placencia has a favorable climate year-round. Belize only has two seasons: dry from December to May and rainy from June to November. 

Packing essentials

Essential packing items include sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent, hiking or water shoes, swimwear and comfortable clothing suitable for various activities.

Published |Modified
Ananya Panchal