Although Belize features about 300 km of beach, the beaches around Placencia are considered some of the most beautiful. Placencia is an increasingly popular beach destination in Belize partly for this reason. Besides its picturesque beaches, it is known for its pleasant bars and restaurants. The largest tourist group is undoubtedly Americans who flock here for relaxing days at the beach.
In this post:
5 fun activities in Placencia
Upon arrival in Placencia, you will notice that there is a lot of construction activity going on. The peninsula is in full development and many new buildings are being pulled out of the ground. Although there are also many unfinished structures, this also shows the growing development of this emerging destination.
1. Stroll the Placencia Sidewalk.
The elongated peninsula is best explored on foot or by bicycle. The Placencia Sidewalk runs parallel to the beach and is a distinctive and charming aspect of Placencia. It’s the ideal place to stroll and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere. Along the way, you will pass several cafes, restaurants and souvenir shops that offer jewelry, wood carvings, clothing and more.
The entire Placencia Sidewalk begins at the Placencia Beach House and ends at the pier. At a leisurely pace, you’ll walk this in about 20 minutes.
2. Eating ice cream at Tuttifrutti Gelateria
In Placencia it can get very hot and cooling off with an ice cream from the Tuttifrutti Gelateria is definitely recommended! This colorful ice cream bar serves a delicious assortment of flavors to suit all tastes. The ice cream is of very good quality and I myself have gone back several times to try out the flavors.
3. Swimming and watching the sunset at Placencia pier
A nice place to hang out both during the day and at night is the Placencia Pier in the south. It’s one of the few good swimming spots in Placencia. In fact, most beaches on the east coast are frequently full of seaweed, which makes swimming less pleasant. Fortunately, the beach at the Placencia pier is almost always seaweed-free and you can take a refreshing splash in the clear water from the fine sandy beach.
In addition, the pier is also an ideal place to enjoy the sunset. With a beautiful view, you may even be lucky enough to spot dolphins playing in the calm waters.
4. Spotting whale sharks
One of the most remarkable things to do from Placencia is to spot whale sharks. Between March and June, these majestic animals migrate to the waters off Gladden Spit. Coming face to face with these gentle giants on a snorkeling or diving excursion is an unforgettable experience. It’s important to note that swimming with whale sharks can only be done under the guidance of licensed tour operators to protect the animals and not disturb their natural behavior.
5. Monkey watching at the Monkey River
Located south of Placencia is the Monkey River where you can spot various animals on a tour upstream. The jungle and mangroves form a special ecosystem with an abundance of birds and other animals. With a little luck you will see a glimpse of howler monkeys, crocodiles, various birds and even manatees swimming around here.
Some tours also take you hiking a bit through the jungle to get a closer look at the howler monkeys.
How to get there
Placencia is fairly easy to reach by bus or a combo of bus and boat. If you are traveling by bus from the north, you can take the main road that crosses the entire peninsula. This is a scenic route along which you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of Belize.
The alternative is to take the boat from Independence; the Hokey Pokey Water Taxi. But the easiest way is still a direct bus if possible in your travel plans.
Onward travel from Placencia
To travel further towards northern Belize, it’s possible to take the bus directly from Placencia, at least with the brand new Floraria bus. This runs twice a day, but always check the bus schedule in advance.
To travel from Placencia further down south, towards Guatemala via Punta Gorda, you must always travel via Independence. To do this, you can take the Hokey Pokey Water Taxi that leaves from a small port in Placencia at least 7 times a day.
Here you can read all the posts about Guatemala.
From the port in Independence it’s about a 20-minute walk to the James Bus Company terminal, but you can often take a cab or sometimes hitch a ride with someone.
The bus from Independence to Punta Gorda takes about 2 hours and a ticket costs 10 BZD and can be purchased on the bus. Buses leave Independence about 9 times a day between 9:00 and 19:45. I can recommend you to always double check the exact times with your accommodation.