Last month while vacationing in Placencia, I was lucky to discover Brenda’s Food Shack, which is located at the tip of the Peninsula, in Placencia Village. Brenda, a talented Belizean Creole, uses local and authentic ingredients and fresh sea food to prepare succulent Belizean lunches.
I had the special of the day which was Belizean Rice and Beans with Jerk Chicken and Seafood Gumbo which was tasty and scrumptious.
If you will be vacationing in Placencia soon, you have to go try Brenda’s Belizean cooking. You will not be disappointed!
Placencia Village on the southeastern coast of Belize is a popular holiday destination for North American expats and tourists. The village is located on the southern tip of the 16-mile long narrow Placencia Peninsula, a relaxed “barefoot friendly” community that bills itself as the caye (island) that you can drive to as it is easily accessible by automobile via a paved 27-mile road that branches off from the Southern Highway.
Placencia is a popular destination for vacationers but each tourist brings their own expectations to the kind of experience that they have in the area. Many enjoy the laid-back barefoot atmosphere where you can wander up and down the public beaches or mosey into some of the best bars and restaurants in the area. Others visitors looking for a more pampered experience can stay at top-rated luxury resorts like Chabil Mar located just a few minutes’ walk from the village.
The high season in Placencia starts in mid-December and lasts until after Easter, although any time of the year is a good time to visit. There’s always a bump in the number of visitors during the full moons of the months of May and June as that’s when the whale sharks come to feed in the waters just offshore.
Here are 7 must do activities/tours in Placencia.
Explore Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in the Stann Creek District and not far from Placencia Village, the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is globally recognized as the world’s first jaguar preserve and is home to cascading waterfalls to swim in, panoramic mountain views, nature trails, furry mammals, colorful insects, scaly reptiles and a variety of neotropical birds. In addition, river tubing is a favorite adventure for the many visitors to this unique tropical paradise. Tours leave daily from Chabil Mar.
Although the jaguar (the largest spotted cat in the world) is what the reserve is famous for, you are unlikely to see one as the cat is nocturnal. However you will see its tracks along with tracks of tapir, deer, and other wildlife that inhabit the nature reserve. Cockscomb Basin is also home to one of Belize’s highest points — Victoria Peak and many travelers who vacation in Placencia go on this tour.
Go on a Kayaking expedition at Laughing Bird Caye
Kayaking in Placencia is a joy! The crystal clear waters, tepid sunshine and balmy Caribbean breezes that Belize offers make for an ideal kayaking expedition. As you glide across the warm waters, you will observe untouched coral reefs, white sandy beaches and abundant marine wildlife like the amazing sea turtle.
Belize has numerous cayes that can be explored on a kayak. Laughing Bird Caye National Park for example, is a mini atoll and is a favorite stopover for reef kayakers.
Pay a Visit to the Resident Howler Monkeys
Take a boat to Monkey River Village and head up Monkey River and into the jungle to pay a visit with the resident howler monkeys. Complete your adventure along the ride to observe crocodiles sunning along the river banks, along with exotic birds, iquana hanging in the trees, a few bats and lizards and enjoy a lunch with the villagers in Monkey River. On the way back to Placencia you may even see a few manatees along with their pups.
Explore Maya Temple Sites
According to archeologists, over 1 million Maya people lived in present day Belize. Today there are a range of Maya temples scattered throughout Belize. If you are vacationing in Placencia, you might want to explore Maya Temples like Nim Li Punit and Lubantuun in the Toledo District or Xunantunich and Cahal Pech in western Belize. While visiting some of these sites, maybe even add on a swim up river and into a cave! That is a thrill of a lifetime.
Dive or Snorkel – even with Whale Sharks
Home to the second largest barrier reef in the world, Belize is a diver and snorkeler’s dream come true. In addition, over 100 islands dot the coastline, just offshore from Placencia, providing endless opportunities for diverse diving and snorkeling opportunities.
During the months of March, April, May and June around the full moon, giant whale sharks will emerge in the turquoise clear waters of Gladden Spit and Silk Caye Marine Reserve near the Placencia Peninsula. This marine reserve is used by over 30 species of tropical fishes to release their eggs and it is the eggs of the cubera, mutton and dog snappers that the whale sharks munch on.
Both divers and snorkelers can swim with these giant whale sharks in the pristine and warm waters of southern Belize without any risk from these magnificent creatures as they do not pose any significant threat to humans.
Fishing is Extraordinary
As a traditional fishing Village, Placencia is the residency of some of the finest fishing captains in Belize. And, due to its location on a peninsula, the lagoons to the west, the Caribbean to the east and the barrier reef 18 miles offshore, while being dotted with multiple islands (cayes, pronounced “keys”), fishing is inherent in the population and history of this beautiful Village of 1500 residents. A grand slam is a definitely a possibility while visiting Placencia.
Enjoy delicious Belizean Cuisines
Placencia Village is a traditional fishing Village with a tourist element. It is this small tourist exposure that has encouraged its residents to populate it with amazing restaurants like Tipsy Tuna, Rum Fish, Barefoot, La Dolce Vita, Secret Garden, Yoli’s, Pickled Parrot, Purple Space Monkey and Wendy’s (no not the fast food restaurant) and these well known restaurants offer a variety of fresh sea food at a reasonable price. Dotted along the streets are many vendors serving some of the best Belizean dishes in the country, passed down from generations and prepared with local ingredients. Rum Fish for example, sells the best fish tacos and if you are into gourmet burgers you’ll have to try Barefoot Restaurant & Bar which is located right on the beach.
You can also check out the Italian Gelato Shop that offers incredible and authentic fruit gelatos. Gelato in Placencia? Yes, and we dare say among the best you will ever have the pleasure to put to your palate.
Visit our website www.chabilmarvillas.com for more information on Belize and Placencia, and don’t hesitate to send us an email, or call US/CAN Toll Free: 1-866-417-2377, Local: (011-501) 523-3606, if you have questions or need help in planning a Belize vacation.
Last year we had the pleasure of hosting James, the travel blogger behind the website www.escapingabroad.com. If you visit the about section of his site, you will find out that his favorite country in the world is Belize. We here at Chabil Mar do not blame him for that because we understand and appreciate the beautiful things that Belize offers to its 350,000 inhabitants as well as the thousands of travelers who visit the country each year.
One of those beautiful things in Belize that locals and visitors enjoy is the colorful and Great Barrier Reef. Even Charles Darwin, the world renowned Naturalist loved it that in 1842, he described it as the “most remarkable reef in the west indies.”The Belize Reef not only provides succulent sea food to our people but is also ideal for snorkeling and diving.
In this blog post, we share ten jaw dropping underwater photos from the Belize Barrier reef. All photos courtesy of www.escapingabroad.com.
Diving near the atolls and reefs in the Southern area of Belize are some of the most colorful I’ve seen yet.
See also: Belize Sailing Vacations
Attempting to blend in but I found him anyway
Moray eels look meaner than they actually are.
A Nassau grouper hanging out above a large sponge.
See also: Belize Fishing Vacations
The first batfish I’ve ever seen! Sure are pretty aren’t they?
Had to add in a profile photo.. hard to beat how weird these guys look!
See also: Belize Island Vacations
Hide and Seek
This small sharpnose puffer fish tried to hide in a brightly colored sponge to no avail!
See also: Belize Scuba Diving Vacations
The Little Guys
It’s always fun to watch the little fish hiding close to the coral for protection.
If you are interested in discovering and exploring the great Belize reef, check out these Belize Sea Adventures. And if you have any questions on Belize, feel free to drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org
Located in southern Belize, Placencia has become a top beach destination in the Caribbean. Lonely Planet, the largest travel guide book publisher in the world describes this stunning Belizean paradise as follows:
“How you wind up feeling about Placencia really depends on what you’re looking for. If it’s laid-back ambience, varied accommodations and some of the best restaurants in Southern Belize, this beachfront paradise may well prove to be your personal Margaritaville. If it’s off-the-beaten-path adventure and cheaper living you’re after,Placencia might serve better as a way-station. Come on down for a few days of sandy beaches, sunny skies and great seafood before heading off to less trodden paths.”
If you are traveling to this beautiful destination soon, here are 25 things you need to know:
- Placencia Village sits at the very tip of the narrow 16 mile Placencia Peninsula in Southern Belize.
- Chabil Mar is in Placencia Village, while resorts all along the Peninsula regularly advertise their location as Placencia, they are on thePeninsula,
but as much as 12 miles north of the Village, in the communities of Seine Bight and Maya Beach, for instance.
- To a lot of people, the Placencia Peninsula feels like an Island but it is not.Less than 2000 people live in Placencia Village.
- The Placencia Peninsula is also home to two other communities: Seine Bight and Maya Beach.
- The name “Placencia” is actually a distortion of Punta Placentia, the name the Spaniards gave to the peninsula in the 1800s.
In English, it means Point Pleasant.
- The Main Street in Placencia Village is just a sidewalk! In fact, the “Guinness Book of World Records” recognizes it as the
narrowest main street in the world.
- Many people visit Placencia during the months of April, May and June to swim, dive or snorkel with giant whale sharks at the Gladden Spit Marine Reserve.
- Placencia’s Lobsterfest is the village’s most famous festival and is held in June of every year. And it won an award from the Belize Toursim Board
in 2013 as the Festival of the Year!
- An Arts Festival is held in February each year, that brings artists from all over Belize to showcase their art along the 4071 foot (3/4 mile),
4 foot wide Placencia Sidewalk.
- Placencia was once a sleepy fishing village.
- The Placencia Peninsula boasts 16 miles of tranquil beaches.
- Many travelers who vacation in Placencia do the Monkey River and the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary Tours.
- Placencia has a range of resorts and hotels that can fit almost any budget.
- Placencia is 35 minutes away from Belize City by air.
- The road into Placencia Village is bordered by the lagoon on one side and the turquoise Caribbean on the other, and ends at the end of the Peninsula.
- Placencia is world renowned for offshore fishing, diving and snorkeling.
- Placencia is also well known for its very laid-back, no-shoes ambience where locals go out of their way to make sure you enjoy your visit.
- The average temperature in sub-tropical Placencia is 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The most popular time to visit Placencia is from January through May.
- Getting around Placencia is very easy.
- Francis Ford Coppola, the American Film Director, Producer and Screenwriter owns a resort in Placencia.
- Placencia is home to many world class luxury resorts like Chabil Mar.
- Laughing Bird Caye is a favorite camping site for reef kayakers who base their expeditions in Placencia.
- Placencia is also known for its great food and restaurants.
- The Placencia Lagoon is an imperative breeding area for saltwater crocodiles, marine turtles and the rare and endangered manatees.