Before arriving in Placencia, I worried I wouldn’t like it.
People offered up activities for John and me to do incase we got bored during our 4 night stay. I knew the village itself was small. I hadn’t visited last year, so a little fear of the unknown was at play.
Yet I still felt the pull of Placencia, my gut telling me it was worth going, so I chose it as our main beach stop in Belize.
I totally fell in love.
The people were so friendly, the quiet village was full of color and personality, the food scene was impressive, and the small size allowed us to really get a feel for the village despite being there for only a few days.
Our first day was spent transitioning from adventure mode (we’d just come from San Ignacio in the jungle where we spent two days exploring Maya ruins and clambering around caves) to relaxing beach mode, but by day 2 I was in love.
We settled into a routine, grabbing seaweed shakes at Brewed Awakenings and relaxing on the beach in the morning, followed by afternoon hammock naps, more beach time, plenty of Belikin beers and fresh coconut water (from Frank, an awesome local we met on the beach), and early dinners.
On our first day, we also met an adorable and sweet beach dog who we named Lucy. I bought her a banana…which she allowed to rot in the sand in front of her face. (Still love you Lucy.)
We did manage to actually do one thing when we spent the day snorkeling at Laughing Bird Caye National Park with Splash Dive Center.
We spent the day snorkeling around the entire island with a lunch break in-between. John and I were the only ones on the tour that day, so apart from two divers and the park ranger (seriously – island park ranger is now my dream job) we had the island all to ourselves.
We spotted barracuda, a nurse shark, a sting ray, huge lobster, tons of parrot fish, and many beautiful coral formations. Not to mention the beautiful scenery.
Placencia, in my opinion, has all the best of Belize. Great food, incredible snorkeling, friendly people, beautiful beaches, and easy accessibility to adventure tours.
It also has Tutti Frutti gelateria so….there’s that. (Still dreaming about the peanut butter and dark chocolate gelato.)
Everyone hypes up the cayes in Belize, especially Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, but Placencia is totally worth a visit if you love little beach towns and smaller crowds.
Extra info: Placencia has two main roads: the sidewalk (only foot traffic is allowed) and the Main street. Great restaurants and shops can be found on both.
We stayed at Ranguana Lodge right on the beach and in the heart of the village. They have beach front cabins – ours was set a few cabins back and did not have AC but this wasn’t a problem for us. Ranguana Lodge is a few doors down from the Barefoot Bar (awesome place to spend the day/evening to meet other travelers and locals) and is a great value. We walked everywhere – great for working off all that gelato I ate.
Our visit was in early May and the weather was pleasant but the second you went off the beach or sidewalk, the breeze was dead and it got hot fast. I’d recommend staying beachfront for the breeze.