Placencia was my favorite beach destination in Belize. It’s not over touristy, the vibe is great, and there’s no seaweed! Apart from relaxing under a coconut tree while enjoying the beach, there are a lot of things to do in Placencia and its surroundings.
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Best things to do in Placencia
Experience the howler monkeys in Monkey river
Half an hour away from Placencia by boat, the Monkey River makes for a perfect half-day trip and one of the best things to do in Placencia. Riding along the river, surrounded by jungle, you’ll get the chance to see monkeys, birds, iguanas, and crocodiles.
The tours also include a short trek in the jungle, looking for the howler monkey. Famous for the way they scream to protect their territory, howler monkeys can be hard to spot, but you’ll certainly hear their scream from afar. Walking through the jungle, guided by their loud screams, I felt like being in a Jurassic Park movie. It was truly amazing, a unique experience.
On the way back, the boat driver will try to spot manatees. Chances of seeing them are pretty high.
Take a cultural tour
Many tour companies in Placencia offer cultural activities such as cooking class, Garifuna culture immersion, Maya ruins visit, cacao farm visit… It’s a good opportunity to learn more about Belize’s diverse culture and its people.
Look for jaguars at Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
Created in the 80s, Cockscomb is the first jaguar preserve in the world. It’s a fantastic place to trek, watch wildlife and go river-tubing. There are several trails, from easy strolls to more advanced ones, most of which require a guide.
The trails are well maintained, and the park offers a campground and some accommodations. Chances of seeing jaguars are slight, but spottings happen from time to time. You might see ocelots, pumas, tapirs, birds, and reptiles. The reserve is also home to hundreds of different plant species.
If you don’t have a car, you’ll need to go through a tour. You can try your luck hitchhiking, but the only few cars passing on this road are the one going to the park, there’s nothing else there. Bring enough food and water with you as there’s no shop there.
Snorkeling and visit to some of the nearby Cayes
A visit to Placencia wouldn’t be complete without a day out at sea. There are tons of opportunity for snorkeling and visiting paradise-like islands. Among the most famous spots are Silk Caye Marine Reserve and Laughing Bird Caye.
Have a drink (or two) at Barefoot
Barefoot is the busiest bar in Placencia. They have promotion and themed nights going on all the time. They often have live music and also serve food. It’s probably the best place to chill in the village.
Stroll along the world’s narrowest street
Placencia has basically two streets, the concreted one, and the sidewalk, on the beachside. This street is on the Guinness book of records for being the world narrowest street. You’ll find several craft shops and small cafes and restaurants along the way.
Getting to Placencia, Belize:
From Dangriga and Hopkins, there are direct buses several times a day, check out the schedule here (even if it says the buses run on Sundays, they don’t, there’s only one around 6 pm).
From Punta Gorda, take any bus heading north, get out at Independence and take a cab to the pier ($5 BZ max) and then the boat to Placencia. Check out the schedule here.
Where to stay in Placencia:
Anda Di Hows Hostel (backpacker): the only dorm in Placencia, each bed as a fan and a power outlet, shared kitchen, right on the beach, beach chairs, snorkeling equipment, and kayaks available for free.
Palma´s Guesthouse (budget): Basic rooms with a kitchen and shared bathrooms, located near the beach.
Sandy Feet (mid-range): Great hotel right on the beach, they offer cabanas as well as rooms inside the main house. Each room is spacious with a balcony, air-con, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom.
Brisa Oceano Resort (high-end): aparthotel with a bar and a restaurant, a garden and a terrace near the beach. Soundproof rooms with a sea view, great wifi, kitchen, living space, and dining room in every room. Decorated with taste, super friendly staff.
Related articles to help you plan your trip to Belize:
- Best places to visit in Belize
- Punta Gorda and Toledo District Travel Guide
- Packing hack – Articles that will help you save space
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