The tiny, tropical country of Belize is beautiful: dense jungles, thriving sea life, friendly people, fresh food, and incredible adventures await visitors. Close proximity to the US and English as the official national language make Belize quick to reach and easy to navigate. More and more travelers are discovering Belize but a majority of them only ever make it to the country’s largest island and tourism hub, Ambergris Caye. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ambergris Caye; but there are so many more amazing locations visitors should experience here. We pick Placencia as a more laidback and authentic alternative to San Pedro. Here’s why:
Placencia Village is at the tip of a narrow 16-mile peninsula attached to the mainland so it looks and feels like an island but allows you the option to easily drive inland for jungle hikes, river tubing, or Mayan Ruin tours (among other adventures!).
Placencia is placid compared to San Pedro or many other vacation hubs. Sometimes its fun to have the energy and excitement of a Cancun or Las Vegas or Miami, but if you’re looking to quietly kick back and sip a rum punch on the beach while tapping a bare foot along to acoustic guitar then Placencia might be just the place for you. You won’t sit in traffic here, you’ll shuffle down the sidewalk (Placencia once claimed the fame of the World’s Narrowest Main Street, the cement and conch shell walkway from one end of the village to the other).
There is so much fantastic food in Placencia. I have a truly difficult time making dining recommendations because- you won’t find a bad meal here! From dalla tacos at a roadside shack to high-end gourmet at luxury resorts, all the food you’ll find here is fresh and flavorful and expertly prepared. Placencia is historically a fishing village and the sea’s bounty is prominently featured on restaurants’ menus. We’re also a stone’s throw away from the banana belt, endless acres of citrus, and forests rich with cacao- the magical ingredient in chocolate.
No big box stores, no chain restaurants, no parking garages, no high-rise hotels or mega resorts. Placencia is chill. Cheap drinks made with excellent local rum and fresh natural juices. Swaying palms, laughing children, sunny stretches of deserted beach, and a relaxed, come-as-you-are atmosphere. No shirt? No shoes? No problem. Placencia’s motto is barefoot perfect.