Placencia is one of the most beautiful and magical places in Belize. With so many things to do here, it’s a must on every tropical vacation bucket list.
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Placencia has the right mix of small-town charm, beautiful beaches and jungles to explore. Whether you’re looking to spend a day on a private island like Laughing Bird Caye, have some of the best food and cocktails in the area, or visit a local waterfall, there’s something for everyone.
Cockscomb Wildlife & Basin, Jaguar Reserve
Many people visualize the ocean and the coral reef when they hear about Belize. Even the very first visitors – the Spanish and British – colonized along the coast because much of the mainland was (and still is) dense and practically impenetrable tropical jungle.
Even the jaguar’s need game trails to follow through it.
Ever wonder what was in the lower left quadrant of the country? Basically mountains and jungle and much of it is protected – see all that green down there?
An American zoologist, Alan Rabinowtiz, was invited down in the late 70s and through a ton of hard work (and a plane crash) convinced the government of Belize to set aside hundreds of thousands of acres for 60 jaguars, setting up the only jaguar reserve in the world. He later did something similar in Myanmar and Thailand. He’s called the “Indiana Jones of Big Cats”.
Cockscomb is about a 40 minute easy drive from Placencia. Doyle Gardiner, the owner of DTourz, is a much respected Placencia native who is currently the only guide that’s allowed bring you on the natural rock water slides.
The first part of this tour is a natural history hike where the tour guide will teach you about all of the flora and fauna of the area. Anything you want to know, he’ll tell you.
After a delicious provided lunch comes the optional second half of the tour. Grab an inner tube and hike down to the South Stann Creek River where you will float along for around an hour. it’s the most relaxing beautiful way to see birds and the jungle.
After this, you will take another hike to a beautiful waterfall where you can swim to your heart’s content, and it’s fun to all swim into the small cave underneath it.
Next up is an amazing experience that’s sure to become the highlight of your day – an adventure sliding down the 6 natural water slides (moss-covered rocks). You’ve hiked up the hill, this is the way to get down (well…unless you wanted to hike back down – and that is certainly an option.)
Time to trust Doyle. At each slide, you’ll get full, step by step instruction.
I’m sure you’ll add this to your list of amazing things you’ve done in Belize. And want to do again.
Doyle tells you everything you need to bring: swimwear, towel, sunblock, insect repellent, camera, shoes (NO FLIP-FLOPS), fresh clothes, pocket money, water bottle.
Click below for more of these types of tours.
There are a wide variety of snorkel and diving tours. One of the most popular – from Placencia to the Monkey River Town.
Monkey River Town is a very interesting spot. In fact, it is still called “Town” when it is only a village. The status of town was removed in 1981 – and given to San Pedro!
About 45 minutes to an hour south of Placencia via boat, is Monkey River Town. It’s a cool ride – winding thru the thick, lush mangroves that line the shoreline. On the way you’ll stop in a few places to watch manatees dive and feed, their bowling ball noses poking above the water to take a breath. With that wet sigh that says “Oh boy, here come the tourists”
A quick stop to order lunch at the village’s restaurant and to get ready to ride up the Monkey River
Along the way, you’ll see howler monkeys, and you’ll also get a chance at crocodiles, huge iguanas and countless birds.
Then you’ll put on more rugged shoes for a bit of a hike. It’s relatively flat terrain but can be muddy in spot. Crocs will work just fine but flip flops are a bit too slippery.
There are beautiful HUGE cohune palms, lots of bamboo, and you might even spot a Tapir track or two. You’ll learn about plants and trees – and asked whether you want to try tasting termites!
On the way back to the village you’ll spot herons galore and eat lunch at Alice’s. Delicious rice and beans.
Laughing Bird Caye
Laughing Bird is a tiny caye and a national park, located on a “faro.” A faro is an angular atoll on a continental shelf, also known as a shelf atoll. Like an atoll, a faro is steep sided and encloses a central lagoon. It’s located about 40 minutes by boat from Placencia.
The snorkeling takes place right around the island and some of the things you’ll see are sharks, rays, pufferfish, parrotfish, eels, and brightly colored coral (surprisingly bright).
The rangers live out here! Or at least for a few weeks at a time.
Click here to book.
Take a Chocolate & Waterfall Tour
Spend an unforgettable morning at Ixcacao Chocolate, Belize’s original Maya-owned chocolatier. See cacao growing on the tree and learn about its cultivation. Then, head upstairs to enjoy some Maya style hot chocolate and delicious chocolate samples.
After these treats, Juan and Abelina guide us through the process of making your own chocolate from bean to bar using heirloom stone tools. During harvest season, sample the ripe cacao fruit itself!
After enjoying a wonderful all you can eat farm to table meal prepared by The Chocolate Queen, cool off with a relaxing afternoon at a beautiful jungle waterfall. Swim, sunbathe and learn about the surrounding rain forest from your guide.
Hang Out at The Tipsy Strip
One of the most popular areas in Placencia Belize for tourists is the Tipsy Strip. It gets it’s name because of the proximity to the Tipsy Tuna Sports Bar.
Tipsy Strip includes:
- Restaurants and bars
- Water sports
- Art gallery
- Gift shops
- Spa treatments
- Tours departures
- Baked goods
In the evenings and weekends you’ll find live music along the Tipsy Strip. The bars can get a bit wild on the weekends and after dark, too.
The Tipsy Strip is right on the beach along the famous Placencia Sidewalk on the east side of the peninsula in Placencia Village.
The Placencia Beach on the Placencia Peninsula, is the longest stretch of beach in the entire country of Belize. Gorgeous, turquoise water meets the sand and welcomes you in. Palm trees line these beaches creating a stunning beach scene and the perfect way to spend an afternoon.
The beaches are perfect for swimming or snorkeling.
Gelato at Tutti Frutti’s
Gelato is my most favourite thing to eat in the whole world! And the gelato at Tutti Frutti’s is a MUST. We stop by there every time we go to Placencia Village, which is about three times a week.
The owners of Tutti Fruitti are from Italy so this is the real deal. Gelato as it’s intended to be. And with fun flavors like Passion Fruit, Ferrero Rocher and Stracciatella, you’ll find something you love.
Tutti Frutti’s is located on the main street in Placencia Village Belize.