The Placencia Belize Peninsula Travel Guide (2019 Update)
Placencia Belize is one of the most relaxing and ambient villages in southern Belize. Quaint is hardly the word we’d like to use to describe it, however. it must suffice for now. As with almost every other community in Belize, Placencia is ripe with culture and personality. There are so many activities that a simple google search will overwhelm you with options and you may shy away for the promise of an easier task.
To make things easier for you, we’ve rounded up the best and most interesting things to do, see, eat, and experience while in Placencia Belize.
Where to go in Placencia Belize:
The Placencia Beach
Seems like a no brainer right? We’re going to a sea-side community, but we aren’t going to the beach – words said by absolutely no one; ever. However, being nominated for the World Travel Awards in the “Best beaches destination” category, we really want to reinforce: Where to go in Placencia? The Beach. Miles of tranquil, reef-protected white sand beaches crown the perimeter of the village and much of the eastern side of the peninsula. Admire sunrise and sets from here.
Barefoot Beach Bar
While “No shoes, no problem” is generally an accepted practice in Belize, Barefoot beach bar takes it up a notch. Situated right on the beach (Perhaps this order was deliberate) Barefoot is perfect to grab a refreshing drink after a stroll on the beach. Being barefoot is not a rule, and it’s unclear whether it really speeds up how quick you’re served or not but we certainly like to think it does! Barefoot bar is the first stop watering hole for both locals and travelers and is a must stop if you’re already relaxing by the beach in town.
Tipsy Tuna Bar & Restaurant
Tipsy tuna is your logical next step after barefoot bar, the veritable “start” to the nightlife in Placencia and also the perfect place to catch the game, or well, whatever you enjoy watching! Tipsy Tuna Sports bar is everything it proclaims itself to be; the colorful lounge chairs, Big plasma TVs, pool tables, rooftop lounge and two-hour happy hour will liven up any day no matter how dull it has been for you. The food is standard bar fare, tacos, burgers, wings, etc. which is enough to curb any tipsy munchies you might develop in your escapades.
Quite the opposite for ma rude awakening, this wonderful little cafe roasts their coffee beans fresh and makes a variety of coffee-themed drinks to satisfy every caffeine fix need. For an added kick, many of the offerings at Brewed awakeninigs in Placencia include the addition of local seaweed, yes, the grass that grows in the sea, as a base or to add substance. Seaweed is locally believed to possess a variety of healthy properties including minerals and rare vitamins. It’s unclear whether the health benefits are well founded or not, but it sure does taste good in a smoothie!
This dockside bar in Placencia is as lively as one would expect of a bar by the sea. They host recurring Wednesday karaoke for those who’ve had an especially terrible hump day and need a bit of entertainment via bar-goers comically strained attempts at singing. If on Thursdays you’re not as thirsty as much as you’re eager to get your sports on, the owners at J-Byrds host frequent dart competitions for you to show your skills off and possibly win cool prizes! J-Byrds is definitely one of the watering holes of choice in Placencia and worth a stop if you’re spending the night in town.
Tutti Frutti Gelateria (A Must!)
Tutti Frutti is a local favorite, Belizeans sometimes literally travel to Placencia for the day simply to experience the unique authentic gelato available only here. They have a wide assortment of ever changing flavors ensuring that if you’re a first-time visitor you’ll want to try them all and if you’re a 100th-time visitor there’s always something new for you. Put simply; if you don’t like the ice cream served here then chances are you don’t like ice cream at all!
Where to eat in Placencia Belize:
Mojo Lounge and Bartique
Mojo lounge and Bartique on the peninsula is a trendy, upscale experience in an otherwise unassuming seaside village. Situated on the second level of a building in the heart of what could be considered “downtown” makes this place easy to find and an absolute dining delight. Their happy hour specials are definitely something to look out for and if you’re an avid social media user check out their page for their frequent “code words” for even more specials (but don’t say we told you about it).
Rumfish y Vino Restaurant
This quaint establishment is one of the first, if not the only “gastro-bar” to be found in Mother Natures best-kept secret, and on that merit, we cannot allow Rumfish to stay a secret. They specialize in small-plate dining and are experts in all things pertinent to wine. Look out for the colonial style building with the Rumfish sign hanging above, it’s guaranteed to be one of your favorite places thereafter.
Fusion Beach is a hotel restaurant, that is situated in front of, you guessed it: the beach! The restaurant has a seafront deck which makes dining an exceptionally relaxing experience, they’re also equipped with an infinity pool in view from the restaurant for those of you looking to date a dip before/after/while you eat. Fusion Beach, as the name suggests, are experts in exquisite combinations of flavors and foods in unique ways, they’ll take your taste buds on a ride they’ll undoubtedly enjoy. An added bonus to their creative concoctions is their Sushi, while not exactly traditional Japanese styled their offerings are beautiful and delicious earning Fusion beach a definite spot on this guide!
If Placencia itself isn’t “island” enough for you then Tranquilo has exactly what you need. Situated a short boat ride away on Placencia Island, Tranquilo is a wonderfully situated, secluded romantic restaurant that offers up the very best in Belizean and Caribbean food. In addition to the secluded location, call ahead and receive a free boat transfer to the restaurant!
Maya Beach Bistro
The Maya Beach Bistro, the restaurant at the Maya Beach Hotel is a real treat! Their offerings of international cuisine with a local twist have earned them restaurant awards in the past and numerous nominations too!
Omar’s Creole Grub
Omar’s is as Belizean as it gets. Far from the new kid on the block Omar’s has been serving the same style of fresh caught Creole style Belizean goodness for decades in Placencia and time has not dulled their edge! Comfort food is the name of the game here where you can get fresh catch of the day fish, crab, lobster, and shrimp any way you like but we really recommend the traditional Creole sauce!
De-Thatch at the Seaspray hotel is another “no shoes, no tie, no problem” establishment in Placencia. In their description, go ahead and DETACH yourself from your worries at their seaside restaurant with their calm ambiance and great food. They seem to really like puns, we don’t blame them; puns are pretty clever.
The puns keep coming with Above Grounds, situated on the second level of a building just off the main driving road in the village they specialize in; you guessed it – Coffee! Above ground work directly with small organic coffee producers from Antigua in Guatemala and their artisan-style coffee is superb! The accompany your coffee you may indulge in their sweet baked treats like cookies and brownies. If you’re looking for a rich drink that isn’t coffee they also offer cold and hot organic chocolate drinks as well!
La Dolce vita
Life is sweet at this little peninsular Italian restaurant. La Dolce Vita is owned and operated by Chef Simone de Angelis, an Italian chef who imports his own ingredients direct from the source to ensure the highest quality and the most authentic culinary experience. Every dish here is thoughtfully, artfully and traditionally prepared the Italian way with subtly complimentary flavors and an intense love for food. If you love Italian food and want an authentic hit of it in the Caribbean; La Dolce Vita is exactly where you should be.
What to Do in Placencia Belize:
There’s a small army of hotels and dive shops that will gladly take you snorkeling in Placencia. Being on the southern coast provides easy access to some of Belize’s most beautiful atolls and reefs, with some of the most undisturbed marine habitats. Snorkeling is a must do!
Summer, Spring, Winter, Autumn, it all boils down to one thing here, perpetual summer! Belize’s warm Caribbean waters are perfect for scuba diving year-round, the average temperature here removes the need for full or even partial wetsuits, you can scuba in your swimming trunks or bikini. If you don’t yet know how to dive, many dive shops are equipped to make you a certified PADI underwater diver. Our favorite dive shop and tour operator in Placencia is SPLASH Dive Center & Tours, ms Patricia and her team are a delight to be around and very professional.
Whalesharks? You’re thinking we must be kidding… Nope. In May and June Whale sharks make their way to our warm seas to spawn, usually deep sea fish, they come close to the surface near the Gladden Split off the southern coast. These gentle giants swim along allowing you to scuba or snorkel beside them. Daunting as it may be, there haven’t been reports of whale shark attacks as they eat small fish, definitely nothing human sized.
Looking for a Whale Shark diving experience? Check out this recommended Whale Shark Diving Package
If you read our blog telling you about our favorite Belizean Festivals then this name will ring a bell. Lobster fest weekend in June on the peninsula is one of the must do’s, the locals fish, cook and serve the freshest lobster in the most authentic ways for days on end. Tell me… what could be better than that?
Placencia Sidewalk Art and Music Festival
The Placencia Sidewalk art festival is held annually in February close to valentines day (13th and 14th this past year). It will presumably be set for the weekend of the 11th in 2017. The art festival is held on the 4000-foot long sidewalk that is the villages “main street”. Along your walk, you’ll be witness to beautiful paintings, creative crafts, music, poetry readings, and art of every kind, if you’re looking for a creatively romantic thing to do this might be exactly what you want.
Bowling is generally not a thing in Belize… You’ll be surprised at how much of a thing it isn’t, no one bowls here, or watches bowling on the television. That might change soon with Jaguar Lanes, however, one of the first, probably literally the second bowling alley in Belize situated on the peninsula gives you the opportunity to bowl a few strikes, or not, depending on your luck or skill while enjoying cold Belizean beers and excellent finger food.
Get a Massage
Who doesn’t want a massage on a vacation away from home? fatigued and cramped muscles from stress and work back home literally melt away with beach-side massages in Placencia, Most of the resorts offer massages and if the one you’re at doesn’t then feel free to venture into town to one of the massage parlours to kick your relaxation into high gear, if that paradox is even possible.
This activity you can do right at the beach (away from swimmers of course) or off a dock. The real fun, however, is going out to sea for fish. Your choices are many with this activity, deep sea, shallow, sport, or for food. Whatever your aim for fishing is in Placencia the local boat captains can take you to the best spots, sometimes their own secret spots for awesome fishing opportunities in clear Caribbean waters.
You too can live a slice of the rich and famous life from Placencia. Companies offer yacht and catamaran charters from the Placencia peninsula for up to 9 nights stay out at sea sailing Belize’s many coastal destinations. Crewed charters are available with experienced Belizean captains to take you to the best spots for sightseeing and swimming. For the experienced captains, uncrewed expeditions are available to make you the captain of your very own Caribbean sailing expedition!
Is there anything else you would like to see included in this guide to Placencia Belize? Let us know by commenting below! 🙂