Latest update: 6 March 2023
“It’s boring. There are only old people, and there is nothing to do”, a Dutch guy tells me on the road. So, to be safe, I only book one night in Placencia, Belize. And as soon as I get there, I immediately book an extra night.
Placencia: jovial town
How different can experiences be, right? And I’m so glad I’m stubborn sometimes. I love Placencia. It feels relaxed, casual, and peaceful. It is a very friendly place where, as an outsider, you can easily come into contact with the local population. Take a side road anywhere, and you’ll find yourself in the middle of Placencia life. And in the garbage, because that’s a real problem, almost everywhere in Belize, actually. The slogan Don’t litter, make Belize glitter is yet to be a way of life.
And yes, the older Americans are definitely in the majority on this peninsula in southern Belize. But I also quickly find friendly people in my hostel.
Bus trip to Placencia peninsula
I catch an early bus from Hopkins and head past Maya Beach and Seine Bight towards Placencia Village. It is one long road with here and there a concentration of a few houses that contrast shabbily with the hotels and resorts. The peninsula’s north is more upscale, while the south offers more budget options.
Coffee in Placencia
Placencia is basically one long street with some side roads. Often unpaved roads, making it quite dusty in the village. A little rain wouldn’t hurt, I think to myself. Apparently, the weather gods are listening: it soon starts pouring. Fortunately, there are several lovely coffee shops to hide in. Above Grounds Coffee (Google Maps location) serves good coffee in a tree house. It almost feels like a hipster coffee shop. Several people hide from the rain for hours with laptops (myself included). At Brewed Awakenings, they also have good smoothies (Google Maps location).
Lots of food options in Placencia
I find Placencia’s small scale and its restaurants charming. Many restaurants simply bear the owner’s name, such as Carmen’s Kitchen (for typical Belizean snacks) and Omar’s Creole. In addition to these places, there is an Italian restaurant, a Chinese restaurant, and busy American-oriented beach bars and restaurants (Barefoot Bar, Tipsy Tuna, and DeTatch). You certainly don’t have to go hungry in Placencia.
Things to do in Placencia
Regarding activities, taking a walk and soaking up the Caribbean vibes is nice. On one side is the sea, and on the other is the lagoon. And a beach day is always a good idea of course.
A very narrow boulevard runs between the beach and the main street. This is called the Sidewalk and was once in the Guinness Book of Records as the narrowest street in the world. Today, Germany has that honor. You can also make beautiful diving and/or snorkeling trips from Placencia. They are more expensive here than in Hopkins, for example. That’s because Placencia is further from the hotspots, and gas in Belize is costly. You book these tours on the spot.
Yoga in Placencia
Placencia also turns out to be a yoga-loving village. You can take a lesson in different places: on the beach, at a chic resort, whatever you want! There is a Facebook group where all yoga options of the moment are posted.
Because I am the only one in my yoga class, the yoga teacher has all the attention for me and helps me intensively with adjustments to improve my poses. This lesson is hard work! But I love it.
Hotels and hostels in Placencia
In 2018 I stayed at the Placencia Hostel. Sadly, that doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Anda Di Hows is another hostel in Placencia.
If your budget is a bit bigger, I recommend Dolce Cabana Waterfront Suites. I meet owner Nicole through my neighbor in Placencia Hostel, and she invites me for a homemade meal at her place. My neighbor and another tourist have been on a fishing tour and caught barracuda, which Nicole is preparing. This, complemented by good company, fried stuffed zucchini flowers, and red wine, makes this a beautiful evening in a beautiful place. Take a look at the rooms here.
How to get to Placencia
It’s quite an undertaking to get to Placencia. I catch an early bus from Hopkins. There are also direct buses from Dangriga. You can also catch a bus that stops at Independence/Mango Creek between Dangriga and Punta Gorda. From there, you take a ferry to Placencia.
Tip! Need more information about which boats sail in Belize? Check: How do you get from A to B in Belize by boat?
I’m curious about what you think of Placencia. Like me, do you find it a nice, friendly place, or do you want to leave as soon as possible? Feel free to drop a comment!
More Belize travel inspiration?
Useful links for your Belize trip
- Accommodation. All-time favorite is Booking.com. Book hostels via Hostelworld.
- Activities. You book the best tours and activities with GetYourGuide and Viator.
- Bus. Book buses in Belize through Busbud, Omio, or 12Go.
- Car rental. My go-to car rental companies are EasyTerra and Sunny Cars as they have all-inclusive / worry-free offers. You could also use Discover Cars to compare prices.
- Flights. Compare all your options! For sure check Momondo, Skyscanner, and Kiwi.
- Money. Your bank cards may not get accepted everywhere. You could opt for a Revolut card as an additional card when you travel.
- Package deals. Rather go on a catered trip? Not many Dutch travel companies offer trips to Belize: try Sawadee or Shoestring.
- SIM card. Beware of unexpectedly high calling and internet costs. Buy a local SIM card when you arrive, or arrange one online via Airalo.
- Travel gear. Buy your gear at Bever or Decathlon, or simply at Bol.com.
- Travel guides. I love the practical guidebooks by Lonely Planet. You can buy them at Bol.com and Amazon.
- Yoga retreat. Or, book a lovely yoga retreat in Belize!
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First published: July 2018. Updated since!