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Is Placencia a nice town?

Belgium
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5 posts
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Is Placencia a nice town?

So what's Placencia like? We're considering going there on vacation (couple in their 50s, couple in their 20s, single guy). All the reviews we've seen about Placencia and the surrounding area are good, but pictures and videos we've seen of the town make it appear to be pretty rough and not much to do.

Any thoughts from anybody who's been? We're not into the "party scene", but would like a nice town with restaurant options for dinner.

Ultimately, we're looking for a place to vacation in Central America with snorkeling, maybe some fun activities (hiking, tours, etc) and a nice town near by. If not Placencia, any other suggestions?

Thanks!

Saint James City...
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for San Pedro
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1. Re: Is Placencia a nice town?

I like Placencia. It's a small village. It's far from a polished tourist town, which is one of the reasons I like it.

The village is at the southern end of the Placencia peninsula. I think the peninsula is about 15 miles long. This gives you easy access to tours.

Downside is that it's 19 miles from the reef, so snorkel tours are all day trips.

I personally prefer San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. It's much, much busier. More options for places to stay, places to eat, places to drink. Tours to the mainland are more expensive, since you have to get back to the mainland.

The reef is less than a mile off shore, so many snorkel trips are just a few hours.

You don't need to get very far outside of San Pedro for Ambergris to be pretty quiet, but, you still have easy access to town.

Placencia, Belize
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2. Re: Is Placencia a nice town?

Placencia is a very nice town, I was there yesterday as it happens visiting the vet, and will be going there tomorrow for a meeting. It is a mixed tourism and fishing village with an ex pat community, everyone mixes in together so there is no overwhelming feel of being in a tourist destination, it's a place where people live and get on with their lives. Very laid back, polite and friendly, but then, so is most of Belize.

There are nice restaurants (Maya Beach Bistro was restaurant of the year this year, La Dolce Vita, Rumfish, Hidden Valley are my favourites, along with many small traditional eatieris and roadside barbecue places. There are some good bars for evening entertainment, Barefoot is probably favourite for that. You have a choice of higher end and lower end accommodation, perhaps the mid range is a bit lacking but you could check out Miramar apprtments and hotels like Seaspray and Paradise.

Trips available are snorkeling and diving, fishing, the smaller Mayan sites of the south, nature reserves, the monkey trails of Monkey River.

I should explain that the Placencia peninsula on which Placencia is the furthest south village also has two other villages, Seine Bight and Maya Beach, which are quieter, but which offer their own distinctive charms.

Personally I don't care for Ambergris as I find it rather busy and more expensive, also it never quite feels like Belize to me, but if you want to do lots of diving and snorkelling in particular, and have a wide range of things to do at night, then you might like it better. There is definitely a wider choice of accommodation although personally I don't think value for money is as good.

Milton, Delaware
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3. Re: Is Placencia a nice town?

Here's what I wrote to another post who was considering Placencia. I love it there. Just enough tourists to provide multiple restaurant and bar options. Quiet after 10 o'clock at night except for weekends sometimes. See how I feel below. Also visit www.placencia.com.

I am a Placencia lover. The people in the village are terrific to get to know.

Correction re snorkeling from Placencia that is posted above. Although the reef is 18 miles off shore most snorkeling is done at the nearby islands. Laughing Bird Caye is the most popular for the tour guides to take you to.

It is a national park, only a 20 minute boat ride.

There are plenty of half day snorkeling tours available from Placencia.

I didn't hear you say anything about jungle experiences in your original post, so I am not sure why the encouragement to stay in the jungle postings here. What this does remind me to mention is that from Placencia you have daily access to all of the following without getting on a plane to get there and can be done within a half or whole day's time.

Maya archeological tours.

Monkey River howler tours.

Fishing - fantastic

Snorkeling

Scuba

Day sails to go fishing or snorkeling or island hopping

Kayak

Jungle treks at Cockscomb - swim in waterfalls

Birding

Cave swimming

Placencia is a tradional fishing village come lately a bit of a tourist destination. It is a village that goes through life's daily routines with or without tourists. The people are friendly and welcoming and so if you want a true Belizean cultural experience along with a taste of the adventure around you, for me it is the perfect place to visit for a short vacation in Belize.

I fell in love with this place.

Placencia, Belize
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4. Re: Is Placencia a nice town?

I would also add that Placencia is much prettier, more flowery and more Caribbean feeling than Ambergris Caye. However, a rider to the restaurant advice, from around now until into November, most of the nicer places are closed.

Placencia, Belize
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5. Re: Is Placencia a nice town?

Placencia is a wonderful little village! It definitely still has its small town charm, but you won't be lacking any conveniences like excellent tour operators, great restaurants, ATMs, grocery stores, etc. Just remember to choose your accommodation based on your travel style, as there is everything from backpacker to mid-range to luxury.

Asheville
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6. Re: Is Placencia a nice town?

Hello Queen. I'm starting to plan an itinerary for a trip next year to Belize. I want to visit the "jungle" areas of Belize and experience several parts of the country and wonder if it's best to start in one part of the country for a few days (3-4) then finish the remainder of time near the water, for snorkeling and Caribbean time. Can this all be done from one place, like Placencia? Your description sounds perfect, since we like the more casual, less crowded places, although I am thinking about Ambergris for the ease of travel to reef, etc. What itinerary would you suggest for 9-10 days max, maybe less, coming from U.S.? We're MOL on budget holiday. Mom and adult son (who's a great traveling buddy!) Thank you to all who reply.

San Ignacio, Belize
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7. Re: Is Placencia a nice town?

When choosing to see multiple areas in Belize, it seems best to start inland. That way you can get the extreme stuff done first, like caving, waterfalls, and zip lining. Then you can relax on the beach, and take a quick puddle jumper the day that you leave so you don't have to stay in BC overnight. There are no planes from San Ignacio.

With that much time, you should definitely see at least 2 spots, if not 3. Belize has quite a few different feeling areas, and they each have certain spots that are must sees. Getting around is quick and easy since it's such a small country. In Placencia, be sure and hit Barefoot Bar and Tutti Fruiti. Enjoy the gelato!

8. Re: Is Placencia a nice town?

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