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Placencia Peninsula Not What I Expected

Level Contributor
129 posts
7 reviews
Placencia Peninsula Not What I Expected

I just returned from my first visit to Belize and the condition of the area surrounding Placencia surprised me. Seine Bight looked more like a Haitian refugee camp than a quaint fishing village. The beach all along Maya Beach was covered in garbage and plastic trash and the abandoned BellaMaya and unfinished The Placencia gated community/hotel looked like a post apocalyptic nightmare. We had a great bungalow on a private beach, so we stayed happy, but I'd be hard pressed to recommend the Placencia area as a vacation spot to anyone.

Placencia, Belize
Level Contributor
65 posts
26 reviews
1. Re: Placencia Peninsula Not What I Expected

The places you are describing are quite far from Placencia Village itself did you come to Placencia at all? its is a quaint little village!

Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
337 posts
23 reviews
2. Re: Placencia Peninsula Not What I Expected

I couldn't disagree more both having travelled in other third world countries and having just returned from Placencia. There is poverty in Belize no doubt but I did not sense the desperation or hopelessness of other places I have travelled. I was perfectly safe at all times and I greatly enjoyed the local people I met.

But to each his own. A vacation sanitized for my protection is not on my plan. And one less person jockeying for a table at Rumfish y Vino is ok by me!

Level Contributor
129 posts
7 reviews
3. Re: Placencia Peninsula Not What I Expected

I did go to Placencia and I thought that was a neat little laid back community. I ate at Rumfish and the meal and restaurant were fantastic. I also enjoyed the funky atmosphere of the Barefoot Bar in Placencia. I walked the sidewalk, enjoyed breakfast at De Tatch (I think was the name). I had a good experience overall, I just expected to see much more in the way of untouched natural beauty. There's nothing natural or beautiful about garbage, crumbling concrete buildings (and these are LARGE buildings) and rusting rebar. It's a shame what the unfinished development has done to the area. It's tragic enough when nice looking highrise hotels and 13,000 sq ft homes are built in these rural areas, but when construction halts at a point where it looks like a bomb went off and out of business sprawling hotels are left to rot, it really hurts the charm. I understand the plastic trash in the ocean is a larger issue and that the beach changes with the tides, but I have some pictures of me sitting in a beach chair with a PILE of trash behind me. Not exactly the greatest beach vacation. I suppose the resorts rake up the trash and we stayed at a private rental, so maybe other tourists wouldn't have that problem. I just wonder about the folks who are honeymooning at The Placencia and if they know that some of that property looks like it's out of a disaster movie or if they know how far it is from the village of Placencia and what is in-between the two.

Level Contributor
62 posts
9 reviews
4. Re: Placencia Peninsula Not What I Expected

I have lived here twenty years and only that long ago, you could pick up a mile of beach and it would stay clean, unfortunately our oceans are getting more and more polluted. Most of the garbage here is coming from neighboring countries, cruise ships are also contributors. There are many individuals and businesses here who won't buy plastic products. As far as Seine Bight goes, the people here can have jobs if they wish to work,

There is a great saying, an American comes here finds a fisherman, goes out with him, Belizean says his life is do some fishing and play with my kids. Tourist says you could take a loan, buy a few boats make a lot of $, then retire and then think what you could do. He states then I will do a little fishing and play with my grandkids. You seem to judge people on your own values, not theirs. I do hope that you didn't buy any to go containers and plastic water bottles on your visit . Our ecolodge won't even give people straws anymore, it is up to all of us. And it isn't just Belize, it is in the Pacific miles of floating trash, the problem is hugh. If you look at geography you can see why so much of it floats in and is trapped on our shores. Many people here are working to do what they can and if we don't have the tourist income, then we are in real trouble Please send any suggestions or $ to our tourism center in the name of garbage cleanup

Davie, Florida
Level Contributor
11,187 posts
2 reviews
5. Re: Placencia Peninsula Not What I Expected

just out of range of any travel brochure picture in a third world country there will be some sort of ickiness, thats why they are third world countries.

Destination Expert
for Belize, Placencia, Ambergris Caye, Cayo, San Ignacio
Level Contributor
7,537 posts
13 reviews
6. Re: Placencia Peninsula Not What I Expected

Even first world countries have third world living conditions; check the sad state of health and sanitory conditions in MS and Alabama. Seine Bight should do better and many are contributing to that; but the villagers have to want that as well to maintain improvements and progress for their kids.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Yucatan Peninsula
Level Contributor
19,352 posts
73 reviews
7. Re: Placencia Peninsula Not What I Expected

My parents live on St. Barth - one of the ritziest islands in the Caribbean (they got there before the $$$) - and there are shells of hotels for years that were ruined by hurricanes and never torn down - or out of business and never torn down - even there - next to hotels with $2000/night rooms. Because real estate is so expensive, people earning middle class wages often squat in these hotels. Young French who go to the island because there is plenty of work.

There isnt garbage on beach there, unless you happen to arrive after the cruise passengers finished their box lunches and left.


San Ignacio, Belize
Level Contributor
4,770 posts
277 reviews
8. Re: Placencia Peninsula Not What I Expected

I find Placencia proper to be my first choice when I can pull myself away. I agree with the original poster about Seine Bight, and wish we didn't even have to drive through it to get to Placencia. The peninsula isn't the nicest drive, especially after the majestic Hummngbird highway...but we ignore the guady mcmansions that are laughable in their size and incredibly close proximity to one another, and that monstrosity Placencia Hotel has some of the worst reviews on TA, so they must have to give away rooms to have occupancy. It reminds me of Frankenstein's castle, and I could just see all the villagers going up to it with picthforks and fire once the casino(monster) is unleashed. Most destinations require travel through less than perfect areas. Haha, part of the charm.

Trash is a problem in every country in the world. We can only educate and help clean, and hope it makes a difference.

Saint James City...
Destination Expert
for San Pedro
Level Contributor
16,480 posts
10 reviews
9. Re: Placencia Peninsula Not What I Expected

I was on Kauai several years ago. Several 'ruins' of large hotels that were destroyed by hurricanes (or whatever they're called in the Pacific). Some had obviously been that way for many years.

Placencia, Belize
Level Contributor
2,041 posts
12 reviews
10. Re: Placencia Peninsula Not What I Expected

The Placencia commujity fought like blazes against the inappropriate developments in the north. These are not locally owned businesses. The Placencia is horrible I agree, and they tore down much mangrove to build it, and ignored environmental regulations left right and middle.

Trash is a problem, there are two areas of floating plastic in the Pacific each the size of the continental US for example. Resort owners do keep the beaches clean - every tide. The trash comes to us from cruise ships, Guatemala and Honduras, we can tell by the packaging.

Glad you enjoyed Placencia village, which I think is a very attractive laid back place. Seign Bight is a UNESCO site of cultural importance. It may look 3rd world to you, but it's home to a lot of decent people. And it's entirely authentic.