The 16 miles long Placencia Peninsula in southeastern Belize is often called “the island you can drive to”. It’s also called the “barefoot paradise” thanks to its beaches, which includes the longest on the mainland. Here are five reasons to visit Placencia!
1. The Narrowest Main Street
The tiny Placencia village with its population of 1,500 made it into the Guinness Book of World Records thanks to its 4000-foot long main street. You can enjoy its colorful street murals as you visit its many shops, bars, and restaurants. No need to worry about traffic – no vehicles allowed since it’s just 4 feet wide. Thats what makes it the world’s narrowest main street!
2. Best beaches
With 240 miles of coastline, Belize is a country full of amazing beaches. Yet, it’s the Placencia Peninsula that is consistently voted as having the best ones on the mainland. While the beaches around Placencia Village boast soft golden sand and breathtaking views of the Caribbean, there are also unspoiled white sand beaches near the villages of Maya Beach and Seine Bight. Besides being beautiful, all of these beaches are open to the public – one of the many reasons to visit Placencia. Which one should you choose? If you’re up to socialize, stay near Placencia where you can enjoy the coastal nightlife at the many beachfront bars and restaurants. If you’d rather have space to yourself, Seine Bight and Maya Beach offer more secluded options.
3. One of the most unique Afro-Caribbean cultures
When you visit Seine Bight, you will meet the Garifuna people. Their origins date back 400 years when shipwrecked Africans on St. Vincent intermarried with the local Caribs and Arawaks. Eventually, their descendants, the Garifuna, made their way to Belize where they have contributed greatly to the music, art, dance, and cuisine of their adopted homeland. Placencia, and much like the greater south of Belize, celebrates the Garifuna for their cuisine, traditions, and more reasons.
4. Some of the world’s best diving
The Belize Barrier Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that offers some of the best scuba diving and snorkeling in the world. Not only does it have over 500 species of fish, but it also has over 100 species of coral. Here you can swim not just among colorful schools of fish but also with sea turtles, rays, sharks, manatees, and even dolphins! From April until June you will find gentle whale sharks in the waters around Placencia. Many divers travel from around the world to interact with these friendly mammals.
5. The loudest monkeys
The Monkey River winds its way south of Placencia and is home to many exotic bird species as well as black howler monkeys. When you visit the area, you’ll hear these primates’ piercing cries from miles away. For an unforgettable experience, take a cruise along the river through the beautiful rain forest.
If you will be visiting Belize and the Placencia Peninsula soon, check out our Placencia Resort and Hotel recommendations here. Once you stay in Placencia, you’re bound to find many more reasons to come back!