Mistakes to Avoid on Your Placencia Vacation in 2023

by Megan Rodden

Tourism in Belize has made a complete post-pandemic rebound, and 2023 is shaping up to be a banner year for travel. The Placencia Peninsula is a popular destination as it offers visitors wide spans of palm trees and sandy beaches along with easy access to inland adventures like hiking, caving, and exploring ancient Maya Temples. If you’re planning a visit to Placencia in 2023, here are some mistakes to avoid.

1. Overpacking

luggage suitcase packing

Photo by Anete Lusina on Unsplash

Placencia’s motto is “Barefoot Perfect”, and you can imagine why this one-time-fishing-village turned laid-back tourist destination has been described as terminally casual. Leave your high heels at home. Unless you’re coming for a wedding (Belize is a beautiful choice for a destination wedding), you’ll find you never have the need to dress up. Tank tops, flip-flops, a bathing suit or two, and perhaps some active wear for zip lining or horseback riding is pretty much the extent of what you’ll really need. Open-air, sandy floor restaurants greatly outnumber upscale eateries and beach bars are favored over night clubs. You don’t need much to feel comfortable here, so a fully loaded suitcase is probably unnecessary, but if you do have to check a bag, just make sure to put essential medication in your carry-on, in case your luggage doesn’t make it to Belize. Placencia is a small place, so the pharmacy has limited inventory and hours.

2. Overplanning

placencia sidewalk

Photo courtesy Chabil Mar

Belize boasts so many incredible adventures and you want to experience them all. But you simply won’t be able to see and do everything in just one visit. It’s tempting to try and cram excursions into every day of your trip but scheduling an overly ambitious itinerary will detract from the enjoyment of your holiday. Part of Placencia’s charm is its slow pace. Take at least one whole day to do nothing. Stroll the beach, shuffle the famous Sidewalk, browse the art and souvenir shops, linger at one of the beach bars, or take a nap in a hammock. It’s great to have a few plans but try to remain flexible. You may find that when you go with the flow, the best and most memorable experiences find you. If you have a strict schedule to adhere to you might miss out on chance opportunities. A bit of spontaneity will serve you well.

3. Booking too late

Photo by Brisa Oceano, A Muy’Ono Resort

Though you don’t want to over plan your trip, you do want to make at least a framework of reservations ahead of time. As said before, Placencia is a small place, and you won’t find any megaresorts looming along our sandy shores. Most accommodations are intimate, boutique-style hotels with a handful of rooms or villas. Our favorite resorts fill up, especially over the holidays, so you don’t want to leave it to the last minute and miss out of your first (or second) choice of accommodation.

4. Not stepping out of your comfort zone

placencia lobster fest comfort zone

Photo by Kevin Quischan Photography

Travel is a fun, exciting, and enlightening experience! Break out of your usual routine and blaze new trails. Belize is home to fascinating cultures, an eclectic culinary scene, incredible natural wonders and singular adventures. Some of our excursions may make you a bit uncomfortable (floating on an underground river through completely dark caverns is a bit nerve wracking) or require you to push the limits of your stamina (a one-hour hike can feel a lot longer in the heat of the sub-tropical rainforest) but we promise: they’re worth it! Swimming with sharks, rappelling down waterfalls, and descending into caves are some of the off-the-wall adventures you shouldn’t miss. Talk to new people, say yes to trying new food, give new experiences a go. Belize is best enjoyed with an open mind and open heart.

Feature Photo via Kevin Quischan Photography

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