Placencia Peninsula#6 in Best Things To Do in Belize
Price & Hours
- 3.5Food Scene
Imagine tranquil beaches topped with rustling palm trees and backed by pastel-colored beachfront villas and calm Caribbean waters. This is Placencia, Belize's rapidly booming beach town. Stretching across a 16-mile-long peninsula, Placencia boasts a myriad of nature reserves and underwater sanctuaries along with postcard-perfect vistas. The area offers the only golden sands on mainland Belize.
While you're visiting Placencia, consider a trip to the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and the nearby Mayan sites. The Monkey River — which contains crocodiles, howler monkeys, boas and iguanas — is also worth checking out. Plus, don't forget to sample some of the peninsula's cuisine — the area is known for its Kriol (Creole) seafood dishes.
Placencia is located about 130 miles south of Belize City and can be reached by car along the Southern Highway. You can also opt to fly into the Placencia Airport, which is about 20 miles north of the peninsula.
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#1 Ambergris Caye
With its plentiful outdoor activities, this 25-mile-long island off the coast of northern Belize caters to the snorkeling and diving set. The island was originally inhabited by the Mayans to serve as a far-extending trade route, spanning from present-day Mexico to as far south as Honduras. Today, Ambergris Caye welcomes thousands of visitors seeking easy access to the barrier reef that surrounds the island. Snorkelers and intrepid divers alike will want to explore Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Most of the diving and snorkeling shops and instructors are found in San Pedro, including the Belize Pro Dive Center, Tuff E Nuff Tours and Scuba School Belize, which all offer a variety of daily excursions. Prices vary depending on the type and length of tours, plus any certification fees for diving.
When you're not underwater, explore San Pedro, Ambergris' main town. Here you'll find beachside restaurants, lounges, shops and luxury hotels. You'll notice the difference between this tourist hub and the more urban Belize City as soon as you step onto its cobblestone streets, which are filled with golf carts and bicycles, rather than cars.
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