Placencia Tourist Attractions
The village of Placencia is located on the southern tip of a 16mi/26km peninsula. Placencia's attractive location offers some of Belize's best beaches and a rich marine habitat perfect for swimming, snorkeling, diving and sportfishing.
Kayaking along the mangroves has also become a popular activity. Clapboard houses built on stilts are clustered around the main street, actually a single concrete sidewalk running through the village. The narrowest street in the world (according to the Guinness Book of World Records), the sidewalk was built as a means of wheel-barrowing fish around without fighting the sand.Most of the fisher folk now provide tourist services, and a variety of excursions are offered in Placencia. A few offshore cayes are easily accessed from the village, and the diving near Placencia is interesting because there is a distinct change between the northern and southern structure of the Barrier Reef. There is good snorkeling in the meadows of sea grass dotted along the coastline. Placencia offers enjoyable nightlife, but generally has a relaxed atmosphere.
Canoeing and kayaking in Placencia Lagoon offer observation of wildlife species in a mangrove habitat. Manatees inhabit the area and can sometimes be seen.
Diving, snorkeling and wildlife observation are the most popular activities in the areas surrounding Placencia.
Laughing Bird Caye National Park
Laughing Bird Caye has been traditionally used for recreational purposes and was designated a national park to protect the caye and surrounding reefs. Swimming, snorkeling, sea kayaking and diving are the most popular activities, and a hiking trail leads through the center of the caye. An abundant variety of coral is found in the Laughing Bird Caye reefs, comprising several types of habitat. In 1996, UNESCO designated Laughing Bird Caye as one of Belize's World Heritage Sites.Laughing Bird Caye is included in some cruise itineraries, bringing in 45 to 70 passengers a week. A day visit to the caye is a popular excursion, and private yachts and charters moor at the caye regularly. The caye is named for the Laughing Gull, which used to breed on the site but moved to another coastal area because of disturbance.
The traditional Garifuna village of Seine Bight is located on the Placencia Peninsula. Fairly isolated until the 1980s when a road was built to the peninsula, the Garifuna (mixed African and Indian heritage) culture of the village has survived and prospered. Seine Bight is beginning to build a tourist infrastructure in order to welcome the overflow of visitors wanting to visit the area. Generally, Seine Bight offers visitors high-end accommodations and a chance to experience Belize's unique Garifuna culture.
Maya Beach is a small village located on the Placencia Peninsula. High-end accommodations are found in the village, which is in close proximity to several beaches. The most popular activities in the area are water sports, and the village is within easy access to several scuba diving sites.
Monkey River Village
This small Creole village of Monkey River lies at the mouth of the Monkey River. The village offers a few hotels, bars and restaurants and offers nearby canoeing, fishing and snorkeling. The Monkey River is home to a number of wildlife species, including birds, howler monkeys and crocodiles.
Monkey River - Bladden River Reserve
The Shark Hole is a popular dive site, entered at a depth of 42ft/12.6m. The formation resulted from the collapse of an underwater cave and several species of marine life including nurse sharks can be observed. Many of the dive companies offer trips here from Placencia.
The waters around Ranguana Caye, a private island, offer good snorkeling and sea kayaking. The caye is locate near the barrier reef and can be reached by boat from Placencia.
Silk Cayes Marine Reserve
The protected waters around the Silk Cayes attract whale sharks up to 10 days after a full moon between April and June. Snorkeling and kayaking in the marine reserve are also popular activities, as well as exploring the cayes on land.
French Louie Caye
Sea kayaking around the lovely coral gardens in the waters around French Louie Caye is a popular excursion.