Placencia, once tranquil even by Belizean standards, has now become one of the most popular destinations in this small country.
It is located at the southern end of a 25km long headland, which extends parallel to the coast in the Stann Creek District.
Its wide bay is considered Belize’s best mainland beach. Depending on the season and weather, you can swim here in the morning, while in the afternoon the water is sometimes turbulent and seaweed is washed ashore.
From Placencia some of the so-called Southern Cayes, where diving and snorkeling tours are offered, can also be reached in a short time as the barrier reef is closer to the coast than further north.
The encounters with whale sharks at Gladden Spit, an elbow-shaped bulge of the reef, during the season – and then especially at full moon times – promise a special experience. Then the peaceful sea giants come to the spawning grounds of the snapper to pounce on the billions of fish eggs that make the sea water milky.
One of the popular tours “ashore” is a trip to the Monkey River, the mouth of which is reached by boat after about 20km. Upstream the passengers have the opportunity to observe the animal world, e.g. the name-giving howler monkeys.
Monkey River Village was destroyed to an even greater extent by the last devastating hurricane than the equally badly hit Placencia. More than 90 percent of the houses seen today had to be rebuilt after Iris hit land in Monkey River in October 2001. Placencia, which resembled a wrecked desert after the hurricane, has even grown since its reconstruction. Above all, the number of accommodations, pubs and restaurants has increased with the improved accessibility.
Among them are also some luxurious accommodations, which seem, however, in our opinion, misplaced in Placencia and are to be recommended only to those who are on the way with a rental car, since they lie far in the north of the actual place (Maya Beach).