After checking in to your hotel (preferably in the village for short trips, as this saves you a lot of time and hassle of shuttling or renting a car to get to the village – within the village means – south of the water tower, which makes the village totally walkable) walk the “loop” of the village. You can’t get lost here, and if you can get your hands on the village map (go to the BTIA office /tourist office by Remax, or get it from your hotel) follow the loop starting either on the main street or the sidewalk. This loop allows you to see the whole village and get a feel for the tour booths, shops, restaurants, and bars that draw you in.
Decide on at least one excursion to do for your 3 days and book it on your walk for Day 2. The highest rated/unique to Placencia outings are the following: Monkey River (check out www.barebonestours.com, you can book online), snorkeling at Silk Caye/Laughingbird Caye, or Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve with Doyle at DTourz. Another newer option is a day trip to Ranguana Caye, a gorgeous private island. You can walk around and book snorkeling at any tour booth – the tours here are all good, so you can be assured a consistent positive experience.
Silk Caye – www.mybelizeexperience.com
As you are walking around, check out the local woodworking, have a coffee at Above Grounds (looks like a treehouse!), stop and have a gelato at the famous Tutti Frutti, and have a look at all the farmer’s market stands (I recommend purchasing some tomatoes, an onion, cilantro, a jalapeno, and a lime- mix these together for Day 3, see below, with bit of salt and some tortilla chips from the grocery store – yum – for under $5!) Stop and check out the pier, a lot of good bird/people/fisherman/dolphin watching here. Walk by and see what is happening at Tipsy Tuna and Barefoot Bar; they advertise their activities on chalkboards throughout the village (and they are right next to each other, this is the heart of the village fun!)
Above Grounds – from their facebook page
Beach in front of Tipsy Tuna – www.placencia.com
Check out the menus at Friends Near the Pier and The Shak, and walk into the Fish Co-op at the pier. Stop and see Brenda…you’ll be happy you did…get a coconut macaroon ;). Wander into some of the great shops you will see, and check out the great restaurants….decide on your top 2 or 3 for your stay!
Our guest’s favorites for dinner in no particular order: Secret Garden (for dining in a tropical garden), Rumfish (for the Caribbean deck and and amazing drinks), Wendy’s (a classic, great fish), Dawn’s (a great low key choice), Omar’s (another classic favorite for local fish-they will even cook yours if you bring it!), Cozy Corner (great view and conch fritters), Dolce Vita (great Italian, one guest said it was the best wine she had ever had!), Mojo’s (great second floor live music and great fish), Detatch (the view!!!), Fusion Beach (north of village – Miami beach style w/pool), Tranquilo (take a short boat ride the Placencia Caye!), Rick’s (AMAZING organic food), or of course Barefoot Bar and Tipsy Tuna.
Wait, you think, this is wayyy too many choices for a couple days….and this is why so many people return again and again!! (And these are just some of the walkable restaurants IN the village, not the whole peninsula!)
Rumfish deck – www.tripadvisor.com
I would do your excursion pick on this day. (start with a stop at Brewed Awakenings for their excellent coffee, blended drinks, and seaweed shakes!) You will likely be gone from about 8-5, and it is recommended that you pick another place you found on yesterday’s walk for dinner.
Menu at Brewed Awakenings – I recommend the Espresso Madness!!
If you didn’t do it already – walk by the beach bars and see if there are any events you’d like to go to this night, a great night out in Placencia can be the drummers or karaoke at Tipsy Tuna, live music at Barefoot, trivia at Pickled Parrot, and many more! I also recommend you join the open facebook groups Placencia What’s Happening, or Placencia Restaurants, so you can get daily updates about what is going on in the village. Placencia is known to “run” on facebook :).Day 3:
Use this day to relax and enjoy the beaches here. I’d start with breakfast at either Detatch or the Shak. It is recommended that you stay at a hotel that provides floats, tubes, kayaks, paddleboards, lounge chairs, snorkel gear, towels, etc, to make the most of your beach day (we offer all this and more at Caribbean Beach Cabanas (CBC)!) If you want to try some local food for lunch, try Mim’s, rated very highly for local cuisine – you can’t find it online….you can walk right to main street from our place to this modest, local, amazing food (get the stewed chicken, the traditional dish!) You can also call and have your lunch delivered right to you from the Galley for $5.
Actual guests at CBC from last week, having a beach day.
If you do even half of this in 3 days….kudos to you!!!
Do yourself a favor and pick one of those other excursions….you won’t be sorry 🙂
That evening, knowing you have a “day off” tomorrow (see below) check out our new casino, there is a free shuttle!
The Placencia Casino, from their Facebook Page
Add another beach day – at least a half day…..watch the sunrise (it rises at about 5:30am here!!) or take the paddleboard at dawn on the glassy sea, then take the kayak from our shore to Placencia Caye and snorkel. Take the (complimentary at CBC!) bikes on a little journey up the peninsula. A must-do is to check out Francis Ford Coppola’s Turtle Inn – they will let you walk in and check it out. (check out their menu for dinner – and if it is a special occasion, ask about their private beach dining!) You can have a beer at the Flying Pig, check out Robert’s Grove for lunch on a pier, see the Maya mountains to your left…the peninsula is 14 miles long, and almost all resorts will let you pop in and have a look!
Other great ideas….get a massage or spa service at Secret Garden, Ztouch, or Siriphon’s. Do yoga at BB Yoga Flow.
Actual guest paddleboarding at CBC
Do just ONE more excursion!! There are the 4 I listed above and so many more. Other options are the Xunantunich Mayan Ruins or ATM Cave tour (these two are a LONG drive but WELL worth it!!), Mayan Chocolate Tour, Banana Farm, fishing of all sorts, Cave Tubing….and more.
ATM Cave Tour – you won’t see this at Myrtle Beach – from www.belizeandreams.com
Here’s my favorite idea for your last day – rent a golf cart, and drive it all the way up the peninsula! You can rent a golf cart at Captain Jak’s, walking distance to CBC. You will drive through an authentic Garifuna village in Seine Bight (this is not set up for tourists, while it looks a bit rough, the locals are warm and friendly, and are very used to visitors – lunch at Vern’s is one of the top rated places for local food!) Farther up, you will end up entering charming Maya Beach. Here you will find what looks like Florida from the 40’s. I highly recommend lunch or dinner at Tiger, Maya Bistro, or Belize Ocean Club. Park your cart, and walk around here on the beach – lots of little quiet beach bars. Check out Mango’s for sure. All these places let you walk around their facilities. Another worthwhile stop to sightsee is Singing Sands – very charming place for lunch. You can bowl at Jaguar Lanes, or check out the Placencia Hotel (this is where the casino is.)
Mango’s – www.mangosbelize.com
Another idea is to rent a car for the day (easy to do from the village – Barefoot Rentals is a good one), and either go to the waterfalls – this is a popular place to have lunch, swim, and picnic, just north of the peninsula. If you mention the waterfalls everyone will know what you are talking about to get you there. It is a relatively safe and easy drive. A bit farther away, but within an hour, there is amazing hiking at Bocawina (and ziplining!) A fun stop on the way home is Lost Reef, for a couple drinks and a swim.
If you can believe it….I have probably listed not even half of the great activities available….and more options are being built here every season!!!