Apart from swimming and tanning and eating and drinking and shopping and walking around and exploring the Village, you can sign up for scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing or sailing. You can day-trip to Monkey River Village, a throwback to earlier times where you can tour the village, meet some of the locals, take a hike into the rain forest where you may encounter scat-throwing howler monkeys, or boat up the Monkey River for a refreshing swim once the crocs have been scared away.
We’ve snorkeled off Laughing Bird Caye, part sanctuary, part off-shore snorkeling. The boat trip to this Caye was fun and the lunch al fresco tasty, but the snorkeling was a disappointment because we had a lousy snorkel guide. You can’t do much about that except lodge a complaint when you get back to the Village. We’ve boated over to Independence, a small community on the mainland with a twin-town called Mango Creek. Many of the workers in the Village come from these twin-towns.
We went bird-watching to observe scarlet macaws in their natural habitat. After crossing the lagoon to Independence/Mango Creek, we squeezed into a van that took us inland to Red Bank, a small Mayan village. From there we hiked for about an hour along a river bank to a clearing from which vantage point we were supposed to see the scarlet macaws but we got there too late and there wasn’t a macaw to be seen! Too bad, but all was not lost. Our guides had brought along rubber inner-tubes and we tubed back down the river with the current, meeting the challenges of three rapids. Somewhat scary at times but exhilarating at same time. It was a trip that was deposited in the memory bank.
Picnic lunch on a deserted island? Wind surfing? Crewing on a catamaran? Check out the Tour shops in the Village and take your pick.
Placencia is a dreamy little Village and your spot on the shores of the Caribbean can be dreamy, too. Sun, sand and sea…a cold beer under a thatch roof…languid conversations…watching the moon glow in a clear night sky…watching the sun rise in a golden burst inthe early morning…go ahead, make your day…in Placencia.
WHERE TO EAT
There are more than 40 restaurants to choose from in the Village, which is a lot considering you are at the tip of the Peninsula. Over all the years I visited Placencia Village, I ate at less than ½ of them, and I enjoy eating.
You can go online and find many of these restaurants, as I did for this post. As I reviewed them, I recognized many of the places I used to enjoy and have pulled them out for special attention.
De Tatch is in the centre of the Village, next to the Sea Spray Hotel and two doors north of the Ranguana. It is very popular with travellers and ex-pats, those from North America and Europe who have moved to Belize to live full-time. You can sit outside under thatched roofs a few yards away from the Sea and enjoy a range of foods from Belizean to Caribbean to Continental. Mixed drinks, Belican beer and a variety of wines are available. De Tatch is open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. There is is some after- hour activity but remember in the towns and villages in Belize, not much happens after 10 p.m.
The Galley is at the south-end of the Village behind the soccer field. It is family owned and has been there since our first visit, probably longer. You can eat inside or outside on a big porch. The Galley not surprisingly specializes in sea food but offers alternatives as well. The service has been consistently good and the fare delicious.
The Secret Garden is in the south end, just off the main road. It serves food and drink all day through to dinner which could be described best as Caribbean/sea-food. Dine inside or out on the patio. Nice bar. Funky interior with original works of art on the walls and comfy couches.
La Dolce Vita is in the south-end above Wallens Super Store, across from Wallens Pharmacy. Open for dinner only, reservations recommended. Good Italian food. Nicely appointed. Good selection of wines. A bit pricey but not crazy. The kind of place you might seek out for a special occasion, like it being Wednesday, or Thursday or any other day of the week for that matter. ‘What day is it?’ ‘Monday.’ ‘SPECIAL OCCASION!’
Tutti Frutti Desserts, south end. Got a sweet tooth? Satisfy it with a visit to Tutti Frutti, a lively take-out place with scrumptious ice cream, tempting pastries and delicious blizzards. Child friendly.
The De Barcelona Beach Tapas Bar, ‘Barcelon’ to the locals, is new to me. It is on the main road of the Village and features Mediterranean/Spanish food served in the tapas form. My friend the artist, Lita Krohn, has some of her art hanging there. Check it and them out. I sure will.
Placencia has a dream-like quality to it, a haven where you can mix and mingle with local Belizeans and travelers and tourists alike. Sun, sea and sand…a cold beer under a thatch roof…languid conversations…watching the moon glow in a clear sky and the hot sun rise in the morning. Go ahead, make your day…in Placencia.