Placencia and Belize - Western Caribbean
Home to adventure tourism, biodiversity and the biggest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere
Belize is a democratic Caribbean nation about half the size of Switzerland endowed with warm friendly English speaking people, the longest barrier reef in the western hemisphere with wonderful snorkelling and scuba diving opportunities, rainforests protected as reserves and parks, and more Maya temples and ruins than you can count. There is fantastic scuba diving, snorkelling and snuba in the inner cayes, the barrier reef and the three atolls - Glovers Reef, Turneffe and Lighthouse, home of the famous Blue Hole.
The village of Placencia, in Southern Belize, is at the southern end of the Placencia Peninsula and is known as the caye you can drive to. Over 1000 friendly folk are fortunate to live here and enjoy our 16 mile long beach, trips to our cayes, the barrier reef, whale sharks and Glover’s Reef Atoll. Our lagoon is beckoning exploration by kayak and river boat.
Belize has long been a popular diving destination, due to the barrier reef and the famous Blue Hole. As Belize has grown in popularity, development has occurred in the North of the country, yet Placencia still remains laid back, and with an authentic community offering the highest standards of service. There are small locally run guest houses you can stay in, or luxury villas that blend in with the environment and landscape. The local community is friendly and ever ready to serve and share their culture and heritage with tourists and visitors. When you stay in Placencia, you’ll feel a part of the community and have access to the best diving Belize has to offer. Some of the most pristine reef systems are in Southern Belize, and Gladden Spit the world famous Whale shark feeding site is just a short boat ride away, and day trip or overnight excursions to the famous Blue Hole are run out of Placencia, so come and discover the best diving, and an authentic community in Placencia with the real Belize, both below and above the water.
Over twenty five percent of Belize is protected as various types of reserves. If you look at a map of Belize, you will see that most of these are in the south and if you look at the locations for Maya temples, most of these are also in the south. In fact, Belize was the center of the ancient Maya world and has more ancient Maya temples per square mile than anywhere else in the world. Belize has the lowest population density in Central America, so if you are looking for pristine jungle, look no further!
Near Placencia, Monkey River with its rain forest exploration with huge iguanas, howler monkeys and Morelet’s crocodiles is a half hour boat ride though mangroves where you can watch for manatees. Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is a great place for hiking in the rain forest and is less than an hour drive away Cockscomb boasts the world’s largest concentration of jaguars, pumas, ocelots and margays and myriad of other animals. You won’t likely see the jaguars, but perhaps they will see you! From Placencia, you can go ziplining, river tubing, visit a Maya ruin and be back on the beach before the sun goes down.
The climate of Belize is subtropical with an average temperature of about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. During the coldest part of the year, December through March average lows are about 65 degrees with highs of around 85. From June to October average lows are in the order of 75 degrees with highs of about 90. Rain usually comes in short showers at night but Northers can come during the December to March period and can brings several days of thunderstorms. The Belize Weather Bureau provides daily as well as extended weather forecasts, including marine forecasts at http://www.hydromet.gov.bz.
Belize is occasionally affected by hurricanes - 5% of hurricanes recorded in the Atlantic reached Belize since 1886. Atlantic Hurricanes generally originate off the coast of Africa, at about the same latitude as Belize. They track west for a while, and then head off northwest. Historically, most hurricanes occur between August and October in Belize. An excellent summary of Belize weather patterns can be found at http://www.belizenet.com/weather/climate.html#pattern.
United/Continental, American Airlines, Delta and TACA fly to Belize from the USA. Within Belize, Tropic Air and Maya Island Air each have several flights a day between Belize City and Placencia. Bus is also an option for the budget traveller. If you want more personal mobility, you can rent a car in Belize City or in Placencia. Placencia also offers golf cart rentals.
Placencia has a range of resorts and hotels that can fit almost any budget. You can book these through Splash Dive Center using this website.