By Lebawit Lily Girma
Sticking out of Belize’s south coast like a tall, slim boot, the Placencia Peninsula basks in the Caribbean Sea and enjoys 18 miles of “barefoot perfect” sand. The beach village life never looked better: Placencia Village, the heart of the peninsula, moves to the beat of its diverse population, with a multitude of colorful beachfront bars, hotels, restaurants, roadside fruit stands, and arts and crafts galleries.
Stroll Placencia’s famous, 24-inch wide sidewalk—–the narrowest street in the world according to Guinness Book of World Records—and make your way to the best gelato shop this side of Central America. Days are also spent tarpon chasing, diving, and hopping on snorkeling trips to surrounding blissful isles and marine reserves like Laughingbird Caye National Park and the Silk Cayes. By night, dining out, bar hopping, and dancing in flip-flops are part of Placencia’s bohemian charm.
For cultural experiences, neighboring Seine Bight offers local eats and art galleries combined with boutique resorts and spas. Secluded Maya Beach is where you’ll find luxury escapes and beachfront bistros that will make it difficult to leave.
But it’s not all sand, water, and sun on the Placencia Peninsula. Wildlife and jungle hiking opportunities are rich on boat safaris to Monkey River and Payne’s Creek National Park, while Placencia is the best the jump off point for whale shark diving and sightings from March to June, off Gladden Spit.
When you’re tired of all the adventure, rent your own offshore caye and chill out under the starry skies of Placencia.