Placencia and Hopkins
Placencia sits on an emerald peninsula, perfect for those wanting to relax and unwind. Located on the Southern coast of Belize, this sleepy paradise has the best beaches in the country and is only a boat ride away from the coral and the cayes further out to sea. The coastal village of Hopkins also offers a picturesque base to explore the reefs and islands out to sea and the jungles further inland.
Placencia is a dream destination if you love white sandy beaches, warm azure sea and low-key tourism. The authentic and colourful Creole town has a handful of restaurants serving local cuisine and a couple of beachfront reggae bars offering fresh fruit smoothies by day and hand-crafted cocktails after sunset. On the other side of town, you will find the shallow estuary of Placencia lagoon, home to elusive crocodiles, soaring birds and manatees. Visit on a boat trip or go kayaking for a unique experience to explore the mangroves. Snorkelling off the coast of Placencia is a must, with Gladden Spit, Silk Caye Marine Reserve and Laughing Bird National Park quite literally on your doorstep.
There are a couple of noteworthy day trips from Placencia, for example Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary & Jaguar Preserve. It is recognised internationally as the world’s first jaguar preserve and is known for its spectacular waterfalls, nature trails, and rich diversity of neotropical birds. It is inhabited by Jaguars but you would have to be extremely lucky to get a glimpse of these elusive big cats.
A bit further along the coast is the coastal town of Hopkins, where you can take a snorkelling trip to Tobacco Reef and you might be lucky enough to see one of the shy manatees that inhabit the sea grass prairies. Or if you like adventure, take to the sky at Bocawina Rainforest Resort and ride the longest zip-line in Belize during the day or even at night time.