My Trip to Placencia, Belize :: A Relaxing Guide to the Barefoot Paradise

My Trip to Placencia, Belize :: A Relaxing Guide to the Barefoot Paradise

A few weeks back, my husband and I decided to take a much-needed vacation to the charming beach town of Placencia, Belize. If you’re looking for a relaxing, off-the-beaten-path destination, let me tell you – Placencia is the place to go! Known as a barefoot paradise (which was one of the aspects that intrigued me), this quaint little peninsula offers an easygoing vibe, stunning beaches, and a delightful escape from the typical tourist traps.

Finding the Perfect Hideaway

My Trip to Placencia, Belize :: A Relaxing Guide to the Barefoot Paradise

We booked our breezy beach home through VACA, the international equivalent of VRBO. After sifting through numerous listings, we found our dream house – secluded and private, and it had its own access to the beach and a newly constructed pool. There are plenty of options for lodging, including a couple of resorts. But we wanted something to ourselves without shared amenities or anyone else on the property. We had the whole house to ourselves, and though the suite on the lower level could technically be rented out also, we booked that one also to be sure we didn’t have any visitors. 

The property manager lived on the property, but we only saw him cleaning out the pool and raking the sand each morning. After reading the VACA descriptions and speaking with the locals, many rentals housed the property managers on site. 

Placencia, among the villages on the peninsula, was our top pick due to its proximity to the dining and exploring we wanted to do. 

Getting There: The Scenic Route

To get to Placencia, we rented a car from Belize City Airport and drove down the countryside on the newly paved Coastal Hwy (unfortunately, the name is deceiving as there is no coast). The alternative was a small hopper plane directly to Placencia, but the three-hour drive allowed us to explore at our own pace. Our lunch stop at Cheers, a delightful spot seemingly in the middle of nowhere, turned out to be one of my favorite meals. We’ll definitely make it a tradition for future trips!

I suggest booking through a local car lot if you rent a car. We went through a well-known international company, and they “had no cars left.” They directed us to a local guy a couple of doors down, and low and behold, he had a car available. Whether or not this was planned by the car rental guys is yet to be determined, but either way, the man we dealt with was super friendly and helpful. 

Stocking Up

Before we arrived at our house, we stopped in one of the many supermarkets for some basic things. I was not trying to cook major meals (I wanted that real vacation vibe – no work!), so we got some snacky foods like fresh fruit, freshly baked bread, locally squeezed juices, fresh eggs, coffee, and, of course, rum, the national drink. 

Lazy Mornings and Beach Bliss

Our mornings were blissfully lazy. We’d wake up whenever (which, of course, was with the sun, naturally), enjoy a homemade breakfast on the terrace overlooking the sea, and head straight to our private beach. The property gate opened directly onto the sand, and we spent hours lounging, walking along the shore, and swimming in the cool, blue water. 

Exploring Placencia Village

When lunchtime rolled around, we’d hop in the car and drive to the end of the peninsula. The numerous speed bumps made for a bumpy ride, so I highly recommend car insurance! (The locals told us that the speed bumps were the only way to control speeding.) Although our house had bikes, driving was much quicker and more convenient. For those looking for a middle ground, renting a golf cart can be a practical option, depending how far away you are staying from the village. Parking is not too bad for either a car or a golf cart, so you can’t go wrong with either.

kid-free vacationDining Delights: Where to Eat

We ate out a lot, and I highly recommend conch ceviche at any of the places that serve it. Here are some of our favorite spots:

  • Rumfish: Cool vibes, great food, and fantastic drinks.
  • Tipsy Tuna: Perfect for lunch and people-watching, especially the local kids enjoying their break (barefoot!) from the nearby school.
  • Barefoot Bar: Just for a drink, and yes, I was barefoot.
  • 1981 in the Naia Resort: Made a reservation, and it was totally worth it.
  • Mare Restaurant at Turtle Inn: Another reservation-worthy spot.
  • Placencia Beach Club: Ideal for a relaxing drink. And this is where the Placencia sign is.
  • ChillPoint: Ice Cream, Coffee, and Wine
  • Tutti Frutti: Gelato and dairy-free ice cream, a local favorite!

At the house, we whipped up our own cocktails with fresh-squeezed juice and local rum—a must-try! Other classic Belizean dishes are the rice and beans, and beans and rice – and they are not the same! Rice and beans are cooked together, where as beans and rice are cooked separately. No matter which way you order them, you must order them!

Fishing Charter Adventure

One of the highlights was our fishing charter with Captain Brian and his nephew Mark. They picked us up at 6 am, and we spent the morning catching yellow tail snapper, bonita, and more. After fishing, we headed to a nearby island, where the captain prepared a feast with our catch, plus rice and beans. We even had grilled pineapple, yard birds, and a delicious rum drink. The day ended with snorkeling and exploring the island before heading back to shore around 2 pm.

Final Thoughts and Tips

Placencia, Belize, is a true gem. From lazy beach days to delicious dining and adventurous fishing trips, it offers something for everyone. You can have a lazy trip basking in the Caribbean sun or a jam-packed adventure hiking, scuba diving, or visiting the Mayan ruins. 

So pack your bags, slip on your flip-flops (or don’t!), and get ready for a barefoot adventure in Placencia. 

Alexis Marino
Alexis and her husband moved to Lafayette in 2019 when she was 5 months pregnant with their first child. Now, they live in Broussard with their 4-year-old son, Cam, and 2-year-old daughter, Marlo. Having grown up in New Orleans and living in Baton Rouge for over a decade, Alexis is happiest on this side of the Basin. Alexis loves all things Acadiana - from the never-ending events and festivals to the vibrant culture. She is the content specialist for a local startup and a contributing writer for Acadiana Lifestyle Magazine. When she isn't interviewing locals or brainstorming her next article, Alexis is most likely reading about nutrition and healthy living, having a dance (or paint) party with her kids, or sending her husband links to vacant lots (probably out of their budget) to build her dream home. Follow Alexis on Instagram.


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