Placencia is fast becoming a popular family destination in Belize- and for good reason. The Village is compact and is easily traversed on foot via the Sidewalk or by bicycle or golf cart on the Main Road, there are plenty of restaurant options to appease even the pickiest of eaters, and the tap water is perfectly safe to drink. But what is there to do?
1.) The Placencia Pier
The Placencia Sidewalk & main road converge to terminate at the Placencia Pier, or, “the Point.” This is a great place to swim as the beach lies on the leeward side and is always calm.
Pro tip: hang around until about 5PM or so when the fisherman come in to sell their catch directly to restauranteurs.
2.) Maya King Ranch Waterfalls
This little gem lies about 45 min north of Placencia and makes a great 1/2 day trip. Parking is just a few yards from the falls, so it makes for an easy hike. Lots of tour operators combine this stop with other POI’s because of its accessibility & convenience.
Pro tip: come early, then have lunch at the nearby Happy Ranch in Santa Cruz.
3.) Mariposa/Breezeway Pool Bar
The owners of Mariposa have been gracious enough to open the pool to the public- given one patrons the restaurant, so come in for lunch & a cocktail and let the kids swim. A great option when the Sea is a little rough, or you’re just a little chafed from the sand in your suit.
Pro tip: this is an elegant resort and not a place to let the youngins’ run wild. Please be respectful of the guests!
Placencia is a fishing Village- and there’s no shortage of tour operators that specialize in just that. Take a trip out to the reef for dorado & other large game fish, or troll around some closer waters for barracuda,
mackerel, & jack.
Younger children may prefer “drop-fishing,” that is, anchoring out over some coral and using a hand-line to drop bait straight down where one can expect to hook snapper, grouper, and grunt.
Pro tip: take your fresh catch to Omar’s and let them cook it up “Creole Style!” They will also bread & fry it if your junior angler isn’t ready for the spice.
Pro tip #2: if your children are young, or just aren’t up for a full day of fishing, find a guide that will let you troll in the morning on your way to Moho Caye (see #7) or another snorkeling destination.
5.) Tutti Frutti
Authentic Italian gelato in Placencia! A great way to beat the heat and give the kiddos (and yourself) a break from the sun.
Pro tip: check the schedule for the Placencia Bullsharks, our local soccer team, and catch one of their games on the field across the street.
6.) Eat on the Beach
There are several restaurants right on Placencia Beach. Barefoot Beach Bar and Tipsy Tuna are probably the most popular. The food is prepared fresh and the service is often as laid-back as the general ambience in Belize, so enjoy a cocktail and let the kiddos play in the sand while you wait.
7.) Moho Caye
Have you seen those postcards with a lonely palm bent over sugar-white sands and extending over azure waters? That’s Mojo. About a 30 minute boat ride from Placencia, Moho boasts a beautiful beach that allows guests to walk straight into the water (as opposed to some rocky or coral-strewn shores of other cayes) to swim and snorkel- perfect for less experienced swimmers. There are also fire-pit grills, beach games, and picnic tables.
Pro tip: bring your fly rod- those dark spots in the photo with the sailboat? Yeah- those are bonefish.
8.) Play in the Rain
The Rainy Season (or, “Low Season”) usually begins in June and lasts through early November. Typically, this means hot, humid days and storms at night. Showers during the day are usually short-lived and infrequent- and often bring a reprieve from the heat. Enjoy them!
Pro-tip: this seems obvious, but try not to be outside if there is a threat of lightning!
9.) Shop on the Placencia Sidewalk
Souvenirs abound on the Placencia Sidewalk. Local artisan sell their latest works- sometimes in galleries, other times simply lain out on a blanket in the shade of a palm tree. Gift shops & trinket stores sell everything from t-shirts and jewelry to Mayan-made textiles.
10.) Beach Yoga
The sun rises early in Belize- and chances are the little ones will, too. Take this opportunity to appreciate the Caribbean breeze before the heat of the day and let the kids practice their Downward Dog- no mat needed! Namaste.
Traveling with kids can be challenging- but rewarding. Experiencing new places helps children gain perspective and a wider world-view, all while helping to instill tolerance, empathy and respect for other cultures that will last a lifetime.
Have some ”kid-friendly” advice of your own? Leave your suggestions in the Comment section.