here for Map of Placencia:
of natural sandy beach, a wilderness of coral-studded cayes, a virgin
mangrove-fringed lagoon, nearby jungle rivers, pristine rainforest,
Garifuna, Creole and Mayan cultures, and ancient Maya ruins make
Placencia the ideal location for the adventurous traveler.
is still relatively undeveloped, making it a paradise for the nature
lover. Snorkel and dive our uncrowded pristine reef, fish our rivers,
flats, lagoons and the open sea, kayak the mangroves in our lovely
lagoon, see an abundance of wildlife on the Monkey River tour, hike
the Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve, visit the Maya ruins of Lubaantun
and Nim Li Punit, or just grab a hammock and relax on the beach!
feet long and 4 feet wide - according to the Guiness
Book of World Records, the narrowest main street in the
Sidewalk is the heart of Placencia Village, an artery that
linked the visitors, residents, businesses and homes of Placencia
here for History
of Placencia Sidewalk.
Placencia has a long history of occupation
starting with the Maya who established at least 14 sites around
the Placencia Lagoon. These were principally engaged in the making
of salt as well as participating in the extensive coastal trade.
In the seventeenth century, Placencia was settled by the
English Puritans who were originally from Nova Scotia and latterly
from the island of Providencia. This settlement died out during
the Central American wars of independence in the 1820's.
The Spaniards that travelled the southern coast of Belize gave Placencia
its name. At that time Placencia was called Placentia, with the
point being called Punta Placentia or Pleasant Point. The Placencia
Peninsula was resettled in the late 1800's by the Garbutt family,
who decided to settle and eventually own most of the Peninsula.
In 1894 Abner Westby, whose family originated in Scotland, came
to Placencia and purchased land from the Garbutts. He was later
joined by a younger member of his family, John Eiley. The Cabral
family, originally from Lisbon, Portugal, closed their business
in Sao Paulo, Brazil and the Caribbean and sailed to the southern
part of Belize on two schooners, The Colibri and The Jane. Soon
they began doing business with and eventually married into the Placencia
community. In the early 1900's the Leslie's, originally from Rotan,
also came to Placencia.
Placencia prospered and soon became a village, earning its livelihood
from the sea. On June 20th, 1962, the fishermen of the Village came
together and formed the Placencia Produces Cooperative, which is
still in operation today, to provide the village with competitive
prices for their seafood production. In the early 1970's Placencia
was provided with electricity (although sometimes less than 110V)
from the generators of the Cooperative, and eventually in 1993 the
Belize Electricity Limited assumed that role, providing 110V and
220V to supply the increasing demand.
Placencia is as culturally diverse today as it was in its formation.
Walking down the sidewalk on any given day you will see and hear
people from all over Belize and the world gracing thelittle village.
The people in Placencia are united in their love for the sea
and in their commitment to tourism and development.
Since 1990, Placencia has made large and sure strides toward making
it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Belize. Hurricane
Iris that hit the village on October 8 of last year (2001) set Placencia
back a bit but today Placencia is back on the track of tourism.
of Maya Beach:
Maya Beach is a small
community located 8 miles north of the village of Placencia and
stretches about 2 miles along the Placencia Peninsula. Maya
Beach was a Canadian development founded in 1964. Today the
community consists of ex-patriots from America and Canada, along
with Mayans, Spanish, and Creole.
Its layout offers water access from canal, lagoon, and beachfront.
The lagoon side of Maya beach provides a panoramic view of Cockscomb
Range and Victoria Peak.
of Seine Bight:
Seine Bight village is located about 5 miles north
of the village of Placencia and stretches about 4 miles along
the Placencia Peninsula. It is one of six Garinagu communities
in Belize. The name Seine Bight originates from the type of
net, called a seine, used by the fishermen that used the area for
drying and salting their catch and bight meaning a depression in
the coastal line.
The inhabitants of Seine Bight are descendants of people who
originated in St. Vincent. These people who were the result
of a mixture of Africans who had been intended for slaves and the
local Carib Indians of St. Vincent. The Garinagu people had a long
journey to reach the shores of Belize, being sent first to the island
of Balliceaux, then on to Rotan before a group finally came to Belize.
These arrived in Belize on November 19th, 1832. They settled in
Seine Bight about the year 1869. They were led from Riversdale by
Emmanuel "Walpy" Moreira. Two other groups followed: John
Martinez who settled in the southern area called Santuario, and
Mateo Augustine who settled in the northern division called Augustine
Ville. Many more came to the village in the 1950's when the Blair
Atoll operation, which produced rice & copra, was closed down.
Seine Bight now has a population of over 800 people and is
still predominantly a community of Garinagu. They speak English,
but still maintain the Garifuna language, which is an African dialect
with a strong mixture of French, Spanish and English words. Today
they preserve their cultural drumming, dances and customs and welcome
visitors to share their culture.
offers variety of fishing adventures, and is fast becoming a
prime destination for fishing enthusiasts, as well as hard core
fishermen, and women.
In the last
five years Placencia has seen an increase in the number of fly fishermen
to the area, who come for the thrill of catching that elusive
permit, tarpon, snook or bonefish. With this sudden demand for
experienced guides, the fishermen of Placencia have met the challenge,
and the word is out.
offers other types of fishing. For the novice fisherman, drop
fishing for snapper, grouper and jack allows for one to practice
the art of the hitch. Trolling inside the barrier reef for
barracuda, king mackerel, is popular, and for the avid fisherman
trolling for game fish like wahoo, tuna and dorado outside the Barrier
Reef is on the rise.
Beginner or experienced - adult or child, Everyone can enjoy snorkeling
in Placencia's 80 degree Caribbean waters! Between the Placencia
Peninsula and the Barrier Reef extends 20 miles of underwater
canyons and mountains - the tops of these mountains create the
extensive range of cayes. Some of the cayes are capped with mangroves
and abundant bird life.
have been created by crushed coral and shells - the pretty white
sand islands you see on postcards! Laughing Bird Caye, Pumpkin,
Ranguana and the Silk Cayes to name just a few...
Within the Inner Cayes and along the Barrier Reef there are many
cayes to choose from - your tour guide will know
the perfect spot and take you out to that white sand island where
you can ease in to snorkel the coral reef, rest in the shade of
the palm trees and enjoy your tropical lunch.
The Barrier Reef separates itself further and further from the mainland
- resulting in ranges of coral mountains and 90 - 110 foot channels.
The edge of the reef provides a barrier to contain gentle waves,
a slow southerly current moving at 1/2 knot and providing safe
conditions for divers.
count names a minimum of 20 dive sites accessible from the
Explore a private
aquarium of parrot fish, blue tangs, grunts, sergeant majors, needle
fish, trumpet fish and butterfly fish. Abrupt drops reveal sleek
tarpon, a graceful ray or a mouthful of barracuda.
make an appearance in May each year in the Placencia area -
these 30 to 40 foot black and white shark feeds on plankton, pelagic
crustaceans, squid and tiny baitfish just by moving through the
more information on Whale Shark Diving.