Belize is geographically quite a small country but it is BIG on biodiversity, adventure, unique experiences, fresh and flavorful cuisine, and friendly hospitality. I like every district in Belize; I can find something wonderful in each and every little community scattered throughout The Jewel, but I pick Placencia as the top destination for travelers with children for several reasons.
Quaint and Quiet
Placencia does the Belize-balancing-act between rustic Caribbean charm and modern amenities/ entertainment options. Much more laidback than San Pedro on the island of Ambergris Caye to the north, the Placencia Peninsula is a 16-mile-long skinny stretch of littoral forest with wide, lonely beaches on the Caribbean Sea side and mangrove lined lagoon on the other. It feels like an island but is connected to the mainland, making inland adventures easy to access. Each community on the peninsula has its own unique vibe and Placencia Village proper, at the southern most tip, is the most ‘lively’ area and the hub of restaurants, shops, and beach bars. Though you will hear music and laughter and dogs barking and children shouting and golf carts puttering along, it is typically quiet by midnight.
Small and Safe
Placencia Village is only about one square mile and has two main avenues- it is impossible to get lost- just find the main road (the only paved one) or the sidewalk (that runs along the beach). Being such a small village, Placencia also has a tight-knit community. Everybody knows everybody else if not by name, then at least by face and occupation. These factors give the village and its visitors a feeling of safety; seeing familiar faces and easily navigating around town, adding that Belize is English-speaking is the cherry on top. Our visitors always remark on how comfortable they feel in Placencia. Older children should have no issues wandering down to the Pointe to join in on a volleyball game during the day or walking younger siblings over to Tuti Fruti in the evening for an ice cream.
Family friendly activities and childcare
There are loads of tours and day trips to choose from when you pick Placencia as your Belize vacation destination. Snorkeling and fishing, zip lining and hiking, visiting Mayan Temples and seeing exotic wildlife, learning how to scuba dive or how to make chocolate- there is no shortage of thrilling adventures the whole family will enjoy! If your little travelers aren’t necessarily up for all the activities or if you want an adults-only excursion you can utilize the conveniently-located, BelizEasy kid’s center. A full-service childcare center, they provide day care services on a weekly, daily, or hourly basis and YES they take drop-ins! Not every vacation destination has such an excellent and easy answer to the kid-care-conundrum. BelizEasy kid’s center is on the main road in the center of the village and little travelers will fully enjoy hanging out with other playmates for the day and making cool crafts that can double as sweet souvenirs and mementos from their vacation.
While, yes, Belize is beautiful and Placencia is a fantastic family vacation destination… it is NOT a Disney Cruise. This is a vacation recommendation for an adventurous and authentic experience. Belize is wild and raw and real. Your kids will sweat, they’ll get dirt under their finger nails and probably a bug bite or two. They’ll encounter new sights and sounds and scents. They’ll get to choose between chicken fingers and tamales for lunch. It won’t always be pristine and clean but it will be worth it. Read my Belize Safety Tips for Travelers and When to Visit Belize