Placencia’s Top Tours to Take for Under $100pp
I’ve said it before: Belize isn’t necessarily a cheap place to travel compared to some other Caribbean and Central American destinations but it is worth it when it comes to astonishing natural beauty, singular adventures, and awe-inspiring, authentic experiences. If you’re visiting on a budget (and who isn’t?) you want to get the best bang for your buck on food (read my Cheap Eats post), lodging (greatest value accommodations and coupon codes), and TOURS! We have so many incredible and unusual excursions to offer from Placencia and they’re all worthwhile. If you’re going to splurge I say, splurge on amazing experiences (like this crazy cave kayak tour, a private catamaran to Laughing Bird Caye, or a long hike to remote waterfalls in the jungle) but not every awesome excursion has to cost a fortune. Here are my top choices of tours to take in Placencia for under $100usd per person. (note to readers: clicking the headers will take you directly to the tour’s website or Facebook page for further info and direct booking)
Taste Belize 1/2 day Culinary Tours without leaving the Peninsula
I love these walking food tours around the village- the perfect activity to do at the beginning of your vacation! Get the lay-of-the-land, try some delicious local dishes, and discover hidden gems you’d probably never find on your own. While you wander and nibble, your guide will give you some history on Belize as a whole and Placencia specifically. $70 for lunchtime, $80 for dinner tours Check out Taste Belize for these and more culinary tours and read about the tour I took. Taste Belize actually has a few other tours for under $100 including cooking classes and a half-day chocolate tour!
Full Day Snorkel Tour with Go Sea
Precisely $100 pp, this all-day snorkel excursion includes two 1-hour snorkel sessions with lunch in between on the beach of the caye they visit. Price includes hotel shuttle, towel, gear, lunch, park fee and taxes, water, juice, and rum punch. Departs Placencia at 9am and returns at 3pm
Creole Cooking Class with Doyle
The weather doesn’t have to be perfect for this afternoon-long cooking class which occurs right in the village at Doyle’s Smoke Yaad. So if it’s a cloudy or chilly day or you’ve simply slept in too late to go out diving or waterfall hiking, this could be the perfect activity! Partake in the traditional preparation of a creole meal, learn to husk coconuts like a pro, and roast cashews over an open fire. $75 pp- come hungry! Read my post about the class here.
Monkey River Tour with PrivaSea
A quick boat ride south of Placencia takes you to the quaint and quiet Monkey River Village. What was once a bustling town and the epicenter of culture in Southern Belize during the gilded age of the banana boom, Monkey River Town saw a mass exodus of residents after a blight crippled the banana industry. Today, the village is home to a few dozen friendly families and a rich cultural history. Up the river, incredible wildlife spotting opportunities abound. Manatees, crocodiles, turtles, birds, iguana, and of course- monkeys. The tour leaves in the morning but returns mid-afternoon making it perfect for families with young children that nap. Snacks, drinks, binoculars, and a hearty local lunch is included for just $85 pp
Coastline + Lagoon Cruise with Sandy Cove BZ Tours
A three-hour tour you won’t forget. Sandy Cove has one of my favorite boats (highlighted in this 6 Most Unique Boats to Book post) for cruising- a custom pontoon kitted out to the nines in Belizean hardwoods. Gorgeous! Take it on a daytime lagoon and coastline tour to learn about the local marine ecosystem or on a sunset cruise to enjoy a snack and beverage against the backdrop of the Maya Mountains. Either tour is $95 pp inclusive (minimum of 4 pax required)
DIY Peninsula Tour via Golf Cart by Captain Jaks
Explore the 16-mile-long peninsula on your own time. Make as many stops as you like and linger for as long as you please. Ride in open-air style with a golf cart rental from Captain Jaks. They have the largest and newest fleet of carts on the peninsula. Choose from 4-seaters or 6-seaters; rates start at just $35 for 4 hours.
Big Sipper Sunset Cruise
4-7pm daily (weather dependent, and schedule may vary during the slow season) this double-decker pontoon party boat cruises the tranquil waters of the Placencia Lagoon. Keep an eye out for dolphin and manatee and watch the sunset. $50pp includes 3 drinks of your choice from the boat’s bar, chips and salsa and ceviche. Here is a past post about an afternoon cruise we took on the Big Sipper when little Mitch was the only one on the dance floor.
Fishing at Ivan’s Island
Only 5 miles, or a 15 minute boat ride, from Placencia is Ivan’s Island. Rimmed with mangrove and palm trees, the little caye has a dock and plenty of hammocks. Facilities are rustic but meet all your needs: toilet, BBQs, covered picnic area, even a little bar to snag a beer or rum punch at. Ivan Jr. and Kyle Leslie offer really reasonable rates for island/snorkeling day trips ($75pp) but I think their fishing trips for $100pp are the best deal to be found. You could potentially cook what you catch right on the island and drink coconut water straight from the tree- how fun is that?
Red Bank River Tubing (and Maybe Macaws)
Okay this one requires you to have your own transportation but if you can drive to the village of Red Bank (about an hour from Placencia) you can take a river tubing tour with Raul Tec for $50 pp. The float takes about 2 hours and depending on the time of year, might end with spectacular opportunities to view Scarlet Macaws. Read more in this post
Chocolate and Vanilla Farm Tour
Another one that requires a car; stop in to this working vanilla and cacao farm just past the Hopkins junction on the Southern Highway. Learn about regenerative agriculture, see how cacao is picked and processed to make artisanal chocolate, and of course- partake in some samples! Sub Umbra Floreo Chocolate, vanilla, and other treats such as dried fruits and spices can be purchased wholesale on site. The full farm tour is $25us and the chocolate flight is only $10 pp. This would be a great addition to a day of hiking in Mayflower Bocawina National Park just across the road. (Read about my favorite hike in Southern Belize) Call 613-1133 or email email@example.com to schedule