Known as “the Caye You Can Drive To,” Placencia is located in southern Belize and features 16 miles of white sandy beaches. While this country is not always known for its great shore snorkeling, Placencia often serves as the exception and it is not uncommon to walk onto any beach and see a collection of snorkels bobbing up and down in the water.
It is important to know that Placencia is not protected by a reef, which means it does see some amount of surf. Though it is not quite enough to discourage snorkeling, it is something you'll want to keep any eye on. Choosing a day when the waters are calm will give you peace of mind and allow you to more easily relax and sink into the tranquility that exists under the surface of the Caribbean Sea.
Close to the beach, marine life is slightly limited to sea grass, star fish, seaweed, and occasional small fish. If you're interested in sightings of coral, larger reef fish, eels, rays, lobster, and more, you'll want to sign up for a snorkeling tour to take you to the nearest reef system or, which is a popular destination for Placencia's visitors in part because it is only 25 minutes away and in part for the gorgeous underwater landscape.
You can usually expect to spend between $40 and $65(USD) for this type of trip, which will include your boat transport, gear, and a knowledgeable guide. If you're content sticking to the local beaches, the dive shops in the area should be able to get you set up with your snorkel, mask, and fins for a fraction of the cost.
The chart right below summarizes more information about one of the best places to enjoy snorkeling in this area.
|5.7 mi. Southeast of Central Placencia||Belize|
For some people, the best snorkeling is experienced away from the shore.
If you'd like to snorkel during a boat trip, you can check with The Moorings. Offering bareboat charters for experienced sailors who want to spend some of their Placencia vacation doing a bit of sailing, the Moorings is one of the top ranked charter operator in the area.
Take a look at the chart below for a listing of the opportunity to take a boat ride that includes snorkeling.
|The Moorings||Boating and Day-Sailing Provider||--||0.9 mi. South of Central Placencia||Belize|
If you looking for a business offering snorkel rentals, excursions, or similar services, you might want to check with Seahorse Dive Shop. Owned and operated by a local fisherman and skin diver, you'll have trouble finding a tour guide who knows the reef better than Brian Young. Not only does he over scuba diving tours, but snorkeling as well, so even if you won't know how to dive you'll be able to benefit from his knowledge. They are found in the southern part of Placencia.
Take a moment to read the chart below for more information concerning 2 firms that offer snorkeling related services.
|Seahorse Dive Shop||(501) 523-3166||0.9 mi. South of Central Placencia|
|(501) 523-3330||0.3 mi. South-Southwest of Central Placencia|
To learn more about snorkeling, including helpful suggestions and tips for both "old pros" and beginners, check out our comprehensive discussion of snorkeling in the Caribbean.
Clear emerald waters and shallow, relatively calm conditions paired with easy access to several important snorkeling sites makes Placencia one of the major players in the snorkeling world of main land Belize.
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