Snorkeling Around Placencia

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 Laughing Bird Caye Snorkeling, 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.  

Snorkeling Sites

A few key details for one of the best places to experience snorkeling in this area are listed in the following chart.

Snorkeling Sites Near Placencia
Site Location
Colson Caye 5.7 mi. Southeast of Central Placencia Belize

Snorkeling Boat Trips

Some people believe the most enjoyable snorkeling is experienced away from the shore.

If you're ready to snorkel during a boat trip, you might want to contact 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 moment to look through the following chart to learn more about the opportunity to take a boat ride that includes snorkeling.

Day Sails and Boat Trips In Placencia
Name Type Phone Location
The Moorings Boating and Day-Sailing Provider -- 0.9 mi. South of Central Placencia Belize

Snorkeling Services

If you're looking for a business that offers snorkeling excursions, rentals, or other 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 within the southern part of Placencia.

A few details concerning a couple of firms that provide services related to snorkeling are listed in the following chart.

Snorkeling Services In Placencia
Name Phone Location
Seahorse Dive Shop (501) 523-3166 0.9 mi. South of Central Placencia
South Belize Reef & Jungle (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, read this 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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