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 below provides more details regarding one of the best places to go snorkeling in this area.
|5.7 mi. Southeast of Central Placencia||Belize|
Some people believe the most enjoyable snorkeling is located off shore.
If you'd like to go snorkeling during a boating adventure, 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.
Another option to investigate is Belize Sailing Charters. Offering customizable tours of the waters that surround the coast of Belize, this charter company allows visitors a unique way to spend a day of sightseeing. They're located in southwestern Placencia.
Some key facts regarding boat trip providers that provide snorkeling are displayed down below.
|Belize Sailing Charters||(501) 523-3138||0.2 mi. South West of Central Placencia|
|The Moorings||--||0.9 mi. South of Central Placencia|
If you looking for someone that offers snorkel rentals, excursions, or similar services, you can check with Seahorse Dive Shop. Because there is no good snorkeling direct from the shore of Placencia, Seahorse takes their snorkelers on a boat ride to nearby cays and lagoons. Some of the top destinations include the Inner Reef, Pompion Caye, Queen Cayes, and Ranguana Caye. They are situated in the southern part of Placencia.
A few details about a couple of companies that offer services related to snorkeling are shown in the following table.
|Seahorse Dive Shop||(501) 523-3166||0.9 mi. South of Central Placencia|
|(501) 523-3330||0.3 mi. South-Southwest of Central Placencia|
For more information about snorkeling, including tips and suggestions for both "old pros" and beginners, read this exhaustive 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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