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#97976 - 02/22/05 05:07 PM Placencia or Ambergris Caye ?
GLD0612 Offline
We're thinking of visiting Ambergris Caye but are not quite convinced about its beaches since it appears that the shallow waters are covered with seagrass. I read in Fodor's that Placencia has the better beach. Help!

#97977 - 02/22/05 09:58 PM Re: Placencia or Ambergris Caye ?
Catatonic Motivator Offline
Yes, that's correct.

As an avid surfer, I can assure you that the curl at P-cent is mucha mocha, at times almost north shore, dude (or dudette, to be PC) compared to AC. The grass in SP is no bueno, vato. laugh

Ak-2-ul, the beaches at AC are not what a lot of beach lovers lust for. The reef keeps the surge offshore so the wave action is minimal and, normally, almost non-existant. There is an appreciable crop of sea grass so the open sand a lot of Caribbean beaches boast is rare.

But it's a damn fine place to be. Lots of us like it just for what causes the above reason. Give it a shot.
* I Go Pogo *

#97978 - 02/22/05 10:14 PM Re: Placencia or Ambergris Caye ?
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
I don't think you read in Fodor's that Placencia had a better beach than Ambergris Caye.

I do the Fodor's guide, along with a half dozen other books on Beiize, and what I have always said is that Placencia has the best beaches on the *mainland.* Overall, the beaches on Ambergris Caye and Placencia are about the same.

Catatonic Motivator's comments are hard to fathom, to say the least. There is zero surf in either area.

Here are the essential differences in Placencia and Ambergris Caye:

A few of the differences between Ambergris Caye and Placencia:

AMBERGRIS CAYE (often referred to as San Pedro):

* The biggest island in Belize (originally a peninsula jutting down from the Yucatan) -- northern Belize

* Settled by Mestizos from Mexico

* Most popular destination in Belize (for many good reasons)

* 7,000 residents on the island

* Mostly sand streets, no building over 3 stories -- significant new development taking place in the zone from town to about 2 miles south of town

* By FAR Belize's widest selection of restaurants and hotels

* Among the best top-end hotels: Victoria House, Mata Chica and Portofino and condotels Villas at Banyan Bay, Banana Beach, The Palms, Xanadu

* Among the best mid-range lodging: Mayan Princess, Corona del Mar

* Among the best budget lodging: Rubyís, Pedroís Backpacker Inn

* Some shops, sizeable groceries, lots of bars and places to hear live music

* Very nice beaches though like all beaches inside the reef somewhat narrow and with some goop bottoms and a good deal of seagrass

* Beaches along most of the Caribbean side (20+ miles)

* Reef just a few hundred yards offshore

* Decision about locations -- more remote North Ambergris requires water taxi, south end or in/near town

* Lots of snorkel tours and day trips to the mainland to visit ruins

* Good diving locally and excellent diving on day trips to Turneffe or Lighthouse atolls

* Get there by flights from international (US$47) or municipal airstrip (US$26) or by water taxi (US$14)

* Safe and friendly (though usual cautions are in order)

* Transportation on the island -- bikes, rental golf carts, cabs, water taxis

* Hotels from US$15 to $500+ a night

* Small condos and vacation rental houses available US$100 to $500+ a night

* Golf available on nearby Caye Chapel (but expensive -- US$200 a day)

* Tennis available at sports club and at a couple of hotels

* Water -- safe to drink from municipal system or RO/wells

* Good fishing -- tarpon, bonefish and other

* Very little snorkeling from shore (best snorkeling requires a short boat ride to Hol Chan Marine Reserve (including Shark-Ray Alley)

* About the same amount of rain as Atlanta, Ga.


* 16-mile long peninsula in southern Belize (Stann Creek District)

* Access from Belize City via road by rental car (3 1/2 hours, US$55+ a day), bus (6+ hours, US$8), air (40 minutes, US$70 from international, US$55 from municipal)

* Placencia village is 25 miles from the Southern Highway on an unpaved road

* Two villages on peninsula -- Placencia (Creole) and Seine Bight (Garifuna)

* Peninsula population about 3,000

* Wide choice of hotels from budget hotels in Placencia village to upscale resorts farther north

* Hotels from around US$15 to $400+

* Few condos but some vacation rental houses, US$100 to $300+ a night

* Among the best to-end lodging: Inn at Robert's Grove, Turtle Inn

* Among the best mid-range lodging: Kittyís, Mariposa, Barnacle Billís, Nautical Inn

* Among the best budget lodging: Tradewinds, Ranguana, Seaspray, Manatee Inn

* Some restaurants in Placencia village and elsewhere, though most of the better restaurants are at hotels

* Transportation on peninsula -- taxis or your rental car (taxis are fairly expensive, especially if going way north)

* 15+ miles of very nice beaches along Caribbean side -- best beaches on mainland but not much different from those on Ambergris Caye

* Day trips to mainland to visit Cockscomb jaguar preserve and to Maya sites near Punta Gorda

* Day snorkel trips -- reef is 15 + miles out, though snorkeling is also available at islands and patch reefs closer in

* Little snorkeling from shore

* Few shops, only small groceries

* No golf; tennis for guests at Robertís Grove

* Safe and friendly (though usual precautions are in order)

* Water from municipal system safe to drink

* Good fishing for permit, bonefish, tarpon and other

* Access to small islands offshore for day or overnight visits

* Good to excellent diving on day trips

* Limited nightlife

* Usually more rain than Ambergris Caye (especially during rainy season June - November)

* Sandflies can be irksome

--Lan Sluder <Fodor's Belize & Guatemala 2005, San Pedro Cool, Adapter Kit Belize, Belize First Guide to Mainland Belize, etc.>
Lan Sluder/Belize First

#97979 - 02/22/05 11:37 PM Re: Placencia or Ambergris Caye ?
GLD0612 Offline
Thanks loads for your responses. These have helped me immensely in my decision making. I guess that neither AC or Placencia offer the swimming beaches that I am looking for.


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