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Placencia vs Ambergris? #349787
08/31/09 02:34 PM
08/31/09 02:34 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 10
paupar Offline OP
paupar  Offline OP
Hi everyone. Did a quick search and couldn't find anything comparing both spots so I was wondering if anyone can tell me what the feel is on both spots.

I originally was planning to do Caulker and Ambergris but now Placencia is looking very tempting.

From what I've read, Placencia is more "laid back" than Ambergris?

Also, how do I get there given that there are no direct connections from Ambergris. Maybe I am incorrect? Do I have to take an airplane from Belize City to Placencia? Can I go from Caulker? How long would that take and how much would it cost?

Is bus an option or something to completely avoid? I wouldn't mind seeing the countryside via bus and then take a 1 way flight back...

Thanks in advance.


Last edited by paupar; 08/31/09 02:44 PM.
Re: Placencia vs Ambergris? [Re: paupar] #349788
08/31/09 02:46 PM
08/31/09 02:46 PM
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 50
caye caulker/SC
DanDan Offline
DanDan  Offline
Placencia is more laid-back than SP. CC is even more laid-back.
flight to Placencia from BC if direct is about 30min. Flights often stop in Dangrega though. All places have their charm.

Re: Placencia vs Ambergris? [Re: paupar] #349789
08/31/09 03:08 PM
08/31/09 03:08 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,000
ragman Offline
ragman  Offline
Paul a few years ago I wanted to take a look at Placencia before I bought a place on AC. Flights are no problem between Placencia and AC but you will make a short stop between one of the airports in Belize City. It is cheaper if the stop is at the Municipal Airport I believe. We flew into the International airport and went to Placencia. From Placencia we flew out to the Municipal Airport and on to San Pedro. I know some people drive down from Belize City but I have no experience to forward on that.

Placencia is more laid back and I thought it was a little more laid back than I wanted. They have paved their road since I was there and that would make travel much easier. If you want to go out and it is off the property you are staying at you will probably need a ride in a car unless you are right in the village and I assuming that there are places to stay in town. The town is very small and limited. A few stores and a few restaurants.

AC is where the action is and maybe it is too busy for you. Plenty of stores, restaurants, people and such. An Island is just different and it appealed more to me.

You really should visit both and make up your own mind. AC with the bustle of the town and the relative quietness of living just outside of town struck a balanced that pleases me. Having said that I am planning on going back to Placencia some day to visit again. I especially want to have a beer with a character that lives down there.

These are just my opinions so take them for what they are worth. Come down and have a good time, you will not be disappointed.

Formerly from somewhere on a beach in Belize
Re: Placencia vs Ambergris? [Re: DanDan] #349790
08/31/09 03:13 PM
08/31/09 03:13 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,000
ragman Offline
ragman  Offline
Dan, Yes, I forgot about stops at Dangriga which I think we may have stopped at to let some one off.

Formerly from somewhere on a beach in Belize
Re: Placencia vs Ambergris? [Re: ragman] #349807
08/31/09 06:11 PM
08/31/09 06:11 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,206
Ambergris caye
SnoopysMom Offline
SnoopysMom  Offline
The 2 places seem quite different to me. I live on Ambergris Caye. A/C is more of a fishing village feel, more restaurants, nightlife and bustling/ hectic. Placencia is quieter, more like a little beach town. There are very good restaurants and the people there are very welcoming. The beaches are nice and there is a sidewalk that is very charming and you don't get cars and golf carts - sort of like it should be here on front street (I hear that this is the plan). Placencia would have been my pick to move to (if I had know about it). However, I am not sure what living there is like.

I think the biggest obstacle for them has been access - almost impossible to drive and they get locked in with storms and flooding. I believe that the road (from Belize City) is almost finished, so there may be a boom coming. Of course, AC is an island, so there is no road either smile

You really should visit both for comparison. Best of luck!

Re: Placencia vs Ambergris? [Re: SnoopysMom] #349809
08/31/09 06:37 PM
08/31/09 06:37 PM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,279
Arizona USA
azbob Offline
azbob  Offline
Here's the guy that can tell you all about Placencia:
Barnacle Bill post here a lot and I'm sure he is the character ragman is talking about. Bill will call it like it is and he takes great pictures!!!!!!!!

"Hold on Tight To Your Dreams" ELO
Re: Placencia vs Ambergris? [Re: azbob] #349875
09/01/09 09:32 AM
09/01/09 09:32 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 34
Portland, OR
Sal777 Offline
Sal777  Offline
Sounds like you are just talking about visiting either or both, not moving to, correct?

I've spent a couple months in AC in the last few years, and only a couple days in Placencia so clearly know one better than the other . .

A few things to consider --- are you a diver? Diving is easier and less expensive in AC w/the reef being so close to the land. I dive a lot in AC, didn't dive in Placencia. Are you a sailer? Sailing options seemes abundant in both places.

Getting there --- I drove there last year. . .it was challenging to say the least. I wouldn't do it again. The drive from BC to the Hopkins area is one of my favorite -- love, love, love going through the Maya Mountains. However, once you turn on to the peninsula road to get to Placencia -- it's a dirt road in very ordinary condition. People talked of a road being paved - not sure what road. I can't imagine the whole road in to Placencia being paved as it certainly wasn't a year ago. (road to PG has been paved in the last year) Doing the drive in Oct. was challenging as we had to be aware of possible bridges out, and then a lot of rain filled huge pot holes. I really wanted to leave the rental car in Placencia and fly back because I hated the road that much (ok, I was being sort of wimpy I guess, but it was a tough tough drive.). There is a bus system through Belize although I haven't tried it. I've been told there are a lot of stops and it can take a long time to get places.

I agree with Snoopysmom that Placencia feels more like a beach town. Very laid back - more so than AC forsure, prob comparable to Caye Caulker. Another option less traveled if you want really laid back is Hopkins. It's a super laid back village - small, not a lot of tourists. I'm a hiker so I love Hopkins for its close proximity to a couple great jungle hiking spots. (And it's a 2ish hour drive from BC, Placencia is closer to 4) But Hopkins is no Placencia of AC -- it's tiny tiny. But full of local color. (Like the Lebeha Drumming Center where local Garifuna teens gather for impromptu jam sessions.)

Good luck! You're considering a couple fabulous spots - I'm sure you will make the decision that's right for you and have a great time! smile


Re: Placencia vs Ambergris? [Re: Sal777] #349921
09/01/09 02:20 PM
09/01/09 02:20 PM
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 3,280
Barbara K Offline
Barbara K  Offline
Lan Sluder has a good comparison of the 2 and I am sure it's been posted on here and you can find it if you do a search.

My take on it:
Placencia is a long narrow peninsula with a lot of construction currently going on. Hotels are more widely spaced out and there are less options for dining, nightlife, etc than Ambergris Caye, but some very fine hotels and good restaurants at the hotels. The beaches are wider than Ambergris Caye with "normal" tan sand. Ambergris Caye beaches are narrower in most places, and more "covey" but have very fine white sand (ground up coral). Many more choices for dining, etc in Ambergris Caye. Jet skis, para-sailing, hobie cats, etc available for hire in Ambergris Caye, not in Placencia. Culturally they are very different with Placencia being very interesting, more "African" influenced with lots of drumming & dancing, and Ambergris Caye having a more Mexican influence (Spanish spoken, etc). Lots more choice of hotels in Ambergris Caye. San Pedro is a nice, fairly busy town with lots of shops, restaurants, beach bars, etc. Placencia has 3 small villages (Placencia, Seine Bight & Maya Beach) with a handful of shops, restaurant, etc between them. Ambergris Caye is 1/2 mile from the reef (can see it from shore). Placencia is about 5 miles from the reef so snorkeling trips are longer and usually to islands in between the shore and the reef, not out to the reef itself. Great diving off both. No significant wildlife in either place (other than underwater) but Placencia does offer the Monkey River tour which usually has a lot of wildlife. Most wildlife is inland. Placencia is more laid back and quieter than Ambergris Caye so it depends on what you are looking for. Ambergris Caye does have quiet areas if you want quiet but still want the many dining & activity choices.

Re: Placencia vs Ambergris? [Re: Sal777] #349922
09/01/09 02:25 PM
09/01/09 02:25 PM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 550
Cripple Creek, Colorado USA
mountain Larry Offline
mountain Larry  Offline
It is difficult to compare AC with Placencia because they are quite different. I enjoy both locations very much. As for getting to Placencia I definitly say rent a car and drive. The trip is absolutly beautiful and well worth the inconveince of the dirt road on the last strech.

Re: Placencia vs Ambergris? [Re: mountain Larry] #349939
09/01/09 05:33 PM
09/01/09 05:33 PM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,460
Belize City
Katie Valk Offline

Katie Valk  Offline
Fact and fiction: Placencia is 19 miles from the reef; Ambergris about a mile. Placencia village is creole, not African; Seine Bight is Garifuna, people of African descent, with Spanish from Honduras moving in. Riversdale is creole. The road from Belize City to PG is completely paved (except for a short stretch near Indian Creek village in Toledo district). The 22 mile Placencia road is being paved now; about 10 miles has been completed. There are hobie cat rentals in Placencia, no jet skis or para sailing yet. The price of the flight to Placencia is $94.50 from Intl and $79.50 from Municipal, no matter what the routing and stops are. Placencia has better beaches, a quaint village and much easier access for day trips to the mainland and has the view of the sea in front and view of the lagoon and Maya Mtns in back. A new intl airport near Placencia is being constructed now with a 6000 ft runway, 150 ft wide. There is very interesting wildlife in both areas and I know of a cat sighting recently on Ambergris and a jaguar in Placencia. I see foxes at least one a day in Placencia. Ambergris is our most visited destination with the larger selection of hotels, restaurants, bars, people and other services. Placencia is more laid back, has smaller more intimate beachfront inns and condo-hotels, a few fine restaurants, less people. They are both lovely places to visit and different enough from each other to make visiting both areas worthwhile. Development happening in both areas, much more so on Ambergris, but Placencia will catch up, good or bad. Don't forget to take a look at Hopkins, 10 miles from the reef, smaller village, less services than the other two, but also growing.

Last edited by Katie Valk; 09/01/09 05:59 PM.

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