Belize Beaches: Placencia vs Ambergris Caye

Ah… Belize! I can’t think of many other destinations that offer such an awesome combination of history, culture, jungle wildlife and beach. Plus, Belize is super easy to access from around North America and generally offers pretty great value for money. When I start speaking with travelers about travel to Belize, they always lead with the same question; “…which beach should we stay at in Belize; Placencia vs Ambergris Caye”?

Here are my thoughts about the differences between these two Belize beaches and how you can make the best choice where to stay.

Ambergris Caye Beaches

Ambergris Caye, located off the coast of northern Belize, has beautiful, white, soft sandy beaches around the entire island. Here you’ll also find crystal clear water and because the barrier reef is quite close to the Caye, there is very little seaweed and no waves.

ambergris caye vs placencia 3

At the northern end of Ambergris Caye I love the colonial, iconic Victoria House. This is also near the island’s best beaches. In town, Ramon’s Village has the best beachfront.

This area is also the top in Belize for foreign investment and expat living. So you’ll also have access to plenty of restaurants and services in town. The area generally has a festive, lively feel. In fact, the island is currently seeing quite a bit of development in terms of larger resorts and condos.

Placencia Beaches

Placencia is located on a 16-mile long peninsula on the southern cost of Belize. The huge benefit here is that regardless where you stay, you are literally just steps to the beach. The beaches here can vary greatly depending on the time of year; sometimes rough and other times Caribbean blue. (Hey, what is the best time of year to  travel to Belize anyway?) Because Placencia is farther away from the barrier reef that Ambergris Caye, you’ll find more waves in the ocean and a bit of seaweed.

placencia vs ambergris caye

Also, the sand is rougher and more of a tan color and the super soft, white sand you’ll find further north. Many travelers actually love having the waves, and are more than happy to accept a bit of seaweed from time to time in return. And as for aesthetics, the beaches in Placencia are definitely postcard pretty. They’re wider than Ambergris Caye, include lots of palm trees, and you won’t see as many docks in the water.

This is also the place to come in the summer if you are keen to see and swim with the whale sharks.

placencia vs ambergris caye

The overall atmosphere of Placencia is much more relaxed and laid back than what you’ll find in Ambergris Caye. Having said that, there is also some new developments in this area, so this “sleepy” vibe may change in the coming years. My favorite properties here are Turtle Inn and Robert’s Grove.

In both locations, you can easily get around via golf cart or bike, both of which most hotels and resorts have available for guests.

Check out one of my favorite Belize itinerary ideas, combining history, culture, wildlife and of course the beach! 

Trying to decide where to stay in Belize, Ambergris Caye vs Placencia? Contact me today! I can help answer your questions and I would love to get something perfect booked for you to Belize!