241km (150 miles) S of Belize City; 161km (100 miles) SE of Belmopan; 89km (55 miles) NE of Punta Gorda

Placencia is Belize's foremost and fastest growing beach destination. Located at the southern tip of a long, narrow peninsula that is separated from the mainland by a similarly narrow lagoon, Placencia boasts nearly 26km (16 miles) of white sand fronting a calm turquoise sea and backed by palm trees. Placencia attracts everyone from hippy backpackers to avid naturalists to hard-core divers to upscale snowbirds. The whole peninsula is in the midst of an ongoing major boom, and development currently stretches from the peninsula's southern tip all the way up to Maya Beach on the northern end of the peninsula.

Placencia itself is a tiny Creole village of colorful clapboard houses mostly built on stilts. Once you settle into the slow pace and relaxed atmosphere, it's hard to move on. Placencia is the definition of laid-back. For years, the village's principal thoroughfare was a thin concrete sidewalk. Once listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the narrowest street in the world, the sidewalk still runs through the heart of the village parallel to the sea. However, the ongoing construction and development boom have made the main road through town (called "the Back Road") actually the town's busiest thoroughfare most days.