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Belize (Placencia) or Roatan?

Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
404 posts
22 reviews
76 helpful votes
Belize (Placencia) or Roatan?

it looks like we've finally narrowed down our winter destination for this year to only two! I've been looking at both Roatan and Placencia (Belize), but we're still not sure which one to choose.

We're 2 couples in our forties, we're not All Inclusive types, but like to hang out on a beach, try the different bars, restaurants and shops in nearby villages (preferably within walking distance from our accommodation). None of us are scuba divers, but we like to see more of country side and take 1 or 2 excursions during a week stay.

Has anybody been to both places and what would your recommend? (I'm posting this topic in the Placencia forum as well ;) )

Also,....if we go for Roatan, would your recommend West End or West Bay?

Roatan, Honduras
Level Contributor
496 posts
1. Re: Belize (Placencia) or Roatan?

There are dozens of previous folks asking the same thing. for example


Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
404 posts
22 reviews
76 helpful votes
2. Re: Belize (Placencia) or Roatan?

Oops, should have done my homework first. Sorry!

Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
522 posts
20 reviews
30 helpful votes
3. Re: Belize (Placencia) or Roatan?

I have been to roatan several times but have never been to Belize. This being said, I have met at least three different couples that have been to both and all have said that Roatan is by far the better choice.

Gun Lake Michigan
Level Contributor
42 posts
4. Re: Belize (Placencia) or Roatan?

We are planning a trip to Roatan this spring so can't help there but...we have been to Placencia and to Belize several times. Placencia is very beautiful but there will be no snorkeling from shore there and the boat trip would be a long one as the reef there is not as close as it would be in Ambergris Caye for example. The village itself has lots of shops, bars and places to eat but it is also rather small. You can take several tours from the area and it really is beautiful!

We are looking forward to Roatan this spring, can't wait to see it!! Hope this helps, feel free to PM me if you want!

Level Contributor
593 posts
25 reviews
18 helpful votes
5. Re: Belize (Placencia) or Roatan?

Placencia was a great vacation. We were there last Jan but IMO it was a place stuck between two areas. You were an hour or two drive from awesome jungle, wonderful hiking, etc. We found a 4 foot boa constrictor a mile from the house we rented on Placencia. It was dead on the road but still. But you had to drive a little to get there.

On the other side you have wonderful amazing cayes and reef but you need a boat ride to get there. But we did that twice, and we were on a tiny island with nobody else around. Talk about perfection. But again, you needed to boat there. The diving was amazing, especially at Glovers Reef. The restaurants were very very good. One of the best meals I have ever had was at Placencia.

Bad thing was beach was not very beachy, and I felt like to do something, it was too far away to do everyday. I will definitely go back to Belize but not to Placencia. Probably split a 10 day vacation into 7 and 3, 7 at Glovers and 3 in jungle.

Havent been to Roatan yet but will be going in Jan so I cant compare the two.

Menlo Park...
Level Contributor
5,788 posts
91 reviews
190 helpful votes
6. Re: Belize (Placencia) or Roatan?

Of course on the Roatan board you are going to hear voices persuading you that Roatan is superior. If you were interested in being in the water, I think there is no place better. The beaches in Placencia are more like sandy edges of the sea, rather than the wide soft white beaches that are common in Roatan. Placencia looks out at offshore mangrove cayes, where all the snorkeling and diving is. The shoreline in a lot of Placencia was muddy when I was there., but I doubt that is permanent. Roatan looks out at a reef along most of the north shore. Wave action at Placencia tends to toss sea grass up on the beach, which isn;t very attractive.

But for excursions there's no question that Belize has a lot to offer. At Placencia its an easy drive. On Roatan once you've seen the island and want to see mainland...not so easy. The drive from the airport to Placencia is interesting, but you are almost forced to rent a car to get around.

It would be helpful for you to look at the hotel reviews in both places and then look at the pictures, worth 1000 words. The pictures of Placencia resorts are all of the resort pools and ktchens. The Rpatan pictures are all of the beaches and the sunsets and the underwater life. That should tell you something.

You sound like West End people. Lots of little hotels as well as bars and restaurants and shops. West Bay with its lovely long crowded beach and West End are so close and so easily accessible to each other that I think of them as one place.

7. Re: Belize (Placencia) or Roatan?

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