The Best Oceanside Bars in Placencia, Belize
Placencia has no shortage of great watering holes by the water | © Peter Donaldson / Alamy
Placencia may be a relaxed, low-key fishing village jutting off the coast of Belize, but you should know that there’s more than one watering hole where you can drop anchor. There’s hardly a dry dock on the golden-sand peninsula, with sports bars, dives, yacht clubs and restaurants showcasing Belizean bites.
The Shak Beach Cafe
The Shak Beach Cafe opens at sunrise and closes long after the moon appears, which puts you in a bit of a predicament. It’s never the wrong time to stop for a drink – the difficulty is choosing one. Fresh coffee, juice, milkshakes and fruit smoothies dominate the menu. No judgments if you sailed to Placencia for nothing but a good cup of joe, but we’ll be sipping rum punch no matter what ball is shining in the sky.
Barefoot Beach Bar
Bar, Seafood, $$$
Barefoot. Beach. Bar. That’s all you need to know before you go. Whether you splash your feet in the water or keep your toes in the sand, you’ll see most patrons sipping ice-cold Belikin beers or colorful shots as they bounce between the beach and the bar. Make sure you find a neon green or pink chair before one of their mind eraser cocktails wipes your ability to stand.
Placencia Beach Club
You’re more than welcome to bring your sea dog, first mate or little skippers to Placencia Beach Club for a cold drink. We warn you: one look at the beachfront pool will make you consider a daily membership pass, so your whole crew can kick back in style. Lean back on a pillow, slip your shades over your eyes and order a creamy Kahlúa, served by the friendly barman.
Tipsy Tuna Sports Bar
Bar, Caribbean, $$$
It’s game on at the Tipsy Tuna Sports Bar. Billiards, beach volleyball and the occasional dance-off will challenge you to keep up with the fun. The karaoke machine makes an appearance when the stars come out, so you’d better summon liquid courage via minty mojitos. Weekend rock bands add to the mix if you’d rather dance with the rest of the rum-soaked crowd.
The Flying Pig Bar and Grill
We dare you to sail over to the Flying Pig Bar and Grill and not get hog wild. Opposite the Thunderbirds marina, you’ll feel like a local within five minutes of arrival. By the time you’ve downed your second beer, everyone will know your name. Bacardi shots and bingo. Poker and pints. Trivia and Tanqueray. Name your poison, and the staff will give you a good reason to stay.
Placencia Yacht Club
There’s nothing quite like sailing into the friendly confines of a great yacht club, and this one provides safe harbor. It lays claim to the best sunset views in town, but we’ll let you be the judge. Give your expert opinion as you sip on their rum-filled Yacht Club sunset concoction. Need a second opinion? Consult the dark-rum-infused mix called Mr Dock; we heard he knows a thing or two about waterside sunsets.
The Three60 Martini Bar at Sirenian Bay Resort & Villas
At Sirenian Bay Resort’s Three60 Martini Bar, they don’t ask if you take it shaken or stirred. Frankly, you’ll have it both ways whether you request it or not. Uninterrupted rooftop views of the Placencia Peninsula will leave you absolutely shaken, and you’ll stir your body around 360 degrees to see the Mayan Mountains across the lagoon. Drink in all of this greatness before you even see a menu.
Muna Rooftop Restaurant and Bar
You don’t have to be an overnighter at the Ellysian to snag a spot at their Muna Rooftop Restaurant and Bar, but it does save you the ten-minute ride back to the marina. Belizean bliss rests at this rooftop spot, giving you a bird’s-eye view of the village and the sea while you gently cradle a scotch. As unspoilt as your white tablecloth is, it’s just begging to get dirtied with a plate of seafood curry pasta.
J-Byrd’s Bar and Grill
Sipping cold beer and watching boats sail by – if that doesn’t sound like the perfect way to celebrate your disembarkment in Placencia, then we don’t know what does. J-Byrd’s Bar and Grill is a long-time local watering hole that upped the ante when it started slinging baskets of fish and chips. Take a seat on the upper deck, order a pint or a pitcher, and do absolutely nothing except enjoy a day by the water.