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 Big Creek / Placencia - Profile

Location

Big Creek is the main port for Belize's banana industry; citrus fruit and shrimp are also exported from here. It is approximately 80 miles south of Belize City.

Placencia is a beach resort at the southern tip of the Placencia Peninsula which lies opposite Big Creek. The town has a distinct Caribbean feel with colourful buildings, funky bars and restaurants.

Between the peninsula and the mainland, Placencia Lagoon is home to manatees and saltwater crocodiles. Offshore, there are dive sites on the coral Belize Barrier Reef.

Position 16°30′N, 88°22′42″W.

Clearance

For full details on clearing into and out of Belize see Belize Formalities.

Clearance procedures must be completed at Big Creek, where the officials are reported to be very helpful. All the needed offices (Immigration, Customs, Health, Port) are close together some distance from the docks.

Anchor or dock at Placencia and take the water taxi to Mango (it is no longer possible to go direct to Big Creek by boat). From Mango you will need to take a taxi around all the offices you need to visit, who will stay with you for the whole procedure (takes approx. 3 hours, so aim to catch the 10am water taxi).

See costs for clearance reported by cruisers below under "comments".

Visit offices during working hours and record your arrival and departure also during office hours otherwise you will be charged overtime. See comment below.

Last updated February 2018.

Docking

The docks at Big Creek are a secure area and small craft will be turned away.

Most cruisers prefer to moor at Placencia, across the lagoon from Big Creek, as the channel into the commercial harbour at Big Creek is busy and narrow.

Placencia is still primarily a fishing village, although recently it has become a popular tourist destination.

Marinas

There are several marinas to choose from in Placencia lagoon and a few ocean-side of the peninsula (see below).

Anchoring

Placencia Harbour is a popular anchorage with good holding, but is open to the SSE-S. It can get untenable here if the winds pick up from this direction. Many then move to the North side of the cut or to the back lagoon.

Placencia Lagoon can be a little tricky to get into, and is best suited to vessels drawing no more than 6. If offers miles of well protected anchoring options and there are several mangrove holes accessible from the back lagoon in case really bad weather threatens.

Lark Caye Range, just across from Placencia, is good in unsettled weather. Although very deep, it offers good holding and protection.

The mangrove creek that exits Big Creek to the West and extends for miles, offers many very well protected anchoring options.

Ashore

Placencia is a good place to provision. Ashore there are grocery stores, hardware stores, a small chandlery and lots of restaurants and souvenir shops.

Last updated February 2018.

Placencia Marina
Ocean Side, north of Maya Beach , NE Entrance: N16 38’165 W088 19’592.
Tel:+501 533 4111
The newest marina here (2017) with depths of 23 feet. The first stage of this marina development has 30 double slips of 35-50 foot lengths on a floating dock with double slips for catamarans and a fixed pier that can take mega yachts up to 200 feet in length. Water is now available and fuel can be available upon request. Electricity will be available by the end of summer 2018. Clearance service available with advance notice. As part of The Placencia Hotel, marina guests have access to the swimming pool and restaurants. Just down the road is Maya Beach with restaurants and a grocery store, or take a taxi to Placencia Village 9 miles south.
Roberts Grove Marina
Placencia Road , Placencia , Stann Creek
Tel:501-523-3565
Deep water marina lagoon-side, allowing access in all states of tide. Not far from the village. Maximum length 75 feet & 8 feet draft. 30 slips with electricity, water and Wi-Fi. Facilities also include showers and laundry service and lagoon-side restaurant.
The Moorings (c/o Laru Beya Resort)
Placencia Peninsula
Opening hours: 8:00am – 5:00pm, 7 days a week
This is a charter base, but there may be dock space available. Four mile scenic trip into town - ideal for cycling in the daytime. The hotel has a bar, restaurant and pool, but few other facilities for cruisers.
The Peninsula Club Marina
Entrance Channel: 16 30′.142N 088 22′.676W
Tel:011-501-604-5099
This marina is not yet actively functioning however there is a harbour master on site. Currently there are moorings available in front of Yoli's Bar and Grill and yachts can tie alongside the marina outer walls in settled weather. No facilities at this time.
Thunderbirds Marine Boatyard
Tel:+501 670 3737
Full service marina and boatyard. Maximum draft 7 feet. Approx. 3 miles north of Placencia town dinghy dock, just next to airstrip. Can order Westmarine products. Fuel dock. 24hr security. Marine Forklift capable of lifting vessels up to 10 tons. Concrete hard standing and 3 story indoor boat storage shed. Own work permitted and liveaboards welcome (onshore bathrooms and laundry).

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Mar 06, 2018 08:09 PM

Reported by Brian Simm:

After 30 days in Belize you need to extend or sign out. For those heading south the possible check outs are Big Creek from Placencia or Punta Gorda. The latter is a rolly anchorage in the trade winds and so we chose to stay in the popular sheltered anchorage of Placencia town.

You can not now take a boat or dinghy to the port of Big Creek, you will be turned away by security so: -
- water taxi to Mango creek $US 12 return for 2.
- taxi to take you round the offices $US 12.50
- immigration, environment charge $US 7.50 for 2 and boarding charge ( without leaving office) $US 45.00.
- port office to check that you are up to date with your daily fee.
- Customs for Zarpe, 24 hours to leave.
All painless but allow 3 hours or so, best time is 10.00AM water taxi and back for lunch.

Placencia and the southern islands are popular with the large cruising community who keep their boats up the Ria Dulce in Guatamala. Estimate is c. 1000 yachts in area.

Brian Simm
Scraatch, 56 ft Sundeer.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Apr 14, 2016 09:11 PM

Reported 23 March, 2016 by CSSN:
Three men in a dinghy attempted to take our dinghy at around 2:00 AM. They cut the two lines that secured our dinghy to our boat. They must not have seen the cable and lock which made their attempt unsuccessful.

daytripper
daytripper says:
Aug 26, 2015 06:59 PM

When clearing in or out, you will be asked the time you are departing or arrived. be sure to give them a time within business hours otherwise they will charge you an overtime fee - even though you're in their office during business hours. i.e. don't say you're leaving at dawn; say you're leaving at 9:00a.m.. and you can check out a day in advance if you ask nicely.

ozdigennaro
ozdigennaro says:
Apr 29, 2015 02:37 PM

Placencia is a charming little village. Good supermarket and great restaurants.

Belize
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