Placencia Village, one of the top tourist destinations in Belize, has just been named as one of Travel and Leisure’s top destinations to travel for the upcoming year. Placencia is listed amongst 51 destinations deemed ‘a must visit’ for 2016. To compile its annual list of the best places to travel in the upcoming year, Travel & Leisure editors reviewed such factors as top articles from their contributing writers and global correspondents, which destinations were talked most about, which destinations are starting to emerge for new and compelling reasons, and which global events and changes in travel restrictions have made certain destinations easier to get to.
This is what they had to say about Placencia, Belize:
“Belize is still great for backpackers—much like Costa Rica in the 1980s—but certain areas have also become bona fide retreats for the well-heeled. For years now, Francis Ford Coppola’s Turtle Inn has been drawing glamorous types to its cottages in the beach town of Placencia, on a little-known peninsula on the country’s east coast. But the secret is on the verge of getting out, especially with the late 2016 opening of Itz’ana, an ambitious farm-restaurant-retreat hybrid with 39 upscale villas—all within mere feet of the world’s second-largest coral reef system. The project, which is just down the road from Turtle Inn, is not just ambitious for its five-star creature comforts (rooms will have terraces with daybeds, waterfront views, and soaring ceilings). It’s also a stage for chef Mara Jernigan, of the immensely popular Limilita pop-up restaurant in Placencia, who will be using indigenous ingredients to spotlight Belizean agriculture and fine dining. (She’ll even have a personal fleet of fishermen.) Also on property: a Mayan-inspired spa using locally harvested rainforest botanicals, a room (and sommelier) dedicated to rum, and chartered yachts for sundown cruises. —Nikki Ekstein
photo credit – Chabil Mar