Lobsterfest, Placencia: Pinch me, I’m Dreaming

The reason for the season
Photo by: Michael Henry
Shoeless shopping at Lobsterfest
Photo by: Michael Henry
Fast food on Placencia's main street
Photo by: Susan Henry
Tipsy Tuna, a party under the palms
Photo by: Michael Henry
Rumfish y vino, the 'fest at its best
Photo by: Michael Henry
Helping mom at the Shak Beach Cafe
Photo by: Michael Henry
Cosmic Lobster
Photo by: Michael Henry
Chabil Mar's runway to relaxation
Photo by: Michael Henry
Sweet dreams at Chabil Mar
Photo by: Michael Henry
Chabil Mar, your Lobsterfest launchpad
Photo by: Susan Henry
No worries, man, you can do it all again tomorrow
Photo by: Michael Henry

Placencia is a sleepy, bohemian fishing village located on the eastern coast of Belize. It’s the kind of place where the sun and the sea conspire to make everyone slow down. But on the last weekend in June, the entire town becomes one big, exuberant beach party during Lobsterfest, celebrating the beginning of the Belizean lobster season.

Here’s how to make the most of your time at Lobsterfest in Placencia:


While Lobsterfest is all about the great, clawed crustacean, there is no shortage of edible alternatives among the open-air food vendors. Placencia’s full rainbow of cultural diversity is reflected in the smorgasbord of Lobsterfest food offerings, which showcases Creole, Mayan, Garifuna, Caribbean, and Asian influences.

Should you seek a more refined dining experience, head straight to Rumfish y vino. Owned by a husband and wife team who honeymooned in Placencia, and just couldn’t leave, Rumfish y vino is pure food artistry served in a sophisticated setting. Alternatively, head up the peninsula to the Maya Beach Bistro, where only the epicurean creations will draw your attention away from the gorgeous, Gilligan-like beachfront setting. For authentic local breakfast fare, nurse your party hangover with stuffed fry jacks at DeTatch Cafe or have a breakfast burrito and a smoothie chaser at The Shak Beach Cafe.


The aptly named Tipsy Tuna is ground zero for imbibing among the Lobsterfest celebrants. But watch your back, Mr. Tuna, because the beloved Barefoot Bar has relocated to the beach. If you want to see how the moneyed set knocks ‘em down, you’ll have to put on your shoes before dropping in for a drink at Francis Ford Coppola’s Turtle Inn.


It just doesn’t get much better than Chabil Mar Villas, located on a peaceful beach, yet proximate to the Placencia action. Chabil Mar’s guest bicycles and a free van shuttle make getting to and from the village a breeze.

Chabil Mar features exceptional service, lush landscaping and expansive villas equipped with full kitchens and washer/dryers. I may be the only person in the world who relishes the sight of a washer and dryer on vacation. But let’s face it, lobster is messy, and I was mighty glad to have a clean shirt more than once during our stay.


The challenge will be tearing yourself away from your lounge by the sea. But Placencia is a springboard to the planet’s second largest barrier reef. The fishing, diving and snorkeling are world-class. The folks at Splash Dive Center are friendly, professional and totally in the know about what’s happening on, and under, the sea.

Lobsterfest, Placencia: sun, swim, eat, drink, sleep. Lather, rinse, repeat.

6 Comments on Lobsterfest, Placencia: Pinch me, I’m Dreaming

  1. Patsy Flora says:

    Being beach bums and loving snorkeling thru the clear waters, Chabil Mar is definitely in our travel bucket list.

    Pictures and writing on all your journeys so clevery taken and written Keep on going.

    • Susan says:

      Chabil Mar is a special place. Amazing gardens with mango laden trees, white sand beaches stretching as far as the eye can see, and the absolute friendliest staff members ever.

  2. Michael Donald says:

    I’d be all about the lobster and drinks.

  3. Jackie DeKoning says:

    We have good friends who were recently married on the beach of Belize, but unsure what side. It looked sooooo beautiful in the pictures and it sounds like their honeymoon might have been in Chabil Mar????
    Yes, I’d love to go!

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