The mangrove-frilled Placencia Lagoon is an important home for saltwater crocodiles, marine turtles and rare, endangered manatees. Whereas on the other side, the gentle waves of the Caribbean Sea are home to abundant marine life, with some excellent dive and snorkel trips that can be arranged. Laughing Bird Caye is a mini atoll with protected snorkelling and swimming, as well as a nice relaxing beach, complete with shady palms and hammocks. Between May and June Whale Sharks feast on the eggs of cubera and snapper at the elbow of Gladden Spit and you can embark on day trips to reefs such as Glovers. Marine life you might spot includes parrotfish, needlefish, rays, blue tangs and turtles.
For those with an interest in land mammals, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Reserve, a protected sub-tropical rainforest surrounded by Maya Mountains, was the first sanctuary created specifically for jaguars. They are still elusive here, with a population of between 40 and 50, but this stunning area is worth exploring with rare species such as red eyed tree frog and the outstanding Victoria Peak. There are howler monkeys here too, or you can head out by boat approximately 20 kilometres due south east where, after navigating a maze of mangroves you will reach the mouth of Monkey River. The mangrove roots are home to turtles, fish and juvenile marine life and on land you may spot iguanas and birds as you search for Howler Monkeys. Fishing is another popular activity, especially deep sea and you can set out on sailing trips if you so desire.
In Placencia you can mix up diving, snorkelling, wildlife tracking and park exploration.