Thursday, 06 March 2014 12:55
The La Ruta Maya River Challenge
. . . will be commemorating its 16th anniversary this Friday, March 7th 2014. The race which started in 1998 by Big H Enterprises for the purpose of launching their Vida Purified Water in the Belizean market has turned into an international event bringing teams from U.S.A, Mexico, Guatemala, Canada, the United Kingdom and even Japan.
“Over the years more than 100 teams have participated in the 4 day grueling race that
starts in the Hawksworth Bridge in San Ignacio Town and ends in the old Capital of Belize City,” states the official site of La Ruta Maya Race.
The fundamental ethos of the race is to promote environmental, ecology, history and culture awareness.
The race is more than 170 miles long consisting of 4 stops along the Belize River:
San Ignacio Town to Banana Bank Lodge which is approximately 46 miles long; Banana Bank to Double Head Cabbage Village, the longest phase of the four days race, and consists of 60 grueling miles; Double Head Cabbage to Burrel Boom Village which is 36 miles long; and Burrel Boom to Belize City, which is the final and shortest stop, and is made up of 28 miles long and bring together more people than the beginning of the race.
La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge also coincides with the Baron Bliss Day Celebration in honor of Henry Victor Edward Bliss, a great benefactor who left an incredible will to the Belizean people.
Since its inception, the race was sponsored by BIG H Enterprises, but is now sponsored by Belikin Beer, the national beer of Belize, and for the past two consecutive years, the Belize Bank Bulldogs have won the competition.
On behalf of Chabil Mar and its Staff, we wish the best of luck to all the participating teams.
Friday, 28 February 2014 09:28
Last month while vacationing in Placencia, I was lucky to discover Brenda’s Food Shack, which is located at the tip of the Peninsula, in Placencia Village. Brenda, a talented Belizean Creole, uses local and authentic ingredients and fresh sea food to prepare succulent Belizean lunches.
I had the special of the day which was Belizean Rice and Beans with Jerk Chicken and Seafood Gumbo which was tasty and scrumptious.
If you will be vacationing in Placencia soon, you have to go try Brenda’s Belizean cooking. You will not be disappointed!
Thursday, 27 February 2014 07:36
Apart from the perfect opportunity to enjoy Belizean culture first hand and mingle with the locals with white sandy beaches and laid back vibes, Placencia Village is also an ideal hub to explore Maya Temple Sites, eat amazing Belizean food, snorkel the turquoise Caribbean Sea and even swim with whale sharks. Chabil Mar is located just ¾ of a mile from the Village center and is the closest full service resort to the Village.
Here are 7 must do activities/tours in Placencia.
Explore Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in the Stann Creek District and not far from Placencia Village, the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is globally recognized as the world's first jaguar preserve and is home to cascading waterfalls to swim in, panoramic mountain views, nature trails, furry mammals, colorful insects, scaly reptiles and a variety of neotropical birds. In addition, river tubing is a favorite adventure for the many visitors to this unique tropical paradise. Tours leave daily from Chabil Mar.
Although the jaguar (the largest spotted cat in the world) is what the reserve is famous for, you are unlikely to see one as the cat is nocturnal. However you will see its tracks along with tracks of tapir, deer, and other wildlife that inhabit the nature reserve. Cockscomb Basin is also home to one of Belize's highest points -- Victoria Peak and many travelers who vacation in Placencia go on this tour.
Go on a Kayaking expedition at Laughing Bird Caye
Kayaking in Placencia is a joy! The crystal clear waters, tepid sunshine and balmy Caribbean breezes that Belize offers make for an ideal kayaking expedition. As you glide across the warm waters, you will observe untouched coral reefs, white sandy beaches and abundant marine wildlife like the amazing sea turtle.
Belize has numerous cayes that can be explored on a kayak. Laughing Bird Caye National Park for example, is a mini atoll and is a favorite stopover for reef kayakers.
Pay a Visit to the Resident Howler Monkeys
Take a boat to Monkey River Village and head up Monkey River and into the jungle to pay a visit with the resident howler monkeys. Complete your adventure along the ride to observe crocodiles sunning along the river banks, along with exotic birds, iquana hanging in the trees, a few bats and lizards and enjoy a lunch with the villagers in Monkey River. On the way back to Placencia you may even see a few manatees along with their pups.
Explore Maya Temple Sites
According to archeologists, over 1 million Maya people lived in present day Belize. Today there are a range of Maya temples scattered throughout Belize. If you are vacationing in Placencia, you might want to explore Maya Temples like Nim Li Punit and Lubantuun in the Toledo District or Xunantunich and Cahal Pech in western Belize. While visiting some of these sites, maybe even add on a swim up river and into a cave! That is a thrill of a lifetime.
Dive or Snorkel - even with Whale Sharks
Home to the second largest barrier reef in the world, Belize is a diver and snorkeler’s dream come true. In addition, over 100 islands dot the coastline, just offshore from Placencia, providing endless opportunities for diverse diving and snorkeling opportunities.
Starting next month around the full moon, giant whale sharks will emerge in the turquoise clear waters of Gladden Spit and Silk Caye Marine Reserve near the Placencia Peninsula. This marine reserve is used by over 30 species of tropical fishes to release their eggs and it is the eggs of the cubera, mutton and dog snappers that the whale sharks munch on.
Both divers and snorkelers can swim with these giant whale sharks in the pristine and warm waters of southern Belize without any risk from these magnificent creatures as they do not pose any significant threat to humans.
Fishing is Extraordinary
As a traditional fishing Village, Placencia is the residency of some of the finest fishing captains in Belize. And, due to its location on a peninsula, the lagoons to the west, the Caribbean to the east and the barrier reef 18 miles offshore, while being dotted with multiple islands (cayes, pronounced "keys"), fishing is inherent in the population and history of this beautiful Village of 1500 residents. A grand slam is a definitely a possibility while visiting Placencia.
Enjoy delicious Belizean Cuisines
Placencia Village is a traditional fishing Village with a tourist element. It is this small tourist exposure that has encouraged its residents to populate it with amazing restaurants like Tipsy Tuna, Rum Fish, Barefoot, La Dolce Vita, Secret Garden, Yoli’s, Pickled Parrot, Purple Space Monkey and Wendy’s (no not the fast food restaurant) and these well known restaurants offer a variety of fresh sea food at a reasonable price. Dotted along the streets are many vendors serving some of the best Belizean dishes in the country, passed down from generations and prepared with local ingredients. Rum Fish for example, sells the best fish tacos and if you are into gourmet burgers you’ll have to try Barefoot Restaurant & Bar which is located right on the beach.
You can also check out the Italian Gelato Shop that offers incredible and authentic fruit gelatos. Gelato in Placencia? Yes, and we dare say among the best you will ever have the pleasure to put to your palate.
Visit our website www.chabilmarvillas.com for more information on Belize and Placencia, and don’t hesitate to send us an email, or call US/CAN Toll Free: 1-866-417-2377, Local: (011-501) 523-3606, if you have questions or need help in planning a Belize vacation.
Friday, 21 February 2014 07:31
Last year we had the pleasure of hosting James, the travel blogger behind the website www.escapingabroad.com. If you visit the about section of his site, you will find out that his favorite country in the world is Belize. We here at Chabil Mar do not blame him for that because we understand and appreciate the beautiful things that Belize offers to its 350,000 inhabitants as well as the thousands of travelers who visit the country each year.
One of those beautiful things in Belize that locals and visitors enjoy is the colorful and Great Barrier Reef. Even Charles Darwin, the world renowned Naturalist loved it that in 1842, he described it as the “most remarkable reef in the west indies.”The Belize Reef not only provides succulent sea food to our people but is also ideal for snorkeling and diving.
In this blog post, we share ten jaw dropping underwater photos from the Belize Barrier reef. All photos courtesy of www.escapingabroad.com.
Diving near the atolls and reefs in the Southern area of Belize are some of the most colorful I’ve seen yet.
Attempting to blend in but I found him anyway
Moray eels look meaner than they actually are.
A Nassau grouper hanging out above a large sponge.
Spotted morays are smaller than their green cousins but have just as much attitude!
The first batfish I’ve ever seen! Sure are pretty aren’t they?
Had to add in a profile photo.. hard to beat how weird these guys look!
That’s one only a mother could love!
Hide and Seek
This small sharpnose puffer fish tried to hide in a brightly colored sponge to no avail!
The Little Guys
It’s always fun to watch the little fish hiding close to the coral for protection.
If you are interested in discovering and exploring the great Belize reef, check out these Belize Sea Adventures. And if you have any questions on Belize, feel free to drop us an email
Tuesday, 11 February 2014 13:23
Located in southern Belize, Placencia has become a top beach destination in the Caribbean. Lonely Planet, the largest travel
guide book publisher in the world describes this stunning Belizean paradise as follows:
"How you wind up feeling about Placencia really depends on what you're looking for. If it's laid-back ambience,
varied accommodations and some of the best restaurants in Southern Belize, this beachfront paradise may well
prove to be your personal Margaritaville. If it's off-the-beaten-path adventure and cheaper living you're after,
Placencia might serve better as a way-station. Come on down for a few days of sandy beaches, sunny skies and great
seafood before heading off to less trodden paths."
If you are traveling to this beautiful destination this year, here are 25 things you need to know:
- Placencia Village sits at the very tip of the narrow 16 mile Placencia Peninsula in Southern Belize.
- Chabil Mar is in Placencia Village, while resorts all along the Peninsula regularly advertise their location as Placencia, they are on thePeninsula,
but as much as 12 miles north of the Village, in the communities of Seine Bight and Maya Beach, for instance.
- To a lot of people, the Placencia Peninsula feels like an Island but it is not.Less than 2000 people live in Placencia Village.
- The Placencia Peninsula is also home to two other communities: Seine Bight and Maya Beach.
- The name “Placencia” is actually a distortion of Punta Placentia, the name the Spaniards gave to the peninsula in the 1800s.
In English, it means Point Pleasant.
- The Main Street in Placencia Village is just a sidewalk! In fact, the "Guinness Book of World Records" recognizes it as the
narrowest main street in the world.
- Many people visit Placencia during the months of April, May and June to swim, dive or snorkel with giant whale sharks at the Gladden Spit Marine Reserve.
- Placencia’s Lobsterfest is the village’s most famous festival and is held in June of every year. And it won an award from the Belize Toursim Board
in 2013 as the Festival of the Year!
- An Arts Festival is held in February each year, that brings artists from all over Belize to showcase their art along the 4071 foot (3/4 mile),
4 foot wide Placencia Sidewalk.
- Placencia was once a sleepy fishing village.
- The Placencia Peninsula boasts 16 miles of tranquil beaches.
- Many travelers who vacation in Placencia do the Monkey River and the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary Tours.
- Placencia has a range of resorts and hotels that can fit almost any budget.
- Placencia is 35 minutes away from Belize City by air.
- The road into Placencia Village is bordered by the lagoon on one side and the turquoise Caribbean on the other, and ends at the end of the Peninsula.
- Placencia is world renowned for offshore fishing, diving and snorkeling.
- Placencia is also well known for its very laid-back, no-shoes ambience where locals go out of their way to make sure you enjoy your visit.
- The average temperature in sub-tropical Placencia is 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The most popular time to visit Placencia is from January through May.
- Getting around Placencia is very easy.
- Francis Ford Coppola, the American Film Director, Producer and Screenwriter owns a resort in Placencia.
- Placencia is home to many world class luxury resorts like Chabil Mar.
- Laughing Bird Caye is a favorite camping site for reef kayakers who base their expeditions in Placencia.
- Placencia is also known for its great food and restaurants.
- The Placencia Lagoon is an imperative breeding area for saltwater crocodiles, marine turtles and the rare and endangered manatees.
Friday, 31 January 2014 09:37
Touropia, a popular travel site in the world has selected the beautiful and gorgeous Peninsula of Placencia
as a top best beach destination in the Caribbean.
“A popular peninsula, Placencia has the best mainland beaches in Belize, plus some of the most amazing offshore
coral cayes. The eastern side of the Placencia Peninsula is a long expanse of white sand beach. The western side
is bounded by a long and narrow bay. The beautiful beaches . . . make it a great place to relax” asserts the article
about Placencia Belize.
"Aruba, St Martins, Dominican Republic, Bermuda, Cuba, Saint Lucia, Guadelope, Jamaica, Anguilla, St Vincent
and the Grenadines, Turks and Caicos, Antigua and Barbuda, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands (UK),
Barbados, Martinque, Grenada, Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago, Virgin Islands (US) were the other countries
that made it on the list. Splendid company to be among, and we are very proud of this honor for Placencia,
home to Chabil Mar Resort", says Larry France,
Marketing Manager at Chabil Mar.
"It is interesting to observe how Placencia has evolved from once a sleepy fishing village to now an increasingly
popular eco destination on the Caribbean, while maintaining its Belizean culture and typical everyday life."
"Tropic Air and Maya Air, the local Belize air carriers, have also made it easy to access Placencia from the different
tourist destinations in Belize especially from the Cayo District, the ecotourism capital of the country, with direct
flights from multiple towns and villages throughout Belize. Last year in November, Tropic Air started offering
direct flights from Maya Flats Airstrip in San Ignacio to Placencia and return. I personally took this flight, in
January, after visiting one of our premier Jungle Lodge partners, Chaa Creek, while discussing our joint Jungle
and Sea vacation package. It was so beautiful to fly over the Maya mountain range from Cayo to Placencia.
Just a magnificent experience with waterfalls to be seen cascading out of the mountains in the depths of
the uninhabited jungle!
This means that you can start your vacation in the Rainforest exploring Maya temples,
caves and waterfalls and then head to Placencia to enjoy the white sandy beaches and the spectacular snorkeling,
fishing, diving and sailing among the multiple offshore islands (cayes - pronounced 'keys').”
"Placencia is also an ideal base to explore outdoor adventures like hiking or trekking the jungle trails of
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, where the first Jaguar Reserve in the World was established and visiting
Maya Temples like Nim Li Punit or Lubaantun in Southern Belize or visiting resident howler monkeys along Monkey River."
If you are interested in a Belize or Placencia vacation, please visit our website www.chabilmarvillas.com. We’d love
to help you plan your Belize vacation.
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 07:07
Almost every Belizean who is on social media follows Tony Rath on Facebook because of the compelling and
gorgeous photos on Belize that he posts on his Facebook page. Last week National Geographic did an article
on Tony Rath entitled “Go Inside: Photographing Belize from the Air” in which Tony describes his experience
about making aerial images with LightHawk. For those who do not know anything about LightHawk, it is a
nonprofit organization whose mission is to champion environmental protection through the unique perspective
of flight. Here are some of the striking photos that Tony took on the flight. (All photos are courtesy of Tony Rath).
One rainstorm following the other in the Turneffe Atoll, Belize. Tony Rath Photography
Lighthawk airplane taking off. Tony Rath Photography
Biologists record the GPS coordinates of marine mammals spotted during the LightHawk survey flight.
Tony Rath Photography
Photographer Tony Rath self portrait with Cessna 206. Tony Rath Photography
About Tony Rath
Tony Rath has worked as a diver and underwater photographer for the Smithsonian Institution; diving on
oilrigs off California; and captaining a sailboat across the Atlantic Ocean and through the Mediterranean and
North Seas. He first visited Belize in 1979, and moved there permanently in 1988. Since then he has explored
and photographed most of Belize by land, sea and air.
Want to know more about Belize? Visit our website www.chabilmarvillas.com for more information.
Monday, 27 January 2014 09:52
Chabil Mar, the only guest exclusive hotel in Placencia, has been bestowed with four prestigious awards for 2014 by Trip Advisor, the largest travel site in the world.
“Last week, Trip Advisor bestowed accolades to ten Hotels and Resorts from all over the country of Belize who are considered a romantic getaway for honeymooners and travelers alike” said Natalie Ranguy, Guest Services Manager at Chabil Mar. The Belizean hotels and resorts were chosen from the following destinations: Hopkins, Dangriga, Caye Caulker, San Pedro, San Ignacio, Belmopan and Placencia.
Chabil Mar and Hatchet Caye were the only two romantic hotels from Placencia that made it on the list for Top Romantic Hotels for both Belize and Central America.
Chabil Mar also won the top Small Hotel in Belize and Central America Awards, along with 9 other Belizean resorts and hotels from the
following destinations: Hopkins, Dangriga, Turneffe, San Pedro, Belmopan and Placencia. It was interesting to see that ten Belize Resorts made it on the list. In fact, Belize was the only Central American country that had the most hotels on that award category.
“Romantic, laid back, and simply wonderful!!!”,“Amazing hotel in a beautiful setting!” state the last two Trip Advisor reviewers.
Costa Rica had 9 hotels, Honduras 3, Nicaragua 1, Panama 1 and Guatemala 1.
El Salvador didn’t have any hotel in the list.
“Having ten Belize resorts and hotels in the top 25 Central American list indicates that Belize, Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret is no longer a secret” said Larry France, Marketing Manager of Chabil Mar.
About Chabil Mar:
Privacy, luxury accommodations, guest-centric award winning service, access to all of Belize's adventures, and our premier location, result in a one-of-a-kind “Barefoot Luxury” Resort adventure vacation.
If you are interested in vacationing in Belize, please check out our website www.chabilmarvillas.com or email us at
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 09:40
Belize: The Top Best Snorkeling Destination in the World
Join David Webb on an underwater exploration of Belize’s Barrier Reef.
By now everyone should know that Belize is one of the top best snorkeling destinations in the world thanks to the
great and colorful Belize Barrier Reef. Marine Reserves like Hol Chan and Gladden Spit provide an amazing opportunity
to swim with Nurse Sharks, Groupers, Snappers, and Jacks. Even Charles Darwin was astonished by the Belize Reef
that he described it as “the most remarkable reef in the West Indies” in 1842.
“Belize has the finest snorkeling I’ve experienced. Better than Thailand. Better than Bali. Better even than Aruba.
Better, dare I say it, than what I’ve experienced in my beloved Hawaii. Belize is home to the world’s second-largest
barrier reef (I’m sure you can guess where the largest is), which harbours staggering marine biodiversity”, says David Webb.
In this blog post, we will share with you a potpourri of snorkeling photos that will compel and enchant you to go on a
snorkeling tour in Belize:
All photos are courtesy of AcrossandAbroad.com/David Webb
To see more photos of David’s snorkeling tour, click here:
and to learn more about Belize, snorkeling and diving options, feel free to browse our website:
or email us at r
Monday, 30 December 2013 13:32
Belize just got ranked among Google’s most searched honeymoon spots over the past year.
“This info is gold if you want to really know what the local hotspots are,” said Google spokesperson Joyce Hau.
Beauty by Belize and Luxury by Design, Chabil Mar, the guest exclusive resort of Placencia, Belize,
is the ultimate escape for love birds in Belize.
Chabil Mar delights couples in love with their unique honeymoon vacation packages that feature snorkeling in
the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere, guided nature tour of Monkey River, excursions to ancient Maya
temple sites, beach combing in Belize’s most exquisite beaches and much, much more.
Previous honeymooners who vacationed at Chabil Mar in Placencia, Belize had this to say:
“We spent the second half of our Belize honeymoon at Chabil Mar. It was absolutely wonderful…The service
during our entire stay was exceptional. We had our last meal on the dock which was absolutely beautiful,
and the lobster was delicious. Our breakfasts every morning were delicious. Most nights we borrowed the
bikes and rode into town for dinner.”
So whether you are getting married, renewing your vows or going on your honeymoon, Belize is the perfect
place to do it. View your all-inclusive options or build your own adventure honeymoon in Belize, by contacting us at Chabil Mar.
Click here for Virtual Tour of Chabil Mar and their Honeymoon Suite. Multiple accommodation options available
for your special time together.
Contact us to make your inquiry and/or Reservation today.