If your dreams include diving into vats of chocolate, being left alone with a fork and a mile-long sweet table or if you can’t pass a candy counter without tossing a chocolate bar into your cart, you’re probably addicted, and that’s a good thing! The darker the chocolate, the better this sweet (and sometimes savory) treat is for your health, so no worries about your doctor begging you to swear off the stuff. Adding chocolate to your life can keep you healthy and happy.
It’s all a matter of nutrients: flavonoids in cocoa beans fight toxins and repair cell damage and anti-oxidants in cocoa beans help your cells fight free radicals that attack your body and even cause low-density lipoprotein (LDL) to clog your artery walls. There’s more: flavanols lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the heart and brain and aid in the clotting process when you suffer a skin break. Who wouldn’t fall in love with the cocoa bean after finding out how much it does for your body?
Given this bounty of health benefits, you might want to make a pilgrimage to Chocolate Mecca. We call it Belize. You’ll call it heaven. Here, the cocoa crop has been king since Belize’s Toledo Cacao Growers Association (TCGA) was formed in 1984 to take advantage of Belize’s superior soil and weather. As a result of this large-scale emphasis on cultivating cocoa beans, Belize has become something of a chocolate capital.
Given your passion for chocolate and Belize’s reputation, you owe it to yourself to make a pilgrimage here. Nibble on chocolate as you book a stay at Chabil Mar Resort, one of the most glamorous accommodations in Belize, where complimentary chocolates are always part of a sweet stay.
Make time for the beach. Set off on adventurous water activities. But your sweet tooth won’t be satisfied unless you spend a majority of your time in country exploring the history, versatility and benefits of chocolate. Chabil Mar’s transport service and concierge desk can send you off on delicious, chocolate-focused tours like these:
-Travel to a farm to see how cacao crops are grown in an agricultural setting
– Learn how cacao is processed and used in recipes and products that are putting Belize on the map
-Learn to use a stone tool to make chocolate during a chocolate tour
-Sample unusual foods—everything from decadent desserts to wines!
Stop at specialty shops where homemade candies, wines, souvenirs and even chocolate-themed clothing will tempt you, but don’t be surprised by the amount of stamina you enjoy during your Belize vacation. After all, you’re giving your body big hits of flavanols and antioxidants throughout your stay, so keep indulging!
Think there’s nothing else to get excited about once you undertake your pilgrimage? Au contraire, chocolate lover. Start making plans immediately to return to Belize next May. That’s when the nation pulls out all stops to honor its most successful cash crop by staging a three-day bash known near and far as the annual Chocolate Festival of Belize. Your Chabil Mar hosts will be happy to welcome you back when you return for those three days of insanity. Sweet insanity, of course!
Visit our website www.chabilmarvillas.com for more information on traveling to Belize, 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.
The “Green Machine”, Verdes FC of San Ignacio Belize, have made a record achievement in the club version of the regional championship, securing their first win and first goals in the Champions League after defeating San Francisco FC of Panama 2-1.
The Green Machine were hammered 8-0 by Queretaro in Mexico last week, but rebounded to defeat Panama’s San Francisco FC at the FFB stadium in Belmopan Tuesday night 2-1.
Daniel Moran gave the visiting San Francisco the early lead in the 12th minute, but Deon McCaulay equalized from ten yards after a cross from the right by Yoras Silva. This was Verdes’ first ever Champions League goal after being shutout in their last four matches, all losses.
Verdes was given a penalty six minutes from the end of the first half after teammate Jesus Patino was taken down in the box but McCaulay missed, hitting the crossbar.
However, he made up for it two minutes from end of normal time by slotting home from four yards on a pass by Silva.
Sitting second behind Queretaro in Group C, Verdes will need 7 goals to overturn their goal differential at San Francisco on October 22.
On behalf of Chabil Mar Management and Staff, we wish the best of luck to Verdes FC in their return match against San Francisco FC in Panama.
Seven Ways to Get to and from Belize Airports and Placencia
Booking a Belize vacation is easy. Pick a resort. Find an airliner. Arrange in-country transport to get you where you want to go. But before you get to the fun stuff, you must get from Belize City to your accomodation. Putting that task in the hands of your resort staff can eliminate a lot of work and worry. For example, Chabil Mar luxury resort in Placencia gets guests to and from its grounds every day, so it just makes sense to let staff help you traverse the 160-mile distance between Belize’s airports and Chabil Mar. Whichever method of travel you prefer, they’re happy to help!
Take a shuttle
They’re popular for many reasons: cost is reasonable, there are two running shuttles that service the Belize City-to-Placencia route and the three hour drive and beautiful scenery will slow your heart rate so you’re ready to vacation in earnest the minute you stop off the shuttle bus.
Grab a second flight
You’re already at the airport, so if you’re in a rush to get to Placencia, five early morning or late afternoon flights to and from Belize International Airport or Belize Municipal Airport to Placencia take only about 40 minutes each on nine-to-13 seat Cessna airplanes. Plan to spend about $117 USD per one-way ticket.
A Belize taxi can get you to and from the resort and airport expeditiously, and you can find one after you land, but you could pay more money than you would if you caught an in-country flight, so ask for pricing immediately. Here’s some good news: If you like to negotiate, this is the time to put your talent to work!
Van or private car
If you’re a celebrity, price is no object and you require door-to-door service from airport gate to your lodgings, a private car is likely your preference. On the other hand, hire a private van to get to Placencia. The typical fare for this ground transporataion is between $260 USD and $300 USD for one to four passengers. This is one case in which comparison shopping and/or additional people can translate to savings.
It makes sense to rent a car if you intend to cover a lot of ground during your Belize holiday. Vehicles await you at both Belize Airports and there are two car rental agencies in Placencia proper, but your car won’t come cheap: Average rentals per day run around $75 USD and don’t expect expansive choices when it comes to picking a vehicle.
Take the bus
Get the lay of the land, relax after your flight and pay just $15 USD each way to ride the bus to and from Placencia from your Belize City airport. The ride takes under five hours and if you miss a bus, you can always catch a second one or stay overnight in Belize City and see some sites before catching the early bus.
The best idea of all
Book your transportation needs with Chabil Mar staff and allow them to make recommendations based on your budget, time in Belize and travel goals. The reservations team can give you the bus schedule, arrange a private shuttle transfer from the Belize International Airport to Chabil Mar both ways, or if you take that flight, there’s no charge to retrieve you from the Placencia airstrip. Which will you choose?
One of the most delicious aspects of visiting other countries is sampling cuisines, and since you won’t find a single fast food restaurant within Belize’s borders, you’ll have ample time to taste many styles of cookery throughout this culturally rich land. If you’re staying at Chabil Mar Belize Resort, don’t be surprised if you find yourself preferring the resort’s eclectic menu to other eateries in Placencia, but if you’re sticking around for the long haul, the following general observations about food will come in handy.
1. If you’re used to having plenty of supermarkets from which to choose, you may experience culture shock in Belize where ingredients needed for a recipe may not always be available on store shelves. No worries. Adopt the Belize mindset: learn to substitute and in the bargain, earn a reputation for being an innovative cook and baker. You will find “organic” products from local resources, so if you keep canned goods on hand to substitute for fresh ingredients that aren’t available you’ll always be prepared to make a meal.
2. Frequent local markets to get the freshest ingredients for your recipes and save your trips to large grocery stores for staples. Find the best local markets by asking people you meet where they shop in Placencia and then follow their lead. If you’re a frequent patron of Chabil Mar’s eateries on the days you decide not to cook, you can always ask the chef for recommendations—though he may not want to give his secrets away in the interest of getting you back to the Chabil Mar Café as frequently as possible!
>> Read also: The Top Ten Things To Taste In Belize
3. Be aware of the fact that Belize laws and regulations governing the use of pesticides don’t come close to the standards North Americans rely upon to scare away bugs, fungi and pests. One of the best ways to learn what’s in the foods you consume is to ask the grower when you shop at local markets, and while not every farmer may wish to disclose that information, it costs nothing to ask. Ensure your family’s health by taking the steps you would undertake, no matter where you live: thoroughly wash fresh foods with a brush to remove residues and you can also buy products on the Internet made for cleaning food if you require something stronger than water.
4. If dairy is an important part of your diet and you have no interest in owning a cow, follow the lead of people living in Belize and acquire a taste for powdered milk. Alternately, milk substitutes like almond, cashew and other plant-based dairy products may suffice if you can find them on grocery shelves. Can’t exist without “the real thing”? Turn to dairy farmers in Belize’s Mennonite communities. According to Wikipedia, there were 44 Mennonite communities in Belize in 2012, the largest of which are Shipyard, Spanish Lookout and Little Belize. Smaller sites include Blue Creek, Indian Creek, Barton Creek, Springfield and Pine Hill.
5. Make Café Mar your go-to dining destination for wining, dining and socializing on the nights and days you’re in no mood to cook. Local fisherman, farmers and purveyors provide chefs with the freshest ingredients, and frequent Café Mar beachside diners indulge all of their senses in an al fresco dining experience that offers a feeling of freedom under the Belize sky. If you prefer to take meals outside the Café, ask for poolside service, visit the Kaleidoscope Bar & Lounge or have a meal brought to you on your private veranda if you’re a guest. What observation will you make about the food after you discover just how delicious everything tastes when prepared Belize style?
Visit our website www.chabilmarvillas.com for more information on Belize, 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.
Whether you come before or after this year’s “End of the World” Marathon in Placencia on December 6, a wonderful time in a Caribbean wonderland of beautiful beaches, mystical Mayan temples, spectacular caves, pristine rainforests, and the second largest barrier reef in the world can be yours.
Reserve your place in the Marathon and your Villa at Chabil Mar Resort – your choice of 5, 6 or 7 nights of luxury villa accommodations!
The Placencia Belize Marathon Vacation package includes:
- Round trip flights between Belize City and Placencia
- Land transfers between Placencia airstrip and Chabil Mar
- 10% discount on villa rates for your entire stay
- 5 nights in a Luxury Villa (6 and 7 night packages are available, including 10% discount on all villa nights for your entire stay, customized for you – Contact Us to Customize)
- Marathon or ½ Marathon participant entry fee (purchased by Chabil Mar on your behalf)
- Chabil Mar T-Shirt and Race Event T-Shirt
- All Breakfasts (5 night package specifics – longer nights stays can include as many breakfasts as desired at an additional fee)
- 4 Lunches at Chabil Mar and 1 After Race Luncheon (5 night package specifics – longer nights stays can include as many lunches as desired at an additional fee)
- Pasta dinner included in the Marathon event package
- 3 Dinners at Chabil Mar (5 night package specifics – longer nights stays can include as many dinners as desired at an additional fee)
- 1 Dinner at Rumfish y Vino Restaurant in Placencia Village
- 1 Race Event Pasta Dinner
- 1 Singles massage
- Complimentary Bicycles and Kayaks
- Three – full days of Golf Cart use
- Your choice of one of the following three tours: Mayan Ruins (Lubaantun or Lim Ni Punit), Monkey River Howler Adventure or Cockscomb Jaguar Nature Preserve
- 1/2 Day of off-shore Island Snorkeling
- All entrants included in special prize donations raffle!
Please contact our Reservations Manager to reserve your Villa at Chabil Mar for this event now. If you decide to make a change to your plans you can do so for up to 60 days in advance, without charge.
The registration fee, a value up to US$100, which is paid by Chabil Mar on your behalf, includes race entry, a race event T shirt, and an excellent chance of winning a special prize donated by a local sponsor.
NOTE: This Belize vacation package does not include international airfare, alcohol, soft drinks or juices.