Top Reasons to Go to The Southern Coast of Belize

Posted on Monday, September 22nd, 2014

vacation in placencia belize

Photo by Jeff Monuszko

Fodors is the largest publisher of travel and tourism information in the world and its website www.fodors.com is known for its unbiased, authentic and genuine reviews on travel.

The Mexico and Central America section of the website contains useful and imperative recommendations on the southern coast of Belize particularly Placencia which comes highly recommended to the intrepid traveler.

Over the years, Fodors has rated the top experiences, places, things to do, restaurants, and hotels in the Southern Coast  and in this post we share the top 3 things that can be experienced easily from Placencia:

Beaches. The mainland’s best beaches are on the Placencia peninsula and around Hopkins. Although they’re narrow ribbons of khaki rather than wide swaths of talcum-powder sand, they’re ideal for lazing in a hammock under a coco palm. And you don’t have to fight the crowds for a spot—at least not yet.

Jaguars. The world’s first and only jaguar preserve is the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. Chances are you won’t actually see one of these big, beautiful cats in the wild, as they roam the high bush mainly at night, but you may see tracks or hear a low growl in the darkness.

Water Sports. Anglers won’t be disappointed by the bonefish, tarpon, and other sportfishing. The Barrier Reef here is generally 15 miles (25 km) or more off the coast, so it’s a long trip out, even with the fast boats the dive shops use. However, there are patch reefs around closer islands, with excellent snorkeling. Serious divers will find two of Belize’s three atolls, Turneffe and Glover’s, within reach. In a charter sailboat you can island-hop in the protected waters inside the reef.

Chabil Mar, the guest exclusive resort in Placencia is the only hotel in the Peninsula to receive the Fodors Choice Four Star Hotel Designation and is located in Placencia Village, while many other Placencia Peninsula resorts and hotels are located as much as 12 miles north of the Village.

The premier location of the resort is perfect to visit the shops, restaurants, nightlife and authentic traditional fishing Village culture at your leisure and on your own schedule, as often as you wish, and then return to the peacefulness and guest exclusive privacy of Chabil Mar.

For more information about things to do in the southern coast of Belize , feel free to chat with our Concierge at: concierge@chabilmarvillas.com or contact our Reservations Manager at: reservations@chabilmarvillas.com. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

Latin Post: ATM Cave is Top Sacred Cave in the World

Posted on Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

actun-tunichil-muknal-cave-of-the-crystal-sepulchre-in-belize

National Geographic ranks Actun Tunichil Muknal (Cave of the Crystal Sepulchre), or ATM as the No.1 “Sacred Places of a Lifetime” in the beautiful Central American country of Belize. (Photo : Flickr/Michael Daines/Antti T. Nissinen)

A recent article on Latin Post, a popular Internet site that caters to the Hispanic Community in the US and the rest of the world praised Actun Tunichil Muknal as one of the top caves that travelers have to explore when they visit Belize.

The article titled “National Geographic Top “Sacred Places” List: Belize Ancient Mayan Cave Ranks First and written by Melissa Castellanos was published on September 13 2014 and generated a lot of exposure on the Internet for Belize.

“Named the No. 1 on its list of “Sacred Places of a Lifetime” by National Geographic, ATM is located in the Cayo District, not far from the charming little town of San Ignacio. It involves a 45-minute hike, crossing streams and river banks of the Tapir Mountain Reserve to get to the cave’s entrance. Once there, you swim, twist and turn and climb to the depths of ATM where there is no natural light,” writes Castellanos who was captivated by the Cave’s aura.

According to Larry France, Marketing Manager for Chabil Mar, the ATM Cave has been making international headlines for the past three consecutive months and is considered one of the most remarkable caves on the Planet.

“It is one of Belize’s most enthralling attractions and the cave has been featured in prestigious publications like Discovery Channel, The Daily Beast and The Huffington Post says France whose resort offers a number of Belize vacations that include a tour of the cave.

Actun Tunichil Muknal or the ATM Cave as it is locally known is one of the most breathtaking caving experiences you will have in Belize. The cave is located in the karstic limestone terrain of Roaring Creek Valley in the Cayo District and is approximately 5 km long and contains a perennial stream that runs through it including a ledge with two stelae and a large chamber full of intact human remains and Maya pots.

For more information about Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave or Belize , feel free to chat with our Concierge at: concierge@chabilmarvillas.com or contact our Reservations Manager at: reservations@chabilmarvillas.com. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

7 Uniquely Beautiful Places in Belize to Add to Your Bucket List

Posted on Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Belize has a cornucopia of intriguing attractions from stunning islands to ancient Maya ruins but here are 7 unique and beautiful places in Belize that you need to add to your bucket list:

Placencia Belize

placencia belize vacations 2014

Photo by Jeff Monuszko

Placencia is an elegant peninsula in southern Belize and has 16 miles of some of the very best Caribbean beaches in the country. Here, the coastlines are a favorite for numerous divers and fly fishermen. Once a sleepy fishing community, Placencia has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Belize.

SEE ALSO: 15 Instagram Photos of Placencia Belize Everyone Needs to See

 Victoria Peak

victoria peak

Amongst the Maya Mountains is the second tallest mountain in Belize, Victoria Peak. It is positioned in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, which is situated in the Stann Creek District of Belize. In 1998, Victoria Peak was declared a natural monument. The peak is located in a broad-leaved willowy forest and many of the plants are used for medicinal practices.

Mountain Pine Ridge

Mountain Pine Ridge in Belize

Photo by Gaby Silva

The Mountain Pine Ridge Nature Reserve is the oldest of Belize’s natural parks and is comprised of 300 square miles of dirt roads and wildlife trails. The most prevalent fascinations in the area are Rio Frio Cave, Rio on Pools and Big Rock Falls, which echo through the valley.

Laughing Bird Caye

Laughing_Bird_Caye,_Belize_2

Laughing Bird Caye is a gorgeous Belizean island located on the western side of the Victoria Channel and is the southernmost atoll in the central lagoon of the Belize Barrier Reef. It has deep channels on both sides with an abundance of different kinds of coral habitats and marine life.

Hopkins Village

Almond_Beach_Hopkins_Stann_Creek_Belize

Hopkins Village is a coastal fishing settlement in eastern Belize that is known for their tourist hospitality and drumming celebrations. Hopkins is believed by many Belizeans to be the cultural center of the Garifuna population. The Belize First Magazine voted Hopkins as “The Friendliest Village in Belize.”

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

Often referred to as a “magical place,” the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary in Belize is a spectacle of natural splendor and diversity. It is a perfect nature reserve to learn about plants, animals, natural history and so much more.

Blue Hole

great_blue hole of belize

The Belize Blue Hole is a sinkhole cave that is also a part of the UNESCO site. It’s a popular magnetism of divers throughout the world and is a geographical marvel that is part of the Lighthouse Reef System. It’s 480 feet deep and one of the most astonishing natural phenomena on earth.

SEE ALSO: The Best Diving in Belize

For more information about the traveling to Belize or Placencia, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: concierge@chabilmarvillas.com or contact our Reservations Manager at: reservations@chabilmarvillas.com. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

10 Most Interesting Caves in Belize

Posted on Thursday, September 11th, 2014

ATM cave in belize

Caves were used by the ancient Maya for performing spiritual rituals like sacrificing to their Gods and bloodletting. In the enigmatic Maya religion and mythology, caves were considered to be the home of gods and an entrance to the ever mysterious underworld. The underworld was called ‘Xibalba’ and its literal translation from Mayan language is ‘the place of fear’. In the Popol Vuh, it has been described as a court that lies beneath the earth’s surface and is often associated with death. In Maya religion, Xibalba is also thought to be dead’s realm and the lowest among the 9 underworlds.

The Maya were Belize’s first inhabitants and caves were fundamental to their religion which is why Belize’s history with its caves is like the fate of soul mates, you can’t pull them apart.

Today, because of the lime rock matrix that occupies a majority of the landmass of the country, it is spattered with caves and one can’t think of Belize without thinking of its majestic caves. Some of the most extensive cave systems in the world are found just beneath the surface of this country.

If you want to travel back through time and enter the realm of Xibalba, then you have to explore any (or all) of the below 10 caves to learn about the enigmatic and ancient Maya civilization -

1. Black Hole – The Black Hole drop in Belize is for those people who seek the real thrill of adventure. The descent is 300 feet deep, starting with the first 10 feet and providing an unforgettable rush in the next 200 feet. The final 100 feet will take you through the canopy of the Belizean rainforest and this entire experience is definitely not for those who were expecting a vanilla holiday. Ladder climbing, hiking and some rock climbing skills will definitely be needed to get in and out of the Black Hole but even when it is done, the adrenaline will take a long time to come down.

2. Rio Frio Cave – The signature of this cave is its massive mouth and it is also the largest cave you will come across in Belize. Located in Mountain Pine Ridge, the arched entrance is miraculous and in the rainy season, you might get to experience the river that runs through the paths of the cave. The cave tour is not that strenuous or difficult and you should carry a flashlight to experience it properly.

3. Barton Creek Cave - This ceremonial cave can be explored with the help of licensed guides on a canoe. It might take up about half a day but the cultural and natural wonders you come across is well worth the sweat. The canoe will glide along the river cave and will take you through chambers that will remind you of cathedrals and wide roomy passages. It is interesting to note that Barton Creek Cave was part of a recent list of ’9 most unusual and beautiful caves in the world’, and when you are in your canoe exploring this cave, you will know why.

4. Chem Chem Ha Cave - A lot of Maya artifacts and artworks can be found in this cave which was discovered by a farmer. The entrance itself is riddled with Maya motifs which would appeal to the archeology hobbyists among you. The chamber walls are lined with ‘ollas’ or storage jars and you can reach the high chambers through ladders inside the cave. You can only explore this cave with a licensed guide since it is carefully monitored to stop looting of artifacts.

5. Actun Tunichil Muknal – This ceremonial cave is so rich in Maya artifacts that you will never experience so much first hand cultural knowledge anywhere else. You can see bloodletting altars and more than 1400 other artifacts. There are both dry and wet chambers in the ATM cave and some sacrificial remains might also be found, particularly the ‘Crystal Maiden’ artifact which is the remain of a young human female but because of calcium carbonate covering, sparkles in the lamp light, giving the experience a rather grim memento mori. There is also a hike of 45 minutes where you will cross 3 streams.

6. Caves Branch Cave System - There are about three caves in the Caves Branch cave system – Petroglyph, Waterfall and Footprint. The names of the caves have been taken from the objects you will find on the walls inside. There are embedded footprints on the walls of the Footprint, about six waterfalls in Waterfall, and Maya’s ancient rock drawings from 300 to 900 A.D. in Petroglyph. The humongous cave system has been formed by the Caves Branch River that goes through these caves and has many a squeezes to make your heart skip a beat.

7. Laguna Cave - There is a wooden ladder about 4m long which can be used for climbing over the steep slope over which the entrance of the cave is situated. Then you will go through two entrances, through a slope of 8m depth and into a lower chamber which has an exquisite skylight filtering to the center. Some crevices of the cave are home to bats and speleothems, and further in, you will see a wooden bench through which the village of Laguna, after which the cave has been named, can be seen.

Read more: http://www.belizehub.com/2014/09/09/10-of-the-most-majestic-caves-in-belize/

15 Instagram Photos of Placencia Belize Everyone Needs to See

Posted on Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

“The Placencia peninsula is fast becoming one of the major visitor destinations in Belize, one that may eventually rival Ambergris Caye as the most popular resort area in the country. It’s one 16-mile- (26-km-) long peninsula, with three different but complementary areas: Northern Peninsula/Maya Beach, Seine Bight, and Placencia Village” reads the profile of Placencia Belize on Fodors Travel website.

As you will see in these 15 Instagram photos, the Placencia Peninsula is not only a great vacation destination but also a fabulous place to snap amazing travel photos.

Placencia is a top Belizean gem

placencia belize vacations 2014

Photo by Jeff Monuszko

Placencia has approximately 16 miles of sandy beaches

placencia beaches

Photo by: Bunny Penitusi

Placencia has long enjoyed a reputation as ‘the caye you can drive to

placencia destination belize

Photo by David Guerra

Belize is famous for its laid-back attitude, and Placencia beach is the perfect place for travelers to celebrate it

placencia peninsula beaches belize

Photo by Morgan Avary

Whale Sharks, the largest living fish, congregate near Gladden Spit off Placencia, Belize to feed on plankton and other spawning fish

belize whale shark diving

Photo by @mcelroy27

Placencia isn’t only known for it’s nice beaches and great bars, it also has superb food spots

placencia belize food restaurants

Photo by Chabil Mar

If you’re looking for somwhere to plan the perfect beach wedding, then look no further than Placencia Belize

placencia belize wedding vacation packages

Photo by Chabil Mar

Everything in Placencia is calm and stress-free, from the breeze in the coconut palms to the waves lazily lapping the shore

placencia belize vacations

Photo by Don Town

The Diving in Placencia is world class

placencia belize diving

Photo by Talor Hightower

The average temperature in sub-tropical Placencia is 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and the average humidity is 83%placencia belize sunrise

Photo by: Leanne Castillo

Placencia is a popular destination for visitors wanting to dive, fish and swim around the atolls and reefs teeming with some of the highest marine diversity in the world.

placencia belize resorts

Photo by Cylie Hightower

Placencia was primarily a fishing village but it has now become a major tourism destination

belize placencia vacations travel

Photo by joshzaid

There are many places to stay in Placencia – from low-cost lodging to all inclusive Belize Resorts

placencia belize luxury resorts

Photo by Jeff Monuszko

Placencia is simply Paradise

vacation in placencia belize

Photo by Jeff Monuszko

Laughing Bird Caye is a beautiful Belizean isle that can be explored from Placencia

explore belize islands from placencia

Photo by || merissa

For more information about the traveling to Belize or Placencia, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: concierge@chabilmarvillas.com or contact our Reservations Manager at: reservations@chabilmarvillas.com. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.