Destination Wildlife, a publication focusing on promoting the responsible tourism, has recently published an article featuring travel to Gladden Spit and the Silk Cayes in Belize. The article noted that the Belize Barrier Reef, of which both Gladden Spit and the Silk Cayes are a part, are home to endangered sea turtle species as well as an important migratory destination for whale sharks.
The Destination Wildlife article focused on a number of different reasons why sustainable tourism to the region is so popular. Visitors can marvel at more than 30 species of reef fish that use the Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve for spawning. This large-scale agglomeration of juvenile fish species is the main reason why migrating whale sharks visit the area every year, rising from the depths to feed on this abundance of food. Destination Wildlife also noted that the protected sandy beaches of the Silk Cayes serve as nesting sites for endangered species like the hawksbill turtle.
Destination Wildlife highlighted the fact that a collection of conservationist individuals and organizations are responsible for having the Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes area declared a protected marine reserve in the year 2000. A number of residents from Placencia in Belize formed a group called The Friends of Nature (FoN) in 1993 in order to protect the area from long-term human impact. After successfully lobbying to have Laughing Bird Caye declared a national park in 1996, the FoN then convinced the Belize government to designate Gladden Spit and the nearby Silk Cayes a protected marine in 2000.
Destination Wildlife is an adherent of the guidelines and ideas of the Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism. Destination Wildlife believes that a holistic cooperation between private and individual stakeholders is the best way to preserve cultural heritages and conserve the environment. The Cape Town Declaration was formulated during the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2002, a global conference attended by 280 delegates from around the globe.
The award-winning resort of Chabil Mar on the Placencia Peninsula offers guests a number of comprehensive scuba diving packages that include diving with whale sharks for visitors who want to explore the natural wonders found at Gladden Spit and the Silk Cayes. Chabil Mar also offers guided tours of the Monkey River, scuba diving packages of the Blue Hole, and trips to other top attractions on both land and sea in Belize.
Sea Turtles Thrive in Glover’s Reef
Good news has been reported from the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Belize Fisheries Department. According to a new study recently published in the journal Endangered Species Research, more than 1,000 young hawksbill sea turtles have been counted in the protected waters of Glover’s Reef Atoll on the Belize Barrier Reef.
Currently listed as an endangered species, the hawksbill turtle uses the sheltered inlets and shallow waters of Glover’s Reef Atoll for foraging and nesting. Thanks to a concentrated effort on behalf of the Belize government and non-profit wildlife organizations, the number of young hawksbill turtles in the area has risen since 2009 when in-water counting of the endangered species first began.
“Seeing an increasingly healthy and growing population of hawksbill turtles at Glover’s Reef is excellent news for other species throughout Belize and the greater Caribbean,” said Nicole Auil Gomez, the Belize country director for the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Glover’s Reef Atoll is a rare coral atoll located off the coast of Belize. As part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef Reserve System, the second-largest barrier reef on the planet, protected locations like Glover’s Reef Atoll are essential for maintaining the region’s marine biodiversity.
The Wildlife Conservation Society, in conjunction with the Belize Department of Fisheries, have been conducting field research on sea turtles living in the coral reefs in and around Glover’s Reef Atoll since 2007. The recent study published by the Wildlife Conservation Society listed more than 1,000 hawksbill turtles as well as loggerhead and green sea turtles in the area, determining that the population was thriving. According to the report, the robust population of juvenile sea turtles is a positive indicator of long-term health of the species as well as proof that a well-managed protected marine zone can produce positive results.
“On behalf of everyone at the resort,” said Larry France, marketing manager of Chabil Mar, “we heartily support the ongoing conservation efforts at Glover’s Reef. Preserving and protecting the environment, including sea turtles, is an important step in keeping Belize wild and beautiful for generations to come.”
Chabil Mar, an award-winning resort located on the Placencia Peninsula in Belize, offers guests the opportunity to snorkel and scuba dive at places like Glover’s Reef on the Belize Barrier Reef. Travelers wishing to see sea turtles in their natural environment and enjoy the rich abundance of natural wildlife should consider staying at Chabil Mar for their scuba diving and snorkeling vacation.
December is easily one of the most popular months to visit Belize. With plenty of warm sunshine and fun festivals, there’s something exciting going on all month.
Here are a few festivals and events that you don’t want to miss in Belize in December:
End of the World Marathon
The End of the World Marathon first began on December 21, 2012 when many people around the world interpreted the ancient Maya calendar to predict the apocalypse on that date. After gaining widespread popularity, the End of the World Marathon has continued year after year, blossoming to become one of Placencia’s most popular events. Get more information on this event here.
Christmas is a very important holiday in Belize, and the locals love to celebrate with parades for adults and children. Don’t miss the famous Love FM Christmas Parade in Belize City where Santa and his elves share a bounty of goodies with the crowd.
In coastal areas like Placencia and Ambergris Caye, locals and visitors alike turn out to enjoy the sight of hundreds of boats parading by in a sea of lights, decorations, and enthusiastic cheers.
The Sport of Kings
For more than a century, horse racing has been an important past-time in Belize. The small village of Burrell Boom outside of Belize City is home to a big race on Boxing Day (December 26) and New Years Day (January 1). This is no elitist affair, but a big party where people from all walks of life enjoy the action.
Spelled a variety of ways, Junkanu is a traditional Garifuna dance developed at a time when African slaves had little to celebrate. Dancers don special garb to mock and ridicule their former European masters in a cavalcade of music, singing, and dancing.
Catholics in villages across Belize prepare for the birth of Jesus by re-enacting the pilgrimage of Joseph and Mary in their quest for room at the inn during the nine days leading up to Christmas Day.
No one needs reminding of the “reason for the season” in Belize as shops shut down to allow for family members to go to church and sing hymns. Many Belizeans herald the arrival of the big day with a midnight mass.
A full day of gifts, music, concerts, and lots and lots of delicious food. Don’t be surprised to hear traditional classics as carolers roam the streets to celebrate the big day. Christmas is also a great day to enjoy nature, hiking through the jungle, snorkeling and diving on the reef, or marveling at the enormous stone pyramids and temples left behind by the ancient Maya.
Celebrated both as Boxing Day, a holiday inherited from the long centuries of British rule, and as Kwanzaa, Belizeans keep the holiday season going strong to close out the year.
Where to stay in December
The multiple award-winning resort of Chabil Mar on the Placencia Peninsula is an oasis of luxury and beauty. With well-appointed villas ideal for families, honeymooners, or adventure travelers, Chabil Mar is a great resort to stay for your vacation in December.
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 in December.
Located on the Caribbean coast in southeastern Belize, the Placencia Peninsula is 16 miles of golden sands and is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country.
Below are 10 amazing day trips that visitors staying in Placencia can enjoy:
Measuring over 150 miles in area, the sanctuary is home to a rich variety of landscapes and wildlife, including some of the last native jaguars in Central America.
2 – Bird Watching
Belize is home to hundreds of species of migratory and local avian species, including toucans, scarlet macaws, and red-footed boobies.
3 – Xunantunich
Excavated for more than a century, this impressive Maya city yielded up a major surprise in the summer of 2016 when a team of local archeologists discovered the largest royal tomb ever discovered.
4 – Inland Blue Hole
Located in St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park, the Inland Blue Hole is a spring-fed circular body of bright blue water formed from the collapse of a cenote, the perfect place for a quick dip on a hot day.
5 – Monkey River
Enjoy a boat tour up this pristine river, home to thousands of unspoiled acres of jungle where crocodiles, tapirs, toucans, and monkeys frolic.
Measuring over two acres in size, the Laughing Bird Caye National Park is a protected nature reserve just 11 miles off the coast of the Placencia Peninsula, home to the laughing gull and dozens of other species of birds, marine mammals and flora.
The crystal clear waters make Silk Caye the ideal place for first-time snorkelers to marvel at the rainbow of marine life that thrives in this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Whale sharks are the largest fish species in the world’s oceans, and once a year they migrate to the waters off of Placencia to feed by the light of the moon. Few experiences can compare to interacting with these playful, gentle giants of the deep.
The unofficial capital of the peninsula, Placencia Village is the perfect place to enjoy a bite to eat, a cocktail made from fresh local ingredients, purchase handcrafted souvenirs, and to mingle with locals.
The interior side of the peninsula is home to a mangrove-lined lagoon, the ideal spot for anglers to try their luck at fly fishing and flats fishing for dozens of species, including tarpon, bonefish, and permit fish.
Where to Stay in Placencia
If you are already thinking about where to plan your 2017 vacation, why not consider Placencia? The multiple award-winning resort of Chabil Mar is located just a few minutes’ walk from Placencia Village. Featuring elegantly appointed villas, the resort has its own gourmet restaurant, swimming pools, and lush tropical garden. Guests at the resort can enjoy organized tours at all of the attractions listed above, a great way to make the most of your fabulous Belize vacation.
For more information about visiting Belize or Placencia in 2017 , feel free to chat with our Concierge at: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact our Reservations Manager at: email@example.com. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.
Reefs and Rainforests and Ruins, Oh My! See them all in 2017
To reach Belize, patronize any of the domestic airlines servicing Belize, including Southwest, American, United and Delta. Flights originate in so many North American cities, it can take just hours to get you to Belize. If you’re coming from outside the U.S., book on Taca or Copa Airlines.
Belize Reef adventures
Are you eager to get some exercise while exploring areas around the Belize Barrier Reef? Rent a kayak on Laughing Bird Caye to explore everything from mangrove swamps to white beaches. If aquatics are more your style, snorkel the turquoise waters of the Caribbean to see an astonishing mix of marine life around the reef where you’ll as likely run into scientists studying indigenous marine life as sports enthusiasts.
Belize Rainforests extraordinaire
If you only have time to visit one rainforest, make it to Monkey River where you will find howler monkeys and gain access to the many sites and wonders found in Belize that allows you to pair two Rs on one excursion. Not every rainforest in Belize has such a variety of things to see and do, which is why putting yourself into the hands of tour specialists at Chabil Mar resort is such a great idea. Ask about our signature excursion packages like an exciting jungle trek.
If your Monkey River excursion whetted your appetite to explore ancient Maya ruins, then request information from Chabil Mar reservationists about Maya ceremonial centers, villages, temples and ball courts in Belize; our staff can even get you to nearby Guatemala to see Tikal, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Extend your adventure by visiting two destinations: Guatemala and Belize. This exciting seven night Belize & Guatemala vacation package is all inclusive, so all of the planning is done for you.
Need we mention Relaxation and Rest?
Your Chabil Mar hosts are experts at arranging all sorts of jungle, sea and combination excursions. Consider a customized pairing of scuba diving with fishing, a visit to Monkey River and Cockscomb Basin or mix and match land-based attractions with adventures at sea. Of course, you can do nothing at all if you wish!