Belize Proves that Small Pleasures Equal Unforgettable Holidays

Posted on Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

placencia belize

You should probably stop reading now if your idea of an idyllic vacation includes grandiose hotels, stylish restaurants that require reservations days in advance and if you are enamored of an environment in which you’re busy night and day! On the other hand, if the idea of a boutique Belize resort that’s so small and exclusive you could blend into the gorgeous scenery intrigues you, keep reading. Small pleasures can mean the difference between a forgettable holiday and one that’s so remarkable, you’re willing to pay your airline a fee to change your flight to a later date!

If you’ve dashed around Europe and awakened each day wondering where you are, you’re not alone. Choose Belize for your destination and this eminently manageable country is going to give you experiences unlike anything you recall, because proximity spells accessibility. Use the exclusive Chabil Mar as your home base and you’re a short drive or walk from a wealth of attractions and sites, which is just one of the reasons TripAdvisor gave this Belize resort a 2015 Traveler’s Choice Award for the ninth consecutive year. Isn’t it time you visited a place small enough to explore everything within reach rather than whizzing by it all?


There are plenty of reasons to headquarter at Chabil Mar, not the least of which is its reputation for being the quintessential barefoot luxury guest resort. It’s small. Exclusive. You couldn’t get lost in a crowd if you tried. Check into the full service resort that’s just a ¾-mile stroll along the beach from Placencia Village and tuck into one of the 19 beautifully appointed villas on the property that sprawls along 400 feet of Caribbean shoreline. Chabil Mar’s tiny village-like setting has no shortage of amenities despite its size. Have your fill of time on the resort’s private pier, hire a boat, dip into two infinity swimming pools and stroll lush gardens before you taste yummy Caribbean cuisine at the Café Mar.

When you are ready to go out and about, there’s no better or more navigable haven than Placencia Village. With a population of just 1,500 Belizeans, your stroll to the town center quickly inserts you into a vibrant hub that’s far from madding crowds, yet the shops, stalls and attractions will feed your need for the flavor of Belize. Dare we mention the friendly, bi-lingual merchants? The Saturday town market is likely to have all of the souvenir and gift needs you require when you’re ready to come home, and once you’ve had your fill, stroll back to your beach umbrella to resume reading or snoozing.

placencia belize

The wealth of plants and wildlife found within Belize (60-percent of the country is forested) is astonishing and shouldn’t be missed. See exotic birds, 4,000 species of flowers (250 of them orchids), easily navigated caves and Maya archaeological sites that stun and inspire.

Organized tours take the work out of planning and there are so many opportunities to indulge in water sports close to Placencia and Chabil Mar, you needn’t worry about spending half your holiday getting to and from them. Kayaks and canoes get you inside caves, down rivers, around lagoons and through forests where waterfalls await. Miss opportunities to visit the underwater world off Belize? Not a chance.

belize barrier reef

From vividly-colored fish, 100 kinds of coral and undersea caves that leave experienced divers and snorkelers speechless, you may even find yourself alone under the turquoise sea, so feel free to claim it as your peronal, private domain. After all, who’s there to challenge you?

The Most Amazing Photo Essay of Placencia Village

Posted on Monday, March 30th, 2015

The fastest way to get to Placencia is via airplane with either Tropic Air or Maya Island Air.

Airplane arrival Chabil Mar - Belize Resort

Placencia is not only known for its white sandy beaches but also for its amazing restaurants that serve a variety of Belizean and International cuisines.

Street Food Placencia Chabil Mar Resort - Belize

Placencia has the longest section of beaches in Belize. In fact, many people call the beaches “barefoot perfect”.

Beach San Pedro Sun Chabil Mar Belize Resort

Placencia beach 650 with Chabil Mar Resort Belize

Placencia’s walkway had the distinction of being the narrowest street in the world, according to the “Guinness Book of World Records.”

Beach Path Chabil Mar Resort Belize

You will find the best Italian Gelato at Tutti Frutti Gelato in Placencia Village. A writer from Afar Magazine described her experience about the place as follows:

During my visit, every customer who came in was a repeat and every one raved about the gelato they’d previously tried, exclaiming that it was indeed the “best.”

tutti-frutti Chabil Mar Belize Resort

Placencia Village is also known for its superb food spots along the Peninsula.

Shak Menu Chabil Mar Resort Belize

Shak Chabil Mar Resort Belize

Yolis Sunday Grill Chabil Mar Resort Belize

Yolis Bar Chabil Mar Resort Belize

Before tourism arrived, Placencia was a quiet fishing village.

Placencia Village from Caribbean 2 Chabil Mar - Belize Resort

Placencia Village from Caribbean 3 Chabil Mar - Belize Resort

Placencia Peninsula is a top tourist destination in Belize.



When will you visit?

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

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

Posted on Thursday, March 26th, 2015

Tubing Cockscomb Chabil Mar - Belize Resort

Review of Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

Plenty of natural reserves and parks are recognized by organizations, clubs and travel authorities because they’re home to species of wildlife and plants that can’t be found elsewhere, but the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (CBWS) is that rare location where so much biodiversity exists within these environs, you might never have to visit another sanctuary to have your fill. Called a “magical place” of wonders and diversity by the World Wildlife Fund, Cockscomb is presently the world’s lone jaguar preserve, but if you visit, you’ll find wildcat, deer and taper tracks in addition to those left behind by these magnificent cats.
History: Concern for the viability of Belize’s jaguar population didn’t arise until the 1980s, when wildlife conservationists and government officials compared notes on the frequency of jaguar references found in hunting magazines. A graduate student was hired to estimate the jaguar population and he declared that the “highest density” of jaguars ever recorded were at the Cockscomb Basin. The government of Belize stepped in and declared the Basin a no-hunting forest reserve in 1984, but wildlife experts remained worried that this designation didn’t sufficiently protect jaguars and other wildlife, so that designation was upgraded to wildlife sanctuary in 1986.

What you’ll see: If you expect to encounter nothing but four legged creatures while visiting this Belize hot spot, you’re in for a surprise. Majestic waterfalls, trails and mountain peaks are home to all sorts of creatures, including a splendid collection of neo-tropical birds. The reason this area is so hospitable has to do with the bounty of natural resources encouraging habitation. The South Stann Creek not only sustains wildlife but also protects the upper watersheds of river systems supplying water to the people of Belize. In fact, there’s just a sliver of land separating basins interconnected to the Swasey River and a Monkey River tributary, so the complex drainage system supports all manner of life in the region—including people!


Stick around: What’s the best way to experience Cockscomb? By staying on premises, of course. Cabins and campgrounds await, so whether you prefer a solid roof over your head or you never met a tent you didn’t like to sleep under, you can go to bed and awaken to the sounds of nature all around you. Be forewarned: this is a moist, tropical forest with high rainfall (around 100 inches annually), so if you can plan your visit in advance, cooler, dry air awaits between February and May. No matter when you come, you will be amazed when you witness this area’s ecological balance.

Getting there: It will take you time to hike area trails, identify exotic vegetation, and spot reptiles and amphibians residing in these wetlands because this area has expanded greatly since 1986. What was once 3,200 acres is now 128,000 acres and the surrounding corridor brings the protected area total to an impressive 250,000 acres. Take a bus, taxi or car to the sanctuary entrance where you will pay a modest entry fee. If you’re driving, travel the Southern Highway about 20 miles south of Dangriga. You must plunge deep into the forest to see the richest treasures and there’s a six-mile path to the epicenter of the sanctuary. Wear comfortable shoes if you plan to hike in, but expect the effort to pay off the moment you spot your first living creature!

For more information about visiting Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: or contact our Reservations Manager at: Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

Belize to Play Cayman Islands Today

Posted on Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

belize national football teamBelize will play the Cayman Islands national football team today in the first leg of the qualifying games for the 2018 World Cup. The game will be held at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan and will start at 8pm.

Our very own Luis Torres is on the team and will also be playing tonight.

Luis Football Chabil Mar Resort Belize

The National Football Team of Belize consists of the following players:

Woodrow West – Goalkeeper

Tevin Gamoba – Goalkeeper

Dalton Eiley – Defense

Denmark Casey – Midfield

Devon Makin – Midfield

Elroy Smith – Defense

Andres Makin – Midfield

Stephen Martinez – Midfield

Harrison Roches – Striker

Jarrett Davis – Striker

Kyle Garcia – Defense

Daniel Jimenez – Striker

Marlon Meza – Striker

Highking Roberts – Striker

Elroy Kuylen – Midfield

Najib Guerra – Midfield

Khalil Velasquez – Midfield

Ian Gaynair – Defense

Amin August – Midfield

Trevor Lennen – Defense

Delone Torres – Midfield

Byron Chavez – Midfield

Jordi Polanco – Midfield Carlton Thomas – Midfield

Luis Torres – Midfield

Gilroy Thurton – Striker

Allan La Flore – Defense

Rai West – Goalkeeper

Alexander Inez – Defense

Norman Anderson – Defense

Technical Staff:

Head Coach – Mr. Jorge Nunez

Assistant Coach – Mr. Carlos Slusher

Assistant Coach – Mr. Peter Jonez

Physical Trainer – Mr. Phillip Marin

Goalkeeper Coach – Mr. Kent Gabourel

Orthopedic Technician – Mr. Thomas Rivars

Equipment Manager – Mr. Herbert Trapp Jr

Entertainment at the stadium will be provided by Tanya Carter, TR Shine and DJ Richie, and tickets can be purchased from any SMART Showroom in Belize or the FFB office in Belmopan.

On behalf of Chabil Mar Management & Staff, we wish the very best of luck to our fantastic national team tonight.

How Far Would You Travel to be Immersed in Belizean Chocolate?

Posted on Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

chocolate festival of belize


Did somebody say chocolate? Is it true that there’s an entire festival devoted to chocolate on Belize? Yes, the rumor is correct and if you are not beyond catching planes to indulge, book your passage now so you claim your share of the calories and the fun. No need to tell your dentist you’ll be attending this year’s Chocolate Festival. Just bring your toothbrush. He doesn’t need to know what you were doing between 22nd and 24th May 2015.

Which came first, the chocolate or the cacao plants? Every May, Belize celebrates a huge cash crop. The Toledo Cacao Fest was always scheduled for the third week of May to coordinate with Sovereign’s Day on or about 24 May. Political happenings notwithstanding, the celebration’s focus and name have been changed with some frequency over time, until the Belize Tourism Board and National Institute for Culture and History decided to halt the confusion. These days, it’s called the 7th Annual Chocolate Festival of Belize.

belizean chocolate

A little history: Once upon a time, the Toledo District was home to poverty-stricken people working a flagging crop, but a fortuitous confluence of conditions and imagination lead Belize leaders to evaluate the area’s soil and prioritize a crop that makes environmental sense—cacao beans. All of this came about in 1984 when the Toledo Cacao Growers Association (TCGA) was launched. Because the climate and soil in Toledo are idyllic, entrepreneurs set about planting cacao terroir, a unique bean capable of producing some of the most delicious chocolate food products on the planet.

Festival side shows: The Belize chocolate festival can turn into something of a free-for-all, where gambling, kids mechanical rides, exhibits and displays focus on indigenous Maya culture and the ubiquitous mega-chocolate party that dominates Punta Gorda Town. Expect to find street stalls selling everything from barbeque to crafts and drumming lessons. Toledo’s central plaza and outlying areas will be festooned with decorations. Merchants sell local beers and spirits from beneath tents and crowds are entertained by rap music-playing DJs. If you miss the festival’s wine and chocolate event at Garbutts Marine on Friday, 22nd May, from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., you might have to live the remainder of your life with mega-regrets.

But where’s the chocolate? In a word, everywhere! Amble around the town central and peripheral festival areas and you will run into products, samples and even chocolate literature. Watch demonstrations on how cacao is processed and used in recipes and products that are putting Belize on the map. Snack on regular food—tamales and empanadas first so you don’t become delirious from the chocolate rush that could come from consuming too many chocolate-laced foods and drinks that include chocolate wines and stout.

Who should you blame? A select group of manufacturers are at the heart and soul of the Belize chocolate industry and the festival. Ix Cacao is a family business headquartered in San Felipe and known for intensely-flavored chocolates infused with all-spice, local vanilla, organic orange peel and baalam nut. Kakaw Chocolate, located on Ambergris Caye, not only produces chocolate products for resale but operates a yummy beach boutique. Goss Chocolates, founded when the first Cacao Fest was staged in 2007, is the company to turn to if European chocolates, delicate milk chocolates and specialty items like truffles are on your radar. Finally, Cotton Tree Chocolate makes little chocolate barrels filled with rum and they also sell cocoa bean jewelry!

Are you ready to spend three whole days in a haze of chocolate? Just nod “Yes” and then find out more about the 2015 festival here: Oh, and don’t worry about what to pack. Just grab anything with an elastic waistband.

Contact us today for more details on the Chocolate Festival of Belize.