Starting December 8, 2015, COPA Airlines will add two weekly flights from Panama City, Panama to Belize City, Belize, making it now easier than ever for visitors from South and Central America to visit the tropical paradise of Belize.
The new route will depart from Belize on Fridays and Tuesdays at 2:17 pm (arriving in Panama at 5:30p) and depart from Panama on Fridays and Tuesdays at 11:30 am (arriving in Belize at 12:52 pm), with a duration of about 2 hours and twenty minutes.
With the latest expansion in route coverage, COPA Airlines will now connect more than 31 countries in the Western Hemisphere to Belize, making the country easily accessible to travelers from North, Central, and South America. For details about the new Panama-Belize route, and to buy your ticket to a paradise vacation in Belize, visit the official website of COPA Airlines.
Now that Southwest Airlines has a direct flight to Belize, competition is heating up, making tickets more affordable than ever!
Placencia, the Jewel of Belize
The Placencia Peninsula is one of the most beautiful regions in Belize. Just a short domestic flight away from the Belize International Airport, the Placencia region is home to pristine white sugar sand beaches, with ready access to tranquil turquoise waters and gentle sea breezes. Visitors can soak in the sun, or take guided tours of the nearby rivers and dense mangrove forests, untouched natural areas teeming with colorful tropical birds and other exotic wildlife.
The main village of Placencia is home to around 1500 locals, but this once-tiny fishing hamlet now offers a number of world-class amenities for visitors. Bars and seafood restaurants offer a wide variety of entertainment and local delicacies, and the town boasts many festivals and live concerts. Visitors to Placencia can also take advantage of the superior fishing, snorkeling, and diving on offer in the crystal clear waters, and for the more adventurous, guided trips to spot whale sharks are available in the months of March, April, May and June.
Where to Stay in Placencia
Chabil Mar is the premiere destination for visitors to the Placencia Peninsula. With gorgeous accommodations and five-star guest services, Chabil Mar is the perfect destination for newlyweds, honeymooners, and family vacations. A Chabil Mar shuttle van is available to pick up guests at the Belize International Airport, or a short domestic flight with Tropic Air can be booked through to the Placencia Airstrip.
If you are interested in experiencing a true tropical paradise, do not hesitate to contact the friendly staff at Chabil Mar. The resort has a number of Belize vacation packages on offer that include both lodging and air/ground transportation to Chabil Mar.
While some guests prefer to spend their days lounging in a hammock or dipping their toes in the surf, the resort also offers a number of adventure packages. Guests can explore Mayan archeological sites, trek through tropical rainforests, or plumb the depths of some of the world’s most spectacular caves. Special Belize family packages are also available upon request.
For more information about visiting Belize or Placencia in 2016 , feel free to chat with our Concierge at: email@example.com or contact our Reservations Manager at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.
What You Should Know About Flying to Belize
From ex-pats to tourism professionals and from frequent flyers to honeymooners, the addition of Southwest direct flights to Belize made an immediate difference because the carrier already serves gateway cities like Houston, Miami and Dallas-Ft. Worth and these hubs are so close to Belize, flyers barely have time to finish a beverage before they spot Belize City below and buckle up for landing.
From the moment Southwest broke the news of their Belize route inauguration, things heated up! Other carriers with established routes to Belize—American, Delta, United and US Air—took a second look at their rate structures and voila! Competitive rates popped up everywhere. Talk about a domino effect: Even regional carriers like Grupo Taca, Tropic Air and Copa Airlines who starting on December 8th will add two weekly flights to Belize from Panama took note of “the Southwest effect,” so if you want to visit now–or if Belize is on your 2016 bucket list for 2016–here’s what you need to know:
The Philip Goldson International Airport is located only 10 miles northwest of Belize City and with so many carriers flying in and out, you shouldn’t have problems making flight connections from North or South America. Conveniently located on the mainland, you can travel by bus, air, shuttle or car to popular locations in just hours. A second international airport is projected for Ambergris Caye down the road, but at the moment, Goldson is your hub.
Where to stay?
Chabil Mar on the Placencia peninsula is an ideal place to set up camp because it’s beautiful, luxurious and convenient. If you fly into Belize City, the Chabil Mar shuttle van can be arranged through the concierge to complete your trip, so planning is effortless. If you’re in a rush to get to Chabil Mar, you can grab a short flight to Placencia, and in fact, the Chabil Mar staff can arrange an all inclusive Belize vacation package that includes both lodging and air transport.
What to see?
First, if you use the Chabil Mar shuttle or rent a car at the airport, your drive will give you the chance to savor your first taste of Belize, so by the time you reach your accommodations, you’ll be ready for an eclectic mix of down time and adventure. Placencia has it all: jungle, water, forests, Mayan ruins, caves, rivers, the Belize Barrier Reef and other wonders unique to Belize. Put your arrangements into the hands of our Belize resort hosts after reviewing myriad package tours and excursions and that’s the last decision you’ll have to make!
How will you benefit?
By flying to Belize, you enjoy an affordable, convenient, luxurious and exciting vacation that is practically guaranteed to slow your pulse, clear your mind and give you a wonderful sense of peace and tranquility. Since it takes only a few hours to fly here—and since U.S. dollars are accepted in most places and you don’t have to learn another language since English is spoken everywhere here—Belize in 2016 isn’t just a great idea; it could be the best decision you make all year.
Luxury treatment along the Caribbean is second to none, no matter what species you might be. Just two nights ago, the Chabil Mar Resort staff stumbled upon an injured tern. Not equipped to truly see to the needs of such a unique guest, the staff called in the expertise of the Belize Bird Rescue (BBR). Founded in 2004, BBR works to provide sufficient care and rehabilitation for the country’s enormous bird population with a major focus on helping parrots that have been freed from the area’s illegal pet trade operations.
Terns are most well known for the spiked black feathers that sit atop their crowns, mimicking a popular human coif. These seabirds are extremely adaptable, commonly leading them into more dangerous situations than most other bird species.
According to Nikki Buxton of BBR, the skinny and weak tern was found to have internal parasites. While it won’t be feeding on fine cuisine any time soon, it will receive much needed fluids and tubed fish puree.
When asked if the little visitor will make it, Buxton is confident in a full recovery. “It’s 50-50 with these guys but this one seems stronger than most. Fingers crossed! Good save.”
Why are travelers opting for vacations in Belize rather than crossing oceans to tour Paris, London, Rome and Berlin? Because they save a bundle, have access to water sports and perpetual sun and they don’t have to learn another language. But the highlights of any visit to Belize will always be the nation’s rich cultural diversity, rivaling anything you see elsewhere, minus the jet lag. Seeing Belize through the eyes of so many heritages will open your eyes to a world where cultural diversity is celebrated.
Here are 4 ways to get your cultural fix in Belize:
1. Build a Belize City itinerary to experience the richness of the nation’s Creole culture. Start at the Government House of Culture on Regent Street to see a collection of artifacts symbolizing Belize’s past as a British Colony. Walls, shelves and display cases are filled with silver utensils, paintings, photos and more, but don’t linger too long because heaping plates of rice, beans and stew chicken await at a variety of nearby restaurants. Alternately, tour the stained glass and mahogany environs of St. John’s Cathedral across the street before you eat. Enjoy a road trip to a Creole village like Burrell Boom to sample fruit wines and spot howler monkeys. Want more? Take the water taxi to Caye Caulker where friendly islanders, cultural sites and more Creole foods await.
2. Nothing compares to visiting a Garifuna Village—especially after you learn how founders risked their lives to escape their homeland, arriving in Belize in 1802. Music is so important to Garifuna society, the culture’s unique, drum-driven beat has come to re-define Caribbean music. For full Garifuna immersion, go to Hopkins, a fishing village easily navigated by foot if you like to walk and find yourself eating too much delicious Garifuna cookery. What’s the most popular cultural experience of all? A stop at the Lebeha Drumming Center where you can quickly learn a few signature drum moves. Visit in November for Garifuna Settlement Day, a national holiday that pays tribute to the history and culture of this unique society.
3. Immerse yourself in Mayan culture by visiting Toledo, where the most number of Mayan settlements in close proximity are located. For the ultimate cultural experience, don’t just tour ruins filled with cultural reminders of Mayan culture; book a two-night stay in a thatched hut at any of six ancient villages eager to host guests via the Toledo Ecotourism Association. The Mayan ancestors of Belize’s original settlers will welcome you into their world, but be forewarned, this is a hands-on stay! You’ll not only see how members of this ancient culture lived but you may be asked to help make tortillas or undertake another ancient chore. Round out your cultural experience by reading the Toledo Howler, your authority on current cultural events in Toledo.
4. Close proximity to Hispanic neighbors is the reason Spanish is Belize’s second language. Learn more about the heritage of Mestizos (people of Spanish and Mayan descent) in Northern Belize where this society enjoys a lifestyle that’s distinct from Central American neighbors. Whether you tour Corozal or Orange Walk, expect to see beautiful Mestizo art, hear foot-tapping Latin music and eat mouth-watering foods. Living in close proximity to the Mestizo people of Corozal is a large community of East Indians who arrived in the 19th century as slaves and wound up staying in Belize after being freed. Sample the curry. It’s distinct. Visit the only East Indian Museum in Belize. You’ll enjoy the unique experience of exploring a culture within a culture, and what other Central American country can make that claim?
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 cultural vacation.
If you’re eager for the chance to get into a celebratory mood–but Christmas and New Year’s Eve are just too far away in your opinion–you’ll be happy to know that Garifuna Settlement Day takes place on November 19th, giving you everything you crave in a festive, culturally-rich special occasion.
Every November, the Garifuna people hold a grand celebration on November 19th that commemorates the legacy of a people who were literally exiled from their homeland in the Caribbean Sea, only to set sail for the west, where Belize became their new home back in 1802. Do you detect a similarity between Thanksgiving in the U.S. and Garifuna Settlement Day? You should! Both tell a story of a people hungry for freedom and willing to undertake a risky sea voyage in search of a welcoming land willing to let the people put down roots.
Symbolically, the landing of the forefathers of the Garifuna people is literally re-enacted on the 19th every year, so if you choose accommodations near this exciting happening, you’ll have a front row seat for the pageantry, the party and the fun. Chabil Mar Villas makes an ideal lodging choice if you’re here for the holiday because it’s located in Placencia Village and in close proximity to Seign Beight, the Garifuna Village in south Belize known as the epicenter of Garifuna life. If you’ve already experienced the Seign Beight celebration, head for Barranco, Hopkins, Punta Gorda or the cultural capital of the Garifuna people, Dangriga.
Traveling to any of these destinations is a breeze thanks to your Chabil Mar Villas host. Ground transport can be arranged through the concierge so your only responsibility is to relax during a short ride and experience all of the celebratory events, food, dance, music and history you crave. If you want to cap off your Garifuna Settlement Day in style, learn how to drum, since this instrument is an important part of Garifuna history.
Chabil Mar can arrange transport to get you back to the villas early, if you like, but if you decide to join the crowd that loves to celebrate all night long, you’ll be right in step. Besides, if your constitution is up for the challenge, you can always sleep the day away in your luxury villa on the 20th once you’ve had your Settlement Day fill.
This year’s Garifuna Settlement Day festivities will give Belizeans another chance to memorialize the legendary musician Paul Nabor, so expect the music you hear throughout the day to be bold, colorful and vibrant. The iconic master of Garifuna music passed away last year around this time, leaving a huge void in the Belize music scene that won’t soon be filled, but plenty of up-and-coming young musicians eager to emulate Nabor’s success will perform at this year’s festivities, so don’t miss a minute of it.
While your soul and your ears are being nourished by Garifuna music, feed your tummy by dining on traditional Garifuna cookery, like serre, hudut, cassava bread, puddings, traditional drinks and some of the most potent wine on the planet. Everything about this holiday will reverberate to the signature drums of the Garifuna people, so catch up on your sleep before the 19th so you don’t miss a minute of the excitement.
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 attending the Garifuna Settlement Day Celebration.