On June 4, 2017, the first plane took off from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport (FLL) and landed in Belize City some two hours, part of Southwest’s increasing international expansion plans. Southwest currently operates two non-stop flights from the United States to Belize, one from Houston’s Hobby Airport (HOU) that began operating in 2015 and one from the Denver International Airport (DIA) that began in March of 2017.
Southwest’s website is listing fares for the new Fort Lauderdale-Belize route beginning at just $79 per segment for travelers flying from August 22 through December 13, 2017. Currently, the estimated round-trip price for the new Fort Lauderdale-Belize City route is $412, far more affordable than rival American Airlines Dallas-Belize City flight that averages $785 roundtrip.
Best of all, the new Fort Lauderdale to Belize City route lands at the Philip Goldson International Airport in Ladyville (a suburb of Belize City) in time for travelers to make a connecting domestic flight to Placencia in the southeast of the country. The Fort Lauderdale flight departs Florida at 11:30 AM and arrives in Belize two hours and 20 minutes later (11:50 AM Belize time). Both of Belize’s domestic air carriers, Maya Island Air and Tropic Air have multiple flights connecting the Belize City airport (BZE) to the Placencia airstrip (PLJ), a journey that takes around 40 minutes.
Placencia is a 16-mile long strip of golden beaches on the Caribbean coast of southeastern Belize. Famed for the beauty of its beaches in a country filled with beaches, Placencia is a laid-back waterfront community where the main form of transportation is bicycles and electric golf carts.
At the southern tip of the peninsula lies Placencia Village, a fishing community which more than lives up to its “barefoot ready” motto. Home to small shops, cafes, restaurants, and dive shops, Placencia hosts a three-day Lobsterfest every June to coincide with the opening of the local fishing season. Featuring dozens of chefs competing to craft the tastiest lobster dishes, the festival also has games, local art, and lots of live music.
Just a short walk from Placencia Village is the award-winning resort of Chabil Mar. With luxuriously appointed villas, a lush tropical garden, and one of the top restaurants in the country, Chabil Mar is the perfect base to enjoy a fabulous vacation in Belize.
Chabil Mar also organizes tours to the top attractions in the country, including diving with whale sharks, exploring ancient Maya ruins, and scuba diving and snorkeling excursions on the nearby Belize Barrier Reef.
For more information about Belize or Placencia, 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.
The popular British travel website Wanderlust recently published an article entitled 4 great Belize itineraries that discusses some travel ideas for first-time visitors to Belize.
Here’s our take on Wanderlust’s suggestions:
Relax and Chill
Many travelers come to Belize simply to relax and unwind.
- Head to the island of Caye Caulker, just 45 minutes from Belize City.
- Enjoy snorkeling, windsurfing, and kayaking or just chill on the beach.
- Head to the island of Ambergris Caye and enjoy amazing seafood.
- On the mainland, head to the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary to do bird watching.
- Visit a resort and visit a spa, enjoy a champagne dinner under the stars, or relax in a hammock.
With so much gorgeous nature to choose from, it can be difficult to decide what to do!
- From Belize City, head to the western Cayo District.
- Explore an ancient Maya ruin like Xunantunich.
- Zip line and cave tube in the jungle.
- Enjoy a picnic at a waterfall in a national park.
- Head to the offshore Belize Barrier Reef and enjoy world-class scuba diving and snorkeling.
- Enjoy a sunset cruise.
Belize may not have an opera house, but it more than makes up for a lack of high arts with an eclectic mix of cultures, traditions, and languages. English is the official language, but it’s possible to hear Spanish, Maya, Creole, Chinese, and Mennonite German as you travel around the country.
- Belize City to Dangriga, the home of the Garifuna people.
- Visit the Garifuna museum and Pen Cayetano workshop.
- Head to the nearby village of Hopkins, another Garifuna community, and learn how to cook Garifuna food..
- Visit the Maya Center.
- Stay at a Maya home in Toledo District.
- Visit a Mennonite community at Spanish Lookout.
- Visit a festival, concert, or holiday celebration.
A Bit of Everything
Combine the best of all worlds with this comprehensive itinerary:
- In Belize City, visit the Belize Zoo.
- Head to the interior and hike through a national park.
- Visit an ancient Maya site or ceremonial cave.
- Zip line and cave tube in the jungle.
- Head offshore to enjoy sailing, snorkeling, fishing, and/or scuba diving on the islands.
- Finish up in Ambergris Caye for delicious food and fun festivals.
Chabil Mar is an award-winning resort located on the Placencia Peninsula in Belize. Guests of Chabil Mar can see all of the above attractions and more.
For more information about Belize or Placencia, 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
One of the great things about visiting Belize is that there’s always something going on. No matter what time of year you come to Belize, you can join in on the fun with one of the country’s many exciting festivals, holidays, and events.
Here are 5 festivals in Belize that you shouldn’t miss this year:
Summer kicks off with style every June on the Placencia Peninsula with a festive three-day party that celebrates the mighty lobster. Local chefs compete to create the most savory dish from the world’s favorite crustacean while diners work to burn off all those extra calories with fun games, live music, and a beach party that lasts until dawn. There’s plenty for the whole family to enjoy, including other seafood treats, face painting, and homemade handicrafts and artwork for sale.
This year’s Lobsterfest in Placencia runs from June 23-25, 2017.
Sometimes it seems as though the entire month of September is one big holiday. Beginning on September 10, the national holiday of St. George’s Caye Day celebrates the historic 1798 triumph of British settlers over a Spanish armada which led to Belize becoming the only English-speaking country in the region. Patriotic celebrations, parades, and red, white, and blue (the national colors of Belize) festooned everywhere culminate with big bang on September 21, Independence Day, celebrating the moment in 1981 when Belize became a free and independent nation.
Garifuna Settlement Day
More than 200 years ago, the Garifuna people were exiled from their Caribbean home after an uprising against the British. Seeking sanctuary, the Garifuna arrived in Belize on a fleet of dugout canoes, an event which is re-enacted on the morning of November 19 every year for the national holiday of Garifuna Settlement Day. Although the Garifuna compromise only 4% of Belize’s population, their contribution to music, dance, and food has the whole country celebrating on November 19.
Mango Festival in Hopkins
Many consider the mango to be the tastiest tropical fruit grown in Belize, and the idyllic coastal village of Hopkins grows no fewer than 20 different varieties. Besides all the tasty fruit and mango-themed dishes, there’s live music, games, contests, and dancing in the street to herald the arrival of the mango crop.
In 2017, the Hopkins Mangofest will run from June 3-4.
International Costa Maya Festival
Originally a celebration of Maya heritage from around the region, the International Costa Maya Festival is now one of the biggest festivals of the year. Held in San Pedro on the island of Ambergris Caye, the International Costa Maya Festival has top musical acts, plenty of delicious food and drinks, and a beauty pageant.
In 2017, the festival will run from August 3-6.
For more information about Belize, 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.
Although Belize is best known for its gorgeous beaches, lush rainforests, majestic waterfalls, and world-class snorkeling and diving on the Belize Barrier Reef, one of the most ubiquitously Belizean experiments is the unique sport or adventure option known as cave tubing.
The geology of Belize has created thousands of caves, many of which were used as sacred ceremonial sites by the ancient Maya that once ruled the country in the long centuries before the arrival of Europeans. The ancient Maya believed that the natural limestone formations of caves were sacred nexuses that connected the upper world of humans with the underworld of the gods.
Some of the caves in Belize are home to underground creeks and rivers. Cave tubing is the uniquely Belizean sport of floating on inner tubes through a series of subterranean labyrinths, many of them still containing artifacts, weapons, pottery, and even skeletons of the humans who were sacrificed by ancient Maya priests.
Although cave tubing is a very safe sport, transitioning from the bright saturation of jungle foliage to the inky darkness of a cave can be quite daunting to some visitors. Some of the enormous mineral formations inside the cave have not seen light for centuries, reflecting strange and eerie flashes in the light of a head torch or flashlight. Experienced guides ensure that participants can safely enjoy the experience while offering educational insights about the geology and long history of the caves.
Cave tubing is often marketed as a sport or adventure experience, but many participants find it has a meditative or deeply spiritual effect. Gently floating down a stream or river on an inner tube, passing from the world of light and noise into a world of utter darkness, silence, and enormous monolithic structures that go on for miles before once again returning to the light of day leaves many participants with a sensation of being reborn.
Because the ideal rivers for cave tubing are located deep in the jungle, many participants enjoy combining cave tubing with other complementary activities including zip lining through the canopy or spelunking one of the many sacred caves in the country, including ATM (Actun Tunichil Muknal) Cave that still hosts the complete skeletons of young children sacrificed to Maya gods more than 1,000 years ago.
Chabil Mar resort located on the Placencia Peninsula offers guests Belize jungle and sea packages that include cave tubing, zip lining, and other exciting activities.
For more information about cave tubing in Belize, 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.