Belize in May

Posted on Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

The month of May is the perfect time to visit Belize. A combination of pleasant weather, reduced rates on tours and attractions, and vacation time on Memorial Day in America make visiting Belize in May a great way to appreciate all of the beautiful nature and exciting adventures this small Central American country has to offer.

May is when a lot of the major airlines, including United, Southwest, American, and Delta offer special fares on non-stop flights to Belize from major American cities. Combine affordable flights with special offers from resorts, hotels, lodges, and tour companies throughout the month of May, and you can enjoy a fabulous Belize vacation for less.

Here are just some of the many interesting festivals and activities you can enjoy during your May vacation in Belize:

Mother’s Day

May 14 is not an official holiday in Belize, but it’s Mother Day’s in America. Why not surprise Mom with a lovely getaway vacation to Belize? She can get pampered at a full-service spa, relax by the pool, sip on fresh cocktails, sample locally produced chocolate, and dance all night to Caribbean rhythms.

Swim with Whale Sharks

Every year, migrating whale sharks visit the waters offshore of Belize. Rising from the depths to feed on spawning fish and juvenile marine fauna, whale sharks are the largest fish in the ocean but pose no risk to humans.

Note: In order to protect whale sharks, only licensed tour operators are allowed to bring divers to the whale shark feeding grounds.

Chocolate Festival

May 18-20, 2018, is when the annual Chocolate Festival of Belize will be held in the town of Punta Gorda. Snack on a delicious assortment of chocolate-based dishes, including unusual items like chocolate beer, and enjoy all the fun, music, and games of the street fair.

Outdoor Adventures

Adventures abound in Belize where visitors can scuba dive, snorkel, hike, zip line, go caving, bird watch, and explore long-lost Mayan cities.

Cashew and Agricultural Festival

Belize’s fertile soil and warm weather produce a bounteous harvest. One of the best ways to enjoy fresh, local food is by attending the Cashew Festival and Agricultural Show in the village of Crooked Tree in northern Belize.

Sovereign’s Day

The entire nation of Belize uses the occasion of Queen Elizabeth’s birthday and Commonwealth Day to celebrate on May 22 with horse races in Belize City and Orange Walk Town, a bicycle race in Belmopan, and plenty of fun, games, and music across the country.

Labour Day

May 1 is Labour Day in Belize, a unique holiday that begins with a formal speech by the Labour Minister and then continues with parades, rallies, and festive demonstrations across the country. There’s also kite flying contests, cycle races, horse races, and even a harbor regatta to enjoy.

With fabulous weather, an abundance of public holidays and festivals, and affordable rates on flights and lodging, May is definitely a wonderful time to enjoy a getaway vacation to Belize.

Where to stay in Belize

Chabil Mar

A multiple award-winning resort located just minutes from Placencia Village, Chabil Mar is an oasis of tranquility and luxury that welcomes guests with well-appointed villas, a lush tropical garden, and a gourmet restaurant where diners can enjoy their meals al fresco on a private pier.

Visit our website www.chabilmarvillas.com for more information about 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 May.

 

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5 Things to do in Belize this Summer

Posted on Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

From diving the great blue hole of Belize to exploring Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave (one of the most sacred caves in the world), these 5 Belize tours will certainly immerse you in the beauty and wonder of Belize this summer.

Great Blue Hole of Belize

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The world famous Blue Hole is an incomparable natural wonder in Belize. It is located at the center of Lighthouse Reef and measures 1000 feet across and 412 feet deep. Giant stalactites, dripstone sheets and columns, and colorful marine life are the enchanting geological wonders that will fascinate you if you decide to dive this site this summer.

It is interesting to note that Jacques-Yves Coustea, the popular ocean explorer revealed the secrets of the Blue Hole to millions of viewers in 1971 through the television serious The Undersea World of Jacques-Yves Coustea.

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

Globally recognized as the world’s first jaguar preserve, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is a top rated nature reserve to visit in Belize this summer. Cascading waterfalls, panoramic mountain views, nature trails, furry mammals, colorful insects, scaly reptiles and a variety of neotropical birds are just a few of the things you will experience at this sanctuary.

Although the jaguar, the largest spotted cat in the world is what the reserve is famous for, you are unlikely to see one as the cat is nocturnal. However you will see its tracks along with tracks of tapir, deer, and other wildlife that inhabit the nature reserve.

Cockscomb Basin is also home to one of Belize’s highest points — Victoria Peak.

Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave (ATM Cave)

ATM cave in belize

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.

According to Director of Archeology Jaime Awe, Actun Tunichil Muknal was a sacred place to the Maya who utilized the cave during the classic period AD 250-909. Thousands of people are attracted to this cave annually due to its remarkable history, elegant stalagmites and stalactites and the Crystal Maiden, the intact skeleton of a young woman who was sacrificed to the gods.

Annual Placencia Lobsterfest

lobsterfest in placencia 2014

If you will be visiting Belize in June, it is a must to attend the Placencia Lobsterfest. This year, the festival is scheduled from June 22-24, 2018 and is organized by the Placencia Village Council and the Placencia Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association. Thousands of local and international visitors are expected to attend this event.

Kayaking in Belize

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Crystal clear waters, tepid sunshine, balmy Caribbean breezes, thousands of coral reefs, and colorful marine life are just a few of the things that make kayaking in Belize a joy. With more than 200 stunning islands, Belize makes an idyllic kayaking destination and cayes such as Glovers Reef, Half Moon Caye and Laughing Bird Caye are favorite destinations for reef kayakers.

For more information about traveling to Belize this summer, 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.

The Belize Zoo

Posted on Tuesday, February 6th, 2018

Belize Zoo

The Belize Zoo is truly a unique experience and far more than just a collection of animals kept locked up in cages. Located just a few miles outside of Belize City, the zoo was founded in 1983 as the Tropical Education Center to provide refuge for animals that had been abandoned after being used in a documentary film.

Today, the Belize Zoo is an interactive wildlife park that is the first location of its kind to be completely accessible to handicapped persons. Measuring more than 29 acres in size, the Belize Zoo is home exclusively to more than 140 animals that are native to the country, including birds, reptiles, and mammals. Continuing its original mission, all of the 45 species of wildlife at the Belize Zoo are rescued animals.

Some of the most popular residents of the Belize Zoo include Junior Buddy (a jaguar), Panama (a harpy eagle) and Fuego, a Baird’s Tapir, the national animal of Belize.

Although Belizeans live in one of the most ecologically diverse environments on the planet, many of them are unaware of the rich diversity of wildlife to be found in their country. The Belize Zoo doubles as an educational center, providing information and hands-on experiences in order to encourage respect for the animals and plants of Belize and emphasize the importance of preserving the natural heritage of the country for generations yet to come.

More than 68,000 people visit the Belize Zoo every year including school groups from local schools in Belize. Student career training, summer camps, reading programs, and birthday parties for the animals are regular events at the Belize Zoo to help increase awareness of the rich diversity of wildlife in Belize.

Visit the Belize Zoo

Chabil Mar strongly encourages all visitors to Belize to visit the Belize Zoo and our concierge would be very pleased to make those arrangements for a visit there for you.

A luxury resort located just a short distance from Placencia Village, Chabil Mar features lovely well-appointed villas on an immaculate property complete with a lovely tropical garden, infinity swimming pool, and a top-rated restaurant and bar.

 

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Actun Tunichil Muknal Mayan Cave (ATM Cave)

Posted on Tuesday, February 6th, 2018
atm cave belize

Entrance to the ATM Cave

While no one knows the original name of the cave, today it is called Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave from a Maya term meaning “Cave of the Stone Sepulcher”. Sometimes referred to as the Cave of the Stone Altar, ATM is a complex underground network of tunnels that lead to one of the most important historic sites ever discovered. Containing over 1,400 artifacts from the end of the Ancient Maya Empire that have lain undisturbed for more than a millennium, the ATM cave was once used by priests to conduct human sacrifices at a time of drought, warfare, and civil strife.

The entrance to ATM Cave is protected by a deep pool of cool water that visitors must traverse by swimming. Once inside, the cave opens up to a series of enormous stalactites and stalagmites. The first indication of the cave’s religious importance is a large stone altar carved from a stalactite with a stingray spine as its centerpiece, the altar or sepulcher that gave the cave system its current name. All around the altar lie potsherds, bone fragments, relics and other artifacts left behind by the Maya priests more than a thousand years ago.

Further in, towards what the Ancient Maya believed was the sacred nexus where the underworld of the gods connected to the world of men, lie the bones of the Crystal Maiden. This sacrificial victim, estimated to be a young adult in their 20s, has, over time, bonded with the minerals in the cave to acquire a glittery sheen. Nearby lie the remains of seven adult sacrificial victims as well as those of five children all under the age of 5. Thousands of fragmented pots and vessels are scattered near the bones, including some largely-intact pots and bowls that archeologists believe once held food offerings to appease the gods. Other artifacts include the obsidian blades that are believed to have been used in the solemn but gruesome human sacrifices conducted by Maya priests.

Archeologists have estimated that the ATM cave first became a site used by the Maya for religious purposes nearly 2,000 years ago. The most recent remains are dated to the Terminal-Classic Period (roughly 800 to 1000 AD), a time when the Maya heartland was suffering from severe drought and civil wars. Forgotten for more than a thousand years, the ATM cave was rediscovered in 1989 by local archeologists.

Due to the fragile nature of the artifacts within, only guides authorized by the Department of Archeology can access the ATM Cave. At Chabil Mar, we offer guests guided tours of this unique historical site in Belize. Our concierge would be very pleased to make those arrangements for a visit there for you.

Chabil Mar Wins TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Award

Posted on Friday, February 2nd, 2018

Chabil Mar Resort in Placencia, Belize has just been awarded the Travelers’ Choice Award by TripAdvisor for the year 2018. This marks the 11th consecutive year in which Chabil Mar has been recognized by TripAdvisor for providing outstanding customer service and hospitality in the travel industry.

Chabil Mar has previously been recognized by TripAdvisor in a number of key categories. Currently, Chabil Mar is rated number five in Belize for small hotels and number eight overall in Central America for small hotels. Chabil Mar has also been awarded numerous times by TripAdvisor in a number of categories, including Top 10 small hotels in Belize, top 10 family resorts in Belize, the top 10 romantic destinations in Belize, the top 10 in hospitality service in Belize, and the top 25 small hotels in Central America.

“We wish to thank all of our guests who took the extra time to post a review of their Belize vacation experience and to congratulate our wonderful staff for another year of providing superior service,” said Larry France, marketing manager of Chabil Mar. “We are always proud to receive an award at any given time and any year, but marking 11 consecutive years of excellence is a very special treat for us this year.”

Chabil Mar is a luxury beachfront resort located on the southern coast of Belize. With well-appointed villas, a lush tropical garden, and a gourmet restaurant, Chabil Mar has consistently been recognized by TripAdvisor and other travel information publishers for providing superior customer service to its guests.

Chabil Mar is located close to many of Belize’s top attractions as rated by TripAdvisor, including, the ancient Maya sites of Xunantunich (number four in Belize), the ruins of Caracol (number eight in Belize), and the ruins of Cahal Pech (number nine in Belize). Chabil Mar is also just a few miles from the Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and first-class destination for snorkeling, swimming, sailing, fishing, and sea kayaking, while benefiting from a stroll along the beach to the traditional fishing Village of Placencia where guests enjoy the daily culture and life of Belize.

TripAdvisor is the world’s most popular website for travel information, customer reviews and opinions, accommodation bookings, and other travel-related content. Since its founding in February 2000, TripAdvisor has grown to 315 million members and has recorded more than half a billion reviews, opinions, and ratings.

The Travelers’ Choice award is TripAdvisor’s highest honor and is presented every year to the top 1% of businesses on the site as determined by user rankings.