The Romantic Tourist Features Weddings in Belize

Posted on Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

On March 8, 2017, Romantic Tourist magazine published an article listing their top 5 beach wedding destinations, one of which was Belize. Focusing on the breathtaking biodiversity and resplendent nature found throughout the country, The Romantic Tourist article focused on the Placencia Peninsula on the southeastern coast of Belize.

Referring to the peninsula’s motto of “Barefoot Perfect,” The Romantic Tourist highlighted the gorgeous views of the Caribbean Sea, the lagoons, and islands as the perfect complement to the country with the world’s most untouched rainforests, giving couples a dream setting to tie the knot in a tropical paradise.

According to The Romantic Tourist, one of the most beautiful and romantic places to enjoy a storybook wedding in Belize is at Chabil Mar. Located on the golden shores of the Placencia Peninsula in southeastern Belize, Chabil Mar is a picturesque beachfront resort with a lush tropical garden, majestic villas, and award-winning services that include assistance with wedding planning and arranging for honeymoon excursions.


See also: 6 Ways to Make Your Belize Honeymoon Unforgettable!


The resort’s name, Chabil Mar, means “Beautiful Sea” in the ancient Maya language, and the article highlighted just what an appropriate name it is for this stunning resort that features more than 400 feet of private beach and the beautiful backdrop of the Caribbean Sea. The Romantic Tourist article also mentioned how the Placencia Peninsula is the country’s leader in eco-tourism, combining sustainable tourism practices with a strong commitment towards preserving the environment.

The Romantic Tourist article mentioned just how simple it is for couples to get married in the country. Local law stipulates that both the bride and groom must be in the country for three days prior to the wedding in order to file for a wedding license. Within two working days, the license is approved, and a registered Justice of the Peace or ordained minister can then perform the ceremony. And considering that Belize is the only country in the region where English is the official language, couples getting married in Belize won’t have to translate their wedding certificate once they return home.

The Romantic Tourist was founded in 2011 by a real-life couple named Chloe and Jason who fell head over heels in love and then had to plan a wedding in an exotic honeymoon destination but were frustrated with the lack of clear information and the inability to find the right venue. After successfully pulling off their dream wedding, they vowed to assist other couples who wanted to find exactly the right venue along with the right package of experiences, including accommodations and honeymoon excursions.

For more information about Belize Weddings & Honeymoons, 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.

Barton Creek Cave, A Fascinating Cave in Belize

Posted on Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

In a country with more than 100 navigable caves, Barton Creek Cave stands out for its unique history and impressive size. Unlike “dry” caves where spelunking is performed on foot, Barton Creek Cave has a large yet tranquil waterway running through it, meaning that visitors explore this impressive cave using canoes.

Belize is the heartland of the ancient Maya civilization, and Barton Creek Cave was used by Maya priests to conduct some of their most sacred rituals. The ancient Maya believed that caves were conduits to the underground world of the gods, known as Xibalba or “place of fear.” As such, Barton Creek Cave still contains many priceless artifacts, including ceremonial weapons, food offerings, pottery, and jewelry.

To explore Barton Creek Cave, modern-day visitors head east from the town of San Ignacio until they reach the village of Georgeville. From there, experienced guides will lead visitors along a narrow jungle path that includes a river crossing. After approximately one hour, the banks of Barton Creek are visible, and participants will board a canoe to begin their exploration of the cave.

Although the underground river running through Barton Creek Cave extends for at least five miles, only the first mile (1.6 kilometers) is safe for public exploration. Within a few minutes of boarding the canoe, participants will follow their tour guide into the stygian darkness of the cave. Using headlamps and flashlights, visitors will see a secret underworld that was once the exclusive domain of high-ranking Maya priests. The beams of light will reveal awe-inspiring cathedral-like chambers and beautiful stalactites that glitter and twinkle.

Along the way, the tour guide will explain about the natural history of the cave as well as the importance of the cave in Maya history, giving visitors a better understanding of the long-lost culture that built dozens of impressive cities across Belize.

After exiting the cave and emerging back into the bright tropical daylight, participants can enjoy a refreshing swim in the waters of the creek. Organized tours to Barton Creek Cave may also include a delicious picnic lunch.

Due to the nature of this tour, visitors who suffer from claustrophobia or anxiety about the dark are not recommended to participate. In some places, the ceiling of Barton Creek Cave is quite low. Although no swimming is required to explore Barton Creek Cave, swimwear, a change of clothes, and a towel are recommended. Other recommended items include insect repellant and rain gear during wet weather.

Chabil Mar offers Belize vacation packages that include all the best attractions of the jungle and sea, including an organized cave tubing tour of Barton Creek Cave.

For more information about Barton Creek Cave, 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.

Belize to create the world’s first ray sanctuary

Posted on Friday, October 6th, 2017

This week, the government of Belize announced the establishment of the first-ever nationwide ray sanctuary.

This new sanctuary was motivated by data from Global FinPrint scientists at Florida International University (FIU).

According to a press release from FIU, researchers deployed baited remote underwater videos (BRUVs) to monitor the abundance and distribution of sharks and rays, and surprisingly found thriving populations of rays after analyzing the hundreds of hours of video footage.

Around the world, rays are threatened with extinction due largely to over-fishing, habitat loss, and climate change and are even more at risk than sharks.

In Belize, more than 20 species of rays are known to populate the coast.

Global FinPrint researcher and FIU Ph.D. student Kathryn Flowers shared the find with officials from the Belize Fisheries Department.

“I was surprised to hear how threatened rays are globally and decided that Belize could be a good global citizen by protecting them,” said Belize Fisheries Administrator Beverly Wade. “Neighboring countries are exploiting rays, but here in Belize, rays are valuable to our tourism industry.”

Belize is home to the world’s second largest barrier reef with a diversity of rays ranging from tiny yellow round rays to large manta rays. The critically endangered small tooth sawfish and endangered Ticon cownose ray are also believed to be in Belize waters.

“Moving forward, we want to ensure that this remains a conservation success story,” Flowers said. “We will continue working with the Belize Fisheries Department to monitor populations of sharks and rays and engage in outreach with the local fishing and tourism communities.”

Global FinPrint is a three-year survey of reef sharks and rays throughout the world and is led by researchers from FIU in collaboration with Australia’s James Cook University, Curtin University and the Australian Institute of Marine Science, as well as Canada’s Dalhousie University. The project has received core funding from philanthropist Paul G. Allen and is one of several ocean health initiatives within the Microsoft co-founder’s portfolio.

“The establishment of new shark and ray sanctuaries such as this is exactly the reason we partnered with FIU to roll out the Global FinPrint surveys,” said James Deutsch, director of Biodiversity Conservation for Paul Allen. “We have been confident that data from Global FinPrint will catalyze conservation action to protect threatened shark and rays on coral reefs around the world.”

FIU scientists have become increasingly concerned about the vulnerable populations of sharks and rays around the world and especially in Belize, where Global FinPrint lead scientist and FIU professor Demian Chapman has worked for nearly two decades on shark conservation. Earthwatch Institute, the Roe Foundation, and the Mays Family Foundation have also contributed to these research programs.

Belize becomes the first country in the world to designate a sanctuary for rays.

The staff and management of the Chabil Mar warmly welcomes this news and applauds the government of Belize and the Belize Fisheries Department for taking steps in creating the first first-ever nationwide ray sanctuary.

Chabil Mar is firmly committed to the protection and conservation of Belize’s flora and fauna including the country’s pristine barrier reef. Chabil Mar offers guests the opportunity to visit the reef and enjoy activities such as snorkeling, sailing, and scuba diving.

OCEANA Names Ocean Heroes in Belize

Posted on Thursday, October 5th, 2017

OCEANA, a non-profit foundation dedicated to supporting ocean advocacy, has declared several citizens of Belize an “Ocean Hero” in recognition of their commitment to environmental conservation and helping to educate the public about the importance of protecting the waters of Belize. OCEANA’s 2017 Ocean Hero awards were given to Madison Edwards, age 11, and Luz Hunter, a lifelong tour guide and outspoken environmental advocate.

Despite her young age, Madison Edwards is an internationally-known marine conservationist, particularly focused on sea turtles and manatees, both endangered species now making a comeback in Belize. Speaking to the press, Edwards described an Ocean Hero as, “A person that is working to help marine life, not just sitting down and hoping for something good to happen. No matter your size or age, everyone can make a difference.”

Earlier this year, Edwards spent a week sailing the length of the Belize Barrier Reef to collect and remove discarded plastic bottles, fishing nets and lines, and other debris that can cause damage to marine wildlife. Edwards regularly blogs on the iTravelBelize website and is a native of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye.

Photo by Ambergris Today

Luz Hunter began her career as a guide on the reefs near Ambergris Caye in 1980. Working as a cook, guide and deckhand on chartered boats sailing the reefs of Belize, Hunter began pursuing an academic career in naturalist studies in 1986. She now teaches marine ecology to visiting American university students, is a certified tour guide trainer for the Belize Tourism Board, and spends her free time exploring new areas of the reef.

Speaking to the press, Hunter said, “I wish I could speak the language of the animals on the reef. I wish I knew what they were saying. But what’s important is that you make a connection with wildlife.”

OCEANA was founded in 2001 as a cooperative effort by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Oak Foundation, and the Marisla Foundation in order to achieve measurable change through advocacy and awareness by focusing solely on the importance of protecting oceans. Since 2001, OCEANA has helped protect more than one million square miles of ocean.

The staff and management of the Chabil Mar resort warmly congratulate Madison Edwards and Luz Hunter for being selected as this year’s Ocean Heroes. Chabil Mar is firmly committed to the protection and conservation of the world’s oceans, including the vital role played by Belize’s coral reefs. Chabil Mar offers guests the opportunity to visit the reef and enjoy activities such as snorkeling, sailing, and scuba diving.

Belize Wins World Cup of Poktatok

Posted on Wednesday, October 4th, 2017
 

Last week, the World Cup of Poktakok was held in Guatemala between teams from several Central American countries. After progressing through to the final round and facing stiff competition from teams from El Salvador and Mexico, the team from Belize prevailed as the 2017 World Champions of Poktatok.

Sometimes known as Pok-ta-Pok, Poktakok was the ancient Maya version of the classic Mesoamerican ballgame known as Tlachtli to the Aztecs. Although largely unknown to the outside world, Poktakok has recently undergone a revival in many Maya communities. Somewhat like a cross between volleyball and soccer, Poktakok involves two teams using their forearms and thighs to keep a large, five-pound rubber ball in play.

Throughout Central America, including in Belize, nearly every major pre-Columbian city featured a large ball court for playing Poktakok. It is believed that the Poktatok competitions were partly a sporting event and partly a religious ceremony, the outcome used as an omen to decipher the mood of the gods.

Team Belize featured members of the indigenous Maya community, including the village of Yo Creek. Following their victory, Team Belize held a victory parade in Orange Walk Town.

The staff and management of the Chabil Mar resort warmly congratulate Team Belize on their victory in the 2017 World Cup of Poktatok.