Belize Whale Sharks – 8 Fascinating Facts You Need to Know

Posted on Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

belize whale sharksDespite its massive size, Whale Sharks are the “Gentle Giants” of the ocean. Unlike their other shark relatives that are meat-eaters, these giants are filter feeders.

Every year, huge schools of migrating whale sharks arrive in the waters off of Belize in order to feed on fish spawn and plankton. These enormous creatures normally cruise a depth beyond the reach of most divers. It is only when they rise to the surface to feed that humans can get the rare and wonderful opportunity to interact with these friendly and inquisitive creatures.

Below are eight fascinating facts you need to know about whale sharks:

  1. The name “whale” shark refers to their size, not their biology. Whale sharks are fish, not mammals.
  2. Whale sharks have been swimming in the Earth’s oceans for approximately 60 million years.
  3. Whale sharks have teeth but never use them. They feed by filtering the water for microscopic bacteria and algae.
  4. Whale sharks travel approximately 30,000 miles around the globe every year.
  5. The largest whale shark ever caught weighed more than 47,000 pounds.
  6. Despite weighing several tons, whale sharks feed almost exclusively on tiny plankton virtually invisible to the naked eye.
  7. In Asia, whale sharks are called “tofu fish” because the meat is said to taste and look like tofu.
  8. Scientists have never observed whale sharks mating and know very little about their biology.

Although whale sharks circumnavigate the globe every year, it is only in the waters around Gladden Spit off the coast of Placencia in Belize that divers can get the rare chance to interact and photograph these magnificent animals. Drawn to the enormous concentration of fish spawn and plankton in the area, whale sharks arrive in the waters off of Belize between March and June.

Because whale sharks are carefully protected by Belizean conservation laws, divers who want to dive with whale sharks must use a licensed tour operator. If you’d like to partake in a truly special diving adventure to get close to and interact with the gentle giants of the deep, sign up for this complete Belize whale shark diving package. It includes three limited slots to dive with whale sharks and accommodations at the world-class Belize resort of Chabil Mar.


For information about diving with whale sharks in Belize, 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.

 

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Belize prepares to ban single-use plastic and Styrofoam products by April 2019

Posted on Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

 

Last year, the government of Belize approved a proposal to phase out all single-use plastic utensils, shopping bags, straws, and Styrofoam containers starting April 22, 2019. The proposal applies to all restaurants, hotels and grocery stores in the country.

The proposal was written by a task force made up of representatives from the Ministry of Fisheries and Forestry; the Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development; the Ministry of Investment, Trade, and Commerce; and the Ministry of Tourism.

According to a task force report, Belize residents and visitors use millions of plastic and Styrofoam items every year. These cause immense harm to Belize’s environment and are costly to clean up. The proposal mandates that all businesses must switch to biodegradable containers and utensils.

Belize is a Leader in Sustainable Tourism

In recent years, Belize has taken aggressive steps to protect its rich biodiversity. The government has ended oil exploration and passed tough conservation laws. The Belize Barrier Reef is a UNESCO World Heritage site that is home to many rare and endangered species. It is now protected by conservation laws. Belize also has a large number of wildlife and bird sanctuaries that provide a safe home to its many native species.

These efforts have made Belize a hub of eco-tourism. Travelers who want a truly authentic, wild experience find that Belize is a natural choice. These changes have also been warmly welcomed by those in Belize’s tourism industry.

“We welcome all of these efforts to preserve Belize’s rare beauty,” said Larry France, marketing manager of Chabil Mar in Placencia, Belize. “We know that travelers today want an experience that is sustainable and that respects nature. We are happy to ensure that they can enjoy Belize in a way that preserves its beauty for many generations to come.”

Experience Sustainable Luxury at Chabil Mar

Chabil Mar is a luxury resort on the stunning Placencia Peninsula in Southern Belize. The property has its own private beachfront and offers full-service dining, swimming pools and posh amenities. These amenities are reserved exclusively for guests at Chabil Mar.

Chabil Mar is also a proud partner in the Pack for a Purpose initiative, which lets travelers help with local animal-welfare and childhood education efforts.

Chabil Mar is also close to the Belize Barrier Reef and the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. If you want to experience the beauty of Belize, then consider staying at Chabil Mar on your vacation.

Before You Retire in Placencia Belize, Check Out The Destination with a Stay at Chabil Mar

Posted on Friday, February 8th, 2019

If you are planning on retiring in the not-too-distant future, you may have begun considering where you would like to spend your golden years. However, for many Americans and Canadians, the answer is quite simple – Placencia, Belize.

The region is already home to a large number of expats and retirees. This is due, in no small part, to its year-round sunshine and welcoming atmosphere. Of course, people who move to Placencia from the United States or Canada also appreciate the fact that English is widely spoken throughout Belize.

If you choose to retire to Placencia, you can expect to spend your days lounging at the beach, fishing in nearby lakes and rivers, or simply exploring the natural beauty of Belize. If you would prefer a more adventurous lifestyle in your retirement, you can even take up hiking, visit the ancient Maya temples, or even go zip lining or cave tubing in one of Belize’s many caves. Put simply, there are a lot of things to see and do in Belize – no matter what your preferred pastimes may be.

Despite the fact that it has been prominently featured on a number of international travel shows, Placencia remains a relatively small and laid-back destination. Indeed, Placencia is home to just one main street, as well as a small pedestrian-only walkway. You certainly won’t find any busy roads or large highways here.

With so much to offer, you might expect Placencia to be an extraordinarily expensive place to live. However, this is certainly not the case. In fact, most of the expats and retirees in the area would probably agree that the cost of living in Placencia is much more affordable than anything you might find in the United States or Canada.

If you think that Placencia might be your dream retirement destination, it is a good idea to spend some time there to scope out retirement homes or real estate opportunities that appeal to you.

While visiting, you can use the beautiful Chabil Mar Resort as your base of operations. The resort is situated right on the beach and features lush tropical gardens, luxury villas, two infinity pools, roaming butler services, a restaurant, a private pier, and much more. There is, quite simply, no better place to begin your Belizean adventure than at Chabil Mar.

25 Things You Need to Know Before You Travel to Placencia Belize

Posted on Friday, February 8th, 2019

Placencia Beaches

One of the most popular destinations in Belize, Placencia is a charming, low-key fishing village located at the southern tip of the Placencia Peninsula in southeastern Belize. Bordered on one side by a lovely mangrove-lined lagoon and on the other by the Caribbean Sea, Placencia is renowned for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the country.

The Placencia Peninsula measures approximately 19 miles from north to south but is just half a mile wide. With the look and feel of an island, it’s no surprise that Placencia is often described as the “caye (island) you can drive to.” But despite its popularity as a tourist destination, the main activities in Placencia are strolling the beach or motoring around on an electric golf cart.

The southeastern coast of Belize is famous for its natural beauty. Although luxury resorts and condominium developments have sprung up, Placencia has successfully managed to retain its old-world charm. Locals still head out to sea every morning in small boats to bring in the daily catch, and visitors can meander along the village’s 4,000-foot long “main street” that is a pedestrian-only sidewalk adorned with colorful murals and artwork.

Placencia is just one of three villages located on the peninsula but has lovely shops, charming cafes, seafood restaurants, a small medical clinic, and an airfield.

Whether you coming for a family vacation, a destination wedding, or romantic honeymoon, Placencia is one of the most beautiful spots in the country. It also serves as the gateway to the southern reef, a mecca for maritime activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, and sailing.

And on the mainland, nearby attractions include hiking through the vast Cockscomb Basin Nature Reserve (home to some of Central America’s last surviving jaguars), learning about native wildlife and plants on a boat trip up the aptly named Monkey River, and touring ancient Maya ruins such as Nim Li Punit and Lubantuum.

Silk Cayes, a popular snorkeling destination off the coast of Placencia

Lonely Planet, the largest travel guide book publisher in the world describes Placencia as follows:

“How you wind up feeling about Placencia really depends on what you’re looking for. If it’s laid-back ambience, varied accommodations and some of the best restaurants in Southern Belize,  this beachfront paradise may well prove to be your personal Margaritaville. If it’s off-the-beaten-path adventure and cheaper living you’re after,Placencia might serve better as a way-station. Come on down for a few days of sandy beaches, sunny skies and great seafood before heading off to less trodden paths.”

If you are traveling to Placencia very soon, here are 25 things you need to know:

Chabil Mar in Placencia Belize

  1. Placencia Village sits at the very tip of the narrow 16 mile Placencia Peninsula in Southern Belize.
  2. Chabil Mar is located in Placencia Village. While other resorts along the Peninsula regularly advertise their location as Placencia Village, they are on the Placencia Peninsula as much as 12 miles north of the Village, in the communities of Seine Bight and Maya Beach, for instance.
  3. To a lot of people, the Placencia Peninsula feels like an Island but it is not. Less than 2000 people live in Placencia Village.
  4. The Placencia Peninsula is also home to two other communities: Seine Bight and Maya Beach.
  5. The name “Placencia” is actually a distortion of Punta Placentia, the name the Spaniards gave to the peninsula in the 1800s.
  6. In English, it means Point Pleasant.
  7. The Main Street in Placencia Village is just a sidewalk! In fact, the “Guinness Book of World Records” recognizes it as the narrowest main street in the world.

    Whale Sharks off the coast of Placencia Belize

  8. Many people visit Placencia during the months of April, May and June to swim, dive or snorkel with giant whale sharks at the Gladden Spit Marine Reserve.
  9. Placencia’s Lobsterfest is the village’s most famous festival and is held in June of every year. In 2013, the Placencia Lobsterfest won an award from the Belize Tourism Board as the Festival of the Year!
  10. An Arts Festival is held in February each year, that brings artists from all over Belize to showcase their art along the 4071 foot (3/4 mile), 4 foot wide Placencia Sidewalk.
  11. Placencia was once a sleepy fishing village.
  12. The Placencia Peninsula boasts 16 miles of tranquil beaches.
  13. Many travelers who vacation in Placencia do the Monkey River and the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary Tours.

    Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the top tours to do from Placencia

  14. Placencia has a range of Belize resorts and hotels that can fit almost any budget.
  15. Placencia is 35 minutes away from Belize City by air.
  16. The road into Placencia Village is bordered by the lagoon on one side and the turquoise Caribbean on the other, and ends at the end of the Peninsula.
  17. Placencia is world renowned for offshore fishing, diving and snorkeling.
  18. Placencia is also well known for its very laid-back, no-shoes ambience where locals go out of their way to make sure you enjoy your visit.

    Laughing Bird Caye is another popular attraction that is located off the coast of Placencia

  19. The average temperature in sub-tropical Placencia is 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  20. Anytime of the year is  good to visit Placencia.
  21. Getting around Placencia is very easy.
  22. Francis Ford Coppola, the American Film Director, Producer and Screenwriter owns a resort in Placencia.
  23. Placencia is home to many world class luxury resorts like Chabil Mar.
  24. Laughing Bird Caye is a favorite camping site for reef kayakers who base their expeditions in Placencia.
  25. Placencia is also known for its great food and restaurants.
  26. The Placencia Lagoon is an imperative breeding area for saltwater crocodiles, marine turtles and the rare and endangered manatees.

Visit our website www.chabilmarvillas.com for more information on Placencia 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 your Belize vacation.

27 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Belize

Posted on Friday, February 8th, 2019

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Here are 27 quirky facts that many travelers to Belize are not aware of.

1. The official language of Belize is English.
2. Most Belizeans are trilingual and Spanish and Kriol are also widely spoken in the country.
3. Belize was once home to over 1 million Maya people.
4. Belizean cuisine is an amalgamation of all ethnicities in the country.
5. If Belizean food is what you like, then don’t miss trying the traditional Belizean rice and beans.
6. Placencia, the captivating Peninsula of Southern Belize, offers a tropical paradise with everything from sun-kissed beaches to awe-inspiring diving sites. Arguably, Placencia is one of the most visited vacation spots in Belize.
7. After the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Belize stands second in the world with its longest reef featuring an abundant of marine life.
8. Belize is home to traditional Mennonites.
9. Belize has acres of pristine coastline featuring white sandy beaches and beautiful offshore islands. Laughing Bird Caye and South Water Caye are two such destinations.
10. Belize’s tropical setting is an ideal habitat for birds, and the country boasts over 300 species of native birds.
11. One of the famous dishes in Belize is made from Gibnut meat. This was the dish presented to Queen Elizabeth during her first visit to this country.
12. Belize’s jungle is home to wild cats, including jaguars and ocelots.
13. Apart from its historic archeological sites, Belize is known for its scuba diving sites. The Blue Hole, one of the world’s most popular sinkhole, is one famous dive site here.
14. Belize received its Independence from Great Britain on 21st September, 1981.
15. Unlike any urban city with high-rises, Belize is blessed with lush nature, acres of rainforest, and the tallest building in the country is Canna Temple, a Maya pyramid at Caracol.
16. Belize is home to many luxury resorts and jungle lodges. However, there are not many all-inclusive branded resorts here.
17. Belize’s size is close to that of New Hampshire in area wise. With a population just over 350,000, the country is one of the sparsely populated nations in the world.
18. Belizeans do use a number of funny Creole phrases such as the ‘Sleeping Policeman’ term for speed breakers.
19. Belizeans love ketchup with their fried chicken instead of hot sauce.
20. Belizeans eat the Marie Sharp hot sauce with almost everything.
21. No time to exchange money? You can use US dollars anywhere in Belize.
22. The locals here love the Punta Rock music.
23. Belize is one of the world’s top destinations for a wedding or honeymoon vacation.
24. Belizeans make some finest handmade chocolates from locally grown cocoa.
25. You will be surprised to find a jaguar crossing sign on the highway.
26. Fry jacks is a favorite breakfast of Belizeans.
27. Belize is home to the world’s loudest creature: the Black Howler Monkey.

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 vacation.

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