Belize Whale Sharks – 8 Fascinating Facts You Need to Know

Posted on Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

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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Mysterious Jade Megajewel Found in Belize

Posted on Monday, February 27th, 2017

A team of archeologists led by UC San Diego archaeologist Geoffrey Braswell has discovered a carved jade megajewel in the Maya ruins of Nim Li Punit in Belize. Measuring an enormous 7.4 by 4.1 inches, the priceless pendant was meant to be worn on the chest of the king who commissioned it more than 1,200 years ago, Janaab Ochl K’inich.

Unearthed during a 2015 expedition in the thick jungles of southern Belize, Braswell’s team compared the discovery of the jade megajewel to the Hope Diamond, a 45-carat megadiamond worth an estimated $250 million. Jade was highly coveted by the ancient Maya who believed the rare stone was charged with spiritual powers. According to Braswell, the royal pendant was fashioned with extreme skill, the ancient Maya craftsmen etching a series of 30 hieroglyphs onto a brittle slab of jade measuring just 0.3 inches thick.

The text carved on the pendant describes the rise of King Janaab Ohl K’inich to the throne in the year 672 and describes his royal lineage, linking him to other powerful Maya city states in the west. But it is the fact that the jade megajewel was found not buried with an ancient ruler but with a collection of sacrificial offerings that has historians excited. According to an article published in the Journal of Field Archeology, the location of the megajewel in a tomb along with 25 ceramic vessels and a stone idol of the Maya god of wind some 200 years after the death of King Janaab Ohl K’inich tells a tragic tale. The pendant was probably a desperate sacrifice to the god of wind and rain in a time when climate change and civil unrest led to the collapse of Maya civilization and the abandonment of cities like Nim Li Punit.

“This unexpected windfall of historical importance is one more reason why visiting ancient Maya sites is a great choice for people on vacation in Belize,” said Larry France, marketing manager of the Chabil Mar resort in Placencia, Belize. “Finds like the jade megajewel are helping us develop a fuller understanding of Maya history.”

Chabil Mar is a multiple award-winning luxury resort located on Belize’s sunny Placencia Peninsula. With luxuriously appointed villas, a gourmet restaurant, and a lush tropical garden, Chabil Mar offers guests tailored vacations to all of the best attractions in the country, including visiting ancient Maya ruins, exploring the rainforest, and enjoying world-class sailing, fishing, scuba diving, and snorkeling on the Belize Barrier Reef.

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.

Love Chocolate? Don’t Miss The Belize Chocolate Festival This Year

Posted on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

belize chocolateOne of the most exciting food festivals in the world is going to kick off in the southern Toledo District of Belize in May. From Friday, May 19 to Sunday, May 21, 2017 the Belize Chocolate Festival will feature three whole days of celebrating this miraculous food in all its various formats. Local farmers will showcase their finest chocolates, and wines in between hosting trips to cacao farms and dancing the night away as local musicians fill the air with the sweet sounds of their indigenous heritage.

The cacao fruit, the seeds of which produce the world-famous food known as chocolate, is a local plant originally from Central America, and Belize’s Toledo District is renowned for having some of the best cacao in the world. Alongside a mind-boggling array of chocolate desserts and treats, the festival will feature other chocolate flavored products like chocolate beer, chocolate barbecue and chocolate soap.

The town of Punta Gorda, capital of the Toledo District, will host a lively street fair during the three-day festival with plenty of live music, arts and crafts, games and activities for children, and a wide range of cultural displays from the region’s rich blend of indigenous peoples.

For chocolate lovers, there’s simply no better place to stay than the lovely Villas at Chabil Mar on the Placencia Peninsula in the Stann Creek District. Popular because of its lovely seaside setting and close proximity to all the fun in Punta Gorda and the Toledo District, rooms are rapidly filling up.

“I thought I loved chocolate before but now I am totally in love,” said one American visitor. “This is truly the best chocolate in the world down here in Toledo District. It has a taste that’s simply sublime.”

Known around the world as a superfood, chocolate in its pure raw form is extremely high in antioxidants as well as essential minerals like copper, manganese and iron. Chocolate was considered the elixir of life by the ancient Maya and the king was reputed to have drunk up to 50 cups a day of chocolate.

Held every year since 2007, the Chocolate Festival of Belize is rapidly becoming one of the most popular events in the country. Local growers enjoy showing off their premium products while getting a chance to promote the natural beauty of Toledo District which has long been overlooked by some tourists. All workers at the fair are local volunteers eager to show off their heritage and culture while welcoming visitors to the agricultural products and unspoiled natural landscapes in Toledo District.

For more information about all of the activities and scheduled events, see the festival’s official website here or 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 in May

Posted on Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

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 19-21, 2017, 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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An Indiana Jones Adventure

Posted on Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

A new article published by Destinations Travel magazine has highlighted the many exotic wonders available for travelers in Belize. If you’ve ever wanted to explore a long-lost city deep in the jungle, Destinations Magazine recommends that you visit Belize, an exotic land just a short flight from the United States where you can live out all of your Indiana Jones fantasies while exploring the ancient world of the Maya.

For thousands of years, the ancient Maya ruled over Central America with a vast empire stretching from El Salvador in the south to Mexico in the north. The modern day nation of Belize formed the heartland of the ancient Maya civilization. Dozens of impressive cities were built by the Maya in Belize, including Altun Ha, Xunantunich, and Caracol where lofty pyramids and imposing temples were built deep within the jungle. Today, visitors can explore these unique historical landmarks to marvel at the architectural prowess of a long-vanished civilization that had no access to wheels, draft animals, or modern technology.

Belize is an adventure traveler’s paradise. Whether you’re interested in sunning yourself on a tropical island beach or spotting wildlife deep within a pristine rainforest, Belize has it all. The Belize Barrier Reef is home to a kaleidoscope of colorful marine fauna and flora, including dolphins, whale sharks, sea turtles, and hundreds of species of fish. And Belize’s mainland has plenty to offer as well, including nature reserves where endangered native species like brown pelicans, jaguars, and margays (a big cat similar to a puma) frolic and play in the jungles, savannahs, and rainforests.

“This year has gotten off to a great start for Belize,” said Larry France, marketing manager of the Chabil Mar resort. “This new article from Destinations Magazine is a great introduction to all of the wonderful sights and activities in Belize, and we look forward to welcoming Destinations Travel readers to our home.”

The best way to relax after a full day’s adventure of fun in the sun is by staying at a Belize beach resort. Offering luxurious accommodations right on the beach and world-class hospitality, gourmet food, and customer service, resorts like Chabil Mar on the Placencia Peninsula, and a stroll along the beach to center of Placencia Village, are an oasis of tranquility conveniently located close to all of the top attractions both on the mainland and the offshore reef and islands.


Valentine’s February Special

Make your reservations during February and you’ll get substantial savings on your summer vacation. Book now and reserve your villa at Chabil Mar between May 1 and September 30, 2017, for a six-night stay and you’ll get one additional free night (Pay for six, Stay for seven). To qualify for this special offer, you must make your reservation on or before February 28, 2017.

For more information about our specials or Chabil Mar, 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.