On September 21, 2017, Belize will celebrate 36 years of independence. After centuries as a British colony, Belize became a fully sovereign nation on September 21, 1981, and is today a proud member of the British Commonwealth.
Each year, Belize holds a nationwide contest to choose a theme for the Independence Day celebrations. This year, the winning theme chosen was, “Confronting Challenges! Celebrating Triumphs! Renewing our Resolve!” as a way to both honor the country’s heritage as well as inspire Belizeans towards an even greater future.
September is widely known as “Patriotic Month” in Belize as it is when several key national holidays happen. On September 10, Belizeans celebrate The Battle of St. George’s Caye Day to celebrate a key naval victory by English colonists over a Spanish fleet offshore of the island of St. George’s Caye (islands are called “cayes” in Belize) in 1798. Prior to that date, the British and Spanish had vied for control of the rich logging resources in Belize, but the Battle of St. George’s Caye ensured that Belize would become the only English-speaking colony in Central America.
September is a time when Belizeans from all over the world return home to celebrate the patriotic holidays with friends and family. The streets of every town and village are bedecked in the national colors of red, white, and blue, and each locality holds parades, street dances, musical concerts, and other events. The radio stations play patriotic songs, and there are recitations of patriotic poems and other stirring reminders of the glorious history of Belize.
Falling during the “low season,” September is one of the best times to visit Belize. Travelers can benefit from reduced fares on lodging and organized tours, and there is a lot to see and do all across the country. The weather is almost always cooperative, with trees and flowers blooming seemingly in patriotic support of the historic events that are celebrated all month long. And the September 21 Independence Day festival always culminate in tremendous fireworks shows that simply shouldn’t be missed.
“September really is a great time to visit Belize,” said Larry France, the marketing manager of Chabil Mar. “Everyone is in a great mood due to the patriotic holidays, and it’s really a great time to see parades, street dancing, fairs, and other exciting events.”
Photograph by by Marius Jovaiša, author of Heavenly Belize
Half Moon Caye is located at the southwest corner of Lighthouse Reef Atoll and just this week was selected as a top dive site by Jacksonville Business Journal, a popular business website in the United States.
Kristina Fazzalro, the writer who put together the article entitled “10 Best Dive Sites in North America” described the Caye as follows: Half Moon Caye in Belize offers divers the chance to go on a wall dive–a dive in which the vertical facades of the earth’s landmasses are explored. The depths at Half Moon Caye (and really at any wall dive) are tremendous, giving you the very correct feeling that you are staring into an abyss. The waters at Half Moon Caye are particularly clear, despite the depth, so you will be able to see all manner of wildlife, including loggerhead turtles, rays, barracuda, and eels.
See also: Atoll & Mainland Belize Vacations
Weather permitting, our dive package can include a trip to Lighthouse to dive the Blue Hole, Half Moon Wall and Long Caye
Of course we agree with Fazzalro’s description on Half Moon Caye and we also have 8 great reasons why we believe this beautiful gem is an amazing Caye in the country. Here are our 8 reasons:
REASON # 1 the fact that the water in Half Moon Caye is ridiculously crystal clear
REASON#2 the fact that the area is diversely populated with abundant marine life like groupers, snappers, hogfish, stingrays, and sand eels and all of these beautiful and colorful creatures are protected under Belize Law
REASON#3 the fact that the spectacular coral growth makes it the ultimate destination for snorkeling and diving in Belize
See also: 5 Ways to get Seduced by Belize
REASON#4 the fact that Half Moon Caye is a historical national park and protected area
REASON#5 the fact that the Caye supports the only viable breeding for the Red-footed Booby colony in the western Caribbean.
REASON#6 the fact that the Island Leaf-toed Gecko, also known as the Belize Atoll Gecko, is endemic to Belize, meaning it is found nowhere else in the world.
REASON#7 the fact that its beaches are clean and gorgeous
See also: Belize Manatees
REASON#8 the fact that it is crescent- shaped and is divided into two ecosystems: on the western side it has dense vegetation with rich fertile soil and on the eastern section it sustains coconut palms and other vegetation.
For more information about Half Moon Caye or Belize, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: email@example.com or contact our Reservations Manager at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.
Thanksgiving has become one of the most important American holidays. First officially commemorated as a national holiday by President Abraham Lincoln, Thanksgiving is a time for expressing gratitude. More than 400 years ago when starving European colonists in Massachusetts shared a life-saving meal thanks to the generosity of natives, an event that formed the nucleus of what would become the Thanksgiving holiday. Today, Thanksgiving is a special time for family and friends who come together to give thanks to the blessings bestowed upon them and also to share a bounteous meal.
Although Thanksgiving is not celebrated in Belize, more and more people from North America have discovered the benefits of enjoying a Thanksgiving in Belize. Expats from North America who have relocated to Belize brought their holiday traditions with them, and now Thanksgiving is an important, albeit unofficial, time of celebration throughout the country.
Probably the most iconic centerpiece of a traditional Thanksgiving meal is turkey. Many people are unaware that turkeys are native birds from Central America that were once farmed by the ancient Maya that lived in the region thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans. Other native dishes to the area include corn (sometimes called maize), still a staple crop in Belize today. Many expats and visitors enjoy mixing classic Thanksgiving foods like turkey and corn with Belizean favorites like gibnut meat, hudut (a fish stew cooked in a coconut broth), and seaweed shakes.
What To Do in Belize on Thanksgiving
Once you’ve polished off your delicious Thanksgiving feast, you can take advantage of the balmy weather to work off a few calories by trying out fun activities like strolling through Placencia village, hiking through the jungle to spot birds, explore an ancient Maya ruin, touring the Belize Zoo and Educational Center, or heading off to the beach to work on your tan, scuba dive, or snorkel.
Thanksgiving and November usually herald the onset of colder weather in North America, but Belize is blessed with plenty of sun and warm temperatures during this time of year. Whether you want to enjoy a refreshing swim or plumb the depths of the sacred ATM cave, you’ll never have to worry about hats, gloves, and scarves in Belize.
Chabil Mar is a multiple award-winning resort located on the lovely Placencia Peninsula. The resort offers guests Belize jungle and sea packages to see the best spots offshore and on the mainland during your stay.
Chabil Mar is conveniently located just a few miles from the best spots along the Belize Barrier Reef as well as top mainland attractions like Maya ruins and the Cockscomb Basin Nature Reserve, the world’s only jaguar preserve.
The warm waters of the Caribbean Sea make Belize an ideal home for sharks. More than 350 different species of sharks can be found along the barrier reef, coral atolls, and mangrove estuaries, including the elusive hammerhead shark, black tip shark, bull shark, nurse shark, reef shark, lemon shark, nurse shark, and the enormous whale shark, the largest fish in the world’s oceans.
Southern Belize and the area of the reef near Placencia is an ideal place to see sharks. Underwater formations such as estuaries, the roots of mangrove forests, upwelling currents, fore reefs, and deep walls are all excellent places to have a safe and exciting encounter with sharks.
The hammerhead is rarely found in the oceans, but it’s not uncommon to see one when diving in Belize. Hammerhead sharks are very peculiar about the areas of the ocean that attract them, but the edge of the continental shelf of the Atlantic Ocean where it meets near Placencia attracts large schools of hammerheads. Named for their unique T-shaped head, hammerheads are peerless hunters, twisting their bodies to turn and chase prey. Hammerheads cruise the seafloor in search of crabs, lobster, octopus, and fish, using special sensors on its head to detect faint electrical signals.
Another interesting shark that inhabits the shallower areas of the reef near Placencia are lemon sharks. Named for their yellow skin that serves as excellent camouflage, lemon sharks like to park themselves on the sea floor while waiting for prey to cross their path.
But perhaps the most popular shark in Belize is the nurse shark. Once hunted nearly to extinction, nurse sharks are now a protected species in Belize. Generally docile towards humans, nurse sharks have a distinct mouth with two barbels on their upper lip.
Other kinds of sharks you may encounter in Belize include black tip sharks which often leap out of the water in pursuit of fish and reef sharks that gain their name from their penchant for hugging the shallow waters of the reef. Tiger sharks can be found in Belize, but these are far rarer.
Perhaps the most famous shark to visit the waters of Belize are whale sharks. Every spring, vast schools of migrating whale sharks visit the outer part of the reef, consuming enormous quantities of fish spawn and plankton.
Travelers interested in diving with sharks, including nurse sharks and whale sharks, can book their Belize snorkeling and diving vacation with Chabil Mar.
For more information about sharks in Belize, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: email@example.com or contact our Reservations Manager at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.
In this blog post, we bring to you 20 amazing facts about beautiful Belize.
Belize is the only Central American Country where English is the official language. Apart from English, there are many recognized regional languages: Kriol, Spanish, Garifuna, and Mayan.
September 10 in Belize is celebrated as the National Day or St George’s Caye Day. On this day in 1798, Spanish forces were repelled by the British in the Battle of St George’s Caye, with no reported casualties on either side.
Belize has a private enterprise economy that is largely dependent on agriculture, agro-based industry and merchandising. However tourism and construction and the recent discovery of oil field have presented new prospects for the country. The estimated GDP of the country is 1.354 billion dollars and the major trading partners are the United States of America, Mexico, Central America and the European Union.
Belize obtained its independence from the United Kingdom on September 21, 1981. George Cadle Price was the first prime minister of Belize and he served from 12 September 1981 to 17 December 1984.
The currency of Belize is Belize dollar and its ISO 3166 code is BZ. Since 1978, the official value is pegged at 2 BZD = 1 US dollar.
Belmopan is the capital of Belize and its name derives from the union of two words: “Belize” and “Mopan”. After the devastating Hurricane Hattie destroyed the former capital, Belize City, in 1961, the government was shifted to Belmopan in 1970.
Belize has the only Jaguar reserve in the world which is known as Cockscomb Basin Wildlife sanctuary.
The islands in Belize are called Cayes (pronounced “keys”) and total around 450 including those on the outer atolls.
Belize has around 900 Maya temple sites.
The largest city of Belize is located at the mouth of the river Belize River and is known as Belize City. It has an estimated population of 79,600 and is the main port and the industrial hub of the country. It was discovered in the mid-17th Century by British lumber harvesters and was the capital of British Honduras.
The total land area of Belize is 8,867 square miles or 22,700 square kilometers. The country’s greatest length, north to south, is 170 miles (274 km) and its greatest width, east to west, is 68 miles (109 km). Using an offshore territorial limit of 20 km, the country covers 46,620 km2 (18,000 sq mi), of which only 49% is land.
Belize is in the Central Standard Time zone and does not observe daylight saving time.
Belize is subtropical, with a mean annual temperature of 80o F.
The first people to inhabit Belize were the Maya around 1500 B.C.E. As shown in archeological records, they established a number of settlements such as Caracol, Lamanai and Lubaantun.
Belize’s Black Howler Monkeys are one of the top 10 loudest animals in the world.
See also: 12 Incredible Belize Vacation Photos
Some of the exotic names for Belize’s natural wonders include the Owl-Eye Butterfly, the Blue Morpho Butterfly, the Swallow Tail Cattle Heart Butterfly, the Peanut-Head Lantern Bug, the Red-footed Booby Bird, the Lady-of-the-Night Orchid and the False Vampire Bat.
Close to 1 million tourists’ visit Belize annually of which 70% of are Americans.
Belize is one of the least populated countries in the world.
Ambergris Caye, which is 25 miles long, is Belize’s largest and most developed island.
More than 400 species of fish live in the waters of Belize’s 185-mile long Barrier Reef.
For more information about travelling to Belize, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: email@example.com or contact our Reservations Manager at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.