Where is Placencia Belize?

Posted on Sunday, September 30th, 2018

Where is Placencia Belize

Placencia on the Belize Map

Placencia is a small peninsula measuring about 1 mile across and 16 miles north and south attached to the southeastern corner of Stann Creek District in southeastern Belize. Placencia is approximately 160 miles (by land) south of Belize City and 33 miles south of Dangriga, the capital of Stann Creek District.

Placencia Peninsula

Due to its unique geography, the Placencia Peninsula offers visitors two very different terrains. On the landward side, the peninsula is bordered by several mangrove-lined lagoons, known for their rich abundance of fishing opportunities. The seaward side fronts the Caribbean and offers spectacular vistas and easy access to the nearby Belize Barrier Reef. The beaches of Placencia Peninsula are renowned for their pristine beauty.

Placencia Village

Located at the southern part of the peninsula where it joins the mainland, the small village of Placencia is still primarily a fishing-oriented community. With the advent of tourism into the area, the village is now home to ATMs, restaurants, cafes, luxury resorts, and dive shops.

Placencia Belize Weather

Like the rest of Belize, the Placencia Peninsula enjoys warm temperatures all year-round. The green season runs approximately from May to November, with heavier rains usually found in September and October. Daytime temps average between about 70F (21C) to 83F (28C) and nights range from about 70F (20C) to 77F (25C).

Placencia on the Belize Map (see photo above)

If you look at southeastern Belize and can find the Stann Creek District, it is very easy to spot the Placencia Peninsula. Shaped roughly like a boot with the toe pointing towards the mainland, the peninsula is at the very bottom of Stann Creek District right where it meets Toledo District.

Where to stay in Placencia Belize

Due to its beautiful beaches and fantastic views of the Caribbean, the peninsula has become a growing tourist hotspot. One of the finest resorts on the peninsula is Chabil Mar, which offers guests modern luxury in fully-equipped villas just a few minutes’ beach stroll from Placencia Village.

With close access to some of the finest attractions on the mainland like the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and just minutes away from some of the most beautiful parts of the Belize Barrier Reef, the Placencia Peninsula has become a popular destination in recent years. When not exploring the mainland or the offshore reefs, visitors can relax on one of the many fine beaches, learn more about the Garifuna culture, or pass the time away in one of the bars and restaurants on the peninsula.

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

 

10 Reasons Why You Should Have A Winter Holiday In Belize

Posted on Wednesday, September 26th, 2018

A quiet, easygoing nation located in the heart of Central America, Belize is fast becoming one of the top destinations for people wanting to escape the cold and misery of winter. The weather in Belize is always pleasant and warm all-year round and the country features a uniquely harmonious mix of different cultures. Friendly, English-speaking natives will make you feel right at home as you explore some of the many amazing attractions that Belize has to offer.

Below are 10 reasons why you should pack your bags right now and have a winter holiday in Belize:

1 – Maya Ruins

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Belize was once the heart of the ancient Mayan Empire. Today, dozens of Mayan cities can be explored throughout the country, featuring a rich mix of towering temples, beautiful carvings, and grand plazas.

2 – The Great Blue Hole

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Declared by famed marine biologist Jacques Cousteau as one of the best diving sites on the planet, the Great Blue Hole is a unique circular depression adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef. Divers can explore an enormous underwater series of caverns carved out during the last great Ice Age.

3 – Wildlife

Manatees in Belize
Whether you’re interested in viewing some of the rarest tropical bird species on the planet or want to see the last surviving jaguars in the region, Belize has it all. Visitors can see crocodiles, monkeys, and manatees at play in their natural habitat or embark on exclusive diving tours to frolic with whale sharks.

4 – Drinking in the Scenery

Reef, Rainforest and Ruins in Belize --- Belize vacations
Belize is a relatively small country but has a richly diverse natural landscape. Travel between destinations is affordable and safe, offering visitors the chance to observe verdant mountains, lush fertile valleys, and pristine rainforests on their journey.

5 – Beaches

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Beaches abound in Belize, as the country is located on the western shores of the lovely Caribbean Sea. With hundreds of miles of pristine, white beaches, you can enjoy the tropical fantasy vacation of your dreams swaying in a hammock under the shade of a palm tree in Belize. Almost nothing can compare to watching the sun set over the gorgeous turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.

6 – Food

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Belize is the home to a rich mix of indigenous cultures, resulting in some of the most delicious food anywhere on the planet. Casual food is king here, with plenty of fresh-caught lobster, savory Caribbean dishes, and spicy Mexican food to choose from.

7 – Diving and Snorkeling

belize barrier reef
The clear waters of the Caribbean make snorkeling and diving in Belize some of the best to be found anywhere on Earth. The nearby Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest in the world, is home to dozens of species of colorful fish, nurse sharks, and unique invertebrate species.

8 – Belize Adventures

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Whether you’re interested in tubing down a river through a network of caves, hiking mountains, spelunking in huge caves, or exploring the jungle, there is plenty to do for the adventurous-minded in Belize.

9 – Belize Islands

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Locally known as cayes (pronounced “keys”), Belize has hundreds of gorgeous islands, ranging from the laid-back party town of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye to the diving paradise of atolls fronting the Belize Barrier Reef.

10 – The Belize Weather

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With a warm, tropical climate, and sunny skies nearly all year-round, the weather in Belize is fantastic. You’ll rarely need anything heavier than a sweater when in Belize, and T-shirts and sandals are the dress code of choice for visitors and locals alike.

Where to Stay

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The award-winning resort of The Villas at Chabil Mar offering outstanding accommodations just minutes away from all the action in Placencia Village in southeastern Belize. With gorgeous views of the beautiful Caribbean Sea, each villa is a richly-appointed two-room suite combining traditional Belizean decor with modern luxury.

For more information about visiting Belize or Placencia, 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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The Creole Culture of Belize

Posted on Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

Photo by Matadornetwork.com

Belize is an outstanding example of a true melting pot society where different cultures, religions, and traditions have formed a harmonious whole. By the numbers, the Creole people, sometimes spelled Kriol, are the largest segment of society. Originally of African origin and brought to the Caribbean as slaves to assist in the valuable logging industry, the Creole people constitute approximately 25% of modern Belize’s population.

In the early 18th century, English loggers came to Belize in order to harvest valuable timber species such as logwood and mahogany. Some of these loggers made huge fortunes and began importing slaves from other British colonies such as Jamaica. Being on the periphery of British society, many English loggers intermingled with the slaves. Today, the term Creole refers to a culture rather than physical appearance as some Creole have light skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes as a result of centuries of cohabitation.

And while the atrocities of slavery can never be forgotten, Belize was always a place where the lines between different segments of society were blurred. In 1798, when English loggers banded together to fend off a Spanish maritime invasion, they would’ve been unsuccessful had not they received vital assistance from Creoles.

The British Empire formally outlawed slavery in 1807, and the Creole population of Belize soon began thirsting for more autonomy and equal rights. After a series of protests in the early 20th century, the British government placed Belize on a fast-track towards independence, and the Creoles formed the dominant political force in the then-colony. In 1981, when Belize gained full independence from Britain, approximately 70% of the population was Creole.

The Creole then began opening Belize to other groups which had been persecuted elsewhere, including indigenous Maya people from Guatemala and Mexico, the Garifuna (an Afro-Caribbean people), East Indian entrepreneurs, and German-speaking Mennonites. Over time, the Creole developed their own unique version of English that is now the lingua franca for most people in Belize even if standard English remains the official language.

Creole food and its long heritage form the backbone of modern Belizean cuisine, including standards like rice and beans with spicy chicken, potato salad, wild game meats like peccary and gibnut, and a variety of seafood dishes. But the most popular Creole food is fry jacks, soft strips of puffy, fried dough that are a breakfast mainstay.

The current prime minister of Belize, Dean Barrow, is Creole.

For more information about traveling to 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.

St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park

Posted on Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

inland blue hole belizeLocated in Belize’s western Cayo District near the capital of Belmopan, St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park is a site of natural beauty spanning more than 500 acres (2 square kilometers) in size. Three of the principal attractions are the inland Blue Hole, St. Herman’s Cave, and the Crystal Cave.

Visitors to the park usually enter off the Hummingbird Highway. Located about 200 yards from the visitor center is St. Herman’s Cave which was used for centuries by Maya priests to conduct ceremonies and to collect water dripping from stalactites that they considered to be holy. St. Herman’s Cave is an enormous underground structure but it is possible for unguided visitors to make their way approximately 200 yards into the cave before they will need a trained guide to go further. At the rear of the cave is a stream, allowing visitors to float their way back to the cave entrance using an inner tube.

St. Herman’s Cave is connected by an underground stream to the Blue Hole, often referred to as the Inland Blue Hole to prevent confusion with the Belize Blue Hole located offshore in the Belize Barrier Reef. The (Inland) Blue Hole is where the underground stream comes to the surface, providing visitors with a source of cool and refreshing water for swimming. Formed by the collapse of a cavern, the Blue Hole measures about 8 meters (26 feet) deep and is almost perfectly round with a diameter of 100 meters (330 feet).

Beyond the Blue Hole lies the Crystal Cave, sometimes called the Mountain Cow Cave. Visitors will need the assistance of a trained guide to explore spectacularly beautiful stalactites and caverns shimmering with accumulated crystalline structures. Just as with St. Herman’s Cave, the Crystal Cave was a sacred cite for the Ancient Maya who believed that it was a nexus to the world of the gods.

During the path to the country’s independence, Belize acquired the land in and around St. Herman’s Cave, declaring it a park on November 23, 1986. In order to maintain and preserve the natural beauty of the park, foreign non-profit organizations were brought in. Currently, St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park is maintained and operated by the Belize Audubon Society.

The park is located approximately 12 miles southeast of Belmopan and both entrances are located immediately adjacent to the Hummingbird Highway. The principle entrance leads to a visitor center, gift shop, hiking trails, a picnic area and the path to St. Herman’s Cave. The second entrance leads to a picnic area, hiking trails, washrooms and leads directly to the Blue Hole.


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.

 

How To Build A Palapa‎

Posted on Monday, September 24th, 2018

If you took a helicopter ride over Belize’s lush mainland and cayes, you might notice what looks like Hawaiian hula skirts fanned out into circles on the ground below. Upon closer inspection, you’ll discover that those circles are actually skillfully-woven roofs made of palm fronds that are so tightly wrapped, layered and interfaced, rains can pour down but anyone standing beneath this umbrella of vegetation will stay dry.

These thick umbrellas—known as a palapas—are part of the beauty and history that is Belize, and if you’d like to see some of the most beautiful ones, visit Chabil Mar Resort, an award-winning all-inclusive resort located in Placencia where the art of the palapa has been taken to new heights.

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At the end of the resort’s long pier stands a serene palapa that invites guests to relax and de-stress (see pic above). Not far away is Chabil Mar’s other palapa: it tops a gathering place considered the epicenter of Chabil Mar Resort’s social scene. Finding a seat at the Kaleidoscope Bar & Lounge (see pic below) isn’t easy as the night moves on and stars come out, so get out from under the bar’s palapa if you want to see them!

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Why are palapas frequently a part of Belize’s landscape? Because they represent history and the clever use of natural resources, pairing tropical charm with practicality: Mayan settlers built thatch-roofed huts thousands of years ago for shelter and to this day, their ancestors still craft them. If you’d like to follow in their footsteps, our instructions can help. Chances are, you’ll finish faster than they did since you’ve probably got some nice tools!

1. Acquire five bamboo poles—four poles of equal height that are tall enough for people to stand under, and one that’s at least 12-inches longer for the center. Use a table saw to trim one or more to make lengths uniform.

2. Decide where to build your palapa. Dig a post hole in the center of that area. Next, dig four post holes at equal distances from the center pole and from each other. They should be at least 6- to 8-feet apart.

3. Follow package instructions to mix cement with water so it resembles thin pudding. Fill each post hole half-way with cement mix. Use a large funnel to direct the liquid cement into the holes.

4. Put one pole into each hole and then verify all heights to be certain they’re uniform; make adjustments before the cement sets if necessary. Fill each hole to the top with the remaining cement mix.

5. Craft makeshift supports of scrap wood to brace the poles. You can nail or screw one to the bamboo if necessary. Use mounds of earth to brace other scrap wood so poles don’t budge while the cement hardens. Wait at least 24-hours before removing supports.

6. Make a frame. Measure the distances between the outer four poles. Cut lumber to size and attach them to form a square. Next, measure the distance from the four outer poles to the center. Cut wood to size and attach with screws. When you look up at the finished frame, you should see spokes radiating to the center.

7. Cover the frame with pre-cut sections of plywood so there’s a solid base for attaching palm fronds.

8. Use an industrial stapler to attach palm fronds, starting at the outer edges and moving into the center by fastening layer upon layer of fronds. Work in a circle. As space decreases, you may have to cross, weave or prune fronds for a good fit. The overlap should be so solid, you can’t see an inch of frame or plywood.

9. Hold a palapa-warming party. Invite friends and neighbors over for tropical drinks beneath your work of art.

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.

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