Mysterious Jade Megajewel Found in Belize

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 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.

An Indiana Jones Adventure

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: or contact our Reservations Manager Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

Everything You Need to Know About the Lionfish

Most famous for their ornamental inclusion in home aquariums, the lionfish are non-native predators in the waters off of Belize. First introduced in 1985 to the waters of the Atlantic Ocean by government officials in Florida, lionfish have rapidly surged to become one of the dominant species in the warm waters of Belize.

Also known as zebrafish, firefish, red lionfish, peacock lionfish, scorpion volitans, butterfly cod, and devil firefish, lionfish have been long considered dangerous pests by the fishing industry. Now, forward-thinking conservationists in Belize have used innovative techniques to take advantage of the lionfish’s ruggedness and resistance to native predators.

Today, visitors to Belize can participate in licensed spearfishing and rod fishing expeditions to thin the numbers of lionfish that thrive in the warm offshore waters along Belize’s Caribbean coast. Thinning the numbers of lionfish in Belizean waters helps protect fragile marine populations, including the iconic conchs that are used in a number of traditional dishes. Commercial fisherman are also beginning to process lionfish catches as seafood after being granted clearance by the FDA for sale in the United States.

Originally from the waters of the South Pacific and Indian Oceans, lionfish have been spotted as far north as Long Island, New York and as far south as Belize. Lionfish have been documented as preying on more than 50 species of fish while using their unique fins and coloration to discourage would-be predators. Lionfish are slow but elegant swimmers, delivering a venomous poison via their spines that can kill a human being if left untreated.

Lionfish can adapt to a number of diverse marine environments, including seagrass beds, artificial reefs, coral reefs, hard bottom bodies of water, and mangrove forests from depths between 1 and 300 feet.

Named for a Maya term meaning “beautiful sea,” Chabil Mar resort located on the Caribbean shores of the Placencia Peninsula in southeastern Belize is conveniently located close to some of the areas suitable for spotting and fishing for lionfish on the Belize Barrier Reef.

Chabil Mar organizes scuba diving and fishing tours to the Belize Barrier Reef, including for the purpose of interacting with or fishing for lionfish. Chabil Mar employs only experienced local fishermen to ensure that spearfishing and scuba diving in protected waters adheres to all environmental restrictions.

Whether you want to taste lionfish cooked in a variety of different ways by the Chabil Mar chef or simply want to do your part to protect the environment, catching lionfish is a great way to experience the beauty of the Belize Barrier Reef.

Visit our website for more information about Chabil Mar and 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.


Chabil Mar Featured in Health and Wellness Issue of Destinations Travel Magazine

In their most recent issue, Destinations Travel Magazine has published a multi-page article on 10 amazing day trips currently available for travelers in Belize. The article focused on the Placencia Peninsula, described as 16 miles of golden sands that include the most beautiful beaches in the country, a unique honor for a nation with 180 miles of coastline and hundreds of offshore islands.

The Destinations Travel Magazine article described in loving detail the top attractions in and around Placencia, including the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. As a trackless wilderness of pristine rainforest, and rolling hills, the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a wide variety of indigenous flora and fauna, including some Central America’s last remaining jaguars.

Other mainland attractions featured in the Destinations Travel Magazine article include bird watching. Belize is home to hundreds of domestic and migratory bird species, including toucans, red-footed boobies, and macaws. The Placencia Peninsula, in particular, enjoys a spectacular diversity in avian species thanks to the abundance of national parks, watersheds, and pristine rainforests that are found in the region.

Just a few miles west of Placencia lies the Inland Blue Hole in the St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park. Not to be confused with the world-class dive site called the Belize Blue Hole on the offshore coral reef, the Inland Blue Hole is a collapsed cenote with startlingly bright blue waters. The Destinations Travel Magazine recommended visiting the Inland Hole for its spring-fed, refreshing waters and the nearby caves that can be explored by amateur spelunkers.

Another top attraction just a short distance from Placencia is the enormous ancient Maya site of Xunantunich. Once the dominant city-state in the region, Xunantunich has its own interactive museum on-site where visitors can learn about the city’s rich history and witness the ongoing archeological excavation of the largest royal Maya tomb ever discovered.

The Destinations Travel Magazine concluded by recommending Chabil Mar resort as the premier destination for travelers visiting the Placencia Peninsula and nearby region on their vacation. Chabil Mar is a multiple award-winning resort featuring luxuriously appointed villas, gourmet restaurant, lush tropical garden, professional spa services, and a sea pier ideal for al fresco dining.

Destinations Travel Magazine specializes in visually stunning multi-media travel, leisure, and entertainment content. Using a unique digital recreation of the traditional magazine format, Destination Travels Magazine allows readers to read in-depth articles and view high-resolution photographs of premier travel destinations around the globe in a unique multi-platform digital format.

Visit our website for more information about Chabil Mar and 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.


The Must-Visit Caribbean Destination You’ve Never Heard Of

In a recent article published by the trend-setting fashion and lifestyle magazine Vogue, the small nation of Belize in Central America was declared “the must-visit Caribbean destination you’ve never heard of.” Long overshadowed by better-hyped resorts and adventure vacation opportunities in Mexico and Costa Rica, Belize has recently emerged to become one of the hottest vacation destinations in the region.

The Vogue article highlighted the sleepy fishing village of Placencia located on the eponymous Placencia Peninsula on Belize’s southeastern Caribbean coast. With just 1,000 permanent residents, the village has slowly grown to become the eco-tourism hub of the country, mixing unspoiled nature, pristine beaches, and an eclectic collection of bars, spas, dive shops, and cafes to offer visitors a chance to experience Belize at its finest. Placencia has multiple daily air connections to Belize City and other prominent destinations in the country. Placencia can also be reached overland, approximately a three-hour drive from the international airport in Belize City.

“We are proud of everything that the Placencia Peninsula has done lately, especially its ability to draw increasing numbers of visitors to the unspoiled natural environment and ‘barefoot friendly’ Caribbean lifestyle that makes Placencia so special,” said Larry France, marketing manager of Chabil Mar. “We were happy to read the glowing praise found in the recent article in Vogue and look forward to welcoming Vogue readers to the relaxed rhythms and natural beauty of Placencia.”

Chabil Mar is an award-winning luxury resort located on the beautiful Caribbean shore of the Placencia Peninsula in southern Belize. An oasis of comfort and beauty, Chabil Mar features elegantly appointed villas, a seafront pier, bar, tropical garden, and gourmet restaurant just a few minutes’ walk from Placencia Village. Guests of Chabil Mar enjoy the free use of bicycles, high-speed wireless internet, and kayaks. Chabil Mar also organizes tours to all of the top attractions in the country, including the nearby sailing, scuba diving, and snorkeling paradise that is the Belize Barrier Reef.

Founded in 1892 as a weekly newspaper, Vogue has since emerged to become one of the most famous and respected fashion and lifestyle magazines in the world. With 21 different international editions and monthly circulation figures of over 1 million just for the U.S. edition alone, Vogue and its long-time editor-in-chief Anna Wintour continue to set the standards for glamor, beauty, fashion, and a global perspective on the best travel destinations in the world.

Visit our website 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.