Belize Barrier Reef officially de-listed from UNESCO’s danger list

In a welcome move celebrated across the country, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has officially de-listed the Belize Barrier Reef from the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger.

The Belize Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef system in the world outside of Australia, was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996, but was placed on the World Heritage Sites in Danger list due to years of pollution and damage caused by oil drilling and exploitative fishing practices. UNESCO, at its latest meeting in Bahrain, declared that strong conservation efforts by NGOs and the government of Belize have helped restore the reef to a more sustainable condition.

The reef plays an important role in Belize’s tourism industry as well as a responsibly managed fishing industry. The reef is a top destination for tourists coming to the country to enjoy Belize vacations as its crystal clear waters and abundance of marine life are ideal for marine activities like fishing, sailing, scuba diving, and snorkeling.

“We loudly and enthusiastically celebrate the news that the Belize Barrier Reef is on the mend,” said Larry France, marketing manager of Chabil Mar Resort. “As a resort located just a few miles offshore from this UNESCO World Heritage Site, we urge all of our guests to partake in one of our Belize Barrier Reef tours to experience magnificent natural landmark for themselves.”

Chabil Mar is a luxury Belize resort offering Belize vacation packages to all of the top destinations in the country, including snorkeling and scuba diving on the reef.

The Great Blue Hole in Belize Is One of the World’s Most Gorgeous Mysteries

Seen from outer space, Belize has only one easily identifiable landmark: the Great Blue Hole, sometimes known as the Belize Blue Hole. But you don’t need to be in orbit around the planet to appreciate that the Great Blue Hole is one of the world’s most beautiful and enduring mysteries.

In a recent article published by Travel + Leisure magazine, one of the most popular and esteemed travel publications in the world, the Great Blue Hole of Belize was described as a “portal to another world.” Measuring some 1,000 feet across, the Great Blue Hole is a perfectly circular body of water encircled by the Lighthouse Reef Atoll just a few miles offshore from the mainland of Belize.

What draws drivers from around the world to this naturally occurring phenomenon is not an abundance of colorful marine life or even the coral that makes up the atoll but what lies deep beneath the eerily dark blue waters. More than 100,000 years ago, the rising waters of the Caribbean flooded a vast cave system replete with gigantic stalactites and stalagmites.


                                                   See Also: 10 Fascinating Facts About the Blue Hole in Belize


Well-known to the ancient Maya, the Great Blue Hole only came to the world’s attention in 1971 when famed French marine biologists and explorer Jacques Cousteau declared it to be one of his top 10 favorite dive sites in the world. The underwater world of spooky passages and twisting tunnels make the Great Blue Hole a true challenge for even the most experienced of divers.

So interesting and mysterious is the Great Blue Hole that many visitors plan their Belize vacations around it. Although Travel + Leisure assured its readers that it is not, in fact, a portal to another dimension, many experienced divers feel like no Belize travel vacation is complete without one visit to this mysterious site.

Indeed, National Geographic sent a two-person team to Belize last month in order to photograph and write about all of the great dive spots in the country, including, of course, the Great Blue Hole, which will be featured in a new dive guidebook scheduled to reach bookstores in 2020.

If you’re interested in diving in Belize at sites like the Great Blue Hole of Belize, be sure to book your vacation with Chabil Mar. If you’re not sure where to stay in Belize, Chabil Mar is a Belize resort located right on the beach just a few miles from the reef.

For more information about vacationing in 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.

COPA Airlines Announces New Partnership With Tropic Air

Compania Panamena de Aviacion (COPA) Airlines, the national air carrier of Panama, has announced a new agreement with Tropic Air of Belize. The new agreement is an interline arrangement that will enhance cooperation between the two airlines who are traveling internationally.

Since 2015, COPA Airlines has been operating a non-stop route from Panama City, Panama to the Philip Goldson International Airport in Ladyville near Belize City. The new interline agreement between COPA and Tropic Air will allow incoming COPA Airlines passengers to transfer directly to Tropic Air flights without having to purchase separate tickets or re-check their baggage.

COPA is one of the largest airlines operating in Latin America, and it is expected that this new agreement will help promote and encourage tourism in Belize. According to the Belizean Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Manuel Heredia, Junior, the new COPA-Tropic Air agreement is “a natural and welcome evolution that will strengthen ties between Latin America and Belize.”

John Greif III, the president of Tropic Air, stated that the interline agreement with COPA Airlines has been in the works for more than two years and was the result of a lot of hard work. Greiff stated that his hopes for the new agreement include expanding Belizean business owners’ ability to reach a wider audience across Latin America. Greif also added, “Latin American tourists spend just as much as tourists from North America and they [tourists from Latin America] also visit Belize during the offseason,” an important consideration for the local tourism industry.

COPA Airlines was founded in 1947 and currently serves 74 destinations in 31 different countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, including their Panama City to Belize City route. Christophe Didier, the vice president of global sales for COPA Airlines said, “Our goal is to sell Belize and make it a more attractive destination for tourists coming from the markets in which we operate.”

It is unknown at this time when the new interline agreement will take effect. Tropic Air was founded in 1979 and currently flies to 17 destinations domestically as well as to Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras.

“We warmly welcome this new agreement between COPA Airlines and Tropic Air,” said Larry France, marketing manager of Chabil Mar. “And we look forward to welcoming new visitors from all across Latin America to beautiful Belize.”

Chabil Mar is a boutique resort located on the Placencia Peninsula in southern Belize.

For more information about vacationing in 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.

Celebrate Thanksgiving 2018 in Belize

thanksgiving in belizeThanksgiving 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

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.

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How Belize Celebrated World’s Ocean Day

As a country with more than 200 miles of coastline and hundreds of offshore islands, the ocean plays an important role in Belize. This year, Belize celebrated World Oceans Day with a massive clean-up operation.

Oceana Belize, a local NGO, had high praise for the government of Belize for its recent decision to impose a complete moratorium on all offshore drilling and exploitation of petroleum. “2018 is a really good year for Belize to position itself as a global leader in safeguarding ocean resources,” said Janelle Chanona, vice president of Oceana Belize.

Another important step taken to preserve the health and beauty of Belize’s oceans was the recent approval by the Belize Cabinet that will phase out all single-use plastic utensils and Styrofoam products by April 2019. The new law will completely ban plastic shopping bags, Styroam items, and plastic food items such as plates, cups, utensils, and “to-go” plastic packaging. Already, biodegradable alternatives are now on sale in Belize.

Pollution of the ocean is an important issue in Belize. Trash and other debris get washed into the sea both from discarded litter on land as well as waste dumped into the sea by marine vessels. The government of Belize, in coordination with several local NGOs, organizes regular coastal cleanups, hauling in tons of plastic every year. Marine animals, in particular, are sensitive to plastic, which can cause severe problems and even death when consumed by wildlife.


World Oceans Day has been celebrated every year since 2002. Based in the United States, the non-profit Ocean Project coordinates with NGOs and governments around the world, including in Belize, to recognize and honor the importance of keeping the world’s oceans healthy. In 2008, the United Nations declared June 8 to be World Oceans Day.

More than 80% of all the oxygen in the atmosphere is generated by plants and animals that live in the ocean. The oceans also help regulate the climate, clean and purify water, and play an important role in the economy of many countries, including Belize. It is estimated that 25% of all marine life can be found in coral reef systems like the Belize Barrier Reef.

If you’d like to experience the beauty of the sea in Belize, be sure to stay at the Chabil Mar located on the Placencia Peninsula. Chabil Mar is a Belize resort whose name in the local Mayan dialect means “beautiful sea,” an apt description for its lovely beach setting just steps from the Caribbean Sea.

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