Giant Iguana–on a Mission to Find a Mate–Found in Belize!

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Before news of the dramatic find unearthed by a tourist staying at Chabil Mar leaks out, it is incumbent upon us to deliver a warning to anyone intending to investigate this story on their own. Don’t approach Chabil Mar on April 1st—even if someone dares you to do so—because you could put yourself into a serious and dangerous situation, especially if you’re female. 

It’s hard to miss this rather ugly, scaly creature since he’s about the same size as a contemporary crocodile and while he doesn’t speak English, he has made it clear that he is on a mission to bring his species back from extinction. In order to figure out exactly why he crawled up on the Chabil Mar beach, we hired a linguist specializing in Iquanise to find out how he intends to do that. 

The answer was unsettling: He has returned with reproduction on his mind and wants to show the scientific world that it’s possible to bring a species back that has disappeared off the face of the earth. This accomplishment would, if possible, make Belize the world’s capitol of species regeneration! 

The translator was astonished to discover that this giant reptile’s only goal is to find a mate quickly. Because this iguana’s mission is so specific, we’re asking all Chabil Mar guests to remain indoors on what he has declared to be his specific day to mate: April 1st. Once midnight passes, it will be safe to go out and all women are invited to come to the beach bar for free champagne and hors d’oeuvres. 

“We’re doing this for the safety of our guests,” said Marketing Manager Larry France. He plans to be on hand at midnight to pass platters of snacks and pour champagne. “We intend to celebrate having come through this nightmare and we will toast the fact that there will be no iguana babies come New Year’s Day when they would ordinarily be expected to hatch out.” 

“We’re also doing this as a prank!” adds France, who takes all of the credit for coming up with this far-out April Fool’s Day joke, so feel free to roam wherever you like at Chabil Mar on April 1st. Unless, of course, you run into an oversized iguana, at which point, Larry wants to hear from you!

Easter in Belize: Everything a Spring Holiday Should be–and More

easter in Belize

When spring arrives, the faithful eagerly await Easter, a holiday filled with pageantry and fun. Should you decide to celebrate the holy season here in Belize, make it the kind of vacation that suits your religious needs and sensibilities while enjoying weather that’s heavenly. As a Christian, you’ll celebrate in a nation where 80-percent of the populace shares your faith; if you’re not Christian you’ll have an equally fabulous time of it since Belize serves up some of the most beautiful sights, sounds and tastes in the Caribbean at this time of year.

What sets Belize apart from other Central American nations when Easter rolls around? As a society that takes the season of Jesus’s resurrection very seriously, your visit will coincide with a four-day celebration that’s a non-stop ride through parties, events and religious rituals. The nation shuts down in deference to the pious nature of the season, but you won’t care if you visit because you are in Belize to slow down and relax, right?

If you’ve limited time in Belize and wish to see the best of the best, we urge you to attend this Good Friday tradition: evening mass followed by a moving re-enactment of The Way of the Cross staged in the town of Benque Viejo del Carmen in western Belize. Other re-enactments of the Via Crucis will also be held in the Districts of Orange Walk and Corozal, in case one of these locations is more convenient for you.

If you think a suitcase filled with fancy Easter duds is necessary for your holiday trip, re-think your packing strategy. Bring one nice outfit to attend services at any of Belize’s churches on Good Friday, but because the weather’s hot and lots of activities surrounding Easter are more secular than sacred, lightweight shorts, shirts, skirts and traditional resort wear plus swimsuits will have you covered in the fashion department.

Be forewarned that alcohol is not served in Belize on Good Friday, so if you can’t imagine a day that doesn’t include the cocktail hour, follow the lead of tourists and stockpile your bubbly before this 24-hour period begins. Some visitors say that the parties, church services, water sports and visits to attractions keep them so busy, they don’t even miss having alcoholic beverages on this holy day.

Change up the pace of your Belize Easter visit by attending the annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycle Race. The antithesis of religious pageantry, this cycling race is an excitement-filled, 140-mile-long event that takes cyclists from Belize City to San Ignacio/Santa Elena and back. This wildly popular competition attracts big crowds, but if you’ve no interest in the sport, your resort host can help you find things to do for this short period of time that are away from the race route along the Western Highway.

Once you’ve experienced Good Friday and Holy Saturday Belize style, you can expect a more familiar day on Easter Sunday. Churches throughout the nation proclaim the Resurrection of Christ during services and then, in fairly typical fashion, families get together for meals as do tourists in country for the holiday. By afternoon, athletic events, fairs other secular events liven up the third day of this holiday—leaving Easter Monday to be observed. On this day, the last of the fairs, athletic events, dances and parties wrap up this four day celebration!

If reading about Easter in Belize whets your appetite, we recommend accommodations at Chabil Mar in Placencia. The recipient of myriad hospitality and media awards–plus recommendations from travelers who keep coming back–this luxury resort offers gracious surroundings, superior accommodations and service. Staff is delighted to help guests find and attend celebrations held during the Easter holiday season, but to see the full extent of what awaits at Chabil Mar, take a peek at the resort’s website.


For more information about visiting Belize or Chabil Mar for Easter, 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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Ancient extinct sloth tooth in Belize tells story of creature’s last year

It’s amazing how much a single bone can tell us about how long extinct creatures once lived. The tooth of an extinct sloth was recently found in Belize, and it tells a story not just of the creature but of its entire species and of the very different geography that once dominated this Central American nation.

While the Belize of today is known for its sumptuous jungles, complex networks of underground caves, and beautiful beaches, the region was incredibly arid 27,000 years in the past. The Last Glacial Maximum sealed much of the global moisture in glaciers and polar ice caps, and finding the next drink of water was as much a dire demand for creatures as hunting down the next meal.

That was especially true of the giant sloth. Towering at over four meters in height, the sloth required an understandably larger amount of hydration than some of its brethren. But it wasn’t dehydration that put the nail in the coffin of the sloth found in Belize. Divers discovered the tooth in what was just one of many underwater caverns, but at the time of its life, think sinkhole was likely a rare oasis in the sprawling desert of what would later become a tropical getaway.

While the tooth itself had begun the fossilization process, researchers were able to make investigate the tissue contained within for oxygen isotopes and stable carbon. It’s an advanced technique but one that allowed researchers a wealth of insight into the greater ecosystem that once defined the area. One of the big takeaways is that megafauna like the sloth weren’t done in by a single factor but instead by a whole convergence of environmental events. While the environmental scarcity of the time undoubtedly had an effect on their eventual extinction, the arrival of humans undoubtedly hastened their decline.

What’s especially exciting about this analysis is how it can be employed in the future. Bones that haven’t been fully fossilized yet can tell a lot about the diet of its owner, and that can spiral out to a greater understanding of the wider world surrounding them. Regardless, the Belize of today is very different from the Belize the sloth lived in.

If you’re interested in making a visit to this ancient and beautiful land, check out Chabil Mar Villas. Located in the region of Placencia in Southern Belize, it can be a great launching point if you’re looking to learn more about the history, geography, and present culture of the country.

Five Hottest Best Things to Do in Belize for Easter

Easter Break is one of the most widely celebrated holidays in Belize due to the fact that more than 80% of Belizeans are Christians. It is a time when a lot of Belizeans are off from work and school and travel around the countryside to enjoy Belize’s beauty.
Not only is the weather perfect on Easter, but it is also a good time to go diving with whale sharks, snorkeling in the turquoise waters of the Barrier Reef, as well as exploring the famous Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave or even climbing Xunantunich Maya Temples.
Many travelers also head to the exotic and stunning Peninsula of Placencia in Southern Belize to relax on the white sandy beaches or visit Cayo to watch the Cross Country Cycling Race – the biggest sporting event on Holy Saturday.
If you are looking for the hottest best things to do in Belize this Easter, here are 5 things to consider:

Watch the Cross-Country Cycling Race

The Cross Country Cycling Race is a one day cycling race that is held every Easter on Holy Saturday in Belize. It is the biggest cycling event in the country with an estimated distance of some 140 miles. The race has been going since 1928 and its origin has roots in the colonial era when Belizeans had to cycle from village to village to watch sporting events like cricket and football matches.

Visit Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave

The ATM Cave is one of the most popular tours in Belize and visitors to this cave attest that the experience is not only breathtaking but also one of a kind. The cave is located in the karstic limestone terrain of Roaring Creek Valley in Cayo and is approximately 5 km long and contains a perennial stream that runs through it including a ledge with twostelae and a large chamber full of intact human remains and Maya pots.
According to Jaime Awe, Director of Archaeology , the ATM Cave was a sacred place to the Maya who utilized the cave during the classic period AD 250-909.
This Easter Break is a good chance to explore and learn more about the remarkable history of this cave.

Dive or Snorkel with Whale Sharks

Easter Break is an excellent time to snorkel or dive with the magnificent whale sharks at the Gladden Spit Marine Reserve near Placencia Belize. The giant whale sharks are attracted to this reserve by the spawn of the mutton and cuberra snapper which they enjoy eating.
For those who do not know, the whale sharks are the largest fish in the world and one of the largest creatures of any kind alive today. Despite their size, whale sharks are remarkably gentle and curious and thus swimming with them is a special treat for divers and snorkelers.

Spend a weekend in Placencia

Placencia was recently nominated as one of the best beach destinations in the Caribbean by Turopia, a popular travel blog in the world and is an ideal eco-destination to enjoy outdoor adventures like hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, deep sea fishing, diving and even exploring Maya ruins.
ChabilMar, a guest exclusive resort is located right on the beach and can serve as a base to explore the natural attractions in Placencia and surrounding areas.

Visit Xunantunich and Cahal Pech Maya Ruins in Cayo District

Xunantunich and Cahal Pech Maya Ruins are the most visited Maya sites in the Cayo District.
Xunantunich is located atop a ridge above theMopan River and served as a Maya civic ceremonial center in the late terminal Classic periods to the Belize Valley region. Xunantunich’s name means “stone woman” in the Maya language and “El Castillo”, the largest pyramid offers an impressive and panoramic view of the area.
Cahal Pech is one of the oldest recognizably Maya sites in Belize that dates back as 1200BCE and was home to an elite Maya family. The site consists of 34 structures with the tallest temple being about 25 meters in height which is situated around a central acropolis.
According to archaeologists, the site was abandoned in the 9th center CE for unknown reasons.
For more information about the adventures, tours and excursions available to our guests from Placencia and Chabil Mar, chat with our Concierge at: concierge@chabilmarvillas.com or contact our Reservations Manager at: reservations@chabilmarvillas.com. Perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

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