Community, Friendship and Fun at the Maya Beach Clean Up

 

maya beach cleanup

If you live in Belize or if you’re visiting our beautiful country, make sure you set aside time for the annual Maya Beach Clean Up. We’ll be making the Placencia Peninsula proud when we clean up the trash on this quiet, picturesque stretch of beach.

The Maya Beach Clean Up is sponsored by Oceana Belize, the Chabil Mar Villas and YouTube stars Wandxr Bus.

Be a Hero for Our Environment

We Belizeans understand the importance of preserving the natural beauty that surrounds us. Almost half of Belize is protected in a sanctuary, preserve or national forest. We appreciate the rare, exotic beauty of our country.

Now, you can share that love in a community event that joins people of all ages and from all walks of life. Start your morning with an activity that feeds your soul and lets you meet some new friends.

  • What: The Maya Beach Clean-Up
  • When: Saturday, June 1, 2019
  • Time: 7:30AM to 9:30AM

We provide:

  • Bags.
  • Gloves.
  • Snacks and drinks.
  • Please bring your own reusable water bottle.

Be a Winner

Cleaning the Maya Beach is a rewarding experience, but we want to reward our volunteers even more. That’s why everyone who participates has the chance to win a raffle.

You could win one of these great prizes:

  • One free night at the luxurious Chabil Mar Villas.
  • $50 gift card for the Barefoot Beach Bar.
  • An Oceana swag bag.

Where to Stay

If you’re joining us to clean the beach and enjoy a Belize getaway, make sure to stay at the Chabil Mar. Our award-winning, full-service resort is located on the beautiful Placencia Peninsula just steps away from Maya Beach. Contact us for an unforgettable Belize vacation.

Exploring the Natural Beauty of Toledo District

Modern-day Belize is divided into six districts, and Toledo is the southernmost district. Located in the southeast of the country along its border with Guatemala, Toledo District is home to some of the most pristine sections of rainforest, a bevy of offshore islands that few tourists visit, and several traditional Maya villages which have changed little over the past 2,000 years.

The capital of Toledo District is Punta Gorda, often abbreviated simply as PG by locals. Despite it’s Spanish-language name, Punta Gorda is now primarily inhabited by the Garifuna people, a unique Afro-Caribbean culture that was recognized by the United Nations in 2001 for their music, language, food, and dance.

Located so far south of Belize City, the main entry port for most visitors to Belize, Toledo District is still treated as being far off the modern path. But the recent upgrade to the Southern Highway now makes it quite simple to drive entirely along modern, paved roadways from Dangriga. Punta Gorda is home to both an annual chocolate festival where chocolatiers and cocoa farmers from around Toledo come to show off their wares and the Battle of the Drums that sees Garifuna and Creole drum corps face off during a grueling and yet exhilarating all-night competition.

Outside of Punta Gorda, attractions include some of the finest ancient Maya sites in the country, Nim Li Punit and Lubaantun. Nim Li Punit means “Big Hat” in the local Mayan dialect because the site has several large engravings of ancient Maya rulers, including one chieftain shown in a large headdress or hat. Lubaantun is another ancient Maya site but one that has puzzled archeologists because it was constructed in a far different style than other Maya cities in the region. Instead of mortar, all of the buildings in Lubaantun are made of perfectly sized stone blocks made from slate rather than the more typical limestone.

Besides cultural visits to local villages, other exciting things to do in Toledo District include visiting one of the many waterfalls that dot the landscape. Several of the rivers in Toledo District are also eminently suitable for activities like canoeing and rafting.

Travelers interested in exploring the beauty and wonders of Toledo District can stay at the award-winning Chabil Mar Resort. Located just steps from the beach on the Placencia Peninsula in southeastern Belize, Chabil Mar is a full-service luxury resort with elegant villas, a lush tropical garden, and two freshwater infinity pools.

For more information about Belize and the Toledo District, 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.

10 Most Interesting Caves in Belize

ATM-CAVE

Caves were used by the ancient Maya for performing spiritual rituals like sacrificing to their Gods and bloodletting. In the enigmatic Maya religion and mythology, caves were considered to be the home of gods and an entrance to the ever mysterious underworld. The underworld was called ‘Xibalba’ and its literal translation from Mayan language is ‘the place of fear’. In the Popol Vuh, it has been described as a court that lies beneath the earth’s surface and is often associated with death. In Maya religion, Xibalba is also thought to be dead’s realm and the lowest among the 9 underworlds.

The Maya were Belize’s first inhabitants and caves were fundamental to their religion which is why Belize’s history with its caves is like the fate of soul mates, you can’t pull them apart.

Today, because of the lime rock matrix that occupies a majority of the landmass of the country, it is spattered with caves and one can’t think of Belize without thinking of its majestic caves. Some of the most extensive cave systems in the world are found just beneath the surface of this country.

If you want to travel back through time and enter the realm of Xibalba, then you have to explore any (or all) of the below 10 caves to learn about the enigmatic and ancient Maya civilization –

1. Black Hole – The Black Hole drop in Belize is for those people who seek the real thrill of adventure. The descent is 300 feet deep, starting with the first 10 feet and providing an unforgettable rush in the next 200 feet. The final 100 feet will take you through the canopy of the Belizean rainforest and this entire experience is definitely not for those who were expecting a vanilla holiday. Ladder climbing, hiking and some rock climbing skills will definitely be needed to get in and out of the Black Hole but even when it is done, the adrenaline will take a long time to come down.

2. Rio Frio Cave – The signature of this cave is its massive mouth and it is also the largest cave you will come across in Belize. Located in Mountain Pine Ridge, the arched entrance is miraculous and in the rainy season, you might get to experience the river that runs through the paths of the cave. The cave tour is not that strenuous or difficult and you should carry a flashlight to experience it properly.

3. Barton Creek Cave – This ceremonial cave can be explored with the help of licensed guides on a canoe. It might take up about half a day but the cultural and natural wonders you come across is well worth the sweat. The canoe will glide along the river cave and will take you through chambers that will remind you of cathedrals and wide roomy passages. It is interesting to note that Barton Creek Cave was part of a recent list of ’9 most unusual and beautiful caves in the world’, and when you are in your canoe exploring this cave, you will know why.

4. Chem Chem Ha Cave – A lot of Maya artifacts and artworks can be found in this cave which was discovered by a farmer. The entrance itself is riddled with Maya motifs which would appeal to the archeology hobbyists among you. The chamber walls are lined with ‘ollas’ or storage jars and you can reach the high chambers through ladders inside the cave. You can only explore this cave with a licensed guide since it is carefully monitored to stop looting of artifacts.

ATM cave in belize

The Crystal Maiden at Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave

Photo by Demian Solano www.demiansolano.com

5. Actun Tunichil Muknal – This ceremonial cave is so rich in Maya artifacts that you will never experience so much first hand cultural knowledge anywhere else. You can see bloodletting altars and more than 1400 other artifacts. There are both dry and wet chambers in the ATM cave and some sacrificial remains might also be found, particularly the ‘Crystal Maiden’ artifact which is the remain of a young human female but because of calcium carbonate covering, sparkles in the lamp light, giving the experience a rather grim memento mori. There is also a hike of 45 minutes where you will cross 3 streams.

6. Caves Branch Cave System – There are about three caves in the Caves Branch cave system – Petroglyph, Waterfall and Footprint. The names of the caves have been taken from the objects you will find on the walls inside. There are embedded footprints on the walls of the Footprint, about six waterfalls in Waterfall, and Maya’s ancient rock drawings from 300 to 900 A.D. in Petroglyph. The humongous cave system has been formed by the Caves Branch River that goes through these caves and has many a squeezes to make your heart skip a beat.

7. Laguna Cave – There is a wooden ladder about 4m long which can be used for climbing over the steep slope over which the entrance of the cave is situated. Then you will go through two entrances, through a slope of 8m depth and into a lower chamber which has an exquisite skylight filtering to the center. Some crevices of the cave are home to bats and speleothems, and further in, you will see a wooden bench through which the village of Laguna, after which the cave has been named, can be seen.

Read more: http://www.belizehub.com/2014/09/09/10-of-the-most-majestic-caves-in-belize/

Unstoppable Belizean Team Wins World Pok-a-Tok Cup

World Pok-a-Tok Cup

Ever since Greek runners launched the foot races that morphed into the Olympics events held today, individual nations have sought to make their international mark on sports by reclaiming their own traditions. 

For the people of Central America, an ancient Maya competition that’s as much historic as it is physically punishing has grown into a near-obsession: Pok Ta Pok is a sport that consists of moving a rubber ball around a field by players who are only permitted to use their hips and thighs to control the ball. 

During heyday of Maya domination throughout the region, this life-and-death game had dire consequences for losing teams, and while today’s version has the capacity to leave participants feeling humiliated and depressed, at least nobody loses their lives in the process. 

Who are the victors of the 2019 games? Belize, of course. This tenacious team beat out El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Guatemala and Honduras handily on the 5th of May with their “take no prisoners” attitude and a big helping of national pride. In fact, Belize’s Ek’ Balam (Black Jaguars) elevated the world’s longest, continually-played competition to new heights, saluting the ancient teams who invented this sport. 

That Belize is proud of this outcome would be an understatement! There was a lot riding on an Ek’ Balam victory and every one of the 10-member team was willing to take their A Game to opposing teams throughout the competition that started on April 29th under the sponsorship of The Central American and Caribbean Association of the Ancestral Sport of Maya Ball.

Since the Black Jaguars also took first place at this event in 2017, the team is building a reputation for excellence that is going to be hard to beat in the years ahead. For this reason and so many more, the management and staff at Chabil Mar Villas in Placencia applaud this feisty team for bringing the win home to Belize and for showing how team spirit and love of country can make all the difference.

10 Reasons to Attend the Placencia Lobsterfest in Belize

This year, the Placencia Lobsterfest will commence on June 21, 2019 and as we all know the festival is a grand celebration of the opening of the lobster season in Belize. Thousands of local and international visitors will attend this event which is organized by the Placencia BTIA and the Placencia Village Council.

Here are ten good reasons why you have to attend the Lobsterfest in Placencia this year:

lobsterfest in placencia 2014

1.) Because it is one of the biggest and best food festivals in Belize and the world, even MSNBC agrees: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/22540834/#.U42yMnb6NHA

2.) Because lobster is one of the most delicious foods on earth

3.) Because it is the only time you can eat lobster in different forms: grilled, fried, stewed, and boiled

Dinner plate Lobster Ian Jennifer Belize Wedding Chabil Mar Placencia

4.) Because the event commemorates Fisherman’s Day and serves as a fundraiser for community projects in Placencia

5.) Because the event shows that the locals have not forgotten their roots and heritage. Note: before tourism became the main source of revenue for Placencia, lobster fishing was the primary source of income for the residents.

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6.) Because the Lobster Festival has something for everyone – not only great food but also great music!

Lobsterfest Tent Chabil Mar Belize Resort

7.) Because you can also enjoy Placencia beaches which have been rated as one of the best beaches in the Caribbean

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8.) Because you can also go snorkeling or scuba diving on the second largest barrier reef in the world

Interior MB Sample

9.) Because you can also stay at Chabil Mar, one of the best resorts in Belize

10.) Because the lobsterfest event is only held once a year and it wont disappoint you

This is the most popular event of the season in Placencia so we hope to see you there!

Contact us today for more details on the Placencia Lobsterfest 2019!

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