Belize Whale Shark Diving

whale sharks in belize
Photo by: www.smithsonianmag.com

Make 2020 the Year You Dive with Belize Whale Sharks

If you’ve heard enough jokes referring to bottom-feeding lawyers nicknamed sharks, it’s time to give these magnificent ocean creatures the respect they deserve by preparing yourself to undertake the challenge of a lifetime in 2020. How? By going whale shark diving in Belize.

Scared? A little bit of fear is a healthy reaction, but keep this in mind: Belize is home to a thriving aqua-tourism industry offering snorkeling and diving experiences to visitors from around the globe. Would these ventures be as popular, heavily booked and safe if divers didn’t return home with all body parts intact?

How can you be part of the great whale shark swim adventure? By grabbing your calendar right now and checking to see when you can get away during Belize’s shark season: during full moon spans of spring and early summer that, in 2020, run from March 23rd to April 3rd; April 22nd to May 3rd; May 21st to June 1st and from June 20th to July 1st.

What can you expect if you travel to Belize to indulge your inner Cousteau by participating in an exciting shark dive? Frankly, it could come down to where you decide to stay because these seasonal excursions can book up early, and you might need an “in,” courtesy of your host resort. That’s why we recommend Chabil Mar Villas where all of your arrangements can be made at the time you book your rooms.

Chabil Mar will delight you, even if your primary purpose for staying there is to cavort with those whale sharks: Villas are beautifully appointed, private verandas lush and romantic and you don’t have to leave the resort for anything other than your shark diving excursions because Chabil Mar’s onsite restaurant, pool, spa services and beaches are guaranteed to delight all of your senses.

If you want to see more of Belize while you’re here, your Chabil Mar host is happy to send you off on hiking trails, to nature preserves, Mayan ruins treks and cave exploring and you won’t have to lift a finger to make arrangements if you choose the resort’s Whale Shark Dive Package.

This adventure package consists of three whale shark dives, two Belize Barrier Reef dives and accommodations for seven nights. On the days you don’t dive, soak up sun and breezes on the beach or partake of the vast menu of land-based tours available throughout Belize.

If this all sounds heavenly, we urge you to act now. Given short windows of time when these gentle giants are in the waters off Belize—and the likelihood that more and more repeat visitors will return in 2021 to relive their previous shark diving experiences—you risk disappointment if you don’t secure your place.

Once that’s done, be prepared to immerse yourself in the rarified environs of the Gladden Spit Marine Reserve where the whale sharks gather. Your visit is likely to change the way you view the natural order of things beneath the sea and the excitement you feel when you meet these creatures can’t be compared to any other experience you have in your lifetime.

For more information about diving with whale sharks in 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.

The Creole Culture of Belize

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.

8 Days of Bliss Found Only at This Belize Yoga Retreat!

8 Days of Bliss Found Only at This Belize Yoga Retreat

If you already know that Belize–and especially Chabil Mar Villas located in picturesque Placencia–is the ideal place to go for an adventure vacation, you’ll be overjoyed to hear news about an innovative new package just added to the resort’s menu: A one-of-a-kind yoga, wellness and lifestyle retreat. 

Conceived by staff in response to requests from guests more interested in relaxing in the lap of luxury than ziplining over trees and interacting with Howler Monkeys, this is your opportunity to rediscover inner peace during a magical week conceived by wellness experts at Chabil Mar in concert with Eucalypto Yoga Studio master Stephanie. 

The itinerary of your dreams:

Day 1: Arrive at Chabil Mar and settle into your lush villa. Stroll botanical gardens and take a dip in one of the infinity swimming pools. Meet staff at a welcome circle that prepares your mind and body for the days ahead.

Day 2: Start the morning with a Vinyasa-style Ashtanga Yoga class. Hike Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve and take an optional river tubing excursion that completes a high-energy activity day out in Mother Nature’s backyard. 

Day 3: Welcome the day with a Hatha Sivananda yoga class followed by a full day of exploring Placencia Village by foot or by bike. Visit shops, eateries and learn about life in this welcoming corner of the world. 

Day 4: You’ll be introduced to Vinyasa yoga today to improve mind and body balance before going snorkeling off Placencia’s coastline where small cayes invite guests to explore colorful marine life beneath the surface. 

Day 5: Master dynamic, flowing moves associated with Ashtanga yoga that promote body and breath synergy. It’s your day to do what you like, so relax, explore or ask staff about extra tours available to retreat participants. 

Day 6: Return to Hata Sivananda with deep roots in Hatha yoga as you get centered and find yourself in a blissful state of mind. Explore an ancient Mayan excavation site and tour a spice farm. Add cave swimming and tubing if you like. 

Day 7: This morning’s Vinyasa Yoga session helps the body avoid repetitive motion injuries. Focus on everything you learn so you can use these moves after you return. Spend the rest of the day relaxing or enjoy a spa service.

Day 8: The perfect ending to a perfect week: A final gathering of new friends, chanting, inspiring music, drinks, flowers and shared memories. Leave for the Placencia Airport (reluctantly) as your idyllic week concludes.

yoga in belize

What’s included?

-All in-country transport, transfers and program tours
-Luxury accommodations at this high-end beachfront resort
-All breakfasts
-Scheduled resort dinners and opportunities to dine outside the resort
-All instruction listed on the aforementioned itinerary 
-Taxes and service charges
-So much more you must read the details

Only you can give yourself the gift of renewal, so what do you say? Grab your favorite yoga togs, call the cat sitter and tell your boss that you plan to come home a new person. Even she will notice the difference once you return!

For more information about this vacation package, 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.

Belize Wildlife & Birds

Belize is a country with a low population density, home to dazzling natural landscapes such as beaches, islands, jungles, rainforests, and mountains. The vast majority of Belize is still virgin country where unusual, exotic, and interesting wildlife flourish, including rare and endangered species found nowhere else on the planet. This eco-diversity is one reason why Belize is nicknamed “The Jewel.” The diverse habitats offer a flourishing environment for hundreds of species of birds and interesting animals such as jaguars, monkeys, and giant iguanas.

Because of this incredible diversity, it’s often easier to think of the jungle and rainforest in terms of layers. At ground level, you can find interesting animals like peccaries (wild pigs), gibnuts, deer, crocodiles, and Baird’s tapir (Belize’s national animals). And there are five different big cat species that prowl the rainforest floor, including pumas, margays, ocelots, jaguarundis, and the king of the jungle himself, the elusive jaguar.

Farther up, a completely different group of animals and birds thrive. Flocks of scarlet macaws, toucans, and giant iguanas make their home on the tree branches. And further up still, it’s easy to spot birds like the enormous harpy eagle and animals like the black howler monkey, one of the loudest animals in the world. Indeed, black howler monkeys produce louder sounds than your average rock concert and can be heard up to three miles (five kilometers) away, even through thick jungle foliage.

On the coast, a completely different ecosystem can be found. Shorebirds, frigate birds, and Jabiru storks hunt in the rich coastal waters. Just offshore, enormous tracts of seagrass are home to manatees and dolphins. And the islands of the Belize Barrier Reef are home to a colorful array of fish, sharks, five kinds of sea turtles, and rays. The islands are also home to interesting birds like kites, kingfishers, and frigate birds.

Belize is a true paradise for bird watchers with more than 500 species having been recorded in the country. Even first-time bird watchers can usually dozens different species with the help of local guides. Belize is home to beautiful birds of all sizes and types, including tiny hummingbirds, colorful toucans and macaws, the majestic blue-crowned motmot, and rare and endangered species like the ocellated turkey and the yellow-headed parrot.

If you’d like to enjoy a fabulous vacation in Belize that includes spotting wildlife and bird watching, make your booking with the Chabil Mar Resort.

For more information about 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.

Exploring Southern Belize

Because the international airport is located in the northern part of the country, many visitors overlook the majestic beauty and exciting attractions in southern Belize.

Belize is a small country, so the southern region can be reached in just a short drive of two to three hours. Whether it’s gorgeous Caribbean beaches, vast wildlife refuges, fragrant citrus plantations, or the softly rolling slopes of the Maya Mountains, southern Belize has a lot to offer.

Some of the top southern Belize attractions include the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (CBWS). Just a short distance from the Placencia Peninsula, the CBWS measures more than 150 square miles (400 square km) of trackless wilderness, including mountains, jungles, savannahs, beaches, and waterfalls. Although rarely spotted in the daytime, the CWBS is also home to hundreds of jaguars which are continuously monitored by conservation scientists.

Other attractions in southern Belize include boat tours along the very well-named Monkey River. Heading upstream from the coast, the Monkey River passes through some of the wildest, most unspoiled jungle terrain in Belize, a great place to see exotic birds and animals in their native habitats, including, of course, troops of black howler monkeys.

And not to be outdone are the world-class scuba diving and snorkeling sites located on the southern end of the Belize Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef system in the Americas. There are several protected marine areas in the reef, making it an ideal place to see huge schools of tropical fish, sea turtles, rays, sharks, manatees, and even dolphins.

If you’re interested in touring southern Belize, you should definitely stay at Chabil Mar. An oasis of luxury, this southern Belize resort features elegant villas fully equipped with all modern conveniences, two freshwater infinity swimming pools, a lush tropical garden, and a gourmet restaurant.

Chabil Mar is located on the Placencia Peninsula in southern Belize, often called “the island you can drive to” because of its golden sand beaches and narrow connection to the mainland. In the Mayan tongue, “Chabil Mar” means “Beautiful Sea,” a very apt description for the turquoise Caribbean Sea that borders Placencia’s eastern shore.

Chabil Mar regularly organizes tours to top activities in the region, including scuba diving and snorkeling on the reef, expeditions to the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and Monkey River, visits to Mayflower Bocawina National Park, and explorations of ancient Maya sites like Nim Li Punit and Lubaantum.

On your vacation to southern Belize, stay at Chabil Mar.

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