Do Not Miss The 14th Annual Battle of The Drums Competition & Show

Annual Battle of The Drums Competition

The “Battle of the Drums” has been an annual event within Belize since it began in 2006. This cultural highlight has groups competing to best represent five different categories of Garifuna-style drumming; a form of performance that mixes the musical flow of the Caribbean with traditional African instruments.


The first Battle of the Drums occurred in Punta Gorda Town on November 17, 2006 and was well-regarded by Belizeans and visitors. 2007’s Battle drew an even larger audience and “drummed up” even more interest. Since 2008, the event has changed to an international competition for drummers, featuring troupes from Belize, Guatemala and Honduras.

Cultural Enrichment

As one might expect, the Battle’s lengthy presence has made it a major attraction within Punta Gorda, attracting interested parties with money to move the economy. The event occurs on whichever Saturday comes before the national holiday of Garifuna Settlement Day (November 19th). 2018’s winner was Ecumenical Junior College, hailing from Dangriga.

All of the money directly spent on the Battle, such as the $20 ticket price, goes toward funding Garifuna cultural projects within Punta Gorda and other Garifuna communities. These projects include summer camps for children age 5-13, programs to teach the Garifuna language and drums in primary schools, a Garifuna translation contest and so on.

On Garifuna Music and Drumming

The music of the Garifuna people is incredibly energetic and the drums used in such performances are made of hardwood and shrouded in animal hides. Drumming has been a part of the Garifuna identity since before they arrived in Belize and continues to be taught to this day.

For those visitors who still want to rock out and jam on after the Battle concludes, the Belize Garifuna Musical Festival is scheduled to begins bright and early on the day after the Battle. Because Garifuna music covers more than just drums, anyone visiting this follow-up festival will have a chance to experience genres like gunjei, hungu hungu, paranda, punta and even the punta rock subgenre.

If you happen to be a music lover or are otherwise planning to visit Belize when the Battle is going on, you will need a place to stay and recover from being so amped up with energy from the performances. To this end, we suggest Chabil Mar, a top-tier resort located within Placencia Village and which is very close to Punta Gorda.

For more information about Belize, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: or contact our Reservations Manager at: Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

Second Annual Birding Festival Promises to be Bigger Than The First!

belize birding festival

For avid bird-watchers, there are few better places to be than the beautiful Central American nation of Belize. The country’s lush jungles and rainforests are filled with a wide variety of unique birds, such as the keel-billed toucans, lineated woodpeckers, and gartered trogons.

On October 19th and 20th, 2019, the 2nd Annual Belize Birding Festival promises to take the region’s avian appeal to a whole new level. The event, organized by the Belize Audobon Society (BAS), Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), and the Belize Hotel Association (BHA), will take place at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Renowned birding experts such as Dr. John Fitzpatrick, Dr. H. Lee Jones, and Serge Arias will be present.

While the inaugural festival took place over just one day, the second iteration of the event is set to deliver two days of tours, presentations, exhibitions, and conferences. The first day will begin with an Urban Bird Walk, a three-hour hike through the bird-filled San Ignacio area. Throughout the rest of the day, visitors will be able to spend time on the exhibition room floor, attend the keynote address, view the panel discussion, and enter competitions and raffles. The day will conclude with cocktails and snacks by the pool.

Day two looks set to be just as exciting. Attendees can begin the day with a birding excursion to Black Rock, Cahal Pech, or the Crested Caracara Provete Teserven Private Reserve. During the rest of the day, visitors can tour the exhibits, attend a Q&A session, and attend a discussion about bird watching in Central America. There will even be another round of competitions and prizes. The day will finish with a thank you address by the organizers and the presentation of awards.

Whether you want to attend the 2nd Annual Belize Birding Festival in October or just want to visit Belize to marvel in its natural beauty, you will undoubtedly need a place to stay. Chabil Mar in Placencia, Belize is an excellent option. Our villas are luxuriously appointed and our location provides easy access to a host of nearby sights and attractions.

Put simply, there’s a lot to love about this amazing resort. If you would like to learn more, contact our team, or make a booking, all you need to do is visit the website.

Why You Should Visit Belize Now. Not Later!

Did Benjamin Franklin ever visit Belize? We can’t be sure. But there’s a chance he came to this paradise on earth while he was still kicking around because he coined the phrase, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

We suggest you take his advice. Life is crazy these days. You need Belize–its soft breezes, gentle waves, and laid-back lifestyle. You need a beach. Here are just a few of the reasons you owe it to yourself to book your visit today.

-Belize re-defines the color blue. Seriously. Travelers have been known to stare out at the water edging our neighborhoods and communities for hours at a time. Even photos don’t do justice to the Caribbean Sea that surrounds us and if you decide to dive into the Big Blue Hole during your visit, you’ll experience the mother lode of blue.

-“Conde Nast Traveler” magazine editors are happy to provide you with reasons why you should visit now rather than later ( Belize is trendy, fun, affordable and exotic. Top airlines deliver frazzled North Americans here in just a few hours, so paradise couldn’t get closer, according to the writer assigned to write his love letter to the country’s beauty.

-You could run into celebs who love the anonymity they enjoy here. If you peer over your sunglasses, you could spot frequent visitors like Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly. Practice your best “I’m not going to disturb you” behavior, but if you’re in a position to do so, sending champagne their way could earn you a nod of gratitude.

-Find out why the ancient Maya settled in this gorgeous land with all of its natural riches. Visit temples and pyramids. Marvel at wildlife that draws birders. Investigate sacred ceremonial caves. Wander into jungles to explore ancient Maya cities and if you don’t sense the ghosts of the Maya all around you, you need to extend your stay because you’re in worse shape than you imagined.

-Treat yourself to award-winning lodgings. There’s a reason Chabil Mar’s luxury villas with sea-facing verandahs, full kitchens and hand-crafted Belize furnishings and arts are the place to stay if you seek a sanctuary. Take a look: Remember what we said about coming now, not later?

-Don’t spend your entire time in Placencia curled up in your Chabil Mar villa—even if it takes a Herculean effort to get you off that verandah. Placencia will seduce you with its natural beauty and attractions.

-Belizeans are waiting to meet you. Now is the time to meet the people of Belize—the friendliest, warmest people on the planet. They all speak English, so you won’t have to wave your hands in the air to fill in verbal blanks. They get you.

In fact, you’re going to want to use English to tell them how grateful you feel that you decided to visit Belize now rather than waiting for Benjamin Franklin to remind you that there’s no time like the present.

For more information about visiting Belize, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: or contact our Reservations Manager at: Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

Tropic Air Now Offers Air Tours of the Great Blue Hole


Tropic Air has introduced weekly air tour flights from Placencia to the Blue Hole of Belize. Starting November 13, 2019, the hour-long air tours will give visitors an aerial view of one of Belize’s top attractions.

The Beauty of the Blue Hole

The Blue Hole is a 300-foot-wide ocean sinkhole located close to the Belize Barrier Reef. It is part of the site that was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Blue Hole is one of the most prized destinations in the world for scuba divers and ocean explorers.

The Blue Hole is recommended as a scuba trip only for the most advanced, experienced divers. Because of this, few people have been able to visit it. The new air flights allow more people to witness a spectacular attraction in Belize.

The Blue Hole extends almost 500 feet below the surface. It is filled with natural stone and coral formations. It attracts colorful fish, sea turtles, several varieties of shark, manatees and dolphins.

Comfortable Travel and Spectacular Views

Topic Air’s new flights allow tourists who do not snorkel or scuba dive to see the Blue Hole in all its stunning and mysterious beauty.

Each air tour holds 11 passengers. The planes feature comfortable seating, air conditioning and large windows. Each pilot is also a tour guide who is knowledgeable about Belize’s natural history.

Placencia is a Popular Destination

The Placencia Peninsula has become an increasingly popular tourist destination in Belize. Part of the reason is its proximity to the Belize Barrier Reef and the Blue Hole.

“The time is now right to offer a scheduled flight for the growing tourism market in the peninsula,” said Tropic Air president John Grieff. “We know visitors to Placencia want the opportunity to experience Belize’s number one attraction the way it should be seen, from the air, and we will deliver.”

Tourists also enjoy the charm and convenience of Placencia Village.

Chabil Mar Welcomes New Arrivals to Placencia

Chabil Mar Villas is pleased to know that Tropic Air’s new flights will allow more people to view one of the most stunning sights in Belize.

We welcome everyone who’s traveling to Belize to stay at our centrally located, luxury resort in the Placencia Peninsula. Our posh resort provides the ideal location for visiting the Blue Hole and charming Placencia Village. Contact us today to schedule your best Belize vacation.

4 Ways to Experience Belizean Culture Around Belize

4 ways to experience culture in Belize4 Ways to Get Your Cultural Fix in Belize

Why are travelers opting for vacations in Belize rather than crossing oceans to tour Paris, London, Rome and Berlin? Because they save a bundle, have access to water sports and perpetual sun and they don’t have to learn another language. But the highlights of any visit to Belize will always be the nation’s rich cultural diversity, rivaling anything you see elsewhere, minus the jet lag. Seeing Belize through the eyes of so many heritages will open your eyes to a world where cultural diversity is celebrated.

Here are 4 ways to get your cultural fix in Belize:

The famous Belizean Rice and Beans

1. Build a Belize City itinerary to experience the richness of the nation’s Creole culture. Start at the Government House of Culture on Regent Street to see a collection of artifacts symbolizing Belize’s past as a British Colony. Walls, shelves and display cases are filled with silver utensils, paintings, photos and more, but don’t linger too long because heaping plates of rice, beans and stew chicken await at a variety of nearby restaurants. Alternately, tour the stained glass and mahogany environs of St. John’s Cathedral across the street before you eat. Enjoy a road trip to a Creole village like Burrell Boom to sample fruit wines and spot howler monkeys. Want more? Take the water taxi to Caye Caulker where friendly islanders, cultural sites and more Creole foods await.

belize garifuna settlement day belize
Garinagu people. Photo by Lebawit L Girma

2. Nothing compares to visiting a Garifuna Village—especially after you learn how founders risked their lives to escape their homeland, arriving in Belize in 1802. Music is so important to Garifuna society, the culture’s unique, drum-driven beat has come to re-define Caribbean music. For full Garifuna immersion, go to Hopkins, a fishing village easily navigated by foot if you like to walk and find yourself eating too much delicious Garifuna cookery. What’s the most popular cultural experience of all? A stop at the Lebeha Drumming Center where you can quickly learn a few signature drum moves. Visit in November for Garifuna Settlement Day, a national holiday that pays tribute to the history and culture of this unique society.

Maya culture in Toledo
Maya culture in Toledo

3. Immerse yourself in Mayan culture by visiting Toledo, where the most number of Mayan settlements in close proximity are located. For the ultimate cultural experience, don’t just tour ruins filled with cultural reminders of Mayan culture; book a two-night stay in a thatched hut at any of six ancient villages eager to host guests via the Toledo Ecotourism Association. The Mayan ancestors of Belize’s original settlers will welcome you into their world, but be forewarned, this is a hands-on stay! You’ll not only see how members of this ancient culture lived but you may be asked to help make tortillas or undertake another ancient chore. Round out your cultural experience by reading the Toledo Howler, your authority on current cultural events in Toledo.

Street Food Placencia Chabil Mar Resort - Belize
Salbutes and Tostadas are two popular Mestizo foods in Belize

4. Close proximity to Hispanic neighbors is the reason Spanish is Belize’s second language. Learn more about the heritage of Mestizos (people of Spanish and Mayan descent) in Northern Belize where this society enjoys a lifestyle that’s distinct from Central American neighbors. Whether you tour Corozal or Orange Walk, expect to see beautiful Mestizo art, hear foot-tapping Latin music and eat mouth-watering foods. Living in close proximity to the Mestizo people of Corozal is a large community of East Indians who arrived in the 19th century as slaves and wound up staying in Belize after being freed. Sample the curry. It’s distinct. Visit the only East Indian Museum in Belize. You’ll enjoy the unique experience of exploring a culture within a culture, and what other Central American country can make that claim?

Visit our website for more information on 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 cultural vacation.