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.

History

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: 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 Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize

Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize

Nearly four centuries ago, the British Empire began the practice of taking slaves from Africa and putting them to work at plantation laborers in the Caribbean. As time went on, these people began to intermarry with the local Arawak and Carib peoples, blending cultural and linguistic traditions to create the Garifuna people. After standing up to Britain, the Garifuna were chased throughout the Caribbean, ultimately finding a safe haven on the shores of Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua. The Garifuna discovery of Belize happened on November 19, 1802 and is regarded as a national holiday, Garifuna Settlement Day.

Why Garifuna Settlement Day is So Special

Anyone who happens to be in Hopkins, Seine Bight, Placencia or Dangriga knows just how uniquely the Garifuna have contributed to, and improved, Belizean society. Garifuna culture is about storytelling, drums, dances and the preservation of trades pursuits like farming and fishing.

November 19 is when the whole country show up to commend these people for making it to Belize over two centuries ago. It is on this day that many exhibitions of Garifuna music and dance styles are held, street dances are a common occurrence when people are not enjoying plates of cassava bread and hudut (fish that has been cooked in coconut) or listening to village elders’ tales of the Garifuna culture.

Where Is The Best Place to Enjoy Garifuna Settlement Day?

While it is a national holiday, the best places to experience it would be places rich with Garifuna people, like the four settlements mentioned earlier and also Punta Gorda Town in Toledo.

That being said, Dangriga has a special, historical tradition to witness on this day. At the crack of dawn, traditional dugout canoes, packed with locals dressed in traditional Garifuna attire, re-enact the Garifuna people’s arrival on the Belizean shores. After all the re-enactors ground their canoes, the celebration continues with drums, dances, music and lots and lots of food. Dangriga is also a great spot to witness “Jankunu” dancers, clad in elaborate masks and clacking bands of sea shells, listening to the sounds of drums and following through with leaps and terpsichorean motions.

Chabil Mar Belize Resort

If this at all sounds like a wonderful thing that you would like to experience and you plan on visiting Belize in November to witness it, consider staying at Chabil Mar. Chabil Mar is a resort that has regularly won awards each year for its amenities and hospitality.

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.

Could Your Relationship Use a Boost? Rediscover Each Other in Placencia, Belize

 

If you have a closer relationship with your cell phone than you do with your partner, Belize is calling!

When was the last time you checked your cell phone? Five minutes ago? Can you wait an hour to see who pops up on your radar? It happens. Marriage counselors rarely mention electronics devices as reasons couples split up. But technology can destroy romance, says relationship coach Melinda Carver, who has seen her share of breakups as a result of too many disruptions that get in the way of intimacy.

Carver recommends a getaway to reconnect, and there’s no better place to do just that than in Belize, the escape capital of Central America. No matter the season, you’ll discover everything you need to get into the right mood quickly: warmth, sunlight, rainforests and pristine beaches. Paradise found!

A Villa awaits

The Most Romantic Place to Go in Belize This Summer

Placencia has it all when it comes to mending relationships and re-energizing them, but the resort you choose could make or break your romantic adventure. Happily, you couldn’t pick a hideaway that’s more inviting, romantic and intimate than Chabil Mar Villas. From the moment of your arrival, you’ll understand why Chabil Mar (“beautiful sea”) is exactly the destination you need to renew and revive your enthusiasm for each other.

This contemporary, full-service boutique beach resort is located along the Placencia oceanfront and villas are situated amid lush tropical gardens, so you get as much privacy as you need to reconnect. Interiors are magazine-worthy. Each villa is filled with original local art, hardwood floors and tropical touches. Every amenity a couple requires is provided, but it’s the views of the sea from your private balcony that will delight your senses most.

Can you spend the entirety of your stay in your luxury villa?

You wouldn’t be the first couple to do just that–but you’re situated on the Placencia peninsula where proximity to many of Belize’s natural treasures is too close to ignore. Snorkel or scuba dive off Laughing Bird Caye or the Silk Cayes. Tour rainforests, sail the Monkey River and visit the Cockscomb Wildlife Preserve where animals, waterfalls and jungle trails provide an intoxicating mix of beauty and fascination.

Return to your private world after any of your adventures and dine at the award-winning Restaurant by the Sea before you turn in for the night–or retire early so you don’t miss a single gorgeous sunset. What will your fondest memories be? The quiet hours with no distractions that are sure to remind you both of the time you fell in love.

Can you turn on your devices? That’s your call. But once you see how it easy it can be to enjoy quiet, uninterrupted hours together, you could realize that you don’t really have to keep checking your phone as often as you once believed!

For more information about vacationing 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.

Where to Stay in Placencia Belize

placencia belize hotelsChabil Mar, the best resort for your Placencia Belize vacation

One of Belize’s top destinations is the lovely Placencia Peninsula, a gorgeous finger of land measuring one mile across and 16 miles long on the country’s southeastern Caribbean coast.

Placencia Peninsula

With a north-south orientation, the eastern side of Placencia Peninsula fronts the sparkling waters of the Caribbean while the western side is framed by a bio-diverse mangrove-lined lagoon. The pristine beaches are ideal for swimming or relaxing under the shade of a coconut tree while the lagoon side is an angler’s paradise, teeming with gamefish all year round.

The world-famous Belize Barrier Reef is just a few miles offshore, making Placencia an ideal jumping off point to enjoy some of the best fishing, sailing, snorkeling and diving opportunities in the world.

placencia village belize
Placencia Village

At the southern tip of the peninsula is the area’s unofficial capital, Placencia Village. Still a small, active fishing village, Placencia is featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the smallest main street in the world (a 4,000 foot-long sidewalk that measures four feet across at its widest point). With several colorful cafes, ATMs, bars, and dive shops, the village makes a great base for visitors seeking to explore the nearby reef or mainland attractions.

Placencia Peninsula’s Attractions

Beyond the delicious foods and drinks, the village of Placencia is a popular attraction in its own right due to its position as a center of Garifuna culture. Visitors can meet and learn from master craftsmen or take classes to learn the unique Garifuna drumming techniques.

Just a few miles west from the village is the Cockscomb Basin Nature Preserve, a vast protected area covered in hiking trails that allow visitors to see exotic wildlife like monkeys, tapirs, and jaguars in their natural habitat. Another popular nearby destination is the Monkey River, where visitors can enjoy a leisurely boat ride up the river while observing tropical flora and fauna. Placencia is also close to the Belize Barrier Reef, including Gladden Spit Marine Reserve where travelers can snorkel or scuba dive with whale sharks.

where to stay in placencia belize

Where to stay in Placencia Belize

One of the finest resorts on the Placencia Peninsula is Chabil Mar, named for a Maya term meaning “Beautiful Sea.” With 24 beachfront villas equipped with all modern amenities, visitors can relax and be pampered in one of the most luxurious resorts in the country.

Located just a few minutes’ walk from Placencia Village, Chabil Mar has its own tropical gardens, award-winning restaurant, and infinity swimming pool.

Chabil Mar offers guided tours to all of the top attractions on the mainland and the Belize Barrier Reef.

How to Get to Placencia

The peninsula can be reached by car or private transportation from Belize City in about three to four hours. There are also regular domestic air connections from an airstrip just outside of Placencia Village to Belize City and other locations in the country.

For information about the Placencia Peninsula, 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.

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.

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