TripSavvy Names Chabil Mar Villas “Best Overall Resort” in Belize!

Chabil Mar Belize Resort

Is there a difference between award-winning Belize resorts and those who don’t make the cut? The question is easily answered when guests arrive at Placencia’s Chabil Mar.

What does it take for a Belize resort to beat out the competition on the popular TripAdvisor website? The resort must be unique. Gorgeous. Upscale. And it helps that guests rave about their personal experiences, sharing details that are so descriptive, readers hungry for vacations are compelled to see the property for themselves.

Word is spreading fast that Chabil Mar, a full-service resort on the Placencia peninsula, is the recent recipient of TripSavvy’s “Best Overall Resort” designation. Located near charming Placencia Village, Chabil Mar is known for being meticulous about the tiniest detail. From the moment guests arrive to be handed a cocktail and greeted by fresh flowers, they’re on tropics time.

A haven far away from the real world

Today’s hectic pace can turn even the most tranquil individual into a bundle of nerves and caring staff at Chabil Mar Villas understand that. You’ll be escorted to your lush lodging where every room faces the sea and marvel at the size of your accommodation. Suites run between 950- and 2000-square feet; some have personal verandas. For larger parties, digs with lofts and two bathrooms are available.

Not every frequent visitor to Chabil Mar is interested in taking advantage of the resort’s exciting tour menu because they’re in Belize to chill and decompress, but exploration of the 18-mile stretch of the peninsula-—on either the Caribbean or the lagoon side—-is one of the more popular ways to get to know more about the area.

Ride a bike around the peninsula or spread your aquatic wings by borrowing a resort kayak or paddleboard when you’re not enjoying either of Chabil Mar’s infinity pools. Of course, you can take tours–but there’s a way to do just that and save money, too!

The very best deals of all

What’s the best way to get your money’s worth at this newly-recognized “Best Overall Resort” in Belize? By selecting one of the vacation packages designed to cater to every traveler under the sun. Browse the menu and see so many options, deciding could be tough.

What is the ultimate advantage to opting for a package? Everything is included–your suite and gourmet meals at Chef Daniel’s Café Mar, in-country transport, taxes and service charges plus select tours all appear on one bill. If you don’t want to open your wallet again during your stay, you don’t have to!

Large enough to get lost on the grounds but small enough to feel like heaven, Chabil Mar delivers on service, beauty and value, but if you’re still on the fence about booking your vacation in paradise, this virtual tour could make the decision for you.

Visit our website chabilmarvillas.com for more information about 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 vacation.

9 Delightfully Geeky Facts About Placencia Belize

(c) Palace of Westminster; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Placencia was settled by the English Puritans who were originally from Nova Scotia in the 17th Century; however the settlement died out during the Central American wars of independence in the 1820’s.

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The closest village to Placencia is Seine Bight, a historic Garifuna settlement.

Fishing - Cap and Friend Belize Resort Chabil Mar

Placencia is a former fishing village.

Placencia beach with Chabil Mar Resort Belize

The Placencia Peninsula is sixteen miles long.

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The name “Placencia” is actually a distortion of Punta Placentia, the name the Spaniards gave to the peninsula in the 1800’s.

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The average temperature in sub-tropical Placencia is 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and the average humidity is 83%.

Placencia Village Ben Kim Chabil Mar Belize Resort

Placencia’s Main Street sidewalk has earned the distinction as the World’s Narrowest Street in the Guinness Book of World Records!

Barefoot Perfect Placencia Chabil Mar Belize Resort

At the tip of a 16–mile peninsula, sits the quaint seaside Village of Placencia -the only place on mainland Belize that offers unspoiled white sand beaches and which is locally known as “Barefoot Perfect.”

Tipsy Tuna Beach Bar Chabil Mar Belize Resort

Miles of natural sandy beach, a virgin mangrove–fringed lagoon, a wonderland of coral–studded cayes just off-shore, nearby jungle rivers (home to the howler monkey) and pristine rainforests, Garifuna, Creole and Maya cultures and ancient ruins, all within a short tour away, make Placencia Village the ideal location for the adventure traveler.

For more information about Placencia,  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.

What It’s Really Like To Dive The Great Blue Hole

The Mysterious Belize Great Blue Hole is a large underwater hole off the coast of Belize. It lies near the center of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll 100 kilometers (62 mi) from the mainland and Belize City. The hole is perfectly circular in shape, over 300 meters (1000 ft) across, 3140 feet circumference and 125 meters (410 ft) deep.

Read also: Dive the Great Blue Hole of Belize with this Vacation Package

It was formed as a limestone cave system during the last glacial period when the sea level was 400 to 500 feet below present time and was dry land. Last glacial period began about 120,000 years ago and end about 15,000 years ago. Reaching the maximum extension 26,500 years ago. At the end the ocean began to rise, the caves flooded, and the roof collapsed.

Believed to be the world’s largest feature of its kind, the Great Blue Hole is part of the larger Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, a World Heritage site of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The hole itself is the opening to a system of caves and passageway that penetrate this undersea mountain. In various places, massive limestone stalactites hang down from what was once the ceiling of air-filled caves thousand of years before the end of the last Ice Age 15,000 years ago. When the ice melted the sea level rose, flooding the caves. This process occurred in stages. Evidence for this are the shelves and ledges, carved into the limestone by the sea, which run the complete interior circumference of the Blue Hole at various depths.

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The Blue Hole is a “karst- eroded sinkhole.” It was once a cave at the center of an underground tunnel complex whose ceiling collapsed. Some of the tunnels are thought to be linked right through to the mainland, though this has never been conclusively proved. Notable are the large population of sharks such as lemon, black tip, reef, hammerhead, and bull sharks.
Mysterious and legends always have been around the Belize Blue Hole.

Read also: Scuba Dive the Great Belize Barrier Reef with this Vacation Package

This was the entrance to Xibalba?. It’s the kind of underwater geology that inspires speculation about aliens creating geometrically perfect anomalies, mermaids and monsters living in darkness.

I explored the bottom of the Blue Hole perimeter (3,140 feet circumference). To do this I dove down twice, reaching the depth of 375′ feet which took 4 to 5 hours of diving each day.
Video Music:
Start to 2:18 min. “Dawn From Four Sea Interludes” by Benjamin Britten
2:18 to 4:37 min. “300 Violin Orchestra” by Jorge Quintero
4:37 to End “Groove Armada” from Tomb Raider Soundtrack

Video and Blog courtesy of Ramon Llaneza

How To Build A Palapa‎

If you took a helicopter ride over Belize’s lush mainland and cayes, you might notice what looks like Hawaiian hula skirts fanned out into circles on the ground below. Upon closer inspection, you’ll discover that those circles are actually skillfully-woven roofs made of palm fronds that are so tightly wrapped, layered and interfaced, rains can pour down but anyone standing beneath this umbrella of vegetation will stay dry.

These thick umbrellas—known as a palapas—are part of the beauty and history that is Belize, and if you’d like to see some of the most beautiful ones, visit Chabil Mar Resort, an award-winning all-inclusive resort located in Placencia where the art of the palapa has been taken to new heights.

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At the end of the resort’s long pier stands a serene palapa that invites guests to relax and de-stress (see pic above). Not far away is Chabil Mar’s other palapa: it tops a gathering place considered the epicenter of Chabil Mar Resort’s social scene. Finding a seat at the Kaleidoscope Bar & Lounge (see pic below) isn’t easy as the night moves on and stars come out, so get out from under the bar’s palapa if you want to see them!

placencia belize restaurants
Why are palapas frequently a part of Belize’s landscape? Because they represent history and the clever use of natural resources, pairing tropical charm with practicality: Mayan settlers built thatch-roofed huts thousands of years ago for shelter and to this day, their ancestors still craft them. If you’d like to follow in their footsteps, our instructions can help. Chances are, you’ll finish faster than they did since you’ve probably got some nice tools!

1. Acquire five bamboo poles—four poles of equal height that are tall enough for people to stand under, and one that’s at least 12-inches longer for the center. Use a table saw to trim one or more to make lengths uniform.

2. Decide where to build your palapa. Dig a post hole in the center of that area. Next, dig four post holes at equal distances from the center pole and from each other. They should be at least 6- to 8-feet apart.

3. Follow package instructions to mix cement with water so it resembles thin pudding. Fill each post hole half-way with cement mix. Use a large funnel to direct the liquid cement into the holes.

4. Put one pole into each hole and then verify all heights to be certain they’re uniform; make adjustments before the cement sets if necessary. Fill each hole to the top with the remaining cement mix.

5. Craft makeshift supports of scrap wood to brace the poles. You can nail or screw one to the bamboo if necessary. Use mounds of earth to brace other scrap wood so poles don’t budge while the cement hardens. Wait at least 24-hours before removing supports.

6. Make a frame. Measure the distances between the outer four poles. Cut lumber to size and attach them to form a square. Next, measure the distance from the four outer poles to the center. Cut wood to size and attach with screws. When you look up at the finished frame, you should see spokes radiating to the center.

7. Cover the frame with pre-cut sections of plywood so there’s a solid base for attaching palm fronds.

8. Use an industrial stapler to attach palm fronds, starting at the outer edges and moving into the center by fastening layer upon layer of fronds. Work in a circle. As space decreases, you may have to cross, weave or prune fronds for a good fit. The overlap should be so solid, you can’t see an inch of frame or plywood.

9. Hold a palapa-warming party. Invite friends and neighbors over for tropical drinks beneath your work of art.

Visit our website chabilmarvillas.com for more information about 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 vacation.

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5 Observations about Food in Belize

belize restaurants - 5 observation about belize food in belizeOne of the most delicious aspects of visiting other countries is sampling cuisines, and since you won’t find a single fast food restaurant within Belize’s borders, you’ll have ample time to taste many styles of cookery throughout this culturally rich land. If you’re staying at Chabil Mar Belize Resort, don’t be surprised if you find yourself preferring the resort’s eclectic menu to other eateries in Placencia, but if you’re sticking around for the long haul, the following general observations about food will come in handy.

1. If you’re used to having plenty of supermarkets from which to choose, you may experience culture shock in Belize where ingredients needed for a recipe may not always be available on store shelves. No worries. Adopt the Belize mindset: learn to substitute and in the bargain, earn a reputation for being an innovative cook and baker. You will find “organic” products from local resources, so if you keep canned goods on hand to substitute for fresh ingredients that aren’t available you’ll always be prepared to make a meal.

2. Frequent local markets to get the freshest ingredients for your recipes and save your trips to large grocery stores for staples. Find the best local markets by asking people you meet where they shop in Placencia and then follow their lead. If you’re a frequent patron of Chabil Mar’s eateries on the days you decide not to cook, you can always ask the chef for recommendations—though he may not want to give his secrets away in the interest of getting you back to the Chabil Mar Café as frequently as possible!

>> Read also: The Top Ten Things To Taste In Belize

3. Be aware of the fact that Belize laws and regulations governing the use of pesticides don’t come close to the standards North Americans rely upon to scare away bugs, fungi and pests. One of the best ways to learn what’s in the foods you consume is to ask the grower when you shop at local markets, and while not every farmer may wish to disclose that information, it costs nothing to ask. Ensure your family’s health by taking the steps you would undertake, no matter where you live: thoroughly wash fresh foods with a brush to remove residues and you can also buy products on the Internet made for cleaning food if you require something stronger than water.

4. If dairy is an important part of your diet and you have no interest in owning a cow, follow the lead of people living in Belize and acquire a taste for powdered milk. Alternately, milk substitutes like almond, cashew and other plant-based dairy products may suffice if you can find them on grocery shelves. Can’t exist without “the real thing”? Turn to dairy farmers in Belize’s Mennonite communities. According to Wikipedia, there were 44 Mennonite communities in Belize in 2012, the largest of which are Shipyard, Spanish Lookout and Little Belize. Smaller sites include Blue Creek, Indian Creek, Barton Creek, Springfield and Pine Hill.

5. Make Café Mar your go-to dining destination for wining, dining and socializing on the nights and days you’re in no mood to cook. Local fisherman, farmers and purveyors provide chefs with the freshest ingredients, and frequent Café Mar beachside diners indulge all of their senses in an al fresco dining experience that offers a feeling of freedom under the Belize sky. If you prefer to take meals outside the Café, ask for poolside service, visit the Kaleidoscope Bar & Lounge or have a meal brought to you on your private veranda if you’re a guest. What observation will you make about the food after you discover just how delicious everything tastes when prepared Belize style?

Visit our website chabilmarvillas.com 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 vacation.

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