How to Do Belize off the Beaten Path

Belize is still a rural country that hasn’t yet been overrun by tourists, but if you want a truly authentic Belize travel experience, you should check out some of the more remote and undiscovered places.

Fodors, one of the most popular and widely-respected travel publications in the world, recently published an article about Belize adventures that are truly off the beaten path. Written by Kristine Hansen, one of Fodors’ most experienced authors, the article regaled readers with exciting things to do during Belize vacations, including learning how to make chocolate according to millennia Maya recipes, visiting the legendary Marie Sharp’s hot sauce factory, and dancing with the Afro-Caribbean Garifuna people in Placencia Village, Dangriga, and Hopkins.

There are no shopping malls, high-rise office buildings, or fast food outlets in Belize, so pretty much the entire country offers something interesting and eclectic to explore. And despite having a small population of just around 400,000 people, Belize is a true melting pot society composed of very different cultures, including Spanish-speaking Mestizos, three tribes of Mayans, festive Creole people, conservative German-speaking Mennonite farmers, and the Garifuna people who have been recognized by the United Nations for their intangible contributions to the heritage of humanity.

One of the best places to experience Garifuna culture is Dangriga on the southeastern coast. A vibrant port town where karaoke bars blast Belizean musical genres like punta all night long, Dangriga is also where you’ll find the Marie Sharp’s hot sauce factory. Using locally-grown hot peppers mixed according to her family’s traditional recipes, Marie Sharp’s hot sauces grace every table in Belize and are imported around the world, yet the factory only employs a dozen people.

Other off the beaten path recommendations from Fodors include visiting the open-air fish market in the southern town of Punta Gorda where you’ll find crab, octopus, lobster, shrimp, and dozens of different kinds of fish, all of which are caught by local fishermen, usually on the same day that they’re sold. Fodors also recommended visiting a Mennonite farm to try the handmade cheeses or visiting a Maya village for weaving lessons.

If you want to explore parts of Belize that are well off the beaten path, be sure to book your vacation with Chabil Mar, one of the finest luxury Belize resorts in the country. An upscale resort located on the Placencia Peninsula, Chabil Mar offers Belize vacation packages that include authentic Belizean experiences.

Have the Perfect Belize Vacation – Placencia Has It All

Popularized by top media publications like Vogue Magazine and the New York Times, savvy travelers have started to discover the eco-wonderland of the Placencia Peninsula in southern Belize. A 16-mile north to south stretch of golden sands facing the sparkling waters of the Caribbean, Placencia is an idyllic vacation spot where “barefoot perfect” is the official motto.

At the southern tip of the peninsula is Placencia Village, the Guinness Book of World Record holder for the world’s smallest main street, a sidewalk measuring just four feet across that is a pedestrian-only zone of lovely cafes, small shops, restaurants, and dive outfits for trips out to the nearby Belize Barrier Reef.

The southern part of the Belize Barrier Reef immediately offshore from Placencia is a combination of marine nature reserves and national parks ideal for bird watching, beach barbecues, and playing castaway for a day. The tranquil lagoons and white sandy seafloor are heaven for snorkelers and scuba divers who come to marvel at the rainbow of anemones, glinting schools of fish, dolphins, sting rays, and even whale sharks that are found in the waters of the Belize Barrier Reef.

Not to be outdone, the mainland near Placencia includes the enormous Cockscomb Basin Nature Reserve, home to some of Central America’s last remaining jaguars, boat safaris along the well-named Monkey River, and explorations of ancient Maya sacred caves and enormous cities that still dominate the landscape.

Placencia is known for its vibe just as much as its natural beauty. One of the top events of the year is the annual Lobsterfest in June where cooks compete to create the tastiest and most innovative dishes featuring the world’s most popular crustacean. Games, artwork, handicrafts, and lots of live music ensure that there’s something for everyone to enjoy at Lobsterfest.

Chabil Mar

Chabil Mar is a multiple award-winning resort located on the Placencia Peninsula just a few minutes’ walk from Placencia Village. With a lush tropical garden, luxuriously equipped villas, and a gourmet restaurant offering open-air dining on the resort’s sea pier, Chabil Mar is the ideal place to enjoy a wonderful vacation in Placencia, Belize.

Chabil Mar offers tours to all of the top destinations in and around Placencia, including diving and snorkeling with whale sharks, boat trips on the Monkey River, hiking through the Cockscomb Basin Nature Reserve, and trips to the top ancient Maya cities and sacred caves.

For more information about Belize or Placencia,  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


Diving Placencia Belize – What You Need to Know Before You Go

The Placencia Peninsula is a 16-mile long strip of golden beaches jutting outside from the southeastern Caribbean coast of Belize. Still a laid-back eco-friendly place that more than lives up to its “barefoot perfect” motto, Placencia is the gateway to all of the best dive spots on the southern half of the great Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with clear waters and white sandy seafloors that teems with hundreds of colorful marine flora and fauna species.

Laughing Bird Caye

Many people come to Placencia Village to stroll along the beach, zoom around in golf carts, and generally take in the sights, but Placencia is also the perfect place to access the world-class dive sites that have made Belize so famous.

One of the premier dive sites just a short distance offshore from Placencia is the Laughing Bird Caye National Park. Just 11 miles from Placencia Village, Laughing Bird Caye is a national park and the southernmost island in the central lagoon portion of the Belize Barrier Reef.

Laughing Bird Caye (in Belize, islands are known as “cayes”, pronounced “keys”) is located on a narrow stretch of the reef technically called a faro. The sides of the faro are quite steep and the waters offshore are separated by deep channels that connect it to the rest of the barrier reef. This unique physical structure makes it the perfect place for fish to spawn and hide from predators. The enormous numbers of fish and other marine animals in the area draw in other creatures, making it a top dive spot.

The island gets its name from the Laughing Gull bird that once used the caye for a breeding ground. Laughing Bird Caye has been a protected marine park since 1981.

The Silk Cayes

The Silk Cayes are a three islands that lie inside the Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve, a protected natural area since 2000. The Silk Cayes are located approximately 22 miles off the coast of Placencia.

Gladden Spit is an elevated piece of land located on the southernmost tip of a long atoll, itself a popular dive site. The three Silk Cayes, North Silk, Middle Silk, and South Silk, are located on the southern approach to Gladden Spit.

This is a premier dive area in southern Belize because the elevation and water quality make it one of the healthiest and most ecologically diverse parts of the Belize Barrier Reef.

Chabil Mar is an award-winning luxury resort located just a five-minute walk from Placencia Village and is a great place to stay to enjoy all the best dive spots in southern Belize.

For more information about diving in Belize or Placencia, 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.

The Best Belize Family Resort To Stay In 2020

Belize with Kids

Are you planning a family vacation to Belize? With so many hotels and resorts to choose from, why should you pick Chabil Mar? We’ll give you five good reasons.

Top 5 Reasons to Stay at Chabil Mar

1. Luxurious and Exclusive Amenities

Chabil Mar guests get exclusive access to a private beachfront, private pools and specialized excursion packages. They also get a beautifully furnished villa just steps from the beach and exclusive access to our onsite restaurant and bar.

2. Easy All-Inclusive Rates

Our all-inclusive rates mean you pay one price to get everything you need for a perfect Belize vacation. Forget the stress of making reservations or arranging transportation. All your transportation, meals, tour guides and fees are included in our family-friendly packages.

3. Our Great Placencia Location

Chabil Mar is on the Placencia Peninsula, which is known for having Belize’s most beautiful beaches. We are a short, easy walk from Placencia Village, a charming destination where you can find many dining and shopping options. We offer free use of bicycles to explore Placencia Village or other nearby towns.

4. We Pamper You

At Chabil Mar, we want to make sure your stay in Belize is totally relaxing and unforgettable. We work hard to ensure that our service meets and exceeds your expectations. Our customer service is second to none.

5. Stunning Surroundings

We didn’t create Belize’s beauty, but we celebrate it every day. Our villas offer stunning views of sunsets on the beach and blue skies. Relax in your perfectly appointed villa and enjoy it all.

Belize Vacation Packages Are Perfect for Your Family

Chabil Mar specializes in vacation packages that your family will love. Our exciting family packages include these tours.

  • Monkey River: Cruise the scenic, pristine Monkey River to the Howler Monkey sanctuary.
  • Maya ruins: Learn about the fascinating history of the ancient Maya who left evidence of great civilizations all over Belize.
  • Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary: Meet a huge a variety of exotic wildlife at the world’s first jaguar preserve.

Make It Special

You get all this in addition to private beachfront, private pools, free use of paddles and kayaks, and delicious meals at our full-service resort.

Contact Chabil Mar today to get started on an unforgettable family adventure in Belize.

10 Interesting Things About Monkey River

Elizabeth Monkey River Welcome 650 Sign Chabil Mar Belize Resort

The Monkey River Tour is classified as one of the top rated tours in Southern Belize

The quiet Village of Monkey River in Southern Belize is habitat to a plethora of flora and fauna and as a result, it has been rated as one of the top tours in Southern Belize. Tropical birds, butterflies, crocodiles, iguanas, and of course howler monkeys are just a few of the wildlife that visitors see on this tour.

In this post, we bring to you 10 interesting things that you might know about Monkey River.

Howler Monkey Chabil Mar Belize Resort

1.) Monkey River Village lies on the coast of Southern Belize in the Toledo District and is home to about 200 people. The Village can be accessed by road or sea from destinations like Placencia and Punta Gorda Town.



2.) Monkey River Village is a perfect location to experience the amazing flora and fauna of southern Belize.

3.) Families of howler monkeys can be seen and heard here, for which the village got its name.


4.) Nature Trails, Manatee watching, and Bird watching are just a few of the tours that are available in Monkey River.

5.) Hiking the surrounding rainforest of Monkey River will likely bring you encounters with tropical birds, gibnuts, deer, ocelots, tapirs, agoutis and possibly jaguars.

6.) Monkey River was born with the banana industry and at that time in the 1800’s, the population was about 2500 people. Today, the village is home to about 200 people.


7.) The river banks in Monkey River are perfect for birding.

8.)The Monkey River tour is a 15 miles boat ride from Placencia.

9.) There are no cars and only 2 streets in Monkey River Village.

10.) In October 2001, a major hurricane devastated Monkey River Village but it has been rebuilt since then.

For more information about Monkey River or 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.



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