Tikal Mayan Ruins in Guatemala


Although today Tikal is an isolated site located deep within the jungles of Tikal National Park in Guatemala’s El Peten department, more than 1,400 years ago Tikal was a powerful city-state that dominated the Maya world.

Tikal was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979 in recognition of the superb public squares, palaces, and enormous temples that have survived intact for more than a millennia in the jungle. Probably the most famous building in Tikal are the five enormous temples that dominate the landscape. Temple IV (four) is the the largest pyramid ever built by the Maya and measures more than 230 feet (70 meters) tall. The adjacent Temple V (five) is nearly as tall, measuring 187 feet (57 meters) tall. All of the principal pyramids and temples were built to honor special dates in the Maya calendar and were used for special religious ceremonies.

Tikal was first founded in the Preclassic Period (around 800 BC) and grew to be one of the dominant city-states in the Maya Empire before it was abandoned around 900 A.D. The greater Tikal complex is a protected bio-reserve of more than 57,600 hectares (142,000 acres) of wetlands, forests, and jungle that harbor a wide spectrum of plants and animals including 300 species of birds, a half-dozen species of monkeys, and five great cat species, including the Jaguar and Puma.

Beyond the impressive temples and pyramids that have made Tikal such an iconic location, visitors can explore more than 400 hectares (1,000 acres) of roads, terraces, public squares, ball game courts, and residences, many of which are covered in elaborate stone carvings or painted with Maya hieroglyphics that describe the history of the city. One of the most popular attractions in Tikal is known as the “Lost World” complex (“Mundo Perdido” in Spanish) that sits just southwest of Temples I and II. Many of Tikal’s ruling elite were buried in the cemetery adjacent to the site.

During its long history, Tikal had an active relationship with such important sites as Teotihuacan (later the Aztec capital) and Calakmul in Mexico, Copan in Honduras, and Caracol in Belize. Tikal is widely recognized for its wealth of art, unparalleled architecture, and large-scale engineering that demonstrate the genius of the ancient Maya.

Sanctuary of the Nine Maya Gods

To experience Tikal and a Guatemala/Belize holiday at its finest, Chabil Mar offers a complete vacation package that includes seven nights at luxury resorts, transportation, and a boat trip across the fabulous Mystic Lake Peten Itza to the see Tikal and the surrounding area.


Visit Placencia in 2020–Especially if You’ve Never Been Before!

placencia belize

Are you an intrepid traveler or would you like to step out of your comfort zone? Visit Belize in 2020 and before you leave, you could call yourself intrepid!

What’s on your 2020 resolution list? Lose some pounds? Stop spending so much time at the office? Perhaps your resolution is to travel more. Would you like to put a healthy twist on that plan? We suggest going somewhere you’ve never been because when you travel somewhere new, you gain all sorts of mental health benefits.

Psychologist Todd B. Kashdan talks about people’s propensity for going back to the same place year after year out of habit, but it’s only by going somewhere new that you gain “enhanced emotional agility.” Must you spend a bundle and travel around the globe to develop this healthy attitude?

Not when Belize is a few hours away by plane, yet visitors step into an entirely new world the moment they arrive. Today’s hottest Belize destination is Placencia, so it’s an ideal haven for newbies and frequent visitors alike.

What you can expect from your Placencia vacation?


More than you imagine. The Placencia peninsula is just 18-miles long and surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and a tranquil lagoon. Beaches are pristine, several quaint villages are within walking distance of resorts and exploration is as easy as getting your hands on a bike, kayak or travel by foot.

Where to stay? At one of Placencia’s top-rated resorts: Chabil Mar Villas (https://chabilmarvillas.com/). As the closest full-service resort to Placencia Village, guests have access to any number of resources; beach bars, shops, and restaurants plus close proximity to jungle, cultural and historic sites, all of which can be booked through the Chabil Mar concierge. Of course, you’ll return to your lush accommodation and the resort’s 400 feet of private beachfront after each foray.

Placencia is the ideal destination for everyone

Dr. Kashdan’s study into adults and kids visiting new places reveals a secret that may surprise you: It’s human nature to suspend judgments about people of other cultures when traveling to other nations. Bring your youngsters to Placencia and introduce them to Belizeans with deep Maya, Mestizo, Creole, Garifuna, East Indian, Mennonite, Arab, Chinese and European roots. Placencia’s cultural scene is vibrant and exciting.

Stay at Chabil Mar to enjoy the best of both worlds—a fact not lost on honeymooners who flock to Placencia to unwind and relax. After all, Chabil Mar is a self-contained, award-winning paradise that’s not only home to a highly-rated gourmet restaurant but gorgeous suites that are hard to leave because they’re so beautifully appointed.

By the way, it’s been proven that people engaged in international travel to new places find that they think more creatively at the end of a visit to a foreign land. That’s a bonus you may not have been expecting, especially once you realize that since everyone speaks English in Belize, you don’t have to bother with language apps, either!

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.

Gymnast Simone Biles Gets Warm Welcome in Belize

simone biles in belize

Olympic gymnast Simone Biles recently vacationed on Ambergris Caye in Belize, where she was presented with several honors.

Biles, one of the most decorated gymnasts in the world with more than 25 championship medals, is of Belizean heritage and retains Belizean citizenship. She was taking a break from her rigorous training routine before representing the U.S. at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Belize in Love

Biles was vacationing with her boyfriend, NXT wrestler Stacy Ervin, Jr., and the two sent a series of romantic photos while strolling the stunning beaches of Belize. Fans swooned over one picture of the happy couple that Ervin posted with the caption, “I Belize in a thing called love.”

As we all know, it’s easy to fall in love when you’re in Belize. Ervin and Biles soaked up the sunshine and spent a few days in tropical bliss before heading back to their training schedules in the U.S.


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Biles Helped Put Belize on the Map

Manuel Heredia, Jr., Belize’s Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation, greeted Biles and presented her with the country’s coat of arms, saying, “You helped put Belize on the map, and for that, we are very proud.”

The mayor of San Pedro Town, Daniel Guerrero, gave Biles the keys to the town. Biles, in her turn, told the Belizean athletes in attendance, “If you work hard and dream big, you can achieve anything.”

Chabil Mar Extends a Warm Welcome to Simone Biles

Chabil Mar  extends a warm welcome to Biles. We join our fellow Belizeans in expressing our pride in her accomplishments and welcoming her any time she wants to come back for some warmth, sunshine and love. If you’re ready to experience the same thing, book your own romantic Belize vacation with us.

Belize’s Glover’s Reef providing refuge for new generation of sea turtles

belize-sea-turtlesCredit: R. Coleman/WCS.

Sea Turtles Thrive in Glover’s Reef

Good news has been reported from the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Belize Fisheries Department. According to a new study recently published in the journal Endangered Species Research, more than 1,000 young hawksbill sea turtles have been counted in the protected waters of Glover’s Reef Atoll on the Belize Barrier Reef.

Currently listed as an endangered species, the hawksbill turtle uses the sheltered inlets and shallow waters of Glover’s Reef Atoll for foraging and nesting. Thanks to a concentrated effort on behalf of the Belize government and non-profit wildlife organizations, the number of young hawksbill turtles in the area has risen since 2009 when in-water counting of the endangered species first began.

“Seeing an increasingly healthy and growing population of hawksbill turtles at Glover’s Reef is excellent news for other species throughout Belize and the greater Caribbean,” said Nicole Auil Gomez, the Belize country director for the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Glover’s Reef Atoll is a rare coral atoll located off the coast of Belize. As part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef Reserve System, the second-largest barrier reef on the planet, protected locations like Glover’s Reef Atoll are essential for maintaining the region’s marine biodiversity.

The Wildlife Conservation Society, in conjunction with the Belize Department of Fisheries, have been conducting field research on sea turtles living in the coral reefs in and around Glover’s Reef Atoll since 2007. The recent study published by the Wildlife Conservation Society listed more than 1,000 hawksbill turtles as well as loggerhead and green sea turtles in the area, determining that the population was thriving. According to the report, the robust population of juvenile sea turtles is a positive indicator of long-term health of the species as well as proof that a well-managed protected marine zone can produce positive results.

“On behalf of everyone at the resort,” said Larry France, marketing manager of Chabil Mar, “we heartily support the ongoing conservation efforts at Glover’s Reef. Preserving and protecting the environment, including sea turtles, is an important step in keeping Belize wild and beautiful for generations to come.”

Chabil Mar, an award-winning resort located on the Placencia Peninsula in Belize, offers guests the opportunity to snorkel and scuba dive at places like Glover’s Reef on the Belize Barrier Reef. Travelers wishing to see sea turtles in their natural environment and enjoy the rich abundance of natural wildlife should consider staying at Chabil Mar for their scuba diving and snorkeling vacation.

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