Cahal Pech Maya Ruins in San Ignacio, Belize

cahal-pech-maya-ruins-belize

Now perched on the highest hill overlooking San Ignacio Town, the Maya ruins of Cahal Pech were originally built as an enclave for the elite. Located in a gorgeous natural setting and surrounded by tropical birds and colorful jungle fauna, Cahal Pech is one of the most popular visitor attractions in Belize. An informative museum on the grounds gives visitors an introduction to the hilltop city and features a dazzling collection of artifacts found at the site.

Layout of Cahal Pech Maya Ruins

Today, archeologists have excavated a total of 34 structures in Cahal Pech in an area measuring just over two acres in size. The “downtown” portion of Cahal Pech includes several temple pyramids, residence buildings, and seven impressive courtyards. The tallest structure on the site is a temple that measures 77 feet high. Other attractions at Cahal Pech include a ceremonial altar, five historical stelae, and two ball courts.

History of Cahal Pech Maya Ruins

Archeologists estimate that Cahal Pech was first founded around 1,000 years Before the Common Era. During the Classic Period (300-800 of the Common Era) of the Maya civilization, most of the surviving buildings, including the largest temples and palaces, were constructed during this time. Around the year 800, the citizens of Cahal Pech abandoned the city for unknown reasons, particularly mysterious because nearby Maya sites in Belize continued to be thriving population centers for several more centuries.

Although the original name for the site is lost to history, today it is called Cahal Pech, a combination Yucatan/Mopan Maya term meaning “place of the ticks”. This was the name local cattle farmers in the 1950s gave to the area.

Cahal Pech Maya Ruins Tour Information

Visitors to Cahal Pech are encourage to wear comfortable, loose, lightweight clothing and proper shoes. Long pants are recommended over shorts as they will help give additional protection from insects. All visitors are encouraged to bring plenty of drinking water, and fair-skinned individuals are recommended to make ample use of sunscreen and hats.

The Cahal Pech Visitor’s Center is open Monday through Sunday, and contains a reconstructed model of the entire site.

Chabil Mar in Placencia & Cahal Pech Maya Ruins

The award-winning Chabil Mar resort on the Placencia Peninsula offers its guests organized tours and vacation packages that include a visit to Cahal Pech. Guests can choose to include a tour of Cahal Pech as part of the resort’s popular Belize Reef and Jungle vacation package.

For more information about things to see and do 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.

10 Reasons to Make Belize Your Honeymoon Destination In 2020

Is Belize a good honeymoon destination
Is Belize A Good Honeymoon Destination?

Your upcoming wedding is unique so why not make your honeymoon equally distinct? Reasons to choose Belize over other honeymoon destinations are so numerous, we don’t have room to list them all!

“Bride’s” magazine is the acknowledged Bible for Brides, so when Lane Nieset wrote about Belize morphing from little-known nation into the perfect honeymoon destination, she described the beginning of what’s become a major travel trend.

Belize, she noted, offers “the perfect recipe for a romantic Central American getaway,” and honeymooners taking her advice agree. Why should you consider Belize for your post-wedding trip? Because no destination does it better.

1. Everyone speaks English. You’re already stressed so why add another burden to your list like learning a second language? Belizeans are warm, friendly and many are bi-lingual, so if your Spanish is rusty, grab some practice time.

2. The plane ride is blissfully short. Regularly-scheduled, direct and bargain airfares are easy to find. Use your frequent flyer miles or book through aggregators. No fair looking smug when friends confide their Paris honeymoon travel nightmare!

3. Weather is heavenly. Even when it rains, showers are short and temperatures are delightful year-round, so get married any month you like; Belize will welcome you.

4. Get more bang for your buck. Whether you had a grand affair or your parents wrote the check, your new marriage gets off on a better foot if you don’t go into debt. The dollar goes twice as far in Belize. Conversion rate? $2 Belize to $1 U.S. It’s like winning a lottery.

5. For a tiny nation, sightseeing opportunities are everywhere you turn. Swim with sharks. Tour as many ancient Maya cities as time allows. Dive into the quirky Blue Hole, if only to say that you did it. And don’t forget a trip to the second longest barrier reef on Earth just off the Belize coastline.

6. Who needs a rental car? Resorts like Chabil Mar on the Placencia peninsula keep inventories of bikes, kayaks, Hobie cats and other crafts on hand for guests and since the peninsula is only 18-miles long, plenty of honeymooners jog, take water taxis and borrow bikes to get around.

7. Meet the natives. Spot the 500 species of fish swimming off the Belize coastline, 590 types of birds in Belize’s forested areas and some of the loudest primates you’ve ever heard: Howler Monkeys. Belize is home to the world’s only Jaguar reserve, too.

8. Your honeymoon photos will be breathtaking. Pose in front of dramatic waterfalls, take selfies while paddling around small atolls and don’t forget to memorialize yourselves enjoying the Placencia nightlife that has made this area so popular.

9. Explore the arts. Destinations like Placencia Village are goldmines of Belizean cuisine, art, music and the traditions of Caribbean, Mayan and Mexican descendents. Drink Belizean wines and beers and indulge your inner chocolate urge. Belize chocolates are divine and if you get enough diving, trekking and exploring, you won’t gain an ounce.

10. Save a bundle! Chabil Mar’s popular Belize honeymoon packages deliver an all exclusive experience for a single price. Included are luxurious accommodations, meals, local transport and hand-picked tours to fabulous sites.

Having survived a detail-filled wedding with endless “to-do” lists, what could be better than a honeymoon that required you to make decisions no more complicated than “What time should we eat dinner, Honey?” Sound like your kind of honeymoon? It’s okay to say “I do” one more time when you answer that question!

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 honeymoon vacation.

Top Ten Reasons to Love Belize for Scuba Diving

Thanks to a combination of the reef, a white sandy seafloor, and crystal clear waters, Belize is one of the world’s best places to enjoy scuba diving.

Here are 10 reasons why you’ll love scuba diving in Belize:

Belize Blue Hole

Rated by Jacques Cousteau as one of his top 10 favorite dive sites in the world. Measuring some 300 meters across, the Belize Blue Hole sits above an enormous system of flooded caves and caverns. For experienced divers only.

Lighthouse Reef

The Belize Blue Hole lies in the center of Lighthouse Reef, but there are plenty of excellent dive spots around the reef itself, including Half Moon Wall, the Gorgonian Forest, and the Silver Cayes.

Gladden Spit

Located on the outer edge of the Belize Barrier Reef, Gladden Spit is part of a protected marine park. Measuring 15 miles by 6.5 miles, there are plenty of rewarding dive spots where divers can see unique species found nowhere else.

Whale Sharks

Every year during springtime, migrating whale sharks pass through Belize near Gladden Spit. The largest fish in the oceans, whale sharks pose no risk to humans, giving divers a truly unique opportunity to approach these gentle giants. To protect the whale sharks, only authorized tour operators are allowed to approach, and the number of divers in the area is strictly regulated.

Turneffe Atoll

Turneffe Atoll in the Rain

One of the top diving spots in the country, the Turneffe Atoll has several islands and lagoons brimming with beautiful spots ideal for diving.

Silk Cayes

A national marine park, the waters of Silk Caye near Gladden Spit have some spectacular walls and holes for divers to explore.

South Water Caye

There is a natural cut in the reef near South Water Caye, giving divers an excellent opportunity to see diverse marine flora and fauna.

Laughing Bird Caye

Another one of Belize’s national parks, the island is known for its excellent snorkeling. But divers benefit from crystal clear waters and a kaleidoscope of marine life.

Long Coco Spit

Approximately three miles from Laughing Bird Caye, this formation is ideal for novice divers. Perfect for observing enormous schools of fish and black coral.

The Wreck of Miss Pamela

Laughing Bird Caye by Kurt Repanshek Chabil Mar Belize Resort

In 2002, the Miss Pamela was deliberately sunk to create an artificial reef. Clear waters and an abundance of huge barracuda feeding on schools of fish make this a rewarding dive.

For more information about scuba diving in Belize or 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.

 

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What Winter Looks Like in Belize

When many people return home from a winter vacation in Belize and share their photos with their friends, the pictures are often mistakenly believed to have been taken in summer. That’s a pretty common mistake to make because winter in Belize is a time of long, sunny days and warm temperatures.

Indeed, the “winter” months are when the weather in Belize is at its finest. Rain is very rare, and most days are long and filled with liquid sunshine. And warm temperatures mean that winter in Belize is a great time to enjoy activities such as swimming, snorkeling, sailing, fishing, and scuba diving.

The average dress code for Belize in winter is a T-shirt, a pair of shorts, and a comfortable pair of sandals or flip-flops. Dining outdoors is yet another pleasure that visitors can enjoy in Belize, tasting some of the country’s fantastic seafood, organic produce, and delicious culinary influences from the country’s different ethnic groups. And since English is the official language, it’s easy to get around and talk to locals.

Airlines have certainly taken note of the fantastic weather in Belize during the winter. The six biggest airlines in North America now fly non-stop to Belize throughout the winter. The latest addition is Sun Country, which will begin flying from Minneapolis to Belize City on December 22, 2018.

Other popular activities to enjoy in Belize during the winter include touring ancient Maya sites such as Xunantunich and Cahal Pech, exploring the vast Cockscomb Basin Wilderness Refuge (home to the world’s only jaguar conservation project), watching endangered manatees play in mangrove-lined lagoons, bird watching, zip lining, hiking through pristine rainforests, and boat safaris along the aptly named Monkey River.


“Winter truly is a great time to visit Belize,” said Larry France, marketing manager at Chabil Mar. “When snow is falling across much of North America, Belize is enjoying sunny, blue skies and warm temperatures, perfect weather for swimming, snorkeling, diving, or simply enjoying a walk along the beach.”

Chabil Mar is an award-winning luxury beachfront resort located on the Placencia Peninsula in southernBelize. Chabil Mar offers guests well-appointed villas with a full range of modern amenities, a private seafront pier perfect for enjoying gourmet dining, a lush tropical garden, freshwater swimming pools, and easy access to all of the top destinations in the country, including the Belize Barrier Reef.

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.

Belize’s Biggest Sporting Event: La Ruta Maya-Belize River Challenge

belize ruta maya canoe race

La Ruta Maya River Challenge

2020 will mark the 22nd anniversary of one of Belize’s most exciting sports competitions. First held in 1998 as a corporate sponsorship event, La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge has blossomed into an exciting international race featuring teams from around Belize and the world as they compete in the grueling four-day canoeing challenge.

This year, more than a 100 teams will set off from the Hawksworth Bridge in San Ignacio town for the first leg of the journey. Cheered on by thousands of excited fans, the canoeists are racing to promote awareness of the environment, ecology, and the beauty of Belize as they seek to be the first to cross the finish line in Belize City on the fourth and final day of the event.

Competing teams will be awarded based on eight different racing divisions:

  • All Male
  • All Female
  • Mixed Gender
  • Masters
  • Intramural
  • Dory
  • Pleasure Craft
  • Family Adventure Racers

la ruta maya river challenge

Teams will set out early in the morning on the first day from San Ignacio Town in western Belize for the first leg of the race, a trip approximately 46 miles long. On day two, teams will begin at Banana Bank for the difficult second leg, a grueling 60 mile course that ends at Double Head Cabbage Village. On the third day, racers will navigate 36 miles of treacherous currents to arrive at Henderson Bank in Burrel Boom. On the fourth and final day, teams will push themselves to the limit to finish the 28-mile long last leg to be the first to arrive in downtown Belize City.

This year, the La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge will begin on March 6th and will conclude on March 9th.

On behalf of Chabil Mar and its Staff, we wish the best of luck to all the 2020 participating teams.

 

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