Gladden Spit & Silk Caye Marine Reserve

belize whale shark diving at Gladden Spit in Placencia BelizeExplore the Natural Wonders of Gladden Spit & Silk Caye Marine Reserve 

The waters off of the coast of Placencia in southeastern Belize were declared a marine reserve in 2001 to protect the rich bio-diversity of hundreds of species of sharks and tropical fish that inhabit the area. The lunar cycles of the Gladden Spit Marine Reserve bring enormous schools of fish to the area to spawn, releasing enormous clouds of eggs that attract top predators like whale sharks.

Although fishing is heavily restricted in the Gladden Spit Marine Reserve, visitors to the spectacular blue waters are permitted to engage in one of the most thrilling underwater experiences in Belize – diving with the whale sharks. Being filter feeders, whale sharks pose little danger to humans, allowing divers to interact and play with these beautiful creatures of the deep.

Whale sharks can grow up to 12 meters (41 feet) long, and weigh up to 66,000 pounds, making them the largest-known species of fish on the planet. Feeding on fish eggs, tiny plankton and microscopic shrimp known as krill, whale sharks have no teeth, which is why they can be approached by humans with minimal risk. Whale sharks are curious and playful animals, often approaching and interacting with divers. Because experiencing whale sharks is such a popular attraction, only licensed tour operators can bring divers to the area, arranging tours at specific times to get the best chance of spotting the sharks as they come close to the surface to feed.

Complete Guided Whale Shark Diving Package

If you’d like to swim with the sharks, Chabil Mar is now offering a special whale shark package that includes a guided diving experience with these amazing marine creatures. Located in the beautiful Placencia Village of southeastern Belize, Chabil Mar offer luxury accommodation at affordable prices, with gorgeously-appointed beachfront suites that face the beautiful turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.

For more information about diving with whale sharks 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.

Birding in Belize

birding in Placencia Belize

Want to Trade Twitter for Real Tweets? Go Birding in Belize

Is Belize’s Placencia Peninsula for the birds? You bet it is. Bird watchers couldn’t choose a place with as much avian diversity thanks to plenty of green space, surrounding jungles and rainforests, and watersheds that act hospitably toward anything with wings that roosts here. If you’re a birding purist, you may want a taste of what you can expect to see here before you book your flight and accommodations, so may we take the liberty of introducing you to the Belize birding scene? Allow plenty of time to see as much as you can so you return home relaxed, refreshed and in possession of colorful photos that prove your amazing good fortune.

Do your homework first

How important is a little education? Important enough to morph a nice birding experience into a spectacular one. According to the Belize Audubon Society, 587 types of birds have been spotted here (though other resources insist that number exceeds 600). Most are indigenous, but about 20-percent of them come from North America, proving that humans aren’t the only species wild about flying south. Prepare for your trip by finding a copy of the book “Birds of Belize,” written by H. Lee Jones and published by The University of Texas. This book is loaded with illustrations, so even if you dislike reading, browsing the art alone can help you identify the birds you spot in Belize.

9 Scarlet Macaws
How to go birding in Belize

If you’ve never before visited this Caribbean hot spot, use an online aggregator to book a flight on any of the airlines now servicing Belize daily: American, United, Delta or Southwest. Competition has spurred price reductions, so go birding here even if you’re on a budget. Book accommodations where an impressive concentration of Belize birds can be found. We recommend Chabil Mar, an excellent lodging choice, because suites are luxurious and well-appointed, onsite amenities like swimming and dining are superior, and you’ll be right in the thick of the action, with easy access to places Belize birds frequent most often.

11 Scarlet Macaws

What to look for

If you’re a serious birder whose journals are tributes to your dedication and record-keeping, bring a large, new journal for your Belize expedition. Be on the looking for these species: In the trees, identify the Magnificent Frigatebird, Double-crested Cormorant, Turkey Vulture, Roadside Hawk, Eurasian Collared-Dove and Golden-fronted Woodpecker. Spot these species along beaches, in ponds and lagoons: the Brown Pelican, Great Blue Heron, Spotted Sandpiper and Mangrove Swallow. Search wooded areas for Cinnamon Hummingbirds, Social Flycatchers, Tropical Mockingbirds and Yellow Warblers. If you’re in Belize at the right time of year, you might also record these three in your journal: the Great Kiskadee, White-collared Seedeater and Great-tailed Crackle.

What to bring

A great set of binoculars and digital camera are essential, as is bug repellent and sunscreen, since you could find yourself waiting patiently in jungles and forests for the bird of your dreams to land on a nearby branch. Your birding journal should have room for your discoveries and don’t bring just one pen, because you know what’s bound to run out of ink at the most inopportune time, right? If you’re a stickler for efficiency, this guide (http://www.wildbirds.com/FindBirds/TripPreparation/TripPackingList/tabid/199/Default.aspx) is your ticket to excellent preparation, but for the best experience of all, ask your Chabil Mar host to handle logistics by booking this Belize birding package. You’ll still need those binoculars, but there’s no better way to enjoy a birding excursion than by letting others handle the details!


For more information about birding 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.

Nim Li Punit “The Big Hat”

 

Nim Li Punit may be one of the smallest Maya sites ever discovered in Belize, but its name translated from the local Mayan dialect means “Big Hat.” Although no one knows its ancient name, the city of Nim Li Punit is named after a carved figure found at the site wearing a big headdress.

Nim Li Punit is located in southern Belize in the Toledo District. To get to Nim Li Punit, take the Southern Highway 25 miles north from Punta Gorda or 50 miles south of Belmopan until you reach the turnoff at the villages of Indian Creek and Golden Stream. Follow the dirt road about 5 kilometers until you reach the turn off for Nim Li Punit.

For visitors arriving by ground transportation, you’ll be dropped off at the visitor center. Inside, you’ll see an elegant building made from local materials along with artifacts found at the site. The visitor center also has displays depicting the language, food, dance, and other cultural characteristics of the Maya.

Some of the most interesting monuments found in Nim Li Punit are the 26 stelae or large columns of stone, many of which are intricately carved with Maya hieroglyphs and pictures. Most of the stelae were found in an enormous square now called the Plaza of the Stelae.

Nim Li Punit was founded more than 2,500 years ago. Today, the remains of three plazas have been excavated, including several pyramids, one of which reaches 12.2 meters (40 feet) in height. Other interesting attractions include one of the best-preserved Maya ball courts ever found, completely intact and ready for a game.

Closer examination of the buildings in Nim Li Punit will reveal that they are precisely aligned according to Maya beliefs about the order of the universe, with the earth at its center. To the north, a collection of shrines and funerary monuments represents the sky world.

At the end of the terrace called Structure One, the ancient Maya built a series of monuments that were used to take incredibly precise astronomical calculations. The Maya calendar consisted of 365 days divided into 18 months, each with 20 days, and an “extra” month that had just five days.

Archeologists believe that Nim Li Punit was once part of the territory belonging to an ancient Maya dynasty that also ruled nearby cities like Uxbenka, Pusilha, and Lubaantun.

Chabil Mar offers tours to Nim Li Punit and other popular Maya sites in Belize.

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.

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Top 10 Things to Do on a Honeymoon in Placencia Belize

An idyllic Peninsula in Southern Belize, Placencia has been continuously rated as one of the best beach destinations in the Caribbean.

Crystal clear water, white sand beaches, tropical breezes, swaying palm trees, balmy weather, and an incredibly laid back atmosphere are reasons why honeymooners are choosing Placencia.

Beauty of Belize Chabil Mar Belize Resort

Here are 10 romantic things every couple must do on their Belize honeymoon:

Visit the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

Located in the Stann Creek District, and near Placencia Village, is the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, a globally recognized jaguar preserve which is an ideal destination for honeymooners who want to be close to nature.

Cascading waterfalls, panoramic mountain views, nature trails, furry mammals, colorful insects, scaly reptiles and a variety of neotropical birds are just a few of the many wonderful things that inhabit this spectacular reserve.

Although the jaguar, the largest spotted cat in the world, is what the reserve is famous for, you are unlikely to see one as the cat is nocturnal. However you will see its tracks along with tracks of tapir, deer, and other wildlife that inhabit the nature reserve.

Cockscomb Basin is also home to one of Belize’s highest points — Victoria Peak.

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

River Tubing

Honeymooners can also add a river tubing tour to their full day adventure when they visit Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. As you float downstream, the charming scenery will definitely mesmerize your eyes and relax your mind and soul.

Previous travelers had this to say: The Cockscomb Basin is indeed one of the thousands of Belizean treasures. Well preserved and pristine, it is well worth the travel to get there. The trails are well kept, the river tubing is spectacular, the birds and wildlife are abundant, as is the flora and fauna. Beautiful part of Belize, to say the least. A good example of the importance of protecting the environment of Belize. Trails range from beginners to difficult, so there is something for everyone!

Go on a Romantic Kayaking Expedition at Laughing Bird Caye

Kayaking in Placencia is a joy! The crystal clear waters, tepid sunshine and balmy Caribbean breezes that Belize offers make for an ideal kayaking expedition with your loved one.

As you glide across the warm waters, you will observe untouched coral reefs, white sandy beaches and abundant marine wildlife like the amazing sea turtles.

Belize has numerous cayes that can be explored on a kayak.

Laughing Bird Caye National Park which is located about an hour away from Chabil Mar is a favorite stopover mini atoll for honeymooners.

Placencia, jan 2011

  Pay a Visit to the Resident Howler Monkeys

Take a boat to Monkey River Village and head up Monkey River and into the jungle to pay a visit to the resident howler monkeys.

Complete your honeymoon adventure along the ride to observe crocodiles sunning along the river banks, along with exotic birds, iguana hanging in the trees, a few bats and lizards and enjoy a delicious lunch with the villagers in Monkey River.

On the way back to Placencia you may even see a few manatees along with their pups.

Howler Monkey Chabil Mar Belize Resort

Explore Ancient Maya Cities

According to archeologists, over 1 million Maya people lived in present day Belize. Today there are a range of Maya temples scattered throughout Belize.

Honeymooners who vacation in Placencia explore famous Maya Temples like Nim Li Punit and Lubantuun in the Toledo District or Xunantunich and Cahal Pech in western Belize. While visiting some of these sites, honeymooners may even add a swim in a jungle river.

xunantunich

Dive or snorkel – Even with Whale Sharks?

Home to the second largest barrier reef in the world, Belize is a diver’s and snorkeler’s dream come true.

Just offshore from Placencia Village over 100 islands dot the coastline providing endless opportunities for honeymooners who are interested in diving or snorkeling.

During the months of April, May and June, around the full moon, honeymooners can dive or snorkel with the giant whale sharks in the beautiful waters of Gladden Spit and Silk Caye Marine Reserve.

The marine reserve is used by over 30 species of tropical fish to release their eggs that the whale sharks munch on.

Both divers and snorkelers can swim with these sharks without any risk as they do not pose any significant threat to humans.

scuba diving in belize

Go on a Fishing Tour

As a traditional fishing Village, Placencia is the residency of some of the finest fishing captains in Belize. And, due to its location on a peninsula, the lagoons to the west, the Caribbean to the east and the barrier reef 18 miles offshore, while being dotted with multiple islands (cayes, pronounced “keys”), fishing is inherent in the population and history of this beautiful Village of 1500 residents.

A grand slam is a definitely a possibility for honeymoons who vacation in Placencia.

Fishing Casting for Bate Chabil Mar Resort Belize

Enjoy Delicious Belizean Cuisine in a Romantic Setting

Placencia Village is a traditional fishing Village with a tourist element.

It is this small tourist exposure that has encouraged its residents to populate it with amazing gourmet restaurants like Tipsy Tuna, Rum Fish, Barefoot, La Dolce Vita, Secret Garden, Yoli’s, Pickled Parrot, Purple Space Monkey and Wendy’s (no not the fast food restaurant) and these well known restaurants offer a variety of fresh sea food at a reasonable price.

Dotted along the streets are many vendors serving some of the best Belizean dishes in the country, passed down from generations and prepared with local ingredients.

Rum Fish, for example, sells the best fish tacos and if you are into gourmet burgers you’ll have to try Barefoot Restaurant & Bar which is located right on the beach.

Honeymooners can also check out the Italian Gelato Shop that offers incredible and authentic fruit gelatos. Gelato in Placencia? Yes, and we dare say among the best you will ever have the pleasure to put to your palate.

riceandbeansofbelize

Go on a bird watching tour

Belize is home to over 600 bird species, many unique to this country, and Placencia’s location is ideally suited for daily access to a range of birding hotspots endorsed by the Belize Audubon Society.

Honeymooners can view a variety of exotic birds in their natural habitat from forest species to pine woodland and savanna species, restricted to riverine areas, and birds associated with higher elevations.

Your tour guide is a professionally licensed tour guide in Belize. Having been raised in Red Bank Village, he brings to his tours a strong sense of Maya tradition and heritage, carried down from his ancestors.  So bring a camera and a keen eye to witness these stunning beauties like never before, Belize’s birds are calling you…..

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Take a Sailing or Boat Ride Tour

Honeymooners can also go on a sailing or boat ride tour to the many nearby cayes like Laughing Bird Cayes, Silk Cayes and Long Coco Cayes to experience Belize’s Barrier Reef which was described by the great Charles Darwin as one of the most beautiful reefs he saw in the West Indies.

Another way to spend the early evening is relaxing and dining on a golden lagoon aboard a cozy pontoon boat, illuminated by the setting sun.

photo

For more information about things to do in Belize on a honeymoon, 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.

For more photos of Belize, Placencia and Chabil Mar, we invite you to visit our Photo Gallery.

What You Should Know About the Placencia Belize Airport

Photo by Wikipedia

The Placencia Airport (three digit code: PLJ) is a small airport that serves the Placencia Peninsula in southeastern Belize. The airport is located directly on the Placencia Peninsula about three miles from Placencia Village on the southern tip of the peninsula. The airport is currently being expanded and lengthened with evening lights so that more flights, including evening arrival and departures, are to be functioning by December 2020.

Placencia Airport has a single paved runway that currently only handles domestic flights, although there are plans in the works to expand an airport in the area in order to receive international flights. Currently, all flights to and from the Placencia Airport are served by the Belizean air carriers Tropic Air and Maya Island Air, both of which have multiple daily connections to Belize City and other destinations across the country, including Punta Gorda and Dangriga.

From Belize City to Placencia, the flying time is around 45 minutes in the air. The Placencia Peninsula measures about 16 miles from north to south and just a quarter-mile wide at the widest point. The unofficial capital of the peninsula is Placencia Village, still largely an idyllic fishing village with a population of around 1,000 residents. The Placencia Peninsula is located in the southeastern corner of the Stann Creek District.

Tropic Plane Over Placencia Peninsula

The eastern side of the Placencia Peninsula is composed of beautiful white sand beaches fronting the Caribbean Sea while the western border is a mangrove-lined lagoon teeming with fish and wildlife. Placencia Village holds a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the town with the smallest “main street” in the world, a pedestrian-only 4,000-foot long sidewalk measuring just four feet across. From south to north, there are loosely-defined communities that begin with Placencia Village and continue on to a Garifuna Village named Seine Bight and then onto Maya Beach, at mile six and eight north on the Peninsula.

Popular local events include the End of the World Marathon that first began as a humorous reference to a date on the Maya calendar that supposedly predicted the apocalypse in December 2012 and Lobsterfest, a multi-day beach party and culinary competition held every June to celebrate the opening of the lobster fishing season.

Placencia is rapidly becoming one of the top visitor destinations in the country, with many lovely resorts and inns giving guests access to both the nearby islands on the Belize Barrier Reef and top destinations on the mainland. Nearby attractions include the Cockscomb Basin Nature Reserve (home to the world’s first dedicated jaguar conservation mission), boat tours up the eponymous Monkey River, and the enormous ruins of ancient Maya cities such as Lubantuum and Nim Li Punit.

Be at Ease at Chabil Mar Resort Belize (1)

For more information about visiting 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 or WhatsApp us at +501-633-7547.

 

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