Explore the Amazing Underwater World of Glover’s Reef in Belize

Named for an infamous 17th-century English pirate (John Glover) who once used the area to stage attacks on Spanish galleons laden with gold, Glover’s Reef is the southernmost atoll in Belize.

There are only four atolls in the world that are located in the Atlantic Ocean, and Belize is home to three of them, including Glover’s Reef Atoll. Thousands of years ago, the area was home to an island surrounded by a ring of coral. Over time, the island eroded away, leaving behind the ring of coral with a large central lagoon in the middle.

The protected waters in that lagoon are why people come from around the world to scuba dive at Glover’s Reef Atoll. The lagoon measures some 15 miles (24 km) by four miles (six km) and is home to more than 700 patch reefs with dozens of different species of coral. This diverse landscape is home to a colorful underwater garden where schools of fish, sharks, conch, rays, lobsters, sea turtles, and even dolphins live, play, feed, and give birth to their young.

Scuba diving expeditions usually head to one of the islands located on the outer edge of the atoll. From there, several options await, including places for shelf diving, wall diving, and exploring the coral landscapes. Glover’s Reef has been a protected nature reserve since 1993, and the ban on commercial fishing has allowed the marine life in this area to thrive.

Don’t be surprised to see dozens of different fish species when you dive Glover’s Reef Atoll, including grouper, mackeral, barracuda, tarpon, angelfish, yellow jack, snapper, black durgons, parrotfish, and many more. The waters of the lagoon are incredibly clear, nearly transparent, making it feel like a gigantic aquarium.

There’s also plenty to enjoy on land as well. The islands around the atoll are home to mangrove forests, white sandy beaches, bright blue skies, and incredible views of the Caribbean. There are no full-time inhabitants on Glover’s Reef Atoll, but the Wildlife Conservation Society operates a research station that relies entirely on solar and wind energy. The research station is only open to marine scientists, but visiting the research station serves as a great introduction to the incredible beauty of the region.

If you’re interested in scuba diving Glover’s Reef, book your vacation with the Chabil Mar Resort. Located on the coast of southeastern Belize, Chabil Mar is close to Glover’s Reef and other top attractions on the Belize Barrier Reef.

Contact Chabil Mar’s Concierge at concierge@chabilmarvillas.com to discuss Glovers Reef and your diving options for Southern Belize.

6 Ways to Make Your Belize Honeymoon Unforgettable!

belize honeymoon

The cake is history. So are champagne toasts. Even the bridal bouquet has a new home. What began with a kiss, ended with “I do,” and as you two head for your Belize honeymoon, you’re probably so tired, all you want to do is sleep! Give it a day. You’ll both be eager to make memories—especially if you booked your romantic stay at Chabil Mar Villas, where honeymooners go for seclusion, pampering and superior hospitality. Once you’ve caught your breath, the Chabil Mar team stands ready to send you off on adventures that turn ordinary honeymoons into spectacular ones.

Swim with the fishes

belize barrier reef

Marine reserves throughout Belize amaze honeymooners eager to see so many undersea wonders. Observe them from a boat or jump into the water, especially around the Belize Barrier Reef where you can swim with giant Tarpon, flirt with stingrays and Eagle Rays and introduce yourselves to dolphins and barracuda if they happen to swim by. There’s a manatee refuge, too. With hundreds of species of marine life, the only witnesses to your undersea hugs, Belize’s underworld adventures could be the highlights of your stay!

Meet the animals

Belize Jaguar

Not every honeymoon couple is eager to roam jungles and rainforests in hopes of spotting Belize’s big cats, howler monkeys and other animals indigenous to this region so opt for a Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center experience. Wear good shoes to explore all 29 acres of savannas and exhibits and do ask your guide to point out the orphans, critters born at the zoo, lovingly rehabilitated creatures and animals received as gifts from other zoological societies. Identify all 125 of Belize’s indigenous animals housed at the zoo and impress your new spouse.

Experience Belize’s past

cahal-pech maya site

Long before Belize became a melting pot of diverse peoples and cultures, generations of Mayans roamed the land. They disappeared without a trace, leaving behind spectacular vestiges of palaces, temples, ball courts and artifacts that are mysterious, exotic and priceless. If you’re both curious and eager to learn more about the Mayans, explore some of Belize’s best ruins, caves and compounds. The Chabil Mar team recommends Xunantunich, Lubantuum and Nim Li Punit and can make arrangements to get you to one–or all three.

Dive in

Dive coral James Chabil Mar Resort Belize

It’s time to find out how daring each of you can be by visiting The Big Blue Hole, a natural wonder comprised of collapsed undersea caves that left a perfect circle in the ocean that’s 1,000 feet across and 412 feet deep. Maintained by the Belize Audubon Society, it was a favorite of iconic marine biologist Jacques Cousteau and a world-class dive experience that attracts people from around the world. If just the thought of dropping into this vast hole is scary, have Chabil Mar staff book a helicopter so you two can see it from the air instead.

Stroll Placencia

placencia-belize

Still recovering from wedding shopping? You may have told friends you’ve had enough, but you’re sure to change your mind if you visit Placencia Village, an epicenter of fun that is part of the reason Placencia took a prestigious travel award for being a top Caribbean destination. Because Chabil Mar is close to the village, you won’t have to go far to discover quirky shops, indulge in world-famous Belize chocolates, tour art galleries, check out pubs and indulge in delicious local foods. If you haven’t yet thanked your parents for throwing you the wedding of your dreams, pick out gifts for them here in Placencia Village to show them you were raised right.

Get your romance on

belize romantic resorts honeymoon

We think Belize sunsets are extraordinary. Our beaches are pristine. Belize’s sultry shoreline begs couples to stroll hand-in-hand along Placencia’s 16 miles of sand. You’re here for romance, so take full advantage of intimate moments and lush enclaves on Chabil Mar grounds or sail along the shoreline in a private boat provisioned with picnic foods, cold beer, rum punch and anything else you desire. Since Chabil Mar staff specializes in romance, find out why so many honeymooners recommend this resort to friends after they return home!

For more information about visiting Belize for your 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.

 

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Belizean Fry Jacks Recipe for Foodies!

fry jacks

One of the quintessentially Belizean dishes out there would be fry jacks. While this dish is hardly healthy, it is certainly popular. Resembling mini puff pastries, fry jacks are wads of dough fried to a golden brown. While it remains unclear how they got their name, fry jacks are cherished by  Belizeans.

Why No Belizean Vacation is Complete Without Some Fry Jacks

Fry jacks are more common than sliced bread and a common breakfast combines them with scrambled eggs, refried beans and some sort of cheese. Fry jacks are also a common lunch staple, paired with dishes like rice and beans or stewed chicken.

Where Can You Get Some Fry Jacks? Cafe Mar, Chabil Mar!

At Chabil Mar, we pride ourselves on providing authentically unique flavors and presentations while using the freshest possible ingredients and from-scratch preparations on all dishes. Our Chef Daniel and Marsha, bake our breads every morning, fresh for you, and our Fry Jacks to order for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The ease of preparation of fry jacks means that you can find them in just about any restaurant in Placencia and throughout Belize. 

If you happen to stroll down the beach or hop on an easy 5 minute bike ride into Placencia Village from Chabil Mar for some eats, it’s easy to find a nice family-run and/or beach-front restaurant just minutes away as well.

What is the Best Time of Day for Fry Jacks?

While you can have them for lunch, breakfast is the best time for fry jacks. Remember that you should have them hot and fresh.

What is the Best Way to Eat Fry Jacks?

The fry jack serves the same role as bread on the Belizean plate, working as accompaniment rather than a main dish. A traditional Belizean lunch is fry jacks served with re-fried beans, some sort of meat and cheese. A traditional Belizean breakfast would combine the fry jacks with many of the same things you would put on a pancake, although honey is more easily acquired than maple syrup.

How to Make Belizean Fry Jacks at Home

Fry jacks are a traditional breakfast food paired with either a sweet (honey, jam or powdered sugar) or savory (cheese or refried beans) aspect. Fry jacks are also great for soaking up the sauces and gravies of other savory dishes.

Ingredients

  • Flour, all-purpose, 2 cups
  • Water, 1 cup
  • Salt, 1 tsp
  • Shortening, 1 tbsp
  • Powder, baking, 3 tsp
  • Oil

Directions

  1. Mix the dry ingredients into a bowl.
  2. Cut the shortening into your flour.
  3. Slowly add the water, mixing as you go, until you have a soft, non-sticky dough.
  4. Halve the dough and give it 15-20 minutes rest.
  5. Add flour to your work surface and roll the dough into rounds between 10″ and 20″ in diameter.
  6. Cut the dough into 3″ strips twice, leaving you with the proper size. Fry jacks are commonly made into triangles.
  7. Make a small slit into each piece of dough and then fry each side in very hot oil until the fry jacks reach a golden brown coloring.
  8. Remove from the fryer, garnish as you like and serve.

So there you have it; everything you ever wanted to know about Belize’s version of quick bread and even a recipe to make it yourself. Eat up!

The Belize Jaguars

The Belize Jaguars

Most visitors to Belize will want to experience the white sand beaches and the warm Caribbean water before returning home. But there is so much more to Belize than you may realize. Did you know that Belize is home to the world’s only jaguar preserve? It has become the best place to learn about the Western hemisphere’s largest big cat and the third largest in the world.

Jaguars once roamed freely in an area stretching from the southwest United States to the grasslands of central Argentina. Over the years, their range has been greatly reduced. This is mainly due to road development through crucial parts of the jungle and the burning forests by farmers to plant crops. The species has also decreased significantly in numbers because of its popularity with hunters for its teeth and skin. In addition, farmers will kill jaguars if they believe they are responsible for killing their livestock. Belize has outlawed the hunting of jaguars and has become one of the few countries that has a healthy and thriving jaguar population.

Once fairly common in mangroves, savannas, and lowland forests, jaguars in Belize are now typically found only in the protected preserves. They mostly hunt at night and are known to feast on peccaries, howler monkeys, deer, turtles, birds, lizards, and fish. Jaguars have the most powerful jaws of any big cat and can take down their prey with a single bite to the skull. They are stealthy and are not commonly seen by humans during the day, although paw prints, animal carcasses, and loud nighttime roars are evidence of their presence.

Solitary by nature, jaguars only come together to mate. Jaguar cubs reach maturity by age three and adults can weigh between 100 and 250 pounds, measure up to 6 feet and have a tail up to 30 inches long. Jaguars can be born black with inconspicuous spots beneath their fur or with the more well-known yellow with black-spot coloring.

A trip to the world-renowned Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Preserve is an opportunity to explore the jaguar’s habitat. This 150 square-mile sanctuary was established as a jaguar preserve in 1984 and is home to approximately 200 wild jaguars. The preserve’s main purposes are to provide a safe haven for this endangered animal, conserve the jaguar’s natural habitat, and educate the public.

If you’re looking for accommodations during your visit to Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Preserve, Chabil Mar in Placencia is close and convenient. Our award-winning full-service resort has luxury suites and villas surrounded by lush tropical gardens, beach views, and fine dining options. 

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.

21 Delicious Fruits to Try When Visiting Belize

No trip to the beautiful Central American nation of Belize would be complete without sampling some of our delicious food. The region is jam-packed with an abundance of mouth-watering fruits that you absolutely must try, such as:

1. Guaya

When eaten at its perfect ripeness, this fabulous fruit is wonderfully sweet. In Belize, the Guaya fruit is sometimes called Ginep – so you may need to use both names when speaking with vendors.

2. Dragon Fruit

Though it may look a little strange, dragon fruit is always a popular favorite among travelers to Belize. Depending on where you go, you may hear locals refer to it as Pitaya.

3. Pineapple

Pineapples may just be the perfect tropical fruit. Whether you want to enjoy a slice at breakfast or in your beverage, you won’t be disappointed with the selection on offer in Belize.

4. Sapodilla

Native to Belize and the Mexican Yucatan, this delicious fruit has a sweet and granular texture. It is not to be missed.

5. Soursop

This native Belizean fruit can be found throughout the country. If you want to indulge your sweet tooth, you can find Soursop flavored ice creams in stores and restaurants.

6. Mango

If you like to treat yourself to a mango while you are at home, you simply must have one while you are in Belize. For maximum freshness, try to travel during mango season.

7. Breadfruit

Though breadfruit is not native to Belize, it is nonetheless very popular in the area. It is traditionally baked or roasted and enjoyed at dinner time.

8. Papaya

This delectably sweet fruit is popular across Belize. If you look closely, you will even be able to spot the birds of Belize enjoying this fabulous fruit straight from the tree.

9. Apple Banana

Belize offers some of the tastiest bananas that you will find anywhere on earth. You simply must try an apple banana during your time there.

10. Coconut

Whether you prefer to enjoy coconut milk, coconut water, or something a little different, you will be pleased to know that Belize offers huge quantities of this delicious fruit.

11. Tamarind

You will find this fruit at convenience stores across Belize. Its sour, candy-like taste is always popular with tourists and locals alike.

12. Golden Plum

If you like your fruits to be tart and crunchy, you must try the Golden Plum. If you are feeling really adventurous, you can even dip it in some hot sauce.

13. Cacao

Belize is the perfect place to indulge in the fruit that is transformed into chocolate. The flesh that covers the beans is amazingly sweet.

14. Sapote

The Sapote’s sandpaper-like skin can be a little offputting at first. However, when you open it up you will be able to taste the creamy and sweet center that lies within.

15. Craboo

This delicious fruit is popularly eaten as part of a stew Craboo in Belize. You will sometimes hear locals refer to it as Nance.

16. Cashew Fruit

You may have heard of cashew nuts, but did you know that there is also a cashew fruit? When eaten fresh, this fruit is fabulously sweet and juicy. If you’re feeling thirsty, you can also purchase cashew fruit wine in many stores and restaurants.

17. Custard Apple

This fruit is a favorite among native Belizeans. It has a sweet and granular texture and is most often eaten with sweetened condensed milk.

18. Malay Apple

Originally brought to Belize by colonial settlers, this fruit has since become one of the most popular in the nation. It is sometimes referred to as a Wax Apple.

19. Sea Grape

Sea Grapes are found mainly in the coastal beach areas of Belize, so if you are staying at a resort you should definitely try them out. This mouth-watering fruit is incredibly sweet.

20. Starfruit

Though starfruit originally hails from Southeast Asia, it is now widely grown in Belize. Though it generally tastes quite sweet, it can sometimes be a little sour.

21. Guava

belize fruits

Whether you prefer to eat it in slices or drink it as a juice, you simply must try some Belizean Guava when you are in the area. You won’t be disappointed.

If you want to head to Belize to try out some of these delicious fruits for yourself, then you will need somewhere to stay. Of course, Chabil Mar Resort in Placencia Village, Belize is the perfect option. Aside from our fabulous culinary options, our amazing resort also offers beach access and luxurious accommodation. There is nowhere else quite like it on earth.

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