Difference Between Belize Atolls And Belize Coral Reefs

Belize is blessed by the presence of the Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the second-largest barrier reef in the world. A complex marine ecosystem that is home to nearly one-quarter of all the marine species in the world’s oceans, understanding the difference between the atolls and the reefs is quite subtle.

Reefs are made from a living animal, the coral, which regularly produces a hard exoskeleton of calcium carbonate, the same substance that composes the shells of mollusks and other kinds of shellfish. Over time, the exuded exoskeleton begins to build up until it appears like an underwater hedgerow or stony “bush” that serves as the home for a multitude of aquatic creatures, including fish, juvenile mammals, sharks, and a wide variety of flora that use the coral for shelter, as a nursery, or as a feeding ground.

It is the entirety of this coral exoskeleton and its attendant marine life that makes up the coral reef. An atoll, however, is a specific kind of coral reef. All atolls are reefs that form around the mouth of an underwater volcano, growing in a circular pattern. Due to the temperature changes and other ejecta from the volcano, atolls are generally lifeless, sometimes referred to as “underwater deserts.” Generally, coral reefs, on the other hand, are the complete opposite – home to some of the densest and most biodiverse collections of marine lifeforms.

Turneffe Atoll in the Rain

Coral reefs can grow anywhere there is a hard foundation like limestone sea floors or sunken ships that are close enough to the surface of the water to allow access to sunlight. Coral reefs grow slowly, taking hundreds, if not thousands of years, to achieve their immense size. Indeed, the Belize Barrier Reef is easily visible from outer space. And marine biologists estimate that some coral reefs are up to a million years old.

Atolls, predominately found in the Pacific Ocean, are circular in shape, growing as they do around a lagoon created by submarine volcanos. When a volcano erupts, much of the ejected material settles on the sea floor. As these deposits continue, they can create enough material that the solid material rises above the surface of the water to create islands. After the material has cooled, coral reefs can begin growing on this material, eventually covering it completely and forming true atolls.

Chabil Mar offers organized tours and vacation packages to the most beautiful Belize atolls and the Belize coral reef.

For more information about Belize atolls and coral reefs, 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.

The Butterflies of Belize

butterflies in belize

They’re ethereal, beautiful, delicate and eye candy, but the butterflies of Belize do more than flit around from flower to plant, waiting to be admired. Thanks to low population density and enough flora and fauna to dazzle any insect, Belize butterflies may not live long lives, but they contribute mightily to a nation’s ecosystem, say ButterflyConservation.org researchers.

Why Belize butterflies are important

-Butterflies have been around for 50 million years, say scientists, so they’re of great ecological value
-The butterfly symbol is so sacred and revered, you’ll find images on resorts, restaurants and boutiques
-Butterfly studies undertaken by Belize experts prove insect migration patterns
-Butterfly wing patterns and iridescence are unique to these creatures
-Scientists of all disciplines (including genetics and population dynamics) study butterflies.
-Climate change researchers study butterfly group behaviors to reach conclusions
-Butterfly populations are a sign that an ecosystem is healthy
-They provide unparalleled organic pollination and pest control tasks
-Butterflies help feed Belize’s insectivorous populations
-Spending time watching butterflies can mediate depression
-Belize’s economy benefits from several butterfly farms from which visitors can choose!

Belize is awash in butterfly farms

Consistently vulnerable to weather fluctuations that can turn Belize from a tranquil land to wild and unpredictable weather fronts that sweep in, butterflies have grown adroit at hanging on throughout these dramatic weather changes.

Leaving Belize would be counter to butterflies’ ancestral behavior since this nation has exactly the environment necessary to keep these winged creatures healthy and thriving: flower nectar, tree sap, plant and flower pollen. Because butterflies are so important to the nation’s ecosystem, five Belize butterfly farms have been established to showcase these magnificent creatures:

1. Fallen Stones Butterfly Farm in the Toledo District is home to eight species
2. Cayo’s Green Hills Butterfly Ranch hosts the Blue Morpho, a rare specimen
3. Chaa Creek, also in Cayo, is also home to a rare Blue Morpho specimen collection
4. Tropical Wings Ecocenter in Cayo shows visitors how butterflies are raised
5. The Shipstern Nature Reserve in Corozal District is a 27,000 acre breeding area.

Fascinated? Why not visit?

belize butterflies

Book accommodations at Chabil Mar, one of Belize’s most highly-rated resorts and located on Placencia peninsula, today’s trendiest place to vacation. When you make your arrangements, ask the concierge about the resort’s popular tours, some of which include visits to butterfly farms.

In addition to visiting butterfly farms, explore other wildlife habitats. Browse our Belize vacation packages to see which ones give you the most access to Belize jungles, forests and botanical gardens. While you’re on the page, don’t miss the specials and packages being offered that cover everything from luxurious digs and fine dining to resort surroundings that showcase Mother Nature’s bounty.

If all you want to do during your stay at Chabil Mar is to learn as much about butterflies and see as many species as possible, customize your visit. Bring the kids. Bring your camera. Most of all, bring your sense of wonder. You’ll never again look at butterflies in the same way after spending time 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.

Do Not Miss The 2023 Placencia Sidewalk Arts & Music Festival


placencia sidewalk festival

On February 11 and 12, 2023, Placencia Village will host the 18th annual Sidewalk Arts and Music Festival. The central sidewalk in town will be filled with photographs, paintings, crafts, vendors, clothing, wood carvings, sculptures, and homemade jewelry. With a wide variety of games, drinks, live music, and poetry readings, this popular festival celebrates the very best of Belizean arts and culture.

See also: 25 Things You Need to Know Before You Travel to Placencia Belize

Beginning at 10:00 am, the streets will come alive as artists and artisans from around Belize and the entire region come to display their masterpieces, handicrafts, and homemade works all along the central sidewalk in Placencia.

Placencia-Sidewalk-Art-Festival Belize

You Should Definitely Attend The Placencia Sidewalk Arts & Music Festival

Family and friends will find plenty to do and see as they stroll from one end of the world’s narrowest main street (just four feet wide) to the other, with over 4,000 feet of the festival featuring colorful art, games, live music, and mouthwatering food.

Watch this video and get a scoop on the festival:

The Placencia Sidewalk Arts and Musical Festival is a fantastic event to shop for Belizean art and explore the country’s vivacious music scene.

For more information on the Sidewalk Arts and Musical Festival, 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.





How to Take 2 Belize Vacations in One Trip

How to Take 2 Belize Vacations in One Trip

Belize is an amazing country in Central America that is also considered a Caribbean nation. Therefore, it provides access to lush tropical rainforests and Maya ruins as well as miles of pristine beaches and ocean adventures. 

Travelers to this popular travel destination may wonder how to choose between the two experiences. The best answer? Choose both!

The Belize vacation packages at Chabil Mar offer visitors a chance to enjoy the eco-tourism that Belize is known for as well as having a beach vacation.

The resort is located on the beautiful Placencia Peninsula, which provides a wonderful place to unwind and relax while enjoying cool ocean breezes and white sandy beaches. The vibe is laid back. 

The resort itself includes 400 feet of private beach and is just a 5-minute bike ride from Placencia Village. It is a luxurious boutique resort in a prime location.

The people on the peninsula are part of its charm. Unlike more touristy areas of Belize, here you will find authentic Belizean culture which is warm and friendly. Most people speak excellent English, as that is the official language. However, you may also hear Kriol, Garifuna, Spanish, or Maya dialects. 

For those interested in Garifuna culture, a visit to Seine Bight, a traditional fishing village in the Placencia Peninsula, is a must.

How to Take 2 Belize Vacations in One Trip

For those who prefer more active vacations, there are a variety of water sports available, from scuba diving to deep-sea fishing. The Belizean Barrier Reef is the second largest in the world, making it an ideal place to explore. 

Vacation packages are offered that pair with jungle resorts such as the Chaa Creek Jungle Lodge, the Ian Anderson Caves Branch Jungle Lodge, and the Hidden Valley Inn & Private Reserve. 

These pairings allow travelers to experience the best of both worlds – a perfect seaside vacation along with one for eco-tourists and jungle explorers. 

A trip to the heart of the rainforest can include zipline canopy tours, visiting one of Belize’s nature preserves or spice farms, hiking to waterfalls, bird-watching tours, and many other types of activities that will bring visitors close to nature.

For those who would like to learn more about the culture of Belize, there are also guided tours to Maya ruins or to mystical caves filled with ancient artifacts and remains. 

How to Take 2 Belize Vacations in One Trip

The best way to experience both the beauty of Belize’s jungles and its pristine beaches is by taking advantage of one of the many packages offered by Chabil Mar. They will allow you to essentially enjoy two vacations in one!

The Famous “Bamboo Chicken” of Belize

Belize iguanasBelizeans are known for having a colorful sense of humor which is why the local nickname for the green iguana is “bamboo chicken”. The largest species of lizard in the country, an adult bamboo chicken can measure nearly seven feet in length, although most of the length comes from its enormous tail. The flesh of the “bamboo chicken” is popular in Belize and used for many local recipes. Even more popular are the creamy eggs of the green iguana which are considered a true delicacy by local gourmands.

Once heavily hunted for its eggs and meat, today the green iguana is protected by law and the Belize Zoo now organizes several captive breeding programs throughout the country. The native habitat of the green iguana is on tree branches overlooking a river as the lizard will dive into the water when it is startled or threatened by predators.

Juvenile green iguanas spend a lot of time on the floor of the rainforests of Belize, hunting for insects, snails, worms and grubs. Once they’ve matured, adult green iguanas start climbing higher in the branches of trees to eat berries, fruits and leaves. On occasion, green iguanas will eat small mammals and birds.

For information about Belize’s flora and fauna , 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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