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.

Belize Vacation Ideas to Help Plan Your Adventure

The popular British travel website Wanderlust recently published an article entitled 4 great Belize itineraries that discusses some travel ideas for first-time visitors to Belize.

Here’s our take on Wanderlust’s suggestions:

Relax and Chill

Belize Vacation Ideas

Many travelers come to Belize simply to relax and unwind.
Sample itinerary:

  • Head to the island of Caye Caulker, just 45 minutes from Belize City.
  • Enjoy snorkeling, windsurfing, and kayaking or just chill on the beach.
  • Head to the island of Ambergris Caye and enjoy amazing seafood.
  • On the mainland, head to the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary to do bird watching.
  • Visit a resort and visit a spa, enjoy a champagne dinner under the stars, or relax in a hammock.

Nature’s Beauty

Belize Vacation Ideas

With so much gorgeous nature to choose from, it can be difficult to decide what to do!
Sample itinerary:

  • From Belize City, head to the western Cayo District.
  • Explore an ancient Maya ruin like Xunantunich.
  • Zip line and cave tube in the jungle.
  • Enjoy a picnic at a waterfall in a national park.
  • Head to the offshore Belize Barrier Reef and enjoy world-class scuba diving and snorkeling.
  • Enjoy a sunset cruise.

Culture

Belize Vacation Ideas

Belize may not have an opera house, but it more than makes up for a lack of high arts with an eclectic mix of cultures, traditions, and languages. English is the official language, but it’s possible to hear Spanish, Maya, Creole, Chinese, and Mennonite German as you travel around the country.
Sample itinerary:

  • Belize City to Dangriga, the home of the Garifuna people.
  • Visit the Garifuna museum and Pen Cayetano workshop.
  • Head to the nearby village of Hopkins, another Garifuna community, and learn how to cook Garifuna food..
  • Visit the Maya Center.
  • Stay at a Maya home in Toledo District.
  • Visit a Mennonite community at Spanish Lookout.
  • Visit a festival, concert, or holiday celebration.

A Bit of Everything

Belize Vacation Ideas

Combine the best of all worlds with this comprehensive itinerary:

  • In Belize City, visit the Belize Zoo.
  • Head to the interior and hike through a national park.
  • Visit an ancient Maya site or ceremonial cave.
  • Zip line and cave tube in the jungle.
  • Head offshore to enjoy sailing, snorkeling, fishing, and/or scuba diving on the islands.
  • Finish up in Ambergris Caye for delicious food and fun festivals.

Chabil Mar is an award-winning resort located on the Placencia Peninsula in Belize. Guests of Chabil Mar can see all of the above attractions and more.

For more information about 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

See Belize from the Saddle of a Horse!

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It’s not the sort of ranch one would expect in an ocean paradise, but in fact, if you’re the adventurous sort and have a penchant for touring that transcends hiking and sailing, how about a horseback riding tour of Belize to see this land from a different perspective? Not every resort offers a signature horseback riding tour, but Chabil Mar, the luxury destination preference of North Americans does, so this is the place you will want to stay for multiple reasons while visiting Belize. Lush accommodations. First-class service. An onsite restaurant that’s a gourmet’s dream. But when you take your horseback tour, the dress code runs from jeans and t-shirts to sturdy shoes!

No experience required

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If you were about to say thanks but no thanks because the last time you rode a horse was during a carousel ride ages ago, Chabil Mar’s horseback riding excursion is designed for you. Easy trails, lots of instruction and gentle horses make it a relaxing experience. On the other hand, if you know your way around saddles, bridles and reins, guides will take you on the ride your life, over paths that wind around jungles and rain forests where plants, flowers, trees, birds and perhaps a curious member of Belize’s wildlife community will welcome you to their world.

Horse talk

horsebackridinginbelize
Horses and jungles? Not usually a common pairing, but in fact, horses have been right at home in Belize for centuries. They’ve been used for pulling wagons, tilling fields, general transport and recreational riding. Though smaller in size than the horses you may be used to riding, these animals are specifically trained to navigate Belize terrain, including hillsides where mud and obstacles require surefooted animals. Because the ranch that’s home to these horses is quite expansive, mounts born and bred on premises are gentle, rider-friendly horses—-trained from the day they’re born to respond to riders of all ages.

Wranglers

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Guests of Chabil Mar opting for a day of horseback riding often return to the resort raving about the horses and the people who handle them and you’ll likely feel the same way. These professional guides are skilled at working with kids and adults, and they always accompany riders out into the jungle, guiding them along paths with which they are extremely familiar. But that’s not the end of the story: guides also know a lot about Belize’s history, culture and wildlife, so as you ride beneath tree canopies and along the Sittee River, where jumping off the horse to take a swim is part of the tour, you’ll learn plenty about Belize’s natural resources.

Arrangements

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To take advantage of Chabil Mar’s unique horseback riding experience, all you need do is book the tour with resort staff and you’ve done the hard work. Plan to go as a couple or in a group of up to 12. As long as members of your party are over the age of 7 and weigh less than 250 pounds, everyone can be accommodated. You’ll leave the resort in the morning—travel to the ranch and ride throughout the morning, returning to Chabil Mar for lunch. Bring bug spray, sunblock, a hat, and sunglasses, and don’t forget a camera so you can snap photos of everything from natural wonders to your horse. This all-inclusive tour is popular, so book your horseback riding experience when you reserve your accommodations and you won’t miss a moment of fun.

For more information about horseback riding 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.

Want to Stay Healthy During Your Belize Vacation? Don’t Stop Eating Chocolate!

belize chocolate festival vacations at chabil mar belize

If your dreams include diving into vats of chocolate, being left alone with a fork and a mile-long sweet table or if you can’t pass a candy counter without tossing a chocolate bar into your cart, you’re probably addicted, and that’s a good thing! The darker the chocolate, the better this sweet (and sometimes savory) treat is for your health, so no worries about your doctor begging you to swear off the stuff. Adding chocolate to your life can keep you healthy and happy.

It’s all a matter of nutrients: flavonoids in cocoa beans fight toxins and repair cell damage and anti-oxidants in cocoa beans help your cells fight free radicals that attack your body and even cause low-density lipoprotein (LDL) to clog your artery walls. There’s more: flavanols lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the heart and brain and aid in the clotting process when you suffer a skin break. Who wouldn’t fall in love with the cocoa bean after finding out how much it does for your body?

Given this bounty of health benefits, you might want to make a pilgrimage to Chocolate Mecca. We call it Belize. You’ll call it heaven. Here, the cocoa crop has been king since Belize’s Toledo Cacao Growers Association (TCGA) was formed in 1984 to take advantage of Belize’s superior soil and weather. As a result of this large-scale emphasis on cultivating cocoa beans, Belize has become something of a chocolate capital.

belize chocolate

Given your passion for chocolate and Belize’s reputation, you owe it to yourself to make a pilgrimage here. Nibble on chocolate as you book a stay at Chabil Mar Resort, one of the most glamorous accommodations in Belize, where complimentary chocolates are always part of a sweet stay.

Make time for the beach. Set off on adventurous water activities. But your sweet tooth won’t be satisfied unless you spend a majority of your time in country exploring the history, versatility and benefits of chocolate. Chabil Mar’s transport service and concierge desk can send you off on delicious, chocolate-focused tours like these:

-Travel to a farm to see how cacao crops are grown in an agricultural setting
– Learn how cacao is processed and used in recipes and products that are putting Belize on the map
-Learn to use a stone tool to make chocolate during a chocolate tour
-Sample unusual foods—everything from decadent desserts to wines!

Stop at specialty shops where homemade candies, wines, souvenirs and even chocolate-themed clothing will tempt you, but don’t be surprised by the amount of stamina you enjoy during your Belize vacation. After all, you’re giving your body big hits of flavanols and antioxidants throughout your stay, so keep indulging!

Think there’s nothing else to get excited about once you undertake your pilgrimage? Au contraire, chocolate lover. Start making plans immediately to return to Belize next May. That’s when the nation pulls out all stops to honor its most successful cash crop by staging a three-day bash known near and far as the annual Chocolate Festival of Belize. Your Chabil Mar hosts will be happy to welcome you back when you return for those three days of insanity. Sweet insanity, of course!

Visit our website chabilmarvillas.com for more information on traveling to 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.

 

Have the Perfect Belize Vacation – Placencia Has It All

Popularized by top media publications like Vogue Magazine and the New York Times, savvy travelers have started to discover the eco-wonderland of the Placencia Peninsula in southern Belize. A 16-mile north to south stretch of golden sands facing the sparkling waters of the Caribbean, Placencia is an idyllic vacation spot where “barefoot perfect” is the official motto.

At the southern tip of the peninsula is Placencia Village, the Guinness Book of World Record holder for the world’s smallest main street, a sidewalk measuring just four feet across that is a pedestrian-only zone of lovely cafes, small shops, restaurants, and dive outfits for trips out to the nearby Belize Barrier Reef.

The southern part of the Belize Barrier Reef immediately offshore from Placencia is a combination of marine nature reserves and national parks ideal for bird watching, beach barbecues, and playing castaway for a day. The tranquil lagoons and white sandy seafloor are heaven for snorkelers and scuba divers who come to marvel at the rainbow of anemones, glinting schools of fish, dolphins, sting rays, and even whale sharks that are found in the waters of the Belize Barrier Reef.

Not to be outdone, the mainland near Placencia includes the enormous Cockscomb Basin Nature Reserve, home to some of Central America’s last remaining jaguars, boat safaris along the well-named Monkey River, and explorations of ancient Maya sacred caves and enormous cities that still dominate the landscape.

Placencia is known for its vibe just as much as its natural beauty. One of the top events of the year is the annual Lobsterfest in June where cooks compete to create the tastiest and most innovative dishes featuring the world’s most popular crustacean. Games, artwork, handicrafts, and lots of live music ensure that there’s something for everyone to enjoy at Lobsterfest.

Chabil Mar

Chabil Mar is a multiple award-winning resort located on the Placencia Peninsula just a few minutes’ walk from Placencia Village. With a lush tropical garden, luxuriously equipped villas, and a gourmet restaurant offering open-air dining on the resort’s sea pier, Chabil Mar is the ideal place to enjoy a wonderful vacation in Placencia, Belize.

Chabil Mar offers tours to all of the top destinations in and around Placencia, including diving and snorkeling with whale sharks, boat trips on the Monkey River, hiking through the Cockscomb Basin Nature Reserve, and trips to the top ancient Maya cities and sacred caves.

For more information about 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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