Where Should I Go For A Weekend In Belize?

Where Should I Go For A Weekend In Belize

Are you looking for a perfect destination to relax and enjoy your weekend? Look no further! Placencia is the ideal destination for a weekend getaway. The 16-mile peninsula is located in southeastern Belize and it features golden sand beaches, luxurious resorts, perfect nightlife, and top-notch food. All these factors make it an ideal place to unwind, relax and savor what Belize has to offer. 

Here are the top reasons why you should go to Placencia for a weekend escape:

1. Explore the Best Belizean Beaches

Belize is a country with many beaches, but the Placencia Peninsula has always been the best. Beaches here have soft golden sand and amazing views of the Caribbean Sea. The great news is that these beaches are open to the public, so anyone can visit them. There are also plenty of beachfront bars and restaurants, where visitors can eat, drink and relax. 

Where Should I Go For A Weekend In Belize

2. Go Snorkeling or Swimming with Whale Sharks

From around April to June, a huge number of docile whale sharks visit Gladden Spit near the coast of Placencia. These types of sharks are gentle, curious, and harmless, so you can go swimming or snorkeling with them. This has always been on the bucket list of many divers and snorkelers. 

Where Should I Go For A Weekend In Belize

3. Wildlife and Birdwatching on Monkey River

Another adventurous activity to do while in Placencia is going out on the Monkey River. Take a tour and spot a variety of birds such as the Heron, Toucan, and Tanager. You can also take your time to look for the loudest monkeys – Howler monkeys. 

Where Should I Go For A Weekend In Belize

4. Indulge Yourself in the Garifuna Culture

Initially, Placencia was a small fishing village, and the population here comprises of Creoles and other ethnic groups like the Garifunas, Mayas, and Mestizos. The Placencia Peninsula is also home to Seine Bight, a Garifuna village. By visiting this village, you’ll experience the vibrant Garifuna culture, traditions, music, art, and food. 

Where Should I Go For A Weekend In Belize

5. Walk on the World’s Narrowest Street

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Placencia has the world’s narrowest main street. The street measures 4,071 ft. in length and 4 ft. wide. You can take a stroll along this sidewalk and discover small eateries, the works of local artists, and numerous shops. 

Where Should I Go For A Weekend In Belize

While visiting Placencia, book your accommodation at Chabil Mar, an award-winning beach-front Caribbean luxury resort. The resort’s villas are brilliantly tucked in lush gardens, giving you excellent views of the turquoise Caribbean Sea. Here, you’ll enjoy modern amenities and experience world-class adventures. So, get in touch with the staff from Chabil Mar and book your accommodation today.

Battle of the Drums Returns After Two Years

battle of the drums

The 17th annual Battle of the Drums Competition and Show is returning for the first time in two years since the pandemic hit and with only a few more days to spare, the tempo among competitors and spectators is growing by the minute as they await the return of one of the biggest cultural events in the country.

The Competition

The Battle of the Drums as it is known locally is scheduled to take place this weekend on November 12th at the Punta Gorda Sporting Complex. It is held annually the weekend prior to Garifuna Settlement Day celebration and is used as a means to pay tribute to the Garifuna people, and their culture through traditional music. With the event being put on pause for two years due to the pandemic and having to revert to online, this year’s celebration is promising to be the biggest yet, with not only local competitors but drummers from Honduras and Guatemala, for a face-to-face duel. The competition will include Garifuna musical genres in gunjei, hungu hungu, parranda, punta and punta rock subgenres.

History of the Battle of the Drums

First introduced on November 17th, 2006, the first competition was held in Punta Gorda Town, and having been well received among competitors, locals, and visitors the event was dubbed a major success. Within the following two years, word of the competition had not only spread across the country but in the neighboring Garifuna communities across the border in Guatemala and Honduras, sparking interest among drummers, and drawing a much larger audience. While the festivities serve as a venue to display the Garifuna culture and music, proceeds from the sale of tickets are used to fund Garifuna cultural projects within Punta Gorda Town and other communities.

battle of the drums

History of the Garifuna People

The Garifuna people in Belize are descendants of a shipwreck slave ship who intermarried with the Arawak Indians of the island of St. Vincent in the Caribbean. To escape further persecution, they fled to Central America, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. Over the years they have settled along the coast of Belize in areas such as Dangriga which is considered the cultural capital as well as Punta Gorda, Hopkins, Seine Bight, and other smaller communities in the south. Garinagu are a proud set of people who have managed to preserve their unique culture through songs, dance, food, and language. They mostly express themselves through their dance and music, which have specific functions and are embedded with their values, morals, history, and identity.

Where to Stay When in The South

Whether or not you can keep up with the fast-paced dancing and drumming, we can guarantee that by the end of the day you will be beaten by exhaustion and looking for that perfect escape. We suggest that you take advantage of our impeccable service at Chabil Mar. We pride ourselves in being a top-tier resort located in Placencia Village and within close proximity to Punta Gorda Town where the event is scheduled to take place.

Doyle’s Delight, The Highest Peak in Belize

Although it’s mostly a technicality, Doyle’s Delight in the Toledo District is the highest point in Belize. Measuring some 3,687 feet (1,124 meters) high, Doyle’s Delight is a peak in the Maya Mountain range that span much of Belize.

Because Doyle’s Delight is just a spur that is slightly higher than the surrounding mountain range rather than a true peak, it had no official name for most of Belize’s history. The current name was coined by the legendary animal rights activist and founder of the Belize Zoo Sharon Matola in 1989. Referencing a quote from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (the author of the Sherlock Holmes books) book “The Lost World” that refers to Belize as a “wild and wonderful country,” Matola named the area Doyle’s Delight.

Although recent scientific measurements have revealed that it is actually eight feet (two and a half meters) shorter, Victoria’s Peak was long considered the highest point in Belize. Victoria’s Peak is a National Monument located in the eastern part of the Maya Mountains inside of the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. Hiking to Doyle’s Delight is relatively easy due to the shallow slope of that part of the Maya Mountains, but reaching Victoria’s Peak requires difficult hiking, and for much of the year, the trail is impassable. For hikers interested in visiting Doyle’s Delight, there is a small survey marker placed at the point by the British military in 1970.

The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (CBWS) is an enormous protected conservation area in southern Belize and the world’s very first jaguar preserve. More than 200 jaguars roam the 150-square mile (400-square km) CBWS, although they are nocturnal creatures rarely seen by visitors. Most people visit the CBWS in order to enjoy the fantastically diverse environment which includes gorgeous tropical flowers, hundreds of bird species, and exotic wildlife, including monkeys and all five of Belize’s big cat species. The CWBS is also home to several lovely waterfalls, deep pools, river rapids, and an unexcavated ancient Maya site that was abandoned more than 1,000 years ago.

If you’d like to attempt to visit Victoria’s Peak or simply admire the view from the surrounding mountains and valleys inside the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, the best place to stay is Chabil Mar. Located on the stunning shores of the Placencia Peninsula in southern Belize, Chabil Mar is a luxury beachfront resort with lovely villas, a tropical garden, two infinity swimming pools, and a gourmet restaurant and bar.

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.

6 Belize History Facts You Need To Know

history of belize

When you visit a new place, it’s always fun and helpful to understand the history. Belize is a country with a rich history from the ancient Maya civilization to the arrival of European settlers. Let’s explore six important historical facts about Belize.

1. What’s In a Name?

The name Belize has two possible origins. One theory says it comes from the Mayan word for muddy water, which was belix. This is thought to refer to the Belize River. Another theory suggests it may have been the Spanish pronunciation of a pirate’s surname who made the first Belize settlement. That happened in 1638 and the man’s name was Peter Wallace.

2. Belize Settlers

The ancient Maya flourished in Belize between 1500 BC and 900 AD. European settlers began to move in around 1638 as privateers explored the area. The first group of European settlers were called the Baymen. They were shipwrecked British sailors who decided to settle in the area. They worked in cutting logwood and soon exported it to Europe. Spain and England fought over Belize several times during this period.

3. Battle at St. George’s Caye

In 1798 on September 10th, there was a historic battle between the Spanish troops and the British Baymen. This was part of the war between England and Spain at the time. The Baymen were outnumbered and the odds were strongly against them, but somehow they prevailed and defeated the Spanish troops. That allowed England to take more control of the settlement. Today, the battle continues to be celebrated in Belize as a national holiday.

4. History of Belize Industry

The Baymen left another legacy in the history of Belize’s logwood industry. Logwood was highly prized in Europe at the time. Eventually, logwood export was overtaken by mahogany, which was another highly prized tropical wood. By the early 1900s, Belize exports began to take the form of crops such as sugarcane, bananas and citrus. Today, Belize continues to export mahogany as well as the edible crops.

5. Colonization

The earliest colonizing settlement of Belize was located in the Bay Of Honduras. It was eventually called British Honduras in the early 1800s. It became a Crown Colony in 1871. The original capital of Belize was Belize City, but it was severely damaged by a hurricane in 1961. This caused concern in the government that a coastal location was too risky. The capital trappings were slowly moved over to Belmopan and that was declared the new capital. British Honduras was renamed to Belize in 1973.

6. Disputed Territory

The land of Belize has long been disputed territory with Guatemala. The other country has continued being contentious on land borders, and the dispute is technically unresolved. However, last year, both Belize and Guatemala voted to take the issue to the International Court of Justice to resolve it.

If you’re planning to visit Belize, consider staying at the Chabil Mar in Placencia. Our full-service luxury beach resort offers you the relaxing, tropical vacation you deserve.

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.

Photo courtesy: Wikipedia

10 Most Interesting Caves in Belize


Caves were used by the ancient Maya for performing spiritual rituals like sacrificing to their Gods and bloodletting. In the enigmatic Maya religion and mythology, caves were considered to be the home of gods and an entrance to the ever mysterious underworld. The underworld was called ‘Xibalba’ and its literal translation from Mayan language is ‘the place of fear’. In the Popol Vuh, it has been described as a court that lies beneath the earth’s surface and is often associated with death. In Maya religion, Xibalba is also thought to be dead’s realm and the lowest among the 9 underworlds.

The Maya were Belize’s first inhabitants and caves were fundamental to their religion which is why Belize’s history with its caves is like the fate of soul mates, you can’t pull them apart.

Today, because of the lime rock matrix that occupies a majority of the landmass of the country, it is spattered with caves and one can’t think of Belize without thinking of its majestic caves. Some of the most extensive cave systems in the world are found just beneath the surface of this country.

If you want to travel back through time and enter the realm of Xibalba, then you have to explore any (or all) of the below 10 caves to learn about the enigmatic and ancient Maya civilization –

1. Black Hole – The Black Hole drop in Belize is for those people who seek the real thrill of adventure. The descent is 300 feet deep, starting with the first 10 feet and providing an unforgettable rush in the next 200 feet. The final 100 feet will take you through the canopy of the Belizean rainforest and this entire experience is definitely not for those who were expecting a vanilla holiday. Ladder climbing, hiking and some rock climbing skills will definitely be needed to get in and out of the Black Hole but even when it is done, the adrenaline will take a long time to come down.

2. Rio Frio Cave – The signature of this cave is its massive mouth and it is also the largest cave you will come across in Belize. Located in Mountain Pine Ridge, the arched entrance is miraculous and in the rainy season, you might get to experience the river that runs through the paths of the cave. The cave tour is not that strenuous or difficult and you should carry a flashlight to experience it properly.

3. Barton Creek Cave – This ceremonial cave can be explored with the help of licensed guides on a canoe. It might take up about half a day but the cultural and natural wonders you come across is well worth the sweat. The canoe will glide along the river cave and will take you through chambers that will remind you of cathedrals and wide roomy passages. It is interesting to note that Barton Creek Cave was part of a recent list of ’9 most unusual and beautiful caves in the world’, and when you are in your canoe exploring this cave, you will know why.

4. Chem Chem Ha Cave – A lot of Maya artifacts and artworks can be found in this cave which was discovered by a farmer. The entrance itself is riddled with Maya motifs which would appeal to the archeology hobbyists among you. The chamber walls are lined with ‘ollas’ or storage jars and you can reach the high chambers through ladders inside the cave. You can only explore this cave with a licensed guide since it is carefully monitored to stop looting of artifacts.

ATM cave in belize

The Crystal Maiden at Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave

Photo by Demian Solano www.demiansolano.com

5. Actun Tunichil Muknal – This ceremonial cave is so rich in Maya artifacts that you will never experience so much first hand cultural knowledge anywhere else. You can see bloodletting altars and more than 1400 other artifacts. There are both dry and wet chambers in the ATM cave and some sacrificial remains might also be found, particularly the ‘Crystal Maiden’ artifact which is the remain of a young human female but because of calcium carbonate covering, sparkles in the lamp light, giving the experience a rather grim memento mori. There is also a hike of 45 minutes where you will cross 3 streams.

6. Caves Branch Cave System – There are about three caves in the Caves Branch cave system – Petroglyph, Waterfall and Footprint. The names of the caves have been taken from the objects you will find on the walls inside. There are embedded footprints on the walls of the Footprint, about six waterfalls in Waterfall, and Maya’s ancient rock drawings from 300 to 900 A.D. in Petroglyph. The humongous cave system has been formed by the Caves Branch River that goes through these caves and has many a squeezes to make your heart skip a beat.

7. Laguna Cave – There is a wooden ladder about 4m long which can be used for climbing over the steep slope over which the entrance of the cave is situated. Then you will go through two entrances, through a slope of 8m depth and into a lower chamber which has an exquisite skylight filtering to the center. Some crevices of the cave are home to bats and speleothems, and further in, you will see a wooden bench through which the village of Laguna, after which the cave has been named, can be seen.

Read more: http://www.belizehub.com/2014/09/09/10-of-the-most-majestic-caves-in-belize/

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