Escape Winter’s Chill: Why Belize is Your Perfect Sunny Haven

As the cold winds of winter begin to send shivers down your spine, it’s time to start dreaming of an escape to a sunnier climate. While many of us associate winter with snow, hot cocoa, and cozy blankets, the truth is that we all secretly wish for a warm, tropical getaway. So, why not turn that dream into reality this year? With azure waters, pristine beaches, and a cultural treasure trove waiting to be discovered, Belize is quickly emerging as one of the best places to spend your winter. Say goodbye to your snow boots and hello to your swimsuit!

Placencia: Belize’s Secluded Winter Wonderland

Belize Winter Vacations

When it comes to the question of where in Belize you should head to, Placencia is the name that resounds with assurance. This enchanting peninsula on Belize’s southern coast offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, providing visitors with a perfect blend of beach relaxation, cultural immersion, and adventure opportunities.

Walking down Placencia’s main thoroughfare, you will be charmed by its authenticity. The local village vibe, friendly locals, and small artisan shops lend to its unique character. Here, you can sample traditional Belizean cuisines at local restaurants, listen to the rhythmic beats of Garifuna drums, and learn about the rich history and traditions that make this place special.

Placencia’s beaches are, without a doubt, among the most picturesque in Belize. The golden sands stretch as far as the eye can see, meeting the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. With an average winter temperature hovering around a delightful 26°C (79°F), the sea becomes a welcoming embrace rather than a chilly shock.

If you’re the adventurous type, Placencia doesn’t disappoint. Dive into the world-famous Barrier Reef, explore ancient Maya ruins, or zip line through the lush jungles. There’s truly something for everyone here.

Chabil Mar: Your Home Away From Home

Belize Beach Resort

After a day of exploring, sunbathing, or simply unwinding, there’s no better place to retreat to than Chabil Mar. Located along the coastline, this boutique resort is the epitome of luxury and elegance. With its beachfront villas, personalized services, and sumptuous local and international cuisine, Chabil Mar ensures that every moment of your stay is nothing short of magical.

Imagine waking up to the sound of the waves lapping on the shore, sipping your morning coffee with an unparalleled view of the Caribbean Sea, and ending your day with a candlelit dinner under the stars. Chabil Mar makes these dreams come true.

Not only does the resort boast of impeccable amenities, but it also prides itself on its commitment to sustainability and community engagement. By choosing to stay at Chabil Mar, you’re not just guaranteeing yourself a luxurious vacation but also contributing to the well-being of the environment and local communities.

Why Wait? Make Belize Your Winter Escape

Belize Winter Vacations

Winter escapes are not just about fleeing the cold; they are about discovering new experiences, cultures, and landscapes. Belize, with its warm tropical weather, rich heritage, and unmatched beauty, offers an idyllic setting for those looking to trade in their snow shovels for sunscreen.

As the winter months draw near, let the dream of sun-soaked days, balmy breezes, and the charm of Placencia beckon you. And when you do decide to take the plunge, let Chabil Mar be your sanctuary, ensuring your winter escape becomes a memory that will last a lifetime.

So, pack your bags, leave behind the icy chill, and come discover why Belize is your perfect winter getaway.

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.

The Baird’s Tapir, the National Animal of Belize

With so many interesting and exotic animals living in Belize, choosing to see the Baird’s Tapir (Tapirus bairdii) may seem a little unusual. Baird’s tapirs are the national animals of the country and are rarely seen in the rainforests and jungles of Belize primarily because they are only active at nighttime and spend most of their lives completely alone.

But there’s a lot to appreciate about these creatures, the largest indigenous land mammal in Belize. Baird’s tapirs are named for Spencer Fullerton Baird, an American naturalist who first observed the animals in Mexico in 1843 but are known as “mountain cows” by Belizeans.

These mammals can grow up to six feet long (two meters) and weigh up to 500 pounds (225 kilograms). Baird’s tapirs are entirely vegetarian, usually feeding on fruits, leaves, grasses, and aquatic vegetation but they are happy to snack on corn and other crops when they get a chance. But don’t let their size fool you. Despite their big size and ungainly appearance, they are fantastic swimmers. In Belize, Baird’s tapirs range across vast territories, often having to cross rivers, creeks, and wetlands. These land mammals are also excellent at climbing steep terrain even in the thickest jungle.

It takes approximately 13 months for a Baird’s tapir to gestate and three years to grow to full maturity. During those three years, young tapirs will stay close to their mothers, the only time in their lives when they will live in proximity to their parents. It is estimated that they can live 30 or more years in the wild.

Baird’s tapirs don’t actually look like a cow. Their appearance is more of a big, gray anteater or elephant due to their long, prehensile nose. These mammals are actually most closely related to horses and rhinoceroses. Although it’s hard to spot a tapir in the wild, the tracks they leave behind are easily identifiable, a deep, splayed hoofmark with four toes in front and three in the rear.

Baird’s tapirs were once found all throughout Central and South America, but their numbers have dwindled due to poaching and the encroachment of human developments. Today, Belize is home to some of the biggest populations of these mammals. Baird’s tapirs don’t pose any risk to humans. When surprised, they usually like to flee to the nearest body of water, but on occasion, they will emit a loud whistle and stamp their feet.

If you’re interested in seeing a Baird’s tapir up close and personal, be sure to book your visit to the Belize Zoo with Chabil Mar.

8 Reasons Why Half Moon Caye is an Amazing Caye in Belize

Half Moon Caye Chabil Mar - Belize Resort

Photograph by by Marius Jovaiša, author of Heavenly Belize

Half Moon Caye is located at the southwest corner of Lighthouse Reef Atoll and just this week was selected as a top dive site by Jacksonville Business Journal, a popular business website in the United States.

Kristina Fazzalro, the writer who put together the article entitled “10 Best Dive Sites in North America” described the Caye as follows: Half Moon Caye in Belize offers divers the chance to go on a wall dive–a dive in which the vertical facades of the earth’s landmasses are explored. The depths at Half Moon Caye (and really at any wall dive) are tremendous, giving you the very correct feeling that you are staring into an abyss. The waters at Half Moon Caye are particularly clear, despite the depth, so you will be able to see all manner of wildlife, including loggerhead turtles, rays, barracuda, and eels.

See also: Atoll & Mainland Belize Vacations

Weather permitting, our dive package can include a trip to Lighthouse to dive the Blue Hole, Half Moon Wall and Long Caye

Of course we agree with Fazzalro’s description on Half Moon Caye and we also have 8 great reasons why we believe this beautiful gem is an amazing Caye in the country. Here are our 8 reasons:

REASON # 1 the fact that the water in Half Moon Caye is ridiculously crystal clear

REASON#2 the fact that the area is diversely populated with abundant marine life like groupers, snappers, hogfish, stingrays, and sand eels and all of these beautiful and colorful creatures are protected under Belize Law

REASON#3 the fact that the spectacular coral growth makes it the ultimate destination for snorkeling and diving in Belize

REASON#4 the fact that Half Moon Caye is a historical national park and protected area

REASON#5 the fact that the Caye supports the only viable breeding for the Red-footed Booby colony in the western Caribbean.

REASON#6 the fact that the Island Leaf-toed Gecko, also known as the Belize Atoll Gecko, is endemic to Belize, meaning it is found nowhere else in the world.

REASON#7 the fact that its beaches are clean and gorgeous

REASON#8 the fact that it is crescent- shaped and is divided into two ecosystems: on the western side it has dense vegetation with rich fertile soil and on the eastern section it sustains coconut palms and other vegetation.

For more information about Half Moon Caye or 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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Belize to Celebrate 42 Years of Independence in September

On September 21, 2023, Belize will celebrate 42 years of independence. After centuries as a British colony, Belize became a fully sovereign nation on September 21, 1981, and is today a proud member of the British Commonwealth.

Each year, Belize holds a nationwide contest to choose a theme for the Independence Day celebrations. This year, the winning theme chosen was, “Hope ignited, hands united, vision renewed: Belize@42!” as a way to both honor the country’s heritage as well as inspire Belizeans towards an even greater future.

September is widely known as “Patriotic Month” in Belize as it is when several key national holidays happen. On September 10, Belizeans celebrate The Battle of St. George’s Caye Day to celebrate a key naval victory by English colonists over a Spanish fleet offshore of the island of St. George’s Caye (islands are called “cayes” in Belize) in 1798. Prior to that date, the British and Spanish had vied for control of the rich logging resources in Belize, but the Battle of St. George’s Caye ensured that Belize would become the only English-speaking colony in Central America.

September is a time when Belizeans from all over the world return home to celebrate the patriotic holidays with friends and family. The streets of every town and village are bedecked in the national colors of red, white, and blue, and each locality holds parades, street dances, musical concerts, and other events. The radio stations play patriotic songs, and there are recitations of patriotic poems and other stirring reminders of the glorious history of Belize.

Falling during the “low season,” September is one of the best times to visit Belize. Travelers can benefit from reduced fares on lodging and organized tours, and there is a lot to see and do all across the country. The weather is almost always cooperative, with trees and flowers blooming seemingly in patriotic support of the historic events that are celebrated all month long. And the September 21 Independence Day festival always culminates in tremendous fireworks shows that simply shouldn’t be missed.

“September really is a great time to visit Belize,” said Larry France, the marketing manager of Chabil Mar. “Everyone is in a great mood due to the patriotic holidays, and it’s really a great time to see parades, street dancing, fairs, and other exciting events.”

Chabil Mar, a luxury resort located on the Caribbean shores of the Placencia Peninsula in southern Belize, is the perfect place to stay for travelers visiting the country in September.

The Music of Belize

belize music

Often described as a true melting pot, the modern-day nation of Belize is a rich blend of different cultures, including the Maya, Garifuna, Creole, and Mestizo people.

During its earliest history, Belize was briefly under the dominion of Spain but then became Britain’s only mainland colony in the area. Later emigration of Mennonites from Germany and Switzerland added to the many European influences in Belizean music, including polkas, quadrilles, schottisches, and polkas.

Primarily from the Garifuna culture, local styles feature musical instruments like drums, banjo, accordion, guitar, and a donkey’s jaw bone (played like a saw or zither). The Mestizos, immigrants from Guatemala and Mexico, brought the marimba, double bass, and drum sets.

These various influences have created a number of distinct styles of musical expression in Belize. Cumbia, related to salsa and merengue, is a popular type of music played by troupes in areas where Mestizos live. Probably the most famous musical Creole style is known as “brukdown” (breakdown), a melodic mix of calypso featuring percussion and rhythms from a donkey’s jawbone, drums and banjos. Newer forms of brukdown are called “boom and chime” and feature the use of electric guitars, congas, and bass guitars.

Two related genres of music created in Belize are known as punta and punta rock. Developed by Garifuna musicians, punta and punta rock mix traditional rhythms and dance steps from African melodies and add modern lyrics to create a style somewhat similar to reggae. Punta and punta rock were developed for parties and social events where dancing is just as important a component as the music and singing.

Probably the most iconic component of Belizean music is Garifuna drumming. Whether as an accompaniment to other instruments or played solely, Garifuna drums are traditionally made from local hardwoods covered with a skin from peccaries (a kind of wild pig) or deer. Garifuna drumming preserves the flavor and intensity of its African origins, and is often played along with “siseras”, a kind of maraca.

The award-winning luxury resort of Chabil Mar on the Placencia Peninsula is an excellent place to stay in order to experience all of the rich musical heritage of Belize. With close access to Dangriga, the culture capital of Belize, and other towns and villages with a rich heritage of Maya, Creole, and Garifuna music, Chabil Mar features well-appointed villas, a lush tropical garden, and its own gourmet restaurant featuring elegant beachfront dining, with live garifuna drummers and dancers during our Friday night beach-side grill nights (in-season), where our chefs prepare your dinner for you on open grills adjacent to the dining area, outside.

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.

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