Bigger, Better, and Bolder: The Placencia Art Festival 2024 Promises to Be an Unforgettable Event

Placencia Art Festival

In 2024, Placencia will celebrate the 19th anniversary of the annual Placencia Sidewalk Art Festival, which is expected to be bigger and better than ever before. The Placencia BTIA lauded the 2023 Placencia Sidewalk Arts Festival as phenomenal and a lovely experience for everyone. With the aim of showcasing the best of Belizean art and culture in a more impactful and immersive way, the festival will feature local artists from all over the country in the charming coastal village of Placencia.

Placencia Side Walk Festival

Placencia offers the perfect backdrop for a weekend of art, adventure, and relaxation. The festival spans two days, and visitors can explore the various stalls and galleries showcasing the work of local artists and artisans. Live music, dance performances, and food and drink vendors are also part of the attractions. There’s something for everyone at the festival making it a must-visit event for art, culture, and adventure enthusiasts.

Chabil Mar Resort’s prime location on the beach and complimentary use of bicycles provide guests with the opportunity to stroll along the shore or hop on a bicycle to enjoy the weekend’s events at their leisure, as often as they wish. Outdoor activities like snorkeling and fishing tours are available for those looking to experience the outdoors. For those looking to relax, the resort offers the perfect place to unwind and soak up the sun with its infinity swimming pools and beachfront. Chabil Mar features a full-service restaurant and bar, serving up fresh seafood, traditional Maya dishes, and a range of international cuisine options.

Art Festival Belize

Whether you missed the 2023 Placencia Art Festival or are looking to return to experience it all over again, the 2024 festival promises to be bigger and better than ever before. Don’t miss out on the beauty, culture, and adventure of one of the most beautiful destinations in Belize. Mark your calendars and start planning your trip to Chabil Mar Resort today!

Photos by Belize Tourism Board

The Ancient Maya of Belize


The Ancient Maya Of Belize
By: Jaime J. Awe Ph.D.
Copyright: First Edition December, 2005
(Following are excerpts taken from the above publication and do not constitute the book in its entirety)

What Mayan language was spoken in Belize before the arrival of the Spanish? Epigraphers and historical linguists believe that two major languages were spoken in Belize during the Classic period (A.D. 300-900) of Maya civilization. Yucatec was spoken in the northern two thirds of the country, and Cholan was the common language of the people who lived in the south. Cholan speakers are now only found in Guatemala and in the state of Chiapas in Mexico.

What Mayan languages are spoken in Belize today?

Today Yucatec is still spoken by the Maya who live in the villages of San Antonio and Succotz in the Cayo District, and by people in the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts. Mopan, which is spoken in San Antonio Village in the Toledo District, is a dialect of Yucatec. Other Maya communities in the Toledo District are Kekchi speakers. Kekchi originated in the Alta Verapaz region of Guatemala.

When was Maya civilization fully established?

In the past scholars believe that Maya civilization was not fully established until about A.D. 300, at the start of the Early Classic Period. Recent research, however, has provided conclusive evidence that ancient Maya civilization was actually in full bloom by at least 100 B.C. in the late Pre-classic period. By this early date the Maya were already carving stelae on altars, conducting long distance trade, utilizing mathematical and calendrical systems, and constructing monumental architecture.

How did the Maya perceive their universe?

They perceived their world as having three levels: the heavens, earth and underworld. The heavens were subdivided into thirteen levels and the underworld into nine levels. At the center of the universe was the sacred Ceiba tree whose limbs touched the heavens and roots descended into the underworld. Heaven was the adobe of sacred gods and deified ancestors. Earth was the home of humans, the forests, and all other creatures. The underworld was a place of death and diseases, and home of the Bolontiku (nine evil gods).

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The East Indians of Belize

east indians in belize

Within the Belize melting pot lives a vibrant community of East Indians who continue to practice traditions brought from their India homeland so very long ago.

Tracking migration patterns can be a fascinating if not complicated business, but there was a clear path to Belize residency for the group of Hindu East Indians who first arrived on the nation’s soil around 1858. About 1000 came in the first wave that year, and by the 1880s, an indentureship program mandated by India’s British colonists added to the community of hard-working people eager to put down roots.

While other East Indians sought work on neighboring Guatemala coffee plantations, new members of the Belize society coalesced in two geographic areas: Belize’s Toledo and Corozal Districts. There they found work on the estates of ex-soldiers who had fought for the Confederate army in the Civil War. Indentureship ended after five years, at which time East Indians began to invest in their own land, growing produce and selling it on the open market.

Sadly, race discrimination dogged East Indians for generations. Stereotypes like “East Indians are better for light agricultural work” than darker-skinned Africans and Garifuna pervaded society, but East Indians– particularly those practicing the Hindu faith–remained undaunted and continued to arrive on Belize shores in the 1920s. At this point, Belize City was home to the largest concentration of East Indian ex-pats.

While people of East Indian descent do not make up a huge portion of Belize society, their presence contributes mightily to the nation’s cultural heritage, economic success and entrepreneurial spirit. And while East Indians have adopted many Belize traditions, beliefs and tenets, they proudly retain their unique identities by dressing in clothing from India, eating Indian foods and practicing social and religious customs.

In fact, if one were to identify one area that is the most commercially successful for East Indians, it would have to be food-related. The importation of spices and operation of eateries serving East Indian foods lend a distinct flavor to this community’s personality, and when new immigrants arrive these days, they bring with them new merchandising talents and skills that contribute to the nation’s economic success.

Generations have passed. Intermarriage has served to further merge ethnicities into the whole fabric that is Belize, and if you’re fascinated to know more about Belize’s East Indian citizenry, you will want to book an authentic Belize vacation at Chabil Mar so you are headquartered in an area with the best proximity to these neighborhoods, markets and cultural sites.

While you’re learning more about these people and their traditions, take advantage of one of Chabil Mar’s money-saving, all inclusive jungle and sea vacation packages. There’s a lot from which to choose as evidenced by the bounty of choices you’ll be offered when you plan your trip. See a tour you like? Follow the sage advice of Benjamin Franklin who said, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today”!

Visit our website 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.

Fly Fishing in Placencia Belize

Fly Fishing in Placencia Belize

Anna Cohen’s article about fly fishing benefits is best read with a plane ticket to Belize in hand because some destinations are more suited than others to life-changing experiences!

Are you already a fan of fly fishing or has it been on your bucket list so long, even the bucket is getting rusty? It happens. Life takes control. You let it. Isn’t it time to put yourself first? Consider this short list of benefits you gain if you say, “I’m going fly fishing in Belize in 2023 and nothing’s stopping me!”

-Fly fishing requires brains. Fans of this sport must understand bodies of water, bug hatches, times of day for big yields, fly placement, and feeding patterns that outwit fish.

-Fly fishing isn’t for slackers. You’ll get the workout of your life. Those back-and-forth swings offer an aerobic experience no gym can provide.

-Fly fishing is magical. See nature from a unique perspective, go places you normally wouldn’t, and expect your confidence levels to skyrocket with every success.

-Fly fishing is a challenge. It is both character-building and frustrating but lands your first catch and experience what Cohen calls “the BEST feeling in the whole damn world.”

Dare we add that fly fishing is fun, satisfying, and rewarding? And if you’re going to get hooked on this exhilarating sport, there’s no better place to do it than in Belize.

best belize fishing vacations all inclusive
Fly fishing in Belize

You may want to pack your gear before you read this section because fly fishing in Belize is like no other adventure you’ve ever taken. Belize’s entire eastern coast is a paradise for anyone eager for victory and it matters not which season you pick to visit since bonefish are always in season along mainland shores, lagoons, and the Belize Barrier Reef.

Want to have the time of your life? Don’t burden yourself with the details. Pick a resort-like Chabil Mar Villas where Belize fishing packages are designed with you in mind. Wait until you read how many options our luxurious resort offers!

5 fly fishing packages

1. Opt for the Placencia Fishing Package if you love variety, described by Chabil Mar hosts as: “Today, tarpon, bonefish or snook; tomorrow, the prized permit and the following day a grand–slam. Then get up and start again!”

2. The Placencia and Turneffe Flats Atoll trip will grab your attention if you have researched both areas and know that saltwater fly fishing won’t disappoint. Bonefish, permit, or tarpon you catch can morph from a “selfie with fish” sent to envious friends to a Chabil Mar chef-prepared dinner that night.

3. Take the One Day at a Time option customized for those who want to see other things in Belize during their sojourn at Chabil Mar. Pick a full day or half day of fly fishing. Either way, you could bring dinner back, too.

4. The Fishing Plus package is an amalgam of adventures guaranteed to test your mettle. Whether it’s just you or the entire family, your itinerary can include snorkeling, scuba diving, jungle treks, Maya culture, and anything else you’ve been eager to experience.

5. Choose the unique You Fish-We Pamper option. Everyone gets their first wish. You fish. Family members do their thing, from hanging by the pool to shopping Placencia Village or frequenting the spa for blissful, therapeutic massages.

belize fishing resort

Got that suitcase packed? We thought so. Every Chabil Mar stay is like vacationing in heaven and having staff take care of every last detail of your fly fishing holiday is, forgive the pun, the only way to fly. You can have your rod in hand in just hours thanks to Belize’s proximity to the U.S. by air. How soon can we expect to see you?

For more information about fishing in Belize, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: or contact our Reservations Manager at: Or perhaps you would like to call toll-free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park

inland blue hole belize

Located in Belize’s western Cayo District near the capital of Belmopan, St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park is a site of natural beauty spanning more than 500 acres (2 square kilometers) in size. Three of the principal attractions are the inland Blue Hole, St. Herman’s Cave, and the Crystal Cave.

Visitors to the park usually enter off the Hummingbird Highway. Located about 200 yards from the visitor center is St. Herman’s Cave which was used for centuries by Maya priests to conduct ceremonies and to collect water dripping from stalactites that they considered to be holy. St. Herman’s Cave is an enormous underground structure but it is possible for unguided visitors to make their way approximately 200 yards into the cave before they will need a trained guide to go further. At the rear of the cave is a stream, allowing visitors to float their way back to the cave entrance using an inner tube.

St. Herman’s Cave is connected by an underground stream to the Blue Hole, often referred to as the Inland Blue Hole to prevent confusion with the Belize Blue Hole located offshore in the Belize Barrier Reef. The (Inland) Blue Hole is where the underground stream comes to the surface, providing visitors with a source of cool and refreshing water for swimming. Formed by the collapse of a cavern, the Blue Hole measures about 8 meters (26 feet) deep and is almost perfectly round with a diameter of 100 meters (330 feet).

Beyond the Blue Hole lies the Crystal Cave, sometimes called the Mountain Cow Cave. Visitors will need the assistance of a trained guide to explore spectacularly beautiful stalactites and caverns shimmering with accumulated crystalline structures. Just as with St. Herman’s Cave, the Crystal Cave was a sacred cite for the Ancient Maya who believed that it was a nexus to the world of the gods.

During the path to the country’s independence, Belize acquired the land in and around St. Herman’s Cave, declaring it a park on November 23, 1986. In order to maintain and preserve the natural beauty of the park, foreign non-profit organizations were brought in. Currently, St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park is maintained and operated by the Belize Audubon Society.

The park is located approximately 12 miles southeast of Belmopan and both entrances are located immediately adjacent to the Hummingbird Highway. The principle entrance leads to a visitor center, gift shop, hiking trails, a picnic area and the path to St. Herman’s Cave. The second entrance leads to a picnic area, hiking trails, washrooms and leads directly to the Blue Hole.

Visit our website 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.