Sun, Sand, and Smiles: Why Placencia is Belize’s Best-Kept Family Secret

Ever dreamed of a family getaway that blends beach bliss with jungle adventures? A place where kids can snorkel with tropical fish, spot howler monkeys in the wild, and build sandcastles on pristine shores? Look no further than Placencia, Belize! This charming peninsula on the Caribbean coast is an absolute paradise for families seeking a unique and unforgettable summer vacation.

 Placencia travel guide

Placencia is not your typical beach town. Here, the fun extends far beyond building sandcastles (although those are awesome too). It’s a playground of adventures, where families can explore ancient Maya ruins, hike through lush rainforests, kayak in crystal-clear lagoons, or even learn to scuba dive! The options are endless, ensuring every family member finds their perfect adventure.

 best family destinations in Belize

Belize is home to the second-largest barrier reef in the world, and Placencia is your gateway to this underwater wonderland. Snorkeling and diving excursions reveal a kaleidoscope of colorful corals, playful dolphins, and graceful sea turtles. Even younger kids can join in the fun with shallow-water snorkeling adventures. Get ready to meet some of Belize’s most fascinating residents too! Howler monkeys, toucans, iguanas, and even the elusive jaguar call this region home. Guided tours offer safe and educational ways to observe these creatures in their natural habitats, creating memories your kids will cherish for a lifetime.

summer vacation in Placencia

One of the many reasons families love Placencia is the warmth and hospitality of the Belizean people. You’ll find a welcoming atmosphere wherever you go, with locals eager to share their culture and traditions. Placencia also has a reputation for being a safe and family-friendly destination, allowing you to relax and enjoy your vacation without worry.

family fun in Placencia

Whether your family is into adrenaline-pumping activities or prefers a more relaxed pace, Placencia has something for everyone. Teens can try kayaking or ziplining, while younger kids can explore interactive museums and nature centers. And for those lazy beach days? Placencia’s silky sands and calm waters are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and simply unwinding together.

best family destinations in Belize

At Chabil Mar, we understand that family vacations are all about creating lasting memories. Our luxurious villas provide the perfect home base for your Placencia adventure. With spacious accommodations, a private beach, and a range of family-friendly amenities, we cater to your every need. Our dedicated staff is passionate about ensuring your family has an unforgettable experience. We offer personalized service, from arranging exciting excursions to recommending the best local restaurants for family-friendly dining. Let us take care of the details while you focus on making memories that will last a lifetime.

Ready to embark on your family’s next great adventure? Contact us at Chabil Mar to book your summer getaway in Placencia. We’ll help you create a tailor-made itinerary that perfectly matches your family’s interests and ensures an unforgettable vacation. Sun, sand, and smiles await – we can’t wait to welcome you!

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.

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.

3 Beautiful and Enchanting Mayan Ruins to Explore in Southern Belize

The Maya Empire was among the most advanced civilizations in the world for more than 2,000 years, and the epicenter of the civilization was located in Belize. At the civilization’s peak, the area now known as Belize was home to more than two million Mayan people, making it one of the most densely populated areas of the Mayan civilization in Mesoamerica.

Many who visit Belize today will take time to explore some of the Mayan sites located across the country, and three of the most overlooked yet fascinating archaeological sites to visit are Nim Li Punit, Lubaantun and Uxbenka. With a closer look at what these Mayan ruins have to offer, you may decide to spend time exploring them on your upcoming trip to Belize.

Nim Li Punit

nim li punit
The Nim Li Punit ruins sit in a scenic location overlooking the Toledo plains and rain forest area. The site features a ball court, a pyramid and a main plaza as well as several other buildings that you can explore in greater detail. The area notably has 26 stellas and fascinating carvings that make it unique from other Mayan ruins. In fact, one of the carved columns is the largest of its kind in Belize.

See also: The Best Maya Temple Sites to Visit in Belize


Lubaantun-Mayan Ruins Belize

Situated in the southern end of the Toledo District, the Lubaantun ruins are also worthy of spending time exploring while you are in southern Belize. Lubaantun was once a ceremonial center of the Mayan civilization, and it boasts several large pyramids and residential buildings that you can explore in greater detail during your visit. The ruins uniquely have no mortar binding them, and some of the buildings were made from perishable materials. Because of this, the area is known as the “Place of the Fallen Stones.”



Uxbenka is the smallest of these three Mayan ruins, but it is fascinating to explore. It is also a ceremonial site that offers stunning views of the Blue Creek Canyon and the Maya Mountains in the distance. Notably, the area has a main plaza and several smaller plazas, terraced grounds, seven stellas, a water supply tower and an open tomb.

If you are interested in exploring any of these 3 Mayan sites or other ancient Mayan cities while on your Belize vacation, feel free to chat with our Concierge at: or contact our Reservations Manager Or perhaps you would like to call toll free from the US or Canada: 1-866-417-2377.

10 Amazing Places To Visit in Belize In 2024

10 amazing places to visit in Belize

For some, the act of taking vacation time presents dilemmas because time spent away from responsibilities comes with too many risks. Happily, that doesn’t have to be the case if you take to heart the advice of seasoned travelers whose business demands usually leave little time for R&R. But if you adopt these 4 tips and choose Belize as your destination, you’ll not only have fun but enjoy every minute.

1. Prioritize: You’ve got only so many days at your vacation spot, so make the most of each one.
2. Do your homework. Researching your destination can turn a holiday stay into pure pleasure.
3. Stick close to home. Travel to Belize in couple of hours means you avoid jet lag.
4. Travel during holidays to add one more day to your stay.

With these tips in mind, plan to visit as many of these 10 Belize stops as your time schedule allows in 2023.

1. The Belize Barrier Reef. As the second longest on the planet, Belize’s Barrier Reef is ideal for scuba diving, fishing, or kayaking at the reef’s edge to observe the wonderland of marine life just below the surface.

The Belize Barrier Reef

2. The Belize Blue Hole. Jacques Cousteau was captivated by this ancient sink hole. You will be too. If a deep dive is too scary to consider, why not grab a helicopter ride to take in this hole’s magnificence from the air?

The Belize Blue Hole

3. Visit Xunantunich and Cahal Pech. Belize is home to 900+ Maya sites and each is unique. Focus your limited time on these two for a taste of the past. If you’re fascinated, you can always add more!


4. ATM Cave. This underground adventure tickles the imaginations of visitors as they learn more about ancient rituals conducted by Maya priests thousands of years ago from knowledgeable guides.

ATM Cave

5. Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. Home to the world’s only protected jaguar sanctuary, consider yourself lucky if you spot one of these sleek cats roaming their 150-square mile home turf at the edge of the Maya Mountain chain.

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

6. Monkey River. As soon as you approach this body of water, you’ll hear the cries of Howler monkeys emanating from jungle riverbanks. Traverse the entirety of the river and take in Monkey River Town.

Monkey River

7. Silk Cayes. Visitors seeking idyllic snorkeling experiences love this protected marine reserve that’s part of Belize’s Barrier Reef. Located 22 miles off the Placencia peninsula, bring a picnic lunch for an afternoon of bliss.

Silk Cayes

8. Laughing Bird Caye. The gulls for which this island was named have long since migrated to different parts of Belize leaving this haven for human visitors seeking solitude throughout a gorgeous 1.8-acre park.

Laughing Bird Caye

9. Placencia. Considered Belize’s trendiest destination, the Placencia peninsula may measure just 19 miles long and half a mile wide, yet it’s packed with things to do, see, taste and experience, from natural attractions to nightlife and shopping. You’ll save lots of time by sojourning on Placencia if you want to do everything on this list.


10. Chabil Mar. Is there one resort on the peninsula that stands head and shoulders above the rest? There is: Chabil Mar Resort, the property that never disappoints. Book your 2022 stay early to take advantage of this property’s long list of perks, not the least of which are the fabulous Belize vacation packages and specials that can make a great stay better.

Chabil Mar

Choose the package that suits your vacation dates and interests and even if your time in country is finite, you can still take in all the recommendations on our list thanks to Chabil Mar staffers whose mission – to make certain that every guest gets their fill of Belize’s wonders – is accomplished by the friendliest people you’ve ever encountered, no matter where in the world you have traveled!

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.

Belize Snorkeling – What It’s Like And Where To Snorkel

With hundreds of offshore islands and a long stretch of the world’s second-biggest barrier reef, Belize is a paradise for snorkeling. Although coral reefs compose less than 4% of the ocean’s surface, they provide shelter and feeding grounds for an astonishing 25% of all marine life species. The crystal clear waters of the Caribbean and white sandy seafloor make the islands and reefs in Belize the ideal place to spot fish, anemones, whale sharks, sea grasses, dolphins, manatees, sea turtles, sharks, and stingrays in their natural habitat.

If you are traveling to Placencia and the southern Belize area, here are some of the top spots to enjoy snorkeling:

Laughing Bird Caye

Named for the so-called laughing gull flocks that once were the island’s only residents, Laughing Bird Caye is partly a protected nature reserve and part adventure destination. Just a short distance (13 miles/21 km) from Placencia, Laughing Bird Caye looks like a tropical island paradise from a book or film. The palm trees and sugar white sand beaches are the perfect accompaniment to snorkeling expeditions to the shallow reef around the island where you can marvel at the rich diversity of underwater life.

The Silk Cayes

Sometimes known as the Queen Cayes, the Silk Cayes are part of a much larger protected marine reserve. These islands are uninhabited by humans but are home to an astonishing number of avian and marine species. Just a short boat ride from Placencia, the Silk Cayes have nearly transparent water that has to be seen to believed. The shallow, gentle waters are ideal for snorkeling, and sunset barbecues underneath the coconut palms are rapidly becoming a popular tradition.

Gladden Spit

One of just three coral atolls found outside of the Atlantic Ocean, Gladden Spit is part of a vast 26,000-acre marine reserve and contains three different islands. No one lives on these islands, but the atoll plays an important role in sheltering more than two dozen species of local fish. Every spring, migrating schools of whale sharks come to the waters off of Gladden Spit to feed on spawn, giving divers and snorkelers a unique opportunity to interact with the largest non-whale species in the world’s oceans.

Chabil Mar

If you would like to explore the beautiful snorkeling areas described in this article, Chabil Mar in Placencia has several packages that include lodging and organized trips out to the Belize Barrier Reef.

While it’s true that top snorkeling spots can be found even in northern Belize such as the Hol Chan Marine Reserve near Ambergris Caye, southern Belize and the islands near Placencia are less crowded and are perfect for travelers who want to see some of the most beautiful areas of the southern reef where a rich diversity of colorful marine flora and fauna thrives.

Visit our website for more information about snorkeling in 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.