Tourists, Expats, And Locals Alike Love Placencia, Belize

 

Chabil Mar Belize Resort

Placencia Offers a Little Something For Everyone

There are vacation destinations that exist because they’re overflowing with landmarks and museums of historical importance, and then there are destinations that are all about giving you a chance to relax and immerse yourself in local culture. Belize falls into the latter category, and there’s no region that better personifies that chill and casual personality than Placencia.

It’s the humility of Placencia that makes it such a popular destination for locals, tourists, and expats alike. That’s because it’s not a place where you just check off a list of things to see and do. It’s a place you go to live your life at a different pace. You won’t find a friendlier group of people than those who live in Placencia, and despite being named “the pleasant place” by Spanish conquerors and a recent rise in awareness from visiting tourists, the pace of life in Placencia Village is still slow and steady. Most of the residents continue to live the humble lives of fishermen. And while there are now a few resorts and nice hotels in the area, this is still a placid region through and through.

It’s certainly a nice change of pace from areas like Ambergris Caye that have become overrun by sprawling resorts and tourists pouring in by the boatload. While you’re likely to see some other visitors during your time in Placencia, you’ll have a refreshing amount of time to spend away from the tourist scene, browsing local markets, exploring the surrounding countryside, and tasting delicious but simple local specialties like barbecue chicken.

laughing bird caye belize

The fortunes of Placencia’s residents are made on the sea, so it’s naturally easy to get out and explore the waters with this region as your starting point. Half-day and full-day boating expeditions launch from the small pier is a particularly beautiful and secluded worthy of your attention. But there are no lack of opportunities to go snorkeling, diving, or fishing from Placencia.

And it’s not like Placencia is completely behind the times. As tourists and expats have come to recognize the beauty of the region, local bars and restaurants have started to crop up in greater abundance. And the annual Lobsterfest event held in June every year is a major attraction that draws in both Belizeans from all over the country and visitors from far abroad.

belize beach vacations

If you’re coming to Belize, you owe it to yourself to visit Placencia, and if you’re going to stay in Placencia, there’s no better place to set up shop than Chabil Mar. It’s one of the most luxurious resorts in the region, and you can count on the staff to provide you with the ultimate Belizean experience you’ve been dreaming of.

For more information about Placencia and 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.

21 Reasons to Get Married in Belize

belize wedding packages all inclusive

Do you crave a destination wedding but the distance issue is scary? No worries. Belize is fast becoming the destination wedding capital of Central America and resorts like Chabil Mar have a talent for turning even small celebrations into extravaganzas. From basic arrangements to all-inclusive packages customized to suit your taste and budget, why go elsewhere?

Here are 21 great reasons to get married in Belize:

1. You don’t have to feed the multitudes, including Aunt Mary who ruins most weddings anyway. Enjoy a lavish wedding for less cash because your wedding party is likely to be small enough to make the day both lavish and affordable.

2. Your photos will be perfect–especially if taken late in the day when golden rays of the sun make everybody look gorgeous, even mothers-in-law!

3. Find out who your real friends are. Invite your nearest and dearest; if they can’t get to your Belize affair, you know where you stand.

4. Make other newlywed connections. Since Belize is fast-becoming Central America’s wedding destination, you could bond with other newlyweds and stay in touch over the years.

5. Save money. According to The Knot, today’s average 150-guest wedding averages $29,000 USD. Compare that to a full-blown Chabil Mar affair. If your party is big enough, reserve the entire resort just for your big day.

belize wedding resorts

6. Everyone speaks English in Belize. Forget struggling with a second language as you put together your wedding celebration using skilled Chabil Mar event planners.

7. Beach? Jungle? Waterfall? All things are possible in this wonderland, so whether you want your wedding on a beach, in a cave, at a Mayan ruin or at a quaint local church, your choices are unlimited.

8. Save a bundle on your honeymoon. You’re already in Belize. Voila! Instant honeymoon.

9. The food is delish. Treat your guests to gourmet meals prepared by Chabil Mar chefs skilled in European cookery and ethnically-rich plates that reflect Belize’s diverse cultures.

wedding vacations in belize
10. Your host does all the work. Included in Chabil Mar’s basic wedding package are the honeymoon suite, bouquets, beach or pier deck ceremony, help with your license and tropical reception, all at one price.

11. Chabil Mar offers a wide range of extras, like reception planning, couples massages, in-country airfare, photographer, videographer and even clergy.

12. It’s easy to get a marriage license. Show up three days before the big day. Present your passport with photo as proof of the day you arrived in Belize and you’re done.

13. Your marriage will be recognized everywhere, so it’s just as official in Belize as it would be if you exchanged vows in Ottawa, Detroit or Los Angeles.

14. The weather is divine. Year-round. Seriously.

15. Wear what you like. White gown. Floral sarong. Bedazzled pedal pushers. Swimsuit. Bridal Fashion Police officials avoid Belize, so don anything you fancy.

belize beach weddings

16. No clothing restrictions for guests, either. Inform guests that your ceremony and/or reception is to be held on a boat, on the beach or at Chabil Mar Resort so they can wear whatever they consider appropriate.

17. It’s easy to get to Belize. Anyone wishing to attend your wedding can find lots of flights from Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. Adventurous guests may wish to make your event the object of a long and relaxing road trip!

18. Stress-free planning. Use your phone or the Internet to do all of your planning with Chabil Mar staff. Since no grumpy, frazzled couples are permitted in Belize, you fly down and hit the beach to get the tan other couples pay for at tanning beds back home.

19. Save on pricey décor because Mother Nature is another of your wedding planners. Brides lament that their floral bill is as daunting as a student loan, but in Belize, everything is perpetually in bloom.

20. Take advantage of rate drops during low season at Chabil Mar and save even more on airfares and accommodations so you can spend it on the reception instead.

21. Make exceptional memories. This reason to marry in Belize is strictly up to you!

Belize Points of Interest

Where to go in Belize

Just a few hours flying time from the United States, Belize is a lovely tropical destination with gorgeous beaches, exotic wildlife, a stunning coral reef, jungles, ancient Mayan cities, and a friendly Caribbean atmosphere.

Below are some of our favorite places and points of interest in Belize.

placencia peninsula belizePlacencia Peninsula – A sparkling 16-mile long expanse of beach along the Caribbean, the peninsula is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Belize. The mangrove-lined lagoon on the mainland side is an ideal spot to enjoy fishing.

placencia village Belize

Placencia Village – A laid-back fishing village, Placencia is a great place to get a drink in a cafe or bar, enjoy a delicious meal in a restaurant, or find an outfitter for a trip to the Belize Barrier Reef. The village is famous for holding the Guinness Book of World Records title for smallest main street in the world, a 4,000-foot long sidewalk too narrow to admit cars.

san ignacio belize

San Ignacio Town – The cultural and entertainment capital of the west, San Ignacio is close to many of the country’s finest Maya ruins. The resort of Chabil Mar offers comprehensive jungle and sea packages that combine the best of Placencia Peninsula with an expedition to San Ignacio and its environs.

hopkins belize

Hopkins – A small village in the southeast, Hopkins is the cultural heart of the unique Garifuna culture.

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Caye Caulker – A small, unspoiled island, Caye Caulker is the picture postcard definition of a tropical island, complete with sparkling blue water, white sands, and palm trees.

toledo belize

Toledo District – The heart of Belize’s cacao (chocolate) growing region, Toledo is the gateway to the unspoiled south of the country.

ambergris caye belize

Ambergris Caye – The largest island in Belize, Ambergris Caye is an easygoing mix of beaches, bars and some of the best food in the country.

belize barrier reef

Belize Barrier Reef – The second largest coral reef system in the world, the Belize Barrier Reef offers spectacular diving, swimming, snorkeling and sailing opportunities.

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary – Perfect for day trips or longer hiking expeditions, the sanctuary provides a protected habitat for tapirs, monkeys, jaguars and hundreds of species of birds.

great-blue-hole-belize

Great Blue Hole – Regularly voted as one of the top natural wonders in the world, the Blue Hole offers experienced divers a unique opportunity to explore a system of underwater caverns.

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.

 

Barton Creek Cave, A Fascinating Cave in Belize

In a country with more than 100 navigable caves, Barton Creek Cave stands out for its unique history and impressive size. Unlike “dry” caves where spelunking is performed on foot, Barton Creek Cave has a large yet tranquil waterway running through it, meaning that visitors explore this impressive cave using canoes.

Belize is the heartland of the ancient Maya civilization, and Barton Creek Cave was used by Maya priests to conduct some of their most sacred rituals. The ancient Maya believed that caves were conduits to the underground world of the gods, known as Xibalba or “place of fear.” As such, Barton Creek Cave still contains many priceless artifacts, including ceremonial weapons, food offerings, pottery, and jewelry.

To explore Barton Creek Cave, modern-day visitors head east from the town of San Ignacio until they reach the village of Georgeville. From there, experienced guides will lead visitors along a narrow jungle path that includes a river crossing. After approximately one hour, the banks of Barton Creek are visible, and participants will board a canoe to begin their exploration of the cave.

Although the underground river running through Barton Creek Cave extends for at least five miles, only the first mile (1.6 kilometers) is safe for public exploration. Within a few minutes of boarding the canoe, participants will follow their tour guide into the stygian darkness of the cave. Using headlamps and flashlights, visitors will see a secret underworld that was once the exclusive domain of high-ranking Maya priests. The beams of light will reveal awe-inspiring cathedral-like chambers and beautiful stalactites that glitter and twinkle.

Along the way, the tour guide will explain about the natural history of the cave as well as the importance of the cave in Maya history, giving visitors a better understanding of the long-lost culture that built dozens of impressive cities across Belize.

After exiting the cave and emerging back into the bright tropical daylight, participants can enjoy a refreshing swim in the waters of the creek. Organized tours to Barton Creek Cave may also include a delicious picnic lunch.

Due to the nature of this tour, visitors who suffer from claustrophobia or anxiety about the dark are not recommended to participate. In some places, the ceiling of Barton Creek Cave is quite low. Although no swimming is required to explore Barton Creek Cave, swimwear, a change of clothes, and a towel are recommended. Other recommended items include insect repellant and rain gear during wet weather.

Chabil Mar offers Belize vacation packages that include all the best attractions of the jungle and sea, including an organized cave tubing tour of Barton Creek Cave.

For more information about Barton Creek Cave, 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.

8 Must do Activities in Placencia Belize

Top Things to See and Do in Belize

Top Things to See and Do in Belize

Placencia Village on the southeastern coast of Belize is a popular holiday destination for North American expats and tourists. The village is located on the southern tip of the 16-mile long narrow Placencia Peninsula, a relaxed “barefoot friendly” community that bills itself as the caye (island) that you can drive to as it is easily accessible by automobile via a paved 27-mile road that branches off from the Southern Highway.

Placencia is a popular destination for vacationers but each tourist brings their own expectations to the kind of experience that they have in the area. Many enjoy the laid-back barefoot atmosphere where you can wander up and down the public beaches or mosey into some of the best bars and restaurants in the area. Others visitors looking for a more pampered experience can stay at top-rated luxury resorts like Chabil Mar located just a few minutes’ walk from the village.

The high season in Placencia starts in mid-December and lasts until after Easter, although any time of the year is a good time to visit. There’s always a bump in the number of visitors during the full moons of the months of May and June as that’s when the whale sharks come to feed in the waters just offshore.

Here are 8 must do activities/tours in Placencia.

Explore Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary - Things to do in Placencia BelizeLocated in the Stann Creek District and not far from Placencia Village, the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is globally recognized as the world’s first jaguar preserve and is home to cascading waterfalls to swim in, panoramic mountain views, nature trails, furry mammals, colorful insects, scaly reptiles and a variety of neotropical birds. In addition, river tubing is a favorite adventure for the many visitors to this unique tropical paradise. Tours leave daily from Chabil Mar.

Although the jaguar (the largest spotted cat in the world) is what the reserve is famous for, you are unlikely to see one as the cat is nocturnal. However you will see its tracks along with tracks of tapir, deer, and other wildlife that inhabit the nature reserve. Cockscomb Basin is also home to one of Belize’s highest points — Victoria Peak and many travelers who vacation in Placencia go on this tour.

Go on a Kayaking expedition at Laughing Bird Caye

laughing bird caye belize - things to do in placencia belize

Kayaking in Placencia is a joy! The crystal clear waters, tepid sunshine and balmy Caribbean breezes that Belize offers make for an ideal kayaking expedition. As you glide across the warm waters, you will observe untouched coral reefs, white sandy beaches and abundant marine wildlife like the amazing sea turtle.

Belize has numerous cayes that can be explored on a kayak. Laughing Bird Caye National Park for example, is a mini atoll and is a favorite stopover for reef kayakers.

Pay a Visit to the Resident Howler Monkeys

Howler Monkey - things to do in Placencia Belize

Take a boat to Monkey River Village and head up Monkey River and into the jungle to pay a visit with the resident howler monkeys. Complete your adventure along the ride to observe crocodiles sunning along the river banks, along with exotic birds, iquana hanging in the trees, a few bats and lizards and enjoy a lunch with the villagers in Monkey River. On the way back to Placencia you may even see a few manatees along with their pups.

Explore Maya Temple Sites

belize mayan ruins - things to do in placencia According to archeologists, over 1 million Maya people lived in present day Belize. Today there are a range of Maya temples scattered throughout Belize. If you are vacationing in Placencia, you might want to explore Maya Temples like Nim Li Punit and Lubantuun in the Toledo District or Xunantunich and Cahal Pech in western Belize. While visiting some of these sites, maybe even add on a swim up river and into a cave! That is a thrill of a lifetime.

Dive or Snorkel – even with Whale Sharks

whale sharks in belize - things to do in placencia

Home to the second largest barrier reef in the world, Belize is a diver and snorkeler’s dream come true. In addition, over 100 islands dot the coastline, just offshore from Placencia, providing endless opportunities for diverse diving and snorkeling opportunities.

During the months of March, April, May and June around the full moon, giant whale sharks will emerge in the turquoise clear waters of Gladden Spit and Silk Caye Marine Reserve near the Placencia Peninsula. This marine reserve is used by over 30 species of tropical fishes to release their eggs and it is the eggs of the cubera, mutton and dog snappers that the whale sharks munch on.

Both divers and snorkelers can swim with these giant whale sharks in the pristine and warm waters of southern Belize without any risk from these magnificent creatures as they do not pose any significant threat to humans.

Fishing is Extraordinary

fishing in Belize - things to do in PlacenciaAs a traditional fishing Village, Placencia is the residency of some of the finest fishing captains in Belize. And, due to its location on a peninsula, the lagoons to the west, the Caribbean to the east and the barrier reef 18 miles offshore, while being dotted with multiple islands (cayes, pronounced “keys”), fishing is inherent in the population and history of this beautiful Village of 1500 residents. A grand slam is a definitely a possibility while visiting Placencia.

Enjoy delicious Belizean Cuisines

belize food - things to do in placencia Placencia Village is a traditional fishing Village with a tourist element. It is this small tourist exposure that has encouraged its residents to populate it with amazing restaurants like Tipsy Tuna, Rum Fish, Barefoot, La Dolce Vita, Secret Garden, Yoli’s, Pickled Parrot, Purple Space Monkey and Wendy’s (no not the fast food restaurant) and these well known restaurants offer a variety of fresh sea food at a reasonable price. Dotted along the streets are many vendors serving some of the best Belizean dishes in the country, passed down from generations and prepared with local ingredients. Rum Fish for example, sells the best fish tacos and if you are into gourmet burgers you’ll have to try Barefoot Restaurant & Bar which is located right on the beach.

You can also check out the Italian Gelato Shop that offers incredible and authentic fruit gelatos. Gelato in Placencia? Yes, and we dare say among the best you will ever have the pleasure to put to your palate.

Placencia Beaches

placencia village belize

In a country with more than 180 miles of beaches, the Placencia Peninsula truly stands out. Lovely white sand, refreshing tropical breezes, and the sight and scent of the sparkling waters of the Caribbean combine for a truly unforgettable tropical beach experience.

While many people partake in organized adventures on both the mainland and nearby Belize Barrier Reef, one of the truly special joys of a Belize vacation is relaxing and exploring the beaches of the Placencia peninsula.

Below are a few ways to make the most of Placencia’s golden beaches:

  • Take a long walk – In some parts, it’s considered a cliche to say that you enjoy a long walk on the beach, but in Placencia the words won’t matter. Whether you’re strolling hand in hand with a loved one or simply admiring the view on your own, walking along the beach in Placencia is undeniably good for the soul.
  • Enjoy a fine meal – Whether you’ve packed a picnic basket filled to the brim with tasty local goodies or you’ve decided to enjoy a seafront view at one of the peninsula’s amazing restaurants, few experiences can compare to dining on delicious food and drinks on the beach.
  • Main Street – New York has Fifth Avenue and Paris has the Champs-Élysées, but the village of Placencia has its own unique claim to fame. Officially declared the smallest main street in the world, the central “boulevard” running through the middle of the village is actually a sidewalk just four feet across. No cars are allowed which makes it the perfect place to visit cute little shops, grab a coffee, or sit down for a delicious snack.
  • Relax! – Many people get so wound up trying to cram in as many activities and tours during their vacation that they forget the reason why they decided to visit Belize in the first place. The lovely golden dunes of Placencia are a great place to work on your tan, swing in a hammock, or dip your toes in the Caribbean while unwinding and relaxing.
  • Seine Bight – Heading north from Placencia Village, visitors walking along the beach have the opportunity to go see the village of Seine Bight. Home to Belize’s unique Garifuna culture, Seine Bight is a great chance to experience Garifuna music, dancing, and food.
  • Take unforgettable photos – Whether you want to impress your friends on social media with your amazing selfies or simply want to capture the happy memories of vacation, the beaches of Placencia are ideal for taking photographs.

Visit our website chabilmarvillas.com for more information on Belize and Placencia, 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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