• Top Belize Resort in Placencia Belize

The Butterflies of Belize

butterflies in belize

They’re ethereal, beautiful, delicate and eye candy, but the butterflies of Belize do more than flit around from flower to plant, waiting to be admired. Thanks to low population density and enough flora and fauna to dazzle any insect, Belize butterflies may not live long lives, but they contribute mightily to a nation’s ecosystem, say ButterflyConservation.org researchers.

Why Belize butterflies are important

-Butterflies have been around for 50 million years, say scientists, so they’re of great ecological value
-The butterfly symbol is so sacred and revered, you’ll find images on resorts, restaurants and boutiques
-Butterfly studies undertaken by Belize experts prove insect migration patterns
-Butterfly wing patterns and iridescence are unique to these creatures
-Scientists of all disciplines (including genetics and population dynamics) study butterflies.
-Climate change researchers study butterfly group behaviors to reach conclusions
-Butterfly populations are a sign that an ecosystem is healthy
-They provide unparalleled organic pollination and pest control tasks
-Butterflies help feed Belize’s insectivorous populations
-Spending time watching butterflies can mediate depression
-Belize’s economy benefits from several butterfly farms from which visitors can choose!

Belize is awash in butterfly farms

Consistently vulnerable to weather fluctuations that can turn Belize from a tranquil land to wild and unpredictable weather fronts that sweep in, butterflies have grown adroit at hanging on throughout these dramatic weather changes.

Leaving Belize would be counter to butterflies’ ancestral behavior since this nation has exactly the environment necessary to keep these winged creatures healthy and thriving: flower nectar, tree sap, plant and flower pollen. Because butterflies are so important to the nation’s ecosystem, five Belize butterfly farms have been established to showcase these magnificent creatures:

1. Fallen Stones Butterfly Farm in the Toledo District is home to eight species
2. Cayo’s Green Hills Butterfly Ranch hosts the Blue Morpho, a rare specimen
3. Chaa Creek, also in Cayo, is also home to a rare Blue Morpho specimen collection
4. Tropical Wings Ecocenter in Cayo shows visitors how butterflies are raised
5. The Shipstern Nature Reserve in Corozal District is a 27,000 acre breeding area.

Fascinated? Why not visit?

belize butterflies

Book accommodations at Chabil Mar, one of Belize’s most highly-rated resorts and located on Placencia peninsula, today’s trendiest place to vacation. When you make your arrangements, ask the concierge about the resort’s popular tours, some of which include visits to butterfly farms.

In addition to visiting butterfly farms, explore other wildlife habitats. Browse our Belize vacation packages to see which ones give you the most access to Belize jungles, forests and botanical gardens. While you’re on the page, don’t miss the specials and packages being offered that cover everything from luxurious digs and fine dining to resort surroundings that showcase Mother Nature’s bounty.

If all you want to do during your stay at Chabil Mar is to learn as much about butterflies and see as many species as possible, customize your visit. Bring the kids. Bring your camera. Most of all, bring your sense of wonder. You’ll never again look at butterflies in the same way after spending time in Belize.

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.

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.

Save

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.

Xunantunich Mayan Ruins

xunantunich

Xunantunich Mayan Ruins in Belize

Pronounced shoo-na-too-nitch by most people, this ancient Maya site is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Belize. With an interactive museum on site, visitors can learn about this majestic city that was once a luxury residence for Maya elites. Today, visitors approach the site by crossing the Mopan River using a hand-cranked ferry and then climbing to the top of one of the site’s fabulous temples to be rewarded with an amazingly panoramic view of the countryside.

About Xunantunich

In modern Belize, Xunantunich is located just a short distance from the town of San Ignacio in Cayo District and one mile north of the border with Guatemala at Benque Viejo. Built on a natural limestone ridge, the site was constructed to serve elite nobles and their retinue during the Classic Period.

With a central area measuring just 300 square meters (3,230 square feet) in size, Xunantunich isn’t the largest Maya ruin in Belize, but it’s unique residential structures and ceremonial center make the site one of the top attractions in the country. One of the first lost cities rediscovered in the modern era (excavations first began in 1892), archeological renovations at Xunantunich have revealed three ceremonial plazas, houses, and a large palace decorated with friezes and masks.

The most famous building in Xunantunich is “El Castillo” (The Castle), a pyramid soaring 130 feet above the main plaza. El Castillo was the tallest man-made structure in the country until the Sky Temple at the Maya site of Caracol was discovered a few decades ago. El Castillo is remarkable due to its large stucco frieze on its eastern side that details stories of the gods and stories from Maya creationist myths. Xunantunich was heavily populated until an abrupt event in the Classic Period that left the top of “El Castillo” partially damaged.

Although no one knows the original name of the city, today the site is called the “Stone Lady” (Xunatunich in modern Mayan) due to persistent stories of a woman in white that haunted the original British archeologists and has been regularly seen even up until modern times.

Chabil Mar in Placencia Belize & Xunantunich

The lovely Chabil Mar resort on the Placencia Peninsula is close to all of the most exciting mainland destinations in Belize. Guests of the resort can include a visit to Xunantunich as part of one of Chabil Mar’s fantastic Belize Reef & Jungle vacation packages.


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.

6 Ways to Make Your Belize Honeymoon Unforgettable!

belize honeymoon

The cake is history. So are champagne toasts. Even the bridal bouquet has a new home. What began with a kiss, ended with “I do,” and as you two head for your Belize honeymoon, you’re probably so tired, all you want to do is sleep! Give it a day. You’ll both be eager to make memories—especially if you booked your romantic stay at Chabil Mar Villas, where honeymooners go for seclusion, pampering and superior hospitality. Once you’ve caught your breath, the Chabil Mar team stands ready to send you off on adventures that turn ordinary honeymoons into spectacular ones.

Swim with the fishes

belize barrier reef

Marine reserves throughout Belize amaze honeymooners eager to see so many undersea wonders. Observe them from a boat or jump into the water, especially around the Belize Barrier Reef where you can swim with giant Tarpon, flirt with stingrays and Eagle Rays and introduce yourselves to dolphins and barracuda if they happen to swim by. There’s a manatee refuge, too. With hundreds of species of marine life, the only witnesses to your undersea hugs, Belize’s underworld adventures could be the highlights of your stay!

Meet the animals

Belize Jaguar

Not every honeymoon couple is eager to roam jungles and rainforests in hopes of spotting Belize’s big cats, howler monkeys and other animals indigenous to this region so opt for a Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center experience. Wear good shoes to explore all 29 acres of savannas and exhibits and do ask your guide to point out the orphans, critters born at the zoo, lovingly rehabilitated creatures and animals received as gifts from other zoological societies. Identify all 125 of Belize’s indigenous animals housed at the zoo and impress your new spouse.

Experience Belize’s past

cahal-pech maya site

Long before Belize became a melting pot of diverse peoples and cultures, generations of Mayans roamed the land. They disappeared without a trace, leaving behind spectacular vestiges of palaces, temples, ball courts and artifacts that are mysterious, exotic and priceless. If you’re both curious and eager to learn more about the Mayans, explore some of Belize’s best ruins, caves and compounds. The Chabil Mar team recommends Xunantunich, Lubantuum and Nim Li Punit and can make arrangements to get you to one–or all three.

Dive in

Dive coral James Chabil Mar Resort Belize

It’s time to find out how daring each of you can be by visiting The Big Blue Hole, a natural wonder comprised of collapsed undersea caves that left a perfect circle in the ocean that’s 1,000 feet across and 412 feet deep. Maintained by the Belize Audubon Society, it was a favorite of iconic marine biologist Jacques Cousteau and a world-class dive experience that attracts people from around the world. If just the thought of dropping into this vast hole is scary, have Chabil Mar staff book a helicopter so you two can see it from the air instead.

Stroll Placencia

placencia-belize

Still recovering from wedding shopping? You may have told friends you’ve had enough, but you’re sure to change your mind if you visit Placencia Village, an epicenter of fun that is part of the reason Placencia took a prestigious travel award for being a top Caribbean destination. Because Chabil Mar is close to the village, you won’t have to go far to discover quirky shops, indulge in world-famous Belize chocolates, tour art galleries, check out pubs and indulge in delicious local foods. If you haven’t yet thanked your parents for throwing you the wedding of your dreams, pick out gifts for them here in Placencia Village to show them you were raised right.

Get your romance on

belize romantic resorts honeymoon

We think Belize sunsets are extraordinary. Our beaches are pristine. Belize’s sultry shoreline begs couples to stroll hand-in-hand along Placencia’s 16 miles of sand. You’re here for romance, so take full advantage of intimate moments and lush enclaves on Chabil Mar grounds or sail along the shoreline in a private boat provisioned with picnic foods, cold beer, rum punch and anything else you desire. Since Chabil Mar staff specializes in romance, find out why so many honeymooners recommend this resort to friends after they return home!

For more information about visiting Belize for your honeymoon , 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.

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Recent Posts

Archives

“Be at Ease at Chabil Mar” – Features of Chabil Mar that Maintain Safety without Sacrificing Service Learn More