Summer in Belize: Why I’m going Back!
The arrival of the Summer Solstice means many things to many people around the world, with Druid fans congregating around Britain’s Stonehenge, people wanting to get in touch with the ancient Maya vibe at Chitzen Itza in Mexico, Tikal in Guatemala and Xunantunich in Belize, and farmers the world over consulting their almanacs.
To me, the Solstice sounds a gentle alarm – from here on in the days get shorter and the nights get longer …
Good Neighbour Belize Takes Helm of SICA
Belize assumes the presidency of the Central American Integration System, or SICA
Have you heard?
Prime Minister Dean Barrow recently travelled to the Dominican Republic to assume the presidency of the Central American Integration System, or SICA as it is more widely known, in a move that furthers Belize‘s reputation as a significant player in the Central American region.
The closer ties envisioned by SICA member states also bodes well for regional tourism, and especially throughout the …
Yes, summer is now well and truly here. At Chaa Creek, celebrating the summer solstice is part of a local tradition going back thousands of years. Long before western telescopes came into use, the ancient Maya were busily recording the solstices with astounding accuracy and marking the exact day with ritual celebrations. The Summer Solstice, widely considered to be the first day of summer, falls on June 21 in the northern hemisphere, making it the longest day of the year. And, of course, June 21 in the southern hemisphere is the winter solstice with the shortest day of the year.
It’s that time again to celebrate the opening of lobster season in Belize and show our appreciation for this gastronomic delight. Yes, all over Belize fishermen are out catching, cooks are preparing and diners are consuming the yummy bugs, as Caribbean Spiny Lobsters are known locally. And to celebrate the opening of the lobster season, several Lobsterfests are held around Belize, providing a rare opportunity to not only gorge on these delicious crustaceans, but participate in great community events as well. Here’s a list of the main fests, followed by some facts about rock lobsters that 80s band the B 52s for some reason left out of their tribute song.
By happy coincidence, just after posting the recent Birds Of Belize Blog (Birding in Belize – Six of the Best Spots 17 June 2014), we’ve received reports of a new International Development Bank program to train and certify Belizean tour guides in the highly specialised field of birding. Funded by the IDB and delivered by the Belize Audubon Society, the USD$ 2.6 million project budget will be shared by Belize, Bahamas, Guatemala and Paraguay. Speaking at the project launch at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City, Amanda Burgos, Belize Audubon Society’s Executive Director said that the Belizean funds are earmarked for introducing birding as a specialized field of study for tour guides.
The company said it is adding flights from Chicago’s O Hare airport to Philip Goldson International in Belize City, with a Saturday service scheduled to run through to May 2015, depending on government approval. Great news for visitors from the Windy City, as well as the substantial Belizean diaspora living in the Chicago area. With Delta Airline’s direct Los Angeles to Belize City flights that began last year, and joining American and Continental Airlines as well as USAir ways and TACA servicing Belize from Miami, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Charlotte, New York and Los Angeles, and given the close proximity of Belize to major North American hubs, paradise keeps getting closer for our American friends.
Belize sits within the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, which stretches from Mexico through Central America and is home to a diverse range of birds and wildlife, helping to make the little country a birders’ paradise, with some 618 resident species and visiting migrants sharing the rich biodiversity of Belize. At Chaa Creek alone, the Birds without Borders project, conducted in conjunction with the Zoological Society of Milwaukee and Foundation for Wildlife Conservation, recorded 308 different species within the eco-resort’s 365-acre private nature reserve. And while Chaa Creek is one of the best places in Belize for birdwatching (small wonder it was picked for the Birds without Borders project), there are other renowned spots north, southeast and west where our feathered friends congregate. Here are five more guaranteed to whet any birder’s appetite.
Calling grandparents the “unsung heroes” of the family unit, Chaa Creek’s marketing administrator, Roberto Harrison, said the new “Summer of Love” Belize vacation package offers a complete Belize experience by combining an inland jungle adventure with a Caribbean beach holiday for one affordable set price. The “Belize Bathing suits and Hiking Boots’ all-inclusive vacation package is presented as a partnership between The Lodge at Chaa Creek and Chabil Mar Villas on Belize’s Placencia Peninsula, offering travellers a rare opportunity to split their holiday between Belize’s Maya temple-studded rainforests and the uncrowded Caribbean coast for one low set price, Mr Harrison said.
Mango trees have been in Belize as long as anyone can remember, and long before commercial cultivation they were seen in many a yard and scattered along roadsides, often growing as a result of someone tossing away a seed after a snack. Villagers along the coast in areas such as Gales Point Manatee would load up dories (dugout canoes) and make the long haul up to Belize City to sell them in the markets. Mangos are now commercially grown, but the backyard variety is still the mainstay of local consumption, with reputations made or broken on the strength of one’s mangos.
They are the most populous mammals on the planet and one of nature’s greatest success stories, and depending on your perspective are either cute vegetarian flying foxes or scary Bela Lugosi vampires. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, bats are here to stay and, once you get to know them, you’ll be glad.There are more than 1100 different kinds of bats sharing the planet with us, from the tiny Kitti’s hog-nosed, or bumblebee bat of Thailand and Burma – the world’s smallest mammal, up to flying foxes with six foot (two metre) wing spans. Making up a quarter of all mammals alive today, bats are found all over the world.
San Ignacio, Belize is a small lovely town located on the Cayo region of the country and mere minutes away from the border with Guatemala. Considered as the heartland of the Belizean Mayan World, San Ignacio has its fair share of cultural and adventure attractions, even for those who travel with a tight budget. Here are 7 top cultural attractions in this western town of Belize, Central America.
Don’t worry, this nautical wonder is here to use its powers for good, marking the start of the US “Southern Partnership Program” in Belize, which is a US Naval deployment working with Belizean counterparts in port security, technical and medical support, patrol operations, operational risk management and other areas. With the US Military’s recent “New Horizons” program also assisting villages in medical care, Belize seems to be the beneficiary of a stronger US presence in the region. And let’s not forget the recent confirmation of Carlos R Moreno as US Ambassador to Belize, a choice we applauded due to Mr Moreno’s impressive legal credentials and personal history. Yes, Washington DC seems to be taking little Belize seriously these days.
The holidays are over, you’re stressed out and the winter blues have set in. It’s time to get away. As you start to plan your vacation, do you consider how much good your trip could do for others? Some of the world’s most breathtaking destinations are now being managed sustainably, which means that in addition to benefiting your own mental health, your next trip could also benefit the environment and local communities. Here are 10 reasons to travel sustainably:
After our vacation at Belize’s Chaa Creek earlier this year, I rave about the place all the time and have confidently steered a few friends in that direction. I say confidently because I have no doubt that no matter what their ages or interests, anyone will find something there to please and even excite them.
Belize is probably not the number one location on your list of countries you must visit. It should be. Sitting just on the Central American east coast, Belize benefits from Caribbean temperatures and beaches on the Caribbean Sea. More than that it offers a wide range of stunning attractions which tap into the ancient history of the region as well as being immensely enjoyable. A private villa in Belize will give you the luxury you deserve for your holiday as you explore our top five attractions.
Mayan for “Stone maiden” Xunantunich is definitely one of Belize’s prettiest Maya archaeological sites, renowned for exquisite architecture, beautiful frescos and stelae, as well as its park-like atmosphere and stunning views from the top of El Castillo, the iconic pyramid temple. Xunantunich was an important ceremonial centre built around AD 600 near the end of the Maya Late Classic Period, boasting a population of some 10,000 people at its peak, and apparently continued to thrive while other Maya centres such as Tikal and Caracol were in decline. However by around 1000 AD Xunantunich was abandoned.
So when the AARP says something, a big audience is listening. And recently the AARP named Belize as one of the top ten honeymoon destinations, sharing honours with Tahiti, the Maldives, Bali and other exotic tropical locations. Yes, tropical seems to be a key element for a happy honeymoon. But of course, it takes more than a warm sunny climate to make the AARP’s top ten. This is a discriminating group looking for the very best for its members, so no wonder Belize got a nod.
Huge Maya City found near Belize and Mexico border line: Noh Kah
According to Mexican Newspapers the Archaeologists from the National Institue of Anthropology and History (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia) (INAH) confirmed today that there is an Ancient Mayan City approximated to be about 84 acres and is located in the jungles around the border line of Quintana Roo and Belize. The Ancient Mayan City was named Noh Kah, meaning Large City, and is believed to have existed more than one thousand five …
Belize’s The Lodge at Chaa Creek was recently honoured with a Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor, the world’s largest travel site, according to the popular Belizean eco-resort’s owners. “It’s very gratifying to be acknowledged by such a respected travel authority as Trip Advisor, and is something the entire Chaa Creek family takes pride in. The fact that Trip Advisor’s awards are based on customer reviews makes this distinction that much more valuable to us,” co-founding owner and GM Lucy Fleming said.