CONTENTS 09 12
Travel Compass Choosing your Belize Vacation
Belize-The Perfect Romantic Paradise
Baymen’s G lory
Belize’s Annual Celebration of Patriotic Freedom
Eye in the sky
The Caribbean’s most advanced data capture platform to combat climate change
05 WELCOME TO FALL 2018 06 THROUGH THE EYE OF THE PHOTOGRAPHER 16 CLOSE HAULED 18 SEASON TO TABLE 19 WHEN IN COCKSCOMB, DO AS THE JAGUARS DO 20 XUNANTUNICH: MAIDEN OF THE ROCK 22 A FISHERMAN’S TALE 24 KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PENINSULA 26 CCL PICKS: A PRIVATE ISLAND HONEYMOON 27 OFF THE BEATEN PATH 30 THE SECRET TO VACATIONING IN THE TROPICS 32 A DAY IN PLACENCIA 33 HOME GROWN 34 BELIZEAN MADE 36 2018 CALENDAR OF EVENTS 38 WHAT’S NEW, WHAT’S HOT! 39 MAP OF BELIZE
PHOTO COURTESY MONICA GALLARDO
Cruise ship arrivals also registered an upward trend during the ﬁrst quarter. 143 cruise ship calls and almost 400,000 cruise passengers arriving in Belize represents an increase of 4.6% more visitors than 2017. For 2018 we are expecting 1.1M+ cruise tourists docking on our shores. This is a 13% increase from the same period in 2017 - great news for the tourism sector and a sign that our tourism strategy is working.
Small but unique, this lovely country I call home, is considered a paradise to all who experience the beauty of its dense jungles, enticing Caribbean waters and friendly people. Welcome to Belize! Decades ago, international travel was a luxury reserved for a select few. Today however, great improvements in technology and transportation, such as daily direct ﬂights to Belize on several major airlines, has helped to make international traveling both efficient and affordable. Now with more airlines such as West Jet, Air Canada and Southwest coming into the country, Belize is receiving tremendous attention. There has also been a marked increase in new ﬂights emerging from South America via Copa and Avianca Airlines. Additionally, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) intends to aggressively invest resources to encourage more arrivals from Mexico this year, as an airline from this country looks at possible ﬂights direct from Mexico City. Belize’s popularity as a must-visit destination in Central America and the Caribbean continues to set unprecedented records. For the ﬁrst time ever, there will be close to 500,000 overnight visitors for 2018, representing an increase of 10.3% over the same period in 2017.
Uniquely positioned, Belize is where Central America meets the Caribbean and this small country that was once called Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret is now bursting with adventure and excitement. From North to South, every district of Belize promises fun and excitement unlike any other. From ziplining through the jungle, to exploring Maya caves to scuba diving the Great Blue Hole. Experience our local dishes like hudut, escabeche, cohune cabbage, rice and beans and more. Try your hand at drum making or learn the art of making chocolate. There is a popular local song that says, "No land so fair, can compare to my home on the Caribbean Sea...it is the land where the breezes whisper, it is a land of eternal delight." Whatever your interest, Belize offers you a culturally diverse experience you will treasure. Start the journey now and let us help you make memories to last a lifetime. See you in Belize! Sincerely, yy,,
Ted Tejada President The Belize Hotel Association
THROUGH THE EYE OF THE PHOTOGRAPHER PHOTO AND ARTICLE BY: LEONARDO MELENDEZ
A Destination Wedding in Belize
hen you think about it, a destination wedding
is a brilliant idea; a two-for-one speciaL
ou get to combine your nuptials with your honeymoon and better yet, your pictures will be exotic lifelong memories of your time of love. They say that ‘beauty is in the eyes of the beholder’ but furthermore, it is in the lens of the camera. The process of capturing love depends on the photographer but for me it begins with a connection. When a couple is experiencing a special moment together, the photographer is drawn into that moment too, almost without a choice. That’s how you capture love, in one brief moment, with a click of the shutter. It’s easier said than done of course, as wedding days can often be chaotic and riddled with much distraction. Perhaps that’s why having the opportunity to photograph the moments of stillness and calm that happen in the midst of it all is so rewarding. For me, it’s easiest to get into the groove of photographing when a bride leads me into things. I like to hear the story of the couple; how they met, and the vision they have for their special day. Becoming an unofficial family member instantly makes my job easier - then I don’t feel like I’m chasing the moment, but I’m a part of it. When a bride and groom bring their photographer into their world it unlocks access to an energy that creates a true sense of excitement. While there is beauty in the details, it is the atmosphere that makes for the best photos. Love is contagious, you can see it in the tears of the mothers of the bride and groom, the ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ of the guests, and in the handholding of other couples in the crowd. There are weddings I have been a part of that I wish I could photograph forever. Just to name a few, there was Annie and Patrick (who we get to see every year), TJ and Kim (who come and stay with us in Orange Walk), and Courtney and Steve from Australia (whose love was nothing but pure). I photograph people having a good time while simultaneously showcasing a sense of where
PHOTO COURTESY LEONARDO MELENDEZ
they are. Many couples that come to Belize to get married, do so because they have seen our images online. I don’t blame them, you can capture amazing images anywhere in Belize as long as everybody is having a good time, and if you're in Belize, this comes naturally! "There are a few places that can make things grand, and make you feel like you're in the middle of nowhere or, quite literally, on top of the world. These locations add a special magic and inspiration to the day."
When I think of waterfall destination weddings, I’m speciﬁcally thinking of Big Rock and Butterﬂy Falls. These are my personal favorites. It's a hike to get there but once you're there you’re treated to an openness and light that is made for storytelling. Storytelling is a huge part of what we do. It's not just about the classic straight portraits. It’s important to have good documentation of the times and how the day unfolds, it adds so much to the end product.
The interesting thing about the sandbar, west of Ambergris Caye, is that it feels like you're in the middle of the ocean. While that can be a daunting feeling to some, mostly it’s awe-inspiring to walk on the sandbank and look out into the watery turquoise vastness.
There's always a sense of greater purpose when you're standing on a temple saying your vows to each other. After the ceremony, you get to explore the temple while your photographer captures artistic masterpieces along the way. My favorite temple to shoot is Xunantunich. Getting to the top is unlike any other experience in Belize. You get to feel what it was like to be a Mayan ruler, overlooking the jungle canopy that stretches for miles. "In short, I have the best seat in the house when I’m shooting a wedding in Belize. Every wedding is different but the inspiration to see, capture and share love gives a new meaning to living in the moment."
Travel Compass Choosing your Belize Vacation WRITTEN BY: DREA RENEAU
ou might ﬁnd your travel palate hungers for something new from time to time. When the craving for a new adventure hits you, the next thought is most likely, where to next? Luckily, in Belize you can choose from a variety of vacation experiences based on your needs and taste. Not unlike the four cardinal directions of a compass, there are four general directions to take when choosing your Belize vacation. The North and Central Coast, the West, the South and the 7[ٺPWZM+IaM[
?PQTM\PMM`XMZQMVKM[MIKPWVMWٺMZ[KIVQV\MZ[MK\ with the other, each direction has its own allure and charm. Just like narrowing down a ﬂavor proﬁle, choose your direction by asking yourself a few questions like: Do I want adventure or relaxation? Am I looking for something off the beaten track or a tried and true experience? Do I prefer an adrenaline rush surrounded by nature or a cultural immersion?
Still need a nudge in the right direction? Look no further, we’ve broken down how you can spend your time in Belize no matter what district you're visiting!
CO R OZ A L D I ST R I C T
Visit Corozal Town Hall + Corozal House of Culture Take in the view of The Corozal Bay Explore Archeological Sites - Cerros and Santa Rita Go birding at Shipstern Conservation and Management Area Take a day trip to Sarteneja Shop at the Local Market Visit the Corozal Museum Shop at Art in the Park in Central Park (a monthly event) CARIBBEANLIFESTYLE.COM
O R A N G E WA L K
Enjoy birding at Rio Bravo Cruise the New River Lagoon on a Boat Tour Explore the Archeological Sites of El Pilar, La Milpa, Lamanai and Cuello Visit Banquitas House of Culture Swim and have a picnic at the Honey Camp Lagoon Try the famous Orange Walk tacos for breakfast Visit Shipyard Mennonite Village
Explore the Archeological Site of Altun Ha Take the Old Belize Historical Tour Visit the Museum of Belize Visit St. John’s Cathedral, the oldest church in Belize Learn about and taste local rum at Travellers Heritage Rum Museum Go on a Wildlife Cruise on the Belize River Sightsee and take pictures at Baron Bliss Lighthouse and the Belize Sign Visit the Belize Zoo Take the Birding and Boat Cruise at Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary
O F F S H O R E C AY E S / B E L I Z E B A R R I E R R E E F Try the famous Lizard Juice at the Split in Caye Caulker Explore Caye Caulker and San Pedro on golf cart or bike Savor the view of the Caribbean Sea on a Sunset Cruise Island hop between San Pedro and Caye Caulker View the Great Blue Hole from above with Maya Island Air Take a day trip to dive and snorkel the Great Blue Hole Spot the Red-Footed Booby at the Lighthouse Reef Atoll and Half Moon Caye National Monument Try your hand at Deep Sea or Fly-Fishing Snorkel at The Elbow at Turneffe Atoll, South Water Caye, Gladden Spit, Silk Cayes, Hol Chan, Mexico Rocks, Bacalar Chico and the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve
S TA N N C R E E K
Take a day trip to Offshore Islands – Silk Cayes and Laughing Bird National Park Explore Hopkins Village and Placencia Village on bike Shop along the Placencia Sidewalk Enjoy Beachfront Walks Take the 'Bunches of Fun' Banana Farm Tour Go birding in Sittee River Relax on the Monkey River Boat Ride Dive at Silk Caye and South Water Caye Marine Reserve Visit Gulisi Garifuna Museum Kayak Glover’s Reef Atoll Jungle Hike, Zip-line and Waterfall Rappel at Mayﬂower Bocawina National Park Hike Victoria Peak
TO L E D O
Explore the Archeological Sites of Nim Li Punit at Lubaantun Learn to play the drums at Warasa Garifuna Drum School Explore Hokeb Ha , Laguna and Tiger Cave in Blue Creek. Swim at Rio Blanco National Park Stay overnight at a Maya Village Home Stay Book an Organic Chocolate Making Tour Visit the Offshore Islands of Sapodilla Caye and Snake Caye Visit the Spice Farm and experience the Botanical Gardens Walking Tour Enjoy Garifuna Cuisine Shop at the Punta Gorda Market Have fun as you kayak on the Moho River
C AY O D I S T R I C T Swim at Big Rock Falls and Rio On Pools in The Mountain Pine Ridge
Ride on horseback to Xunantunich Visit Archaeological Sites – Cahal Pech, Xunantunich and Caracol Canoe inside Barton Creek Cave Experience caving at Actun Tunichil Muknal Explore Chiquibul National Park Shop at San Ignacio's Saturday Market Swim at St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park Take in the view at Thousand Foot Falls in the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve Hike, Trek and Bird in the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve Interact with Green Iguanas at the Green Iguana Conservation Project at the San Ignacio Resort Jungle Trek to the Crystal Cave at the Blue Hole National Park Explore the Río Frío Caves Cave Tube and Zip-line around Jaguar Paw
Where will your travel compass take you in Belize?
There is so much fun to be had in the process of picking, but YOU could also choose to go everywhere.
Why limit your wanderlust? TAG #CCLTRAVELER ON FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM TO GET FEATURED ON OUR ACCOUNTS
FOLLOW US @CARIBBEAN.LIFESTYLE 11
WRITTEN N BY: BELIZE TOURISM BOARD PHOTOSS COURTESY JOSE LUIS ZAPATA
omance is the expressive and generally congenial feeling emanating ng from an emotional attraction towards another person. It normally involves a great sensation of excitement and mystery. What better way to enjoy that feeling than in the company of that “special someone” in an exotic, tropical paradise – BELIZE. Like the country, the activities are so exceptional and diverse. Deemed the heartland of the ancient Maya civilization, Belize is the home of the largest Barrier Reef in the Western Hemisphere. Here, exotic wildlife roams through pristine \ZWXQKIT NWZM[\[ IVL KWWT UW]V\IQV ZQ^MZ[ ÆW_ QV\W \PM turquoise Caribbean Sea. There are many ancient Maya cities, underground caves, ziplining and numerous other inland activities as well as fun-packed water sports on our \ZWXQKITQ[TIVL[)TTWN \PM[MXZW^QLMIUIOVQÅKMV\JIKSLZWX to ensure a magical romantic ambiance or even to plan an unforgettable wedding. The romance travel industry is a niche in bloom in many parts WN \PM _WZTL J]\ QV *MTQbM KW]XTM[ KIV ÅVL ITT \PM XMZNMK\ ingredients to make their romantic fantasy come to life. There are romantic cruises during crimson sunsets, swaying palms along charming and secluded exotic, white sandy beaches, numerous natural trails to hike, and snorkeling in turquoise waters.
Imagine se seeing your ZMÆMK\QWVQV\PM ZMÆMK\QWVQ glistening eeyes of your true ttr rue u llove ove as you pr pronounce those romantic, ti subt subtle bttllee words that only enamored hea hearts understand and letting your souls soar in an enchanted, magical world as you sail through the amazing Belizean sunset. In Belize, all of that and more is possible! After a long day of fun, couples can unwind and pamper themselves with a personalized spa experience, using natural ingredients from the Belizean rainforest, in a laid-back Belizean atmosphere, that will nurture their health and wellbeing leaving them feeling fresh, rejuvenated and splendid both inside and out! To fully recover from the day’s activities with a magic touch, they can enjoy a delicious candlelight dinner under the stars.
The possibilities for romantic activities in Belize are endless! So, if you are planning a romantic and intimate getaway with that very special someone, Belize’s exotic location will make your vacation or special occasion even more memorable. The panoramic views of the turquoise Caribbean Sea, amazing V[M\[ M`W\QK ÆWZI M`KMTTMV\ K]Q[QVM MٺMZ^M[KMV\ K]T\]ZM IVLQV\W`QKI\QVOPW[XQ\ITQ\aITTWٺMZIXQK\]ZMXMZNMK\[M\\QVO that will inspire your heart to say those magical words to your true love at the right moment, in the perfect location. Belize, a Curious Place!
Belize’s Annual Celebration of Patriotic Freedom WRITTEN BY: DREA RENEAU
very year primary school children learn the story of Belize. In social studies class, the details of a 220-year-old battle enthralls youngsters. The story of buccaneers and pirates turned brave Baymen that fought off the Spanish is a most thrilling one, marred only by the memorization of dates for the ever-elusive pop quiz. Those early European settlers of the bay were our forefathers and established the colony that has evolved into Belize today. It may be an understatement to say but September in Belize is a big deal and rightly so.
There are two holidays celebrated in September, The Battle of St. George’s Caye and Independence Day. On September 10th, 1798, the ﬁnal battle between the Baymen and the Spanish ended. While the battle was short, lasting from the 3rd to the 10th, it was a monumental win for the Baymen. Despite signiﬁcant obstacles, they came together and defeated the Spanish. This pivotal event in Belizean history gained the Baymen their territory and freedom by conquest. 14
The colony was hence established following self government and ultimately independence from Britain on September 21st, 1981.
If you ﬁnd yourself in Belize during this month the ﬁrst thing you’ll notice are all the ﬂags. Red, blue and white string pendants seem to appear overnight and decorate every corner of the city. The Belizean ﬂag gleefully waves at you from all directions – on cars, from lampposts, and in homes and businesses. Uniformed students gather after class to practice their road march formations while the sound of marching bands running their drills resounds into the evenings. The preparation for the fanfare goes further, as Carnival season opens three months before it takes over city streets. Junior and Senior Mas bands practice choreographed dances and costume makers carefully add ﬁnishing touches to their elaborate creations. The National Celebrations Comission organizes many events for the month that include the September Celebrations "Theme" Competition, Song Competition, and The Flag Raising CARIBBEANLIFESTYLE.COM
Ceremony, among others. Then, there are all the concerts and fĂŞtes. There is so much to do in September that, you may want to make an itinerary to ensure you donâ€™t miss out on anything. However, one event you surely canâ€™t leave off of your must-do list in September is
P This tradition that started in the seventies by a group of spirited women called The Belize Women for Cultural Preservation has turned into a national sensation and has spread outside the city to Orange Walk and San Pedro Town. With inďŹ‚uence from the Caribbean, Carnival has evolved and includes many events that lead up to the road march like Mas Camp, the King and Queen competition and Jâ€™ouvert. On Carnival day, thousands of onlookers dance to soca and dancehall music as Mas bands parade down the street with carefully - designed segments showing off months of preparation and practice to judges. It is a colorful sea of revelry and debauchery in which people of all ages and walks of life participate in.
simple answer is unity. Like the Baymen did two centuries ago, settlers and slaves came together under one cause and won. Carnival and all the other jubilant September events create a sense of unity in Belize. It is a time during which Belizeans, despite their many differences, rejoice in the celebration of love for their country.
PHOTO COURTESY ANDREW USHER
From the Flag Raising Ceremony, to the Carnival Road March and the crowning of Miss Queen of the Bay, the entire month of September is a celebration of what the Baymen and later political heroes fought for centuries ago: -freedom-
* PP 8th Carnival Road March Belize City, Belize District
22nd Orange Walk Carnival Orange Walk District
You may be wondering what all the ostentation has to do with historical events? The CARIBBEANLIFESTYLE.COM
0 ÂŠ WRITTEN BY: LOUISE ROE PHOTO COURTESY MONICA GALLARDO
SAILS UP, ROPES IN, FRIENDS AND FAMILY ABOARDâ€Ś.AND WEâ€™RE OFF! Belizeâ€™s tropical weather, stunning shores, clear waters, and charming anchorage make it a perfect sailing destination. Throw in easterly winds blowing at an average of 15 to 20 knots along with the unspoiled atolls and cayes dotting the seascape along the coast, and itâ€™s smooth sailing all the way.
PHOTO COURTESY LEONARDO MELENDEZ
Itâ€™s the sailorâ€™s life for you in Belize. While it may not be the most conventional way of seeing a country, it is certainly one of the most fabulous. You can cruise at your own speed, set your own route; itâ€™s all up to you! Sunset and sunrise are your personal markers of time. Rise at the crack of dawn and enjoy the sunrise before going for a morning dip. Spend your days basking in Belizeâ€™s sub-tropical heat, relaxing and taking in the scenery. More than 180 miles long, the Belize Barrier Reef is your constant companion as you head due South. The Maya Mountains on the horizon make for a breathtaking panorama. Be sure to keep your eyes open for dolphins and manatees along the way!
PHOTO COURTESY LOUISE ROE
The best part of sailing is that you can stop for a swim or snorkel whenever you please. Belize is home to over 300 species of ďŹ sh and 100 soft and hard coral species.On your snorkeling encounter you are bound to see vibrant, lively ďŹ sh and colorful corals along with possible sightings of sharks, rays, and loggerheaded turtles, making for an exhilarating encounter. Sailing in Belizeâ€™s waters can be experienced aboard your own vessel or on a rented vessel from many local boat charters. If you would like to sit back and relax, book yourself on a guided tour or hire a skipper to join your crew. The local skippers and guides know the coastline like the back of their hand and will be able to guide you to some of the most spectacular shores and hidden gems among Belize's impressive archipelago.
So what are you waiting for? Letâ€™s set sail in Belize.
PHOTO COURTESY MONICA GALLARDO
17 1 7
Season to Table WRITTEN BY: SEAN KUYLEN
s the seasons change, so do the ﬁshing practices for catching and consuming seafood such as the queen conch, spiny lobster and grouper. In Belize, the Sea to Table terminology and movement is not a marketing tool, but simply a way of life. Here, the seafood ‘brand’ is the Barrier Reef and its produce comes to you without a bar code, guaranteed to be wild caught and fresh, as there is simply no other option! Home cooks, chefs and restaurants have the unique opportunity to truthfully advertise ‘catch of the day’ and ‘seasonal’ on their menus. Servers unapologetically tell diners “sorry, we don’t have this menu option today” because it either didn’t come in that morning or it is currently out of season. For some it may be hard to adapt to the ‘go slow’ pace of life and commerce in Belize. The longing for the luxury of online purchasing where one can order conch, for example, and
have it delivered to your door packed in a can (yes, canned!) stamped with a brand & bar code, vacuum - sealed, frozen and preserved with sodium & dry ice can be great. In Belize, however, our luxury comes from the fact that the sea dictates the offering on the table. In fact, purchasing fresh seafood direct from the ﬁsherperson is a common commodity. Even those that don’t live in coastal areas and islands need only make a short trip to the nearest market to purchase a fresh catch. In a fast-paced world, the chef and restaurateur would normally be irate to not have their produce on a consistent basis. This however is not the case here; our seafood is almost like a pleasant surprise. You never know what the sea will offer you on any given day. In Belize we cook with ﬂavor and robust seasonings, all according to what is in season. In October, Queen Conch is back in season.
This easy recipe would be a hit at any dinner party.
RO T E C T E D SPECIES S E A S ON S
NASSAU GROUPER Close December 1 Open April 1 WHELKS Close January 2 Open September 30 SPINY LOBSTER Close February 15 Open June 15 CONCH SEASON Close July 1 Open October 1
Conch Ceviche Recipe INGREDIENTS
Conch Lime juice Tomato, diced Red onion, julienne Cilantro, chopped Habanero Salt Black pepper Corn tortilla chips Belikin Beer
1 pound 1 cup 8 ounces 1 large 3 ounces to taste to taste to taste 1 bag as needed
Clean and dice the conch and marinate in the lime juice. Prepare the tomato, onion, cilantro and add to the conch. Season to taste and add the freshly diced habanero pepper. Keep in refrigerator for 1 hour before enjoying with corn chips and cold beer. Best enjoyed with friends!
:DQWWRFíNOLNHDORFò" THE COOKBOOK
ecognized internationally lly as the world’s ﬁrst jaguarr preserve, the 128,000 protected acres of Cockscomb Basin Wildlife life Sanctuary is a short 30-minute drive northwest from Placencia in Southern Belize. An expanse of biodiversity, the reserve is a safee haven for all of Belize’s wild catss including Puma, Ocelot, Margay, y, Jaguar and Jaguarundi. These majestic creatures are a marvel to behold d in their natural habitat. Though your goal may be to spot ot a Jaguar, the verdant blanket of Cohune and Ceiba trees that ﬁll the broad-leaf tropical pical forest, with oversized ferns and viness lining the 118 combined kilometres of jungle ngle trails are breathtaking. Throughout thee day you’re treated to the resonating soundtrack ndtrack of the snaps of the White-Collared Manakin, the guttural roars of the Black Howler er Monkey, and futuristic notes of the Montezuma ma Oropendola. In the sanctuary you’ll ﬁnd signs of feline activity everywhere. Scats on trails and paw prints in the mud are recorded almost daily. At the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary you are immersed deep into the world of these wild cats. Who knows? You might be lucky enough to experience a close encounter.
WHEN IN THE COCKSCOMB, DO AS THE JAGUARS DO
When in Cockscomb, do as the jaguars do and prowl the grounds at night. The Sanctuary offers camping facilities, cabins, and night tours for those interested in catching a glimpse of the nocturnal cats in the wild. At daybreak you may be greeted with a ﬂurry of color from Keel-Billed Toucans gliding through the air, or a troop of pig-like Peccaries, and yes, even that coveted Jaguar encounter! During the day, trek to one of three waterfalls within the Basin for a refreshing picnic, or head to the lookout of Ben’s Bluff for an expansive view of the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary and Victoria Peak. During the rainy season, drift downstream at your leisure on a river tubing excursion and take in the highlights of the South Stann Creek River. Whatever you end up doing, your visit to Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary helps support the healthiest jaguar density in Mesoamerica!
WRITTEN BY: CAROLEE CHANONA BELIZE AUDUBON SOCIETY
With panoramic views, hundreds of species of birds and home to all ﬁve species of Belize’s wild cats, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is an unforgettable adventure.
For more information, visit us at www.belizeaudubon.org
XUNANTUNICH WRITTEN BY G. MICHAEL BOWEN
out over the Mopan River Valley, stands Xunantunich, one of Belize’s most beautiful and mysterious ancient Maya Sites. The site’s modern name, pronounced zoo-nan-tun-ich, means ‘stone woman’, and references a local legend of a ghostly belle adorned in white, scaling the steps of El Castillo before disappearing into the stone face at the top. El Castillo, the most prominent structure at Xunantunich, towers over the central plaza, and faces the North. This structure is known best for the exquisite stucco friezes ﬂanking its east and west sides. The glyphs represented there are known to symbolize the sun, the moon and Venus; three celestial bodies that play major roles in the cosmology of the ancient Maya. All visible with the naked eye, the movements of these bodies were understood and charted by the ancient Maya with patent precision. The Dresdin Codex, an ancient scripture of Mayan origin, details the positions of Venus over a period exceeding 100 years. The importance of the cycles of the
Structures of Many Stories Clues into the Mystery of the Maiden of the Rock
stars and planets were paramount to the ancient Maya, and this is portrayed in their building practices. Xunantunich is one of many Maya sites, which contains a fascinating building style, known among researchers as an E-Group. Structures were built in a row of three along a north-south axis, with another facing them from a distance. From this fourth structure, often set in the west, one can watch as the sun rises directly over the central structure at the equinox, or over one of the outer structures during the summer and winter solstices. The ancient Maya celebrated this east/ west alignment as it represented life, death and rebirth. In classic Mayan creation myth, a young goddess falls in love with a hunter - the Sun - without the approval of her father. Furiously, her father orders her to be killed. She is soon reborn as the Moon, but cast opposite the Sun, to rule the night. Each lovers’ eternal search for the other is the cause for the recurring day and night. In other versions of the story, the goddess is magically impregnated and gives birth to feathered serpent twins. The
twins PHOTOS COURTESY are seen LEONARDO MELENDEZ in the sky as the morning star and evening star, both Venus at different times of the year. In Mayan art, this moon goddess takes on many forms and is often linked with the Mayan goddess Ix Chel, weaver of the universe. Her name means Lady Rainbow, and she is also associated with the strength of young motherhood and the color white. In another light, she is cast in red as Chac Chel, the wise and experienced crone who is depicted pouring water. She symbolizes the cleansing of old, to make way for the new. Could it be, the lady at El Castillo, with her white ﬂowing garments and glowing red eyes has something to do with this story of the maiden, adrift in search of her glittering prince? The only way any of us could truly know, would be to go to Xunantunich and ask the spirit herself… that is, if you are willing to ask and she is willing to answer. CARIBBEANLIFESTYLE.COM
Who is Ix Chel? The Mayan goddess of fertility,abundance and healing, weaver of the universe. She is responsible for the tiding waters of the earth, and is therefore associated with the moon. Her colors are pure white and rainbow. The snake on her head symbolizes rebirth, and the plant in her hand is an offering of medicine.
Tracking Venus From the perspective of earth, Venus tracks a beautiful five petaled flower pattern in the sky over 40 years. Every 8 years, the planet completes one of its 5 petals. This harmony of the numbers 5 and 8 is significant. When these numbers are divided, the result approximates the golden ratio...
Solstices + Equinoxes Fall Equinox Ð September 23, 2018 Winter Solstice Ð December 21, 2018 Spring Equinox Ð March 20, 2019 Summer Solstice Ð June 21, 2019
Ancient Mayan Glyphs
Kin = Sun Masculine, Fire Air, Heat, Light Strength, Day
Muluc = Moon
Lamat = Venus
Feminine, Water Earth, Cool, Dark Adaptable, Night
Changing, Morning + Evening Star. Unconditional love, War, Sacrifice
* Ancient Mayans used many glyphs to represent similar ideas. These are a few simple and common ones.
Could this be why the ancient Mayans paid such close attention to this light in the night sky?
Solar Alignment * The ancient Mayans t r a c ke d the movement of the sun throughout the year. The buildings highlighted here acted as a solar calendar.
When viewed from the western temple , the sun rises directly over one of the three eastern temples at the solstices and equinoxes.
A FISHERMAN’S TALE Preserving the lure of
development surrounded by polluted and ﬁshless waters? Harmful ﬁshing practices such as the use of gillnets and harvesting undersized lobster and conch also need to be addressed to maintain healthy stocks of both ﬁn ﬁsh and shellﬁsh.
Whether you ﬁsh for a living or just ﬁsh for fun, every ﬁsherman plays a vital role WRITTEN BY: ANDREW ROE in the preservation of ﬁsh stocks and the BELIZE GAME FISH ASSOCIATION environment they live in. Understanding that we can't remove every ﬁsh from the or most people who grew up ﬁshing in Belize, whether it be for recreation sea today if we want to be able to catch or to sustain their livelihood, ﬁshing is a way of life. It is a culture, an them tomorrow is plain common sense. activity that is shared by people of all walks of life. With such a We the ﬁshermen need to be vocal diverse ﬁshery, most of us grow up ﬁshing a little bit of everything, about protecting the incredible never getting bored with the numerous species we are lucky to ﬁshery we've inherited and have swimming near and far from shore. stand-up together. We are all If you’ve visited Belize, you will have quickly realized we're connected, every species, lacking in infrastructure. This is not necessarily a bad thing, every ecosystem, every but it does mean as children we had to come up with our decision we make ripples own after school activities which often was, you guessed and affects everyone and it - going ﬁshing. everything. It is up to us to make a difference. When We ﬁshed for whatever was biting! In the spring when the PHOTO COURTESY we see potentially damaging Tarpon moved into the Belize River, we would rush home LEONARDO MELENDEZ activities taking place it is our at 3 o'clock, grabbing ﬂy rods and setting chase after some duty to put a stop to it. of the 100+ pounders that would show up. We'd pass the dog days of summer spearﬁshing on the reefs or throwing crabs at The future of the sport, and permit. Every now and again the opportunity to ﬁsh offshore further, the integrity of would arise and the hunt for Belize's elusive Blue Marlin the environment is in our would be on! hands. The comradery
Sports Fishing in Belize
It’s no secret Belize is certainly a top notch ﬁshing destination. The variety of ﬁshing that we have to offer and the numbers of chances you can get per day at some of the most difficult catches can only be matched in a few other places in the world. It isn’t just the sport that calls you to the water time and time again. Over the years I have witnessed some amazing sights. 25-foot Whale Sharks feeding amongst schools of Tuna, massive Bull Sharks in hot pursuit of Spotted Eagle Rays on the reef in less than 2 feet of water, and pods of Whales basking on the surface, so close you could touch them, are all memories engrained in my mind.
and great friendships that I have made over the years with people who enjoy the sport just as much as I do, give me hope. As a community we are responsible for preserving the privilege of the sport for generations to come.
If we come together now and make ourselves responsible for the future of our waters, the perfect ﬁshing trip will The waters of Belize are a treasure trove and must be still be possible years from regarded with profound respect. Sustainably managing now. I for one envision our resources is the key to making sure sport ﬁshing in enjoying a morning of ﬂats Belize remains a viable industry and pastime. As the ﬁshing for Tarpon, Permit country continues to grow and develop, we run the risk of and Boneﬁsh well into my destroying the natural habitats important to maintaining senior years. After releasing a a healthy ﬁsh population. In order for juvenile ﬁsh to grow, PHOTO COURTESY Grand Slam, heading offshore they need the safety of shallow mangroves for protection. They TRES PESCADOS FLY SHOP in search of Blue Marlin, Wahoo can then move into the ﬂats and reefs once they've gotten bigger and Dorado will still be on the agenda. which is where we sport ﬁshermen tend to target them. This is why Back on shore, a few ﬁllets on the grill, some developers need to be responsible and refrain from cutting down mangroves lobster on the side and of course a few to then ﬁll them up to put their hotels or condominiums. We need to strike a Belikin beers to wash it all down will cap off balance between development and conservation. What good is a world-class the perfect day at sea.
BETTER OFF ALIVE – GET THE FACTS. HOW GILL NETS AFFECT THE FISHING INDUSTRY
Belize’s blanket of sand ﬂats, seagrass meadows, mangroves and river mouths nurture the so-called “Grand Slam” of ﬂats ﬁshing: Tarpon, Permit and Boneﬁsh. These species, famed for their speed and acrobatics, can inspire anglers to travel great distances and empty their wallets for gear, guides and lodging — a big boon in a country where 35 percent of jobs depend on tourism.
are licensed to do so. Another major concern is the illegal and destructive gill-netters from Guatemala that ﬁsh in Belizean waters. The large-scale damage gill nets pose on Belize’s ecosystems does not match how many active gill-netters there are: one hundred and sixty-nine (169) Belizeans are licensed to use a gill net, out of 2,716 licensed commercial ﬁshermen in Belize.
Andrew Roe, president of the Belize Game Fish Association, remarks that “The value of that ﬁsh being alive and swimming around in the ocean, far exceeds what it would be worth if it were dead.”
Since 1997, many players in Belize’s ﬁshing sector have petitioned the government to ban these nets. Oceana is currently calling for a gradual phase-out, with the aim of facilitating the transition of gill-netters to cleaner gear or even alternative livelihoods like learning how to tour guide or grow seaweed.
Each year, visiting anglers spend roughly US$41.3 million to catch the prized game ﬁsh that swim through Belize’s inshore waters. The country’s sports ﬁshing industry is in danger. Fishermen who deploy gill nets (6% of licensed commercial ﬁshers) are using a destructive form of netting that can kill animals from shrimp to sharks to whales. Those gill nets are wiping out the recreational species that are a major lure for tourists.
Time for a ban Though Belize has good laws regulating gill nets on the books, they’re complicated and plagued by the absence of resources for meaningful enforcement. Illegal ﬁshing is rampant. Roe estimates two to three times more Belizeans use gill nets than
In February, the Ministry of Fisheries announced the appointment of a task force to address the use of gill nets in Belizean waters; a complete ban is on the table. “A ban on gill nets would mean one less thing for the Coast Guard and other enforcement agencies to worry about,” Jacinta Gomez Outreach Director of Oceana Belize said. If you see the use of this harmful ﬁshing practice, please do not hesitate to report it to the Belize Fisheries Department at telephone numbers 501-203-2623 or 501-224-4554. For more information about sustainable fishing practices in Belize visit: www.fisheries.gov.bz
FISHING FOR A FUTURE 23
Sport ﬁshing is a 100-million-dollar industry in Belize. Anglers come from all over the world to try to snag Grand Slam bragging rights by landing Permit, Tarpon and Boneﬁsh in one CARIBBEANLIFESTYLE.COM day. Belize is one of the only countries in the world that has banned all forms of trawling, but other destructive and indiscriminate ﬁshing gear like gill nets are still compromising sport ﬁshing species. Let’s keep ﬁshers ﬁshing by promoting the use of sustainable ﬁshing gear.
Keep your Eye On The Peninsula Booming Business in Southern Belize’s Tourism Industry
WRITTEN BY: LAURA AND DAVE DIFFENDAL – CARIBBEAN BEACH CABANAS FRIK DE MEYERE – BORIS MANNSFELD AND ASSOCIATES REAL ESTATE PHOTO CREDIT BENEDICT KIM, ESOTERIC VISION PHOTOGRAPHY
everal years ago, Placencia, Belize, was considered a remote ﬁshing village; abundant with natural beauty and resources, but relatively hard to get to. Thankfully in recent years it is easier to reach and is fast becoming much less of a secret! Placencia is a peninsula, approximately 14-miles long, in southern Belize. Anyone who has had the pleasure of driving down the Hummingbird Highway into the village, will have driven down a gorgeous highway with mountains and tropical forests. Rustic Mayan villages dot the landscape, before you enter the northern part of the peninsula, parts of which are barely wider than the one road that leads to its southern tip! As you enter, you’ll perhaps notice a resemblance to the natural and open landscape of South Carolina. You soon enter what looks like 1940’s Florida in Maya Beach, with several highly-rated resorts, and many hand-painted signs and rustic wooden guesthouses. Further along you reach the Garifuna Village of Seine Bight, where you will ﬁnd amazing local food, drumming, and an authentic Central American/Caribbean village. At the southern tip of this peninsula – where the paved road was only built in 2011 - you will enter Placencia Village. Placencia has been getting an amazing amount of press world-wide, especially considering it is home to just 1,500 residents. The amount of repeat visitors, and the explosion of new homes and hotels, is a result of several factors.
Unlike all-inclusive resort cities that line Mexico and the US, where guests tend to stay in the conﬁnes of their resort, the village IS the experience. Locals, tourists, and expats (along with the beach dogs!) all hang out together, and it is a very playful, warm, and friendly experience. Placencia is known to have far more than its share of world-class dining, along with exceptional and affordable local dining options. The pier at the very tip has ﬁshermen who come in with their local catches daily, and farmer’s markets can be found throughout the village. There are only two roads in the village - the famous, pedestrian-only Placencia sidewalk, which takes you from north of the village to the pier, and the slow crawling main street where bikes, exotic trucks and golf carts line up for the slow crawl through the village. On the famous sidewalk, you will ﬁnd one Caribbean-colored wood house after another, with shops, ice cream stands, and beach bars dotting the shore. Main street on the other hand is a bustling Central American village with small shops and restaurants. As far as your eye can see, throughout the peninsula, you are surrounded by the sparkling Caribbean Sea, palm trees, exotic birds and ﬂowers, and everything from wood shacks on stilts, to luxury homes. Add to this, the unique excursions available from Placencia, including private islands, world-class snorkeling and diving, Monkey River, Cockscomb, and many more – you’ll ﬁnd there is
plenty to do both in and from Placencia.
Recently, Placencia has been gaining momentum more than ever with major up and coming resorts opening on the peninsula. Naïa Resort and Spa and Itz’ana are bringing national attention to the area. Within the village, there are several small boutique resorts popping up, giving travelers more options within walking distance to the village where the lodging used to be mostly rustic cabins, now there are luxury accommodations, with more on the way. Several airlines have increased their Belize offerings, and where low season ﬂights used to be half full - now there is a need for additional routes because the ﬂights are ﬁlled year-round. Ms Laura Diffendal, a Placencia business owner stated, “When we began our experience a little over three years ago, Placencia was quite different even then. We had a vision to create a small boutique micro resort, as we saw this was a niche not ﬁlled within the village. There are many amazing dining options walking distance to our place, but not many commensurate lodgings. We started with three rustic cabanas and slowly built our half-acre on the sea into six luxurious beachfront options. We added touches that luxury travelers look for - clean, raked beach, pool, private verandas, luxury robes, towels, and linens,
complimentary kayaks, bikes, paddleboards...numerous small boutique touches that add to the experience for our guests. We are thrilled to see that over the next year, there will be a few other boutique resorts opening within the village.”
You can see our ﬁnal result at: www.caribbeanbeachcabanas.com
There is still a vast array of opportunities within the village, and the village is still in need of many more highend vacation experience options - there is a rising tide and a sense of teamwork in the village that has made it a wonderful experience to be a business owner here. Mr Frik De Meyere from Boris Mannsfeld and Associates Real Estate conﬁrms: “If you look at the cost of real estate, land, or businesses for sale here, compared to other places in the Caribbean, there are still remarkable opportunities to be had that you will not ﬁnd elsewhere. So there is no better time to invest than now. Belize is at the point of no return!”
You can ﬁnd opportunities at www.RealEstatePlacencia.com
%ÂĽ & Lost in Love at Coco Plum Island Resort WRITTEN BY: KIMBERLY CASTILLO PHOTO COURTESY COCOPLUM ISLAND RESORT
here are very few pleasures in life that measure up to the euphoria of newlywed bliss. After all, what is a honeymoon but a time of seclusion only to be spent with your signiďŹ cant other? It is often said that the wedding is for the guests and the honeymoon is for the couple. If this is true, then ďŹ nding yourself sunbathing atop the glistening Caribbean Sea on a private island located only ďŹ ve miles from the Belize Barrier Reef seems like a fair trade after potentially stressful nuptials. Everything you need to unplug, unwind and connect on your honeymoon is at your disposal at Coco Plum Island Resort. Accessible only by boat, this private island oasis allows for no more than 42 guests at a time so you can be sure you and your loved one will have plenty of space to enjoy the intimacy of a private island honeymoon. Crystal clear shallow waters surrounding the island are perfect for snorkeling, kayaking, ďŹ‚y-ďŹ shing and swimming. You can choose to be as relaxed or as adventurous as you wish. Just steps away from the sea, brightly-colored and uniquely named cabanas are purposefully situated in a staggered pattern along the beach to enhance privacy without obstructing the views. The island is yours to revel in! Thereâ€™s no need to wait in long lines or wake up early to reserve a spot on a crowded beach, instead Coco Plum Island provides a uniquely intimate setting. Enjoy your catch-of-the
day dinner under starlit nights on overwater docks; wake up to breakfast in bed with blissful sunrises viewed right from the balcony of your private cabana. Spend your days basking under the Caribbean sun in hammocks or under a thatch roofed palapa. Relax in a beach bed, surrounded by water so clear you can see the sandy bottom - perfectly made for an afternoon siesta. If you worry that you might go stir crazy on a quiet private island. No need to! You can expect personalized service and friendly guides to coordinate a variety of jungle and sea adventures creating the perfect honeymoon itinerary. Several tours and activities are complimentary such as snorkeling along the second largest coral reef in the world and hiking to the top of ancient Mayan Ruins in Belizeâ€™s lush tropical jungle. Want to surprise your new partner on your romantic honeymoon? Get PADI certiďŹ ed to check scuba diving off your bucket list. Then use your newfound skills to explore the underwater world - diving alongside gliding sea turtles and friendly nurse sharks in the top-rated dive destinations in the world. Alternatively, take the more relaxing route and treat your loved one to a sunset cruise or couples massage in the Serenity Spa. Go off grid and escape to your very own private island for your honeymoon. Unwind with hypnotizing views of the breathtakingly blue waters of the Caribbean and lose yourself in the bliss of love. CARIBBEANLIFESTYLE.COM
OFF THE BEATEN PATH
The Cascading Beauty of Mountain Pine Ridge PHOTO COURTESY HIDDEN VALLEY INN
WRITTEN BY: LOUISE ROE
Of all the roads you take, some should be dirt. The Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, is full of roads and natural trails that are deﬁnitely off the beaten path. These rich red clay pathways lead you through a spectacular landscape riddled with awe-inspiring waterfalls. Granite hillsides ﬁlled with pristine ravines, rivers, natural pools, picturesque streams and majestic cascades, are found amongst a carpet of pine trees that have stood the test of time. Established in 1944, The Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve covers an area of approximately 300 miles and is the oldest and largest protected forest in the country. Tucked away in the Maya Mountains, it is roughly a 3-hour drive from Belize City and its remote location makes for an intimate and unspoiled experience. Though you may be a distance away from civilization, the accommodations in this reserve can be luxurious. At Hidden Valley Inn, your stay becomes even more exclusive and charming as the property is situated on a 7,000-acre private reserve. It is a natural sanctuary, where serenity and a taste for adventure go hand-in-hand.
Waterfalls are impressive natural structures, that exemplify the beauty of nature. If you ﬁnd yourself unsure of where to go next, try these: 1000 Foot Falls Embrace the view point and enjoy breathtaking views of the highest waterfall in all of Central America. Rio On Falls and Pools Uncrowded and unspoiled, large ﬂat rocks with fresh water ﬂowing make for the perfect swimming spot. Big Rock Falls Nestled among the forest reserve, this 150-foot waterfall makes for an invigorating and refreshing dip and hang out spot. It requires a short hike, making it a less trafficked fall. After a day of adventure, unwind with a tropical cocktail in hand at Hidden Valley Inn and take in the wondrous scenery as the sun sets on the horizon against the pine forest. A truly magical place, Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve is worth the stray off the beaten path, putting you truly up close with nature.
As the sun rises over the mountain range, and the morning mist glistens on the forest leaves, the chirp and chatter of birds awaken you from your slumber. You are free to choose your private adventure. Spend the day birdwatching, hiking private nature trails, or mountain bike riding the jagged mountainous terrain. After a morning of activity, head over to Butterﬂy Falls for a cozy jungle picnic and enjoy cascading waterfalls all to yourself. As the cool fresh water ﬂows down from 150 feet above, you can re-energize and refresh yourself before your next adventure begins. Explore the ancient world of the Maya with a visit to Caracol, or head on over to other natural pools, streams or waterways in the area.
EYE IN THE SKY: The Caribbean’s most advanced data capture platform to help combat climate change.
he Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, or the
In regards to aiding the fight against climate change, LiDAR
5Cs as more popularly referred to, is embarking on what is
is particularly useful in mapping areas that are vulnerable to
likely to be the most ambitious data capture program in the history
deforestation and the impacts of extreme weather events. The precise
of the Caribbean region. This venture has been made possible
data and information generated by LiDAR is vital to developing
through a partnership with a Belizean forward-looking private
accurate climate prediction models and informing decisions on how
sector entity, Maya Island Air.
these sensitive and vulnerable areas are best managed.
The agreement between the two entities makes all of this possible
However, the demand within the region for LiDAR imagery
with MAYA providing a brand new aircraft on which the LiDAR
is much greater than the region can ever afford. Acquiring and
equipment will be mounted. The newly-acquired LiDAR is
processing LiDAR imagery is costly and, so far, countries in the
owned and operated by the 5Cs. The 5Cs was established by the
region have not been able to find sufficient funds to map even their
Caribbean Community as a regional legal entity for coordinating
most vulnerable areas. Nevertheless, the investment by MAYA
the Caribbean region’s response to climate change.
and 5Cs now puts the acquisition of this data within the reach of all twenty Members and Associate Members of the Caribbean
LiDAR, an acronym for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote
sensing technology, used to capture highly accurate elevation measurements of the earth’s surface. The system, mounted on an
The value of airborne LiDAR bathymetric and topographic
aircraft or on a motor vehicle at ground level, uses a pulsed laser
surveys to the region have also convinced the United States
light to scan the ground and generate precise three-dimensional
Agency for International Development (USAID) to finance the
(3D) information on surface shape and characteristics such as
acquisition of the LiDAR by the 5Cs. The support came through
physical features and buildings.
its Eastern and Southern Caribbean Office (USAID ESC) under its Climate Change Adaptation Program (CCAP) currently being
LiDAR is capable of simultaneously gathering both topographic and bathymetric data. This offers economies of scale, greater efficiency and precision in collecting spatial data and maps of large areas in a short time period. In addition, the data collected is highresolution data, making it useful for producing high quality maps and images.
implemented by the 5Cs. This development has also caught the eye of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of Italy who have provided further financial support needed by the 5Cs to conduct the surveys. Maya Island Air and the Centre are in ground-breaking territory in this vitally important venture, one that will reap important and life changing benefits for all the countries of the Caribbean.
THE SECRET TO VACATIONING IN THE TROPICS` WRITTEN BY: CLARA DOBSON PHOTO COURTESY: MONICA GALLARDO
The high summer months and the start of fall in the Caribbean have long been touted as ‘low season’ or ‘rainy season’. For this reason, you’d be well within your rights to think that it isn’t an ideal time to pack your bags and take a vacation…but what if you’re missing out? CC+L spills the beans on a surprisingly great time to pay a visit to the Caribbean... 30
here’s something special about the Caribbean no matter when you go, but what if a little-known secret was that one of the calmest times to go was the so-called low season? Imagine this; the kids are back at school so families with children aren't traveling, and the cautious are tucked away for fear of a hurricane that is relatively unlikely to happen. In addition, resorts and hotels are still forcefully trapped in the tradition of having to offer low rates - sometimes as low as 40% off high season rates - due to lower numbers of travelers. The result? A perfectly priced, quiet vacation period that you really should be taking advantage of! One of the big draws to the Caribbean is its beautiful waters, made even more beautiful by the warmth they receive over the summer. By fall the water has spent all summer basking in sunshine, meaning your dip in the ocean just got a whole lot more enjoyable. Although diving visibility may not be at its peak in the fall, there are still great options for diving in places like the ABC islands in the southernmost part of the Caribbean. Well-known for sitting just outside of the standard hurricane belt, the ABC islands consist of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao. Generally, these locations have less winds during the fall, meaning that visibility is still considered generally good for diving.
Another great beneﬁt of traveling throughout this ‘low’ period is that you will be likely to experience a more local ﬂavor. With tourists at a minimum, you’ll have more opportunity to mingle with locals and observe a more genuine experience. Pick a smaller resort or hotel owned or run by locals and they will easily be able to tell you the best things to do.
PHOTO COURTESY:LOUISE ROE
It isn’t out of the question to see Turtle nesting and hatching throughout the fall. Belize is home to the Green, Hawksbill and Loggerhead turtles, who venture to well protected marine reserves such as Half Moon Caye to nest. In Jamaica there are guided turtle hatching tours throughout the months of August and September, likewise for islands such as Dominica and Tobago. If you ﬁnd yourself wanting to experience such a sight, it’s always worth going with a reputable tour company who knows how to let you see the most, while keeping the turtles safe from any harm. For the food lovers, you may ﬁnd low season does have some limitations as local restaurants may close down for a while to get through the slower months. If you’re wanting to explore anywhere speciﬁc in terms of food offerings it’s always worth checking in advance that they will be open. Despite that, there are still options for foodies – in particular St Lucia and Nevis, who both have some excellent food festivals that take place in October. Last but not least, if parties and celebrations are your thing then Belize can be the perfect vacation spot for fall. With Independence Day and St George’s Caye Day both taking place in September, you are literally visiting the country during its own personal birthday celebrations!
So, what are you waiting for? Pick your Caribbean destination and get ready to FALL in love with the tropics!
WRITTEN BY: JOLIE POLLARD - PLACENCIA BREEZE
Out in the calm Placencia seas I’ve known since childhood, I pop up like a manatee for a deep breath and a view that never gets old during my early morning swim. I can see the entire stretch of golden sandy beach with Tradewinds’ colourful cabanas nestled among coconut trees near the southern tip of the peninsula to the faint sight of Francis Ford Coppola’s thatched beach bar at the Turtle Inn towards the north. A vast blue of sun-glittered water separates me from two miles of glorious coastline set against the silhouette of the Maya Mountains in the distance, and hey, it’s all mine – and all yours – to enjoy. I follow up a meditation-workout combo with a Sunday morning breakfast ritual for many around here at the Maya Beach Bistro. Placencia Village offers several charming spots for a killer Belizean Kriol breakfast complete with fry jacks, refried beans and guava jelly, but the 20-minute drive to Maya Beach is always worth it. An international twist on fresh and local ingredients has me choosing between the shrimp and grits or the eggs “buenadict” where spicy pork green chili kicks up traditional European fare. Since a friend is joining me, a warm homemade cinnamon roll is surely gracing the table for a sweet start to a hearty breakfast. A day’s adventure in Placencia could be intense or relaxing, depending on what you’re up for. Snorkeling escapades with Go Sea Tours will have you marvelling at encounters with Loggerhead Turtles at the picturesque Silk Cayes or with schools of exquisite Blue Tangs that swim among the vibrant corals at Laughing Bird Caye National Park. A cruise aboard Captain Jeff’s Daytripper catamaran with friends just might be more of your speed, as his rum punches are to die for! Circle the many paradisiacal islands that lie just off the Peninsula and bathe in the Caribbean
sun while relishing the salty air and watching the pelicans and sea frigates play above. When the breezy night sets in, a little bar hopping begins on the beach where reggae rhythms play at the Barefoot Beach Bar and friends roar at the big screen inside the Tipsy Tuna during a riveting sports match. If shopping is more your style, ﬁnd potential gift items for friends in the many colourful shops that line our famous sidewalk. After a short stroll down the Placencia Main Street, make a stop at Rumﬁsh y Vino, located along the newly emerging restaurant row, for ﬁzzy cocktails prepared with choice fruits of the season. Of course, seafood in this historically ﬁshing village is a must and with lobster season having opened early June, you can ﬁnally satiate any longings for the prized crustacean prepared in a perfectly executed lobster risotto. As smooth as the gin in your drinks, the saxophone playing at ChaChi’s next door pulls you in on their upper deck for a world-class jazz performance. A premium Belizean Travellers rum marks the nightcap. Monday mornings see me with a hot cup of coffee from Central America’s highlands and toast buttered with locally made jelly at Above Grounds Coffee. A rejuvenating full body massage from Secret Garden’s Lee Nyhus – a woman with magical intuition and 20 years of experience – sets the tone for my work week ahead.
HOME GROWN BY BURGA PATTINSON MATACHICA RESORT & SPA AND GAIA RIVER LODGE
hen I ﬁrst came to Belize many years ago, the country was the epitome of the traditional farm-totable world. Meals were simple and fresh, and with the varied cultural background of the population, local meals never got boring – at least for those of us who weren’t vegetarian! Admittedly, for the curious outsider, some options were pretty exotic and unusual, like stewed Armadillo or Gibnut, or Sere with Hudut. These were just a few dishes you would be hard pressed to ﬁnd on any menu outside of Belize, but cooks made the best use of local produce, ﬂavored with local herbs and spices. If you were brave enough to venture from your comfort zone, you discovered a whole new world of ﬂavors. Everybody I knew in the city had a farm with a caretaker, or knew somebody who did, and food came straight from there to the family table. Fruits like mango, soursop, custard apple, papaya, banana and pineapple, as well as some of the stranger ones like craboo or kinep were available in abundance during their natural season. Imported apples, pears and grapes were reserved for Christmas, as an exotic once-a-year treat. From those early beginnings, Belize has steadily evolved in the most wonderful way into the new world of farm-to-table. It remains the perfect ﬁt not only for the culture, history, dive, and nature enthusiast, but also for the health conscious traveler, interested in a holistic lifestyle with an emphasis on wellness. Properties like Gaia River Lodge or Chaa Creek Lodge have wholeheartedly embraced green living, respecting nature and minimizing the human footprint. This includes harvesting their own crops right on property, and walking freshly-picked goods to their kitchen to be served within minutes to their hungry guests. While traditional dishes remain popular, a new generation of Chefs are embracing non-traditional combinations and preparations to create unique dishes using Belize’s wonderful local seafood, vegetables, locally grown herbs and spices, micro greens and even edible ﬂowers. Pumpkin-Coconut Green Chili Soup or Tequila Fish Tacos, anyone?
Like many nations whose story began with colonialism, Be-
The Revolution of Belize Fashion WRITTEN BY: REBECCA STIRM
lize’s fashion & lifestyle taste greatly reﬂects the country’s less-than-40 years of independence from Great Britain. Our placement in Central America, the tropical inﬂuence of our Caribbean shores and islands, as well as the intricate blend of Mayan, Hispanic, Kriol and Garifuna cultures have given a rich foundation to draw inspiration from. Moving away from North American and European media for fashion and lifestyle inspiration, there is a movement towards authentic Belizean art and by extension fashion. As a developing country we have the opportunity to begin building our creative industry on foundations of sustainability, eco-friendly design, and ethical production methods. The future of fashion in Belize lies in high-quality small-batch production made with natural, locally-sourced and recycled materials. All of this, is combined with the employment and training of skilled local artisans and thoughtful design that incorporates cultural crafts into modern fashion and lifestyle products. CARIBBEANLIFESTYLE.COM
At TWIG & PEARL - This is exactly what I've set out to achieve – the building of a fashion brand that would celebrate the things I love so dearly about Belizean life, while positively impacting the environment around me. Inspiration is taken from the blend of cultures I was raised in; the women that surrounded and empowered me, the daily life in my village and the animals and plants that ﬂourish in our rainforest and sea. I've chosen to build slowly, on foundations of sustainability and honesty. I have created my own production and pattern making methods, sourcing materials locally and keeping production in-house through employment of Belizean women.
hand-embroidery and beading taught by Mayan mothers to their daughters, accessories built on the art of creole ti-tie basket weaving and wood and shell carvings. It’s a beauty that celebrates what nature has given us, instead of destroying it, and a lifestyle where we can ﬁnd balance between the beautiful simplicity of our Amish and the vibrancies and freedom of the Garinagu cultures. The Belizean fashion industry is young but lucky to have designers that are creative and ready for the future - a future that is proud of what makes us look, sound, and feel truly Belizean. Visit twigandpearl.com to shop Belizean made fashion.
I want to create pieces that are beautiful, eco-friendly and practical, while continuing to inspire a uniquely Belizean look and lifestyle. This is a look that incorporates the
2018 At a Glance
Here is what’s happening! Mark your calendar for the most significant events of the year.
KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic – Corozal District Horse Race – Burrell Boom, Belize District
FEBRUARY 6th - 9th th
Carnival de San Pedro – Ambergris Caye (Weekend before AshWednesday)
Semana Santa (Holy Week) – Benque Viejo del Carmen, Cayo District
Easter Monday Horse Races at Burrell Boom Fair – Belize District
Sittee River Easter Monday Fair and Canoe Race – Stann Creek District
Belize Commonwealth Day (Sovereign’s Day Holiday)
San Pedro Lagoon Reef Eco-Challenge – Ambergris Caye
15 Annual Placencia BTIA Sidewalk Arts Festival – Placencia Village, Stann Creek District
La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge – San Ignacio to Belize City
National Heroes and Benefactors Day (Originally Baron Bliss Day)
Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic – Roundtrip Belize City to San Ignacio
MAY 1st 1st - 3rd
San Pedro Lobster Festival – Ambergris Caye
Placencia Lobster Festival – Stann Creek District
Pibil Fest – Progresso, Corozal District
National Agriculture and Trade Show – Belmopan, Cayo District
6th - 8th 9th - 16th
Cashew Festival – Crooked Tree Village, Belize District
Belize Reef Week Countrywide th nd Belize Chocolate 20 - 22 Festival – Punta Gorda, Toledo District
Mango Festival – Hopkins, Stann Creek District
MARCH 4th - 8th
PHOTO COURTESY LEONARDO MELENDEZ
Caye Caulker Lobster Festival
Stann Creek Lion Fish Tournament – Stann Creek, Dangriga
Benque Fiesta –Benque Viejo del Carmen, Cayo District
Fiestarama & Business Expo – Orange Walk District
AUGUST 2nd - 5th
International Costa Maya Festival – San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
Tres Pescados Slam
DECEMBER 5th Mid Dec
Tournament – Ambergris Caye
10th - 12th th
17 - 19
Grand Caribe Belize Deep Sea Classic San Joaquin Fiesta – San Joaquin Village, Corozal District
Holiday Lighted Boat Parade – San Pedro, Ambergris Caye Placencia BTIA 18th Annual Mistletoe Ball – Placencia Village, Stann Creek District Christmas Day Boxing Day
Orange Walk Tourism Expo – Orange Walk
Yamaha Saltwater Fishing Tournament – Placencia, Stann Creek District th Battle of St. George’s Caye – 10 Parades in Belize City and Belmopan th th Expo Belize Marketplace – Belize 15 - 16 City, Belize District
Travellers Liquors Ltd. 2 ½ Miles Philip Goldson Highway, Belize City, Belize / +501 223 2855 email@example.com www.onebarrelrum.com
TIDE Fish Fest – Punta Gorda Town, Toledo District
Jaguar Adventures Tours and Travel of Belize Belize City, Belize / +501 670 6028 firstname.lastname@example.org www.jaguarbelize.com
Belize Game Fish Association Tournament – Blue Water Classic
Battle of the Drums – Punta Gorda, Toledo District
Garifuna Settlement Day – Dangriga, Hopkins Village, and Punta Gorda th Taco Festival – Orange Walk Town, 20 Orange Walk District
COV E R P H OTO G R A P H
Belize International Film Festival – Belize City, Belize District
Wayne and Carla McNab Administrative Directors
Leonardo Melendez Photography Cover Location: Xunantunich, Cayo, Belize
NOVEMBER 8th -11th
Cindy Gabriela Ruano and Cristina Reyna Graphic and Layout Designers
Louise Roe Marketing and Sales Director Lead Brand Manager
Orange Walk Carnival – Orange Walk District
Tanya McNab Creative Director
MARKETING, SALES, AND ADMIN TEAM
Belize Independence Day – Countrywide Parades
E D I TO R I A L T E A M
C R E AT I V E T E A M
Carnival Road March – Belize City, Belize District
McNab Publishing Ltd. Belize City, Belize
Andrea Reneau Clara Dobson Louise Roe Sahar Vasquez
SEPT EMBER 1st
PRODUCED AND P U B L I S H E D BY
Reyes Retreage LLP 122 Eve Street, P.O. Box 2205, Belize City, Belize /+501 223 2030/2031 email@example.com www.lawyerbelize.com
Caribbean Culture and Lifestyle is a registered trademark of McNab Visual Strategies. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. C O N TA C T
+501 223 1025 firstname.lastname@example.org CARIBBEANLIFESTYLE.COM A
! t o h s ' t a h w
PHOTO COURTESY : ALAIA
PHOTO COURTESY : FOUR SEASONS
Alaia – Coming 2020
Four Seasons – Coming 2021
Alaia, a Marriott International’s Autograph Collection® Hotel set to open in Belize in 2020! Alaia, a modern luxury resort located on the beautiful island of San Pedro, will join the 135 independent hotels in the brand’s diverse and dynamic collection. Alaia brings sunny Caribbean delights to your ﬁngertips with unique adventures into nature and culture. Luxurious beachfront condominiums, residences and villas surround you with brilliant views of the Caribbean Sea. www.alaiabelize.com
Four Seasons Resort and Residences Caye Chapel, will debut in Belize in 2021! In partnership with Thor Urbana, Inmobilia Desarrollos and GFA Grupo Inmobiliario, this grand development will open on the private island of Caye Chapel. It will be made up of approximately 50 magniﬁcent Private Estate lots, 35 Private Residences, and 100 guest rooms and suites. The resort is slated to open a few years from now, but something tells us it will all be worth it! www.cayechapel.com
PHOTO COURTESY : MAYA
PHOTO COURTESY : OCEANA
New Maya Island Terminal, San Pedro - 2018
Belize Barrier Reef off the UNESCO Endangered List
Getting around Belize is easy with Maya Island Air! With 250 scheduled domestic ﬂights daily, the demand from an ever growing client base has prompted the construction of a new terminal in San Pedro Town. The new and improved terminal is set to open on August 15th, 2018! Fly on Maya Island Air and disembark in style.
As of June 2018, the United Nation’s scientiﬁc and cultural body (UNESCO) removed the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System from its list of endangered world heritage sites. An indeﬁnite moratorium on all oil exploration and drilling in the country’s waters among other conservation efforts has alleviated threats and ultimately allowed for the removal of the Belize Barrier Reef from the endangered list. This is a great step toward preserving Belize’s marine treasures with hopefully more milestones in the ﬁght for conservation to come.
Property for Sale 38
1+ ACRE PLACENCIA BEACHFRONT RESIDENTIAL PARCEL W/ PRIVATE DRIVEWAY VB53@CENTURYTEL.NET $355,000.00 USD
BELIZE MAP COURTESY OF
Romance Issue - Published August 09, 2018