Showing posts with label Placencia Belize. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Placencia Belize. Show all posts

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Embrace the Kind of the Jungle in the World’s first designated Jaguar Preserve

The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, named after its cockscomb appearance within the Maya Mountain in Southern Belize, was the world’s first jaguar reserve and is a protected subtropical rainforest.  More than two decades after its creation, the sanctuary remains a model for wildlife conservation and a point of pride for Belizeans. This jaguar reserve, where a viable population still strives today, is a most critical part of a larger jaguar corridor system where the wild and magnificent jaguar roams throughout two continents from Northern Mexico to Northern Argentina.

Of the five native species big felines prowling the Belizean jungle, it is the elusive and magnificent jaguar that everyone visiting Belize wants to see. It is only a lucky few who have actually seen any of these beautiful apex predators – the real king of the Belizean jungle and the undisputed super power of the new world continents.

Belize’s grasslands, wetlands and lush rainforests, nestled in the Maya Mountains, provide the perfect backdrop for these magnificent big cats which are the most powerful predators in Central America.  Inside Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, visitors may not see the nocturnal king of the rainforest during the day but will get a taste of the area’s bio-diversity, impressive scenic views, serious birding opportunities, jungle flora and fauna and may have the opportunity to swim in a pool below a glorious cascading waterfall.

Not only are jaguars among the most beautiful animals but among the most powerful stealth predators that use stealth and surprise as key techniques to catch its prey.  The elusive jaguar seems to prefer peccaries, but would also take monkeys, agoutis, deer, armadillos, birds and other animals. Before the kill, the mysterious Central American carnivore stocks the herd, and creeps ever closer to its prey. With a single powerful bite at the prey’s jugulars, the rainforest master finally conquers its prey.

Below where you see the jaguar is where you can find the Reserve. 

Jaguars have been in the Americas before the native Maya of Belize.  The locals still speak of the big cat with reverence.  For thousands of years the people of the Americas have revered him.  To the indigenous Maya the jaguar is simply called baalum, meaning “king”.  The Mayas considered the jaguar a deity – a symbol of leadership and a creature that walks between worlds. Today, the powerful jaguar remains as the apex predator of the new world jungle kingdom.

Belize leads jaguar preservation efforts in the world.  Although hunters and deforestation have reduced the jaguar population, these animals continue to thrive in the jaguar preserves and reserves and interconnecting corridors of Belize. As humans continue to encroach on the once sovereign kingdoms of the big cat in Belize, NGO’s such as Audubon Society and Wildlife Conservation Society continue to engage the local communities, including the park rangers, ranchers, and Mayan leaders in dialogue and mutually beneficial efforts towards jaguar preservation sustainable community development. Indeed, “When people are informed and engaged, healthy societies and renewable natural resources thrive”.  

If you would like to visit "The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary" whilst in Belize, Splash Dive Center offers daily tours to the nature reserve and is a perfect family tour. Contact Patricia Ramirez at to make your reservation. Visit for other tours.  

<script type="text/javascript">

  var _gaq = _gaq || [];

  _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-35015897-1']);

  (function() {

    var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true;
    ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '';
    var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);


Tuesday, 26 June 2012

School is Out – Belize Summer Travels Offers a Journey through Time

Island Life
School is out and Belize’s Summer Travel is hotter than ever. Anyone who has travelled can attest to the gazillion charms that Belize has to offer from reefs to ruins, birds to blue holes, Belize adventures awaits you.

Like no other journey you have ever encountered, Belize is truly a journey through time.  Mark my word, Belize is no ordinary place! Often, we hear the expression, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” On this journey, it will take a thousand pictures to say one word – Belize.

First-time visitors will want to enjoy discovering Belize’s array of natural land and sea wonders. Expect the unexpected and pack accordingly. Savvy travelers will enjoy their stay more. Pack your cameras, film, diving, snorkeling, and fishing equipment, sunscreens, repellents and appropriate clothing for sub-tropical climate – serious adventure awaits the curious and brave of heart in Belize.

Like a mighty sun perched high on a mesmerizing sunset, Belize shines brightly over the completion.  She is colorful, vibrant and very exciting.  One look will never satisfy your curiosity. She must be scrutinized and explored from every corner to really appreciate her beauty.

Her highest point towers some 4,000 feet above sea level, where she watches over the majestic Maya Mountains. As one foot huddles in the warm sand of the coastal beaches, the other rests gently on the proud barrier reef. Her arms stretch out and embrace more than 8,000 square miles of unharmed natural beauty. You have seen no paradise more lovely. She is picture-perfect.

In fact, this rare gem called Belize is an endless voyage through snapshots and feelings. It’s an intimate date with Mother Nature that promises an experience oozing with excitement, adventure and memories. She is close, yet so far – old, yet so new. In every way, she is a trip one never forgets.

Lobster in its Barrier Reef Home
Visitors from all over the world find it wonderful, magical and beautiful, in a very natural way. Belize is the last outpost. It’s on the edge of the world.  It’s where the old world of the Maya, Garifuna, Creole and Mestizo meets the new and emerges into the cultural melting pot it is today. Simply put, she is splendid.

If Belize is famous for anything, it would be diving along its outer cayes and ecotourism inland. Belize is home of the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. Diving is unquestionably outstanding. The cayes along the reef are picturesque – white sandy beaches and coconut palms. No footprints allowed here, except yours of course. So pack your bags, camera and film, Belize welcomes you!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

“Falling in Love in and With Belize”

Little did I know that twenty years later I would be returning to the tiny paradise of Belize were Mark (my husband) and I spent our honeymoon.  Despite the many changes I see now, mostly for the better, I still remember my first trip back in 1992 as if though it was merely a year ago.  We spent most of that one week vacation in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye at Victoria House.  The entire experience was magical. Coming from Chicago, a honeymoon in the tropics is quite a treat.

I first landed at the San Pedro Airstrip on a small flight from the international airport and was taken aback with the quaint fisherman image of this sleepy town.  I was initially concerned whether the town or the hotel would even have the amenities or facilities it claimed to have. Well, even then, Victoria House exceeded my expectations. Mark and I are as much in love today as we were back then but with the intense butterfly feelings that newlyweds often have. Every moment and every second was glorious. The room was impeccable and elegant. The ocean view was break-taking. The food was exquisite, the indoor dining hall was superbly elegant and private dining on the beach with torch fires was beyond romantic. The service was exceptional and all staff members seem so genuinely happy to be providing a superior service. Going to the outer cayes and snorkeling in Hol Chan Marine Reserve with the overly abundant marine diversity reminded me of Brook Shields in the Blue Lagoon. I could not have been any happier, if I could only hold on forever to that fairylike feeling of overwhelming happiness.  Beyond any doubt, the island represented great memories for Mark and I. So much so, we swore that one day we would bring our kids one day to visit Belize.

This year, my son Andrew completed twelve years and my daughter Jessica will turn 16 and I thought that perhaps this year my family is much deserving of a vacation. Surely enough my husband and I made well on the promise to introduce our kids to Belize- the place where we consummated our marriage. Indeed, twenty years was plenty time to bring about serious changes in a destination we visited two decades ago.  I was elated to note that the country had since grown substantially since our trip in 1992. The small town of San Pedro is now booming with several more resorts, restaurants and even more people.

Placencia was a top priority this time around.  Mark is very fond of sports fishing and my two children are huge diving enthusiast.  Jessica and Andrew took intermediary diving lessons with our local dive and tour operator, Splash Dive Center, who also arranged our family excursions to Caracol Maya, Monkey River, horseback riding and to the Belize zoo.

My family and I spent the final two days of our vacation in Toledo District at Machaca Hills lodge.  The property itself is rustically divine and chic. The view from the exquisite and award winning restaurant perched on a hill top was just stunning.  Mark and I made much use of the sunsets and sunrise from the balconies of our private cottages looking at the dense Machaca Forest hills and the sea in the backdrop. It was the perfect setting for us to re-commit our vows to each other and we did!
These are memories that my family and I will cherish forever. I am very happy that we decide to visit Belize a second time and I know that every member of my family has gained so much more from the experience. Thank you Belize for a wonderful time, it truly was a perfect and indelible family vacation! 

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

You Better Belize it! Paradise Is Here

Just 22 miles off the coast of Placencia, in the Central part of Belize’s Barrier Reef, lay three tiny picturesque islands – Silk Cayes with white sand beach, swaying coconut trees and crystal clear emerald seas.  These Silk Cayes, also known as Queen Cayes, are the perfect postcard images that lure thousands of visitors each year for stunning snorkeling and sunning.

Silk Cayes, along with the Gladden Spit, was declared as a Marine Reserve in May 2000. Since 2003, this reserve has been established as a no take zone, a conch restoration zone, a whale shark and reef – fish spawning conservation zone and a general use zone.

Whalesharks, in the nearby Gladden Spit coming to feed on the spawning eggs between March and June, are seen in the large numbers. The reserve undoubtedly contains some of the healthiest parts of the reef due to its relative elevation and superior water quality. This reserve falls under the auspices of the Government’s Fisheries Department but managed by a community based organization – Southern Environmental Association (SEA).

With all these regulations and smart reef management practices, it is easy to see why the zone continues to enjoy abundant diversity of reef fish species. So whether you come to this postcard island to soak all the fun in the sun, B-B-Q on the beach, explore the marvel under the great reef,  watch the stunning whale sharks, or explore Belize’s vibrant culture, you will  experience a unique Paradise – Belizean style!

For a totally enhanced experience, Splash Dive Center offers guests upon request at this Island Snorkeling tour an exhilarating performance by Garifuna Dancers with heart-pounding drum rhythm while enjoying their exquisite BBQ. 

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Maya 2012: The Apocalypse or the New Era of higher Consciousness and Unity?

We are now only a couple weeks away from the year 2012, the year that some claim will bring about drastic changes in our way of life. Dire changes, some believe, will be in the form of an apocalypse while others believe will usher in a new era in our evolutionary human development in which we achieve higher levels of self awareness and overall spirituality.  While no one really knows what happens next, we do know definitively that the acclaimed doomsday of December 21, 2012 marks the end of a cyclical long count period (every 5,125 years) in the Mayan Calendar and initiates a new one – the summer solstice. Despite the controversy of the prophecies, Belizeans can be proud of the rich cultural heritage that the Mayas have contributed to Belize’s history and the Mundo Maya. Belize is indeed proud of being the heartland of the astoundingly advanced Mayan civilization.

Mayan sites excavations and continuous discoveries are showing that Lamanai, the last site to be occupied by the Mayas, has been occupied for more than 3000 years from 1500 B.C to the late 18th century. Even today when archeologists rewrite Mayan history with each new discovery, never cease to be increasingly impressed with their depth of sophistication and breadth of knowledge. A few eminent examples are: the mayas were among the first to use the concept of zero; their calculation of the moon cycle with astounding precision centuries before our scientists; their development and use of medicinal plants laid the foundation of pharmacology today. In about 500 A.D, it is believed that more than one million Mayas inhabited Belize. More than 35 significant sites across the country have been uncovered while much more is still believed to lie beneath the earth in the dense topography of Belize’s rainforest. Significant sites of tremendous historical importance include Altun Ha (Stone Water), Cerros (Hills), Xunantunich (Maiden of the Rock), Cahal Pech (Place of Ticks), Nim Li Punit (Big Hat), Lubaantun (Place of the Fallen Stones), Actun Tunichil Muknal (Cave of the Stone Sepulcher) and Caracol (Snail) – the supreme Mayan City of the Classic Period with a population of two thirds the entire current population of all Belize. The Mayas are truly an advanced society and Belize proudly distinguishes itself as the epicenter of this advanced culture that continues to intrigue scientists and even spiritual seekers with their sense of mysticism and spirituality.
Copyright: SplashDiveShop


Culturally speaking, the Mayas believed that time, as well as he universe, is circular and cyclical. They also believe that cosmic configurations can reveal the most profound levels of our consciousness as humans and that the universe is alive and sacred confirmed through the varied and diverse manifestations of four key elements - the earth, water, sun and air. They believed that all people, animals, and elements on earth are closely related and united in one entity that allows each component to be, live, share, communicate and interact with each other as living entities both creators and re-creators of life. Some Mayan belief claims that human beings, along with planet earth, are now vulnerable due to the many ecologically unsustainable alterations to the planet that threatens the delicate balance of nature that sustains life. It is this negligence and failure of humans to recognize their interconnectivity with all else on earth and to maintain their supportive role in relation to mother earth that will unleash the apocalypse. This, some believe, will be towards the detriment of the human race.
Conversely, some believe that the prophecies of Maya 2012 are more in relation to another evolutionary process in our human development and social transformations where by the mind will become awakened and realize the purpose of our existence and hence the purpose of life. In responding to some prediction that 2012 signals the end of the world, Mayan Ambassador Cirilio Perez Oxlaj recently shared the following interview:

What do you expect to happen on December 2012?

It is the belief of the Mayan people that we will be entering a period associated with a change of sun (summer solstice), not in 2012 but in 40 to 50 years. During this time, there will be an end to diseases, plagues, droughts, tornados and devastating hurricanes that are now occurring.

Why do you think that the end of humankind has been associated with this date?

This will not be the end of the world but merely a change of sun. Neither is this serious since it has occurred before. Of greater concern is the contamination of the environment, nuclear bombs, the movement of petroleum, mineral exploitation, the use of plastic material and other substances that are harmful to the environment.

Altun Ha
CopyRight: SplashDive

What is your evaluation of the significant campaigns launched on this topic?

These campaigns have largely commercialized the concept of Maya 2012. They are derailing the Mayan calendar because nothing will happen on December 2012.

What does this new cycle means for you?

We welcome the New Year, so that we start to significant and meaningful change. There will no longer be discrimination, prejudice or racism among one another.

This interview with the great Mayan leader provides insight that 2012 is more about hope, world peace and unity. It is an opportunity for deeper reflection and the consideration of future direction. Maya 2012 provides a timeless warning from the ancient past that today we should also be better stewards of the environment which we as humans are privileged to enjoy.  In celebration of Mayan heritage, Belize has a full year’s program highlighting Mayan Culture that includes, lectures, festivals, ceremonies, a collection of commemorative stamps of each site and a wide range of Maya 2012 packages. A special highlight, between December 21 and 23 (2012), is the participation of more than two hundred and fifty spiritual leaders of the Mopan, Q’eqchi and Yucatec Maya in an ancient ceremony to welcome the new calendar. In commemorating Maya 2012 and the envisioned new beginning, Splash Dive Center joins other service providers with special 2012 packages for those wishing to experience and immerse themselves in the ancient past of the Mystical Maya.

As the Maya 2012 year evolves stay tune for more Maya 2012 insights to come and for more from Splash Dive Shop who will be offering special Maya 2012 Tours this coming year. Splash Dive Shop has also launch their new Maya 2012 Logo which will be use during next year. Where will you be when the world starts anew? For more information contact us by Clicking Here.

Splash Dive Shop
c/o Patricia Ramirez
Placencia Village, Stann Creek District, Belize, Central America
Phone: 501-523-3058, 501-523-3080 or 620-6649