Belize Island Adventure Blog

WHY IS JUNE A GREAT TIME TO TAKE A FAMILY VACATION TO BELIZE?

You Betta Belize It! Family fun in the summer sun!

June marks the start of the summer holidays and its a great time to take advantage of “off season” pricing and lack of crowds to really enjoy a family vacation of a lifetime! Warmer weather marks the beginning of summer, with temperatures averaging in the mid-80’s and cool rains in the evenings and early mornings. There are a plethora of fantastic activities to enjoy including diving, snorkeling, jungle adventures, and more. Book your all inclusive vacation at Blue Marlin Beach Resort and start the summer months!

Start your adventure on an island hopper flight from Belize City to Dangriga where we will meet you and take you to the boat

Here are the top reasons to visit us in June:

Lobster Season

Lobster fresh off the grill and straight from the sea

June is the kick off of lobster season, which is celebrated throughout the country, especially nearby Placencia, where a weekend of festivities including lobster grills, cookoffs, music, family games, street art, and, of course, more lobster in all its delicious forms. Placencia Lobsterfest, within an hour boat ride along the coast from Blue Marlin, makes for a great day tour from the resort. Lobster ceviche, bisque, kebabs, and even sausages grace the menus of street vendors and restaurants alike. Then we you get back in the evening, indulge even more. Here at Blue Marlin Beach Resort, we serve fresh, wild-caught lobster which is brought is by local free divers and fisherman and lovingly prepared to you liking by our Chef. This is truly from sea to table dining at its freshest!

Summer Savings

Family fun on an island walk with our island guide and resident dive master, Stacey.

The summer months are traditionally “off season” in Belize. Recent years have seen year round visitors increasing steadily, but you can still find some great deals during the summer months and Blue Marlin is no exception. Bring the kids for a relaxing family getaway, plan a romantic long weekend for you sweetie, or just jump into savings by treating yourself to a fabulous dive package. Whatever your reason for visiting us, you will not be disappointed. We offer the best in personalized service, fresh meals, and comfortable accommodations in a one-of-a-kind setting at Blue Marlin.

Plenty of time to have family time

Fisherman’s Wonderland

June is an awesome time to discover the bounty and excitement of the sea with a fishing vacation. From catch-and-release to serious trolling there’s something for everyone. While the boys go play out at sea and catch dinner for the evening grill, the girls can relax in a hammock and schedule a fabulous massage on the beach. Here are the species most likely to bite in June:

Going for the Grand Slam!

Trolling:

Barracuda, Mutton Snapper, Tuna, Jacks, Billfish

Fly fishing:

Tarpon, Snook, Permit, Bonefish, Jacks, Tuna

The hunt for the elusive Permit was a success!

Bottom fishing (we use minnows and sardines caught in cast nets as bait):

Mutton Snapper, Cubera Snapper, Queen Snapper, Silk Snapper, Black Snapper, Vermillion Snapper, Bluerunner Jacks, Bar Jacks, Yellow Jacks

Snappers ready for the grill fresh out of the crystal clear Caribbean Sea

Your Own Slice of Paradise

A lot of family holiday spots are defined by loud crowds clamoring to get a bit of fun in the sun now that school is out. No at Blue Marlin. Here, you have your own private paradise. You can have a great time with your family to really bond and catch up, sharing adventures and making memories in a pristine natural location atop the largest living barrier reef in the world. Our exclusive setting makes for a private ambience, but still offers plenty of fun activities including diving (Scuba Certification and Discover Scuba available upon request), snorkeling, paddleboarding, beach volleyball, and art classes inspired by the island scenery and more! We are a safe, quiet environment for families looking for adventure and time to discover and explore together.

What are you waiting for? It’s not too late to book your June getaway now. Contact Carlene, our reservations manager, for the best summer deal around!

Tropical goodness with whole foods from the islands

Belize is home to a huge diversity of flora and fauna, making it a hotspot for global biodiversity. From the tropical forests and mountains, to the islands and reefs, Belize is a naturalist’s playground. South Water Caye and Blue Marlin Beach Resort are no exception, being located in protected marine area with a host of unusual, unique critters and greenery.

Despite conditions that might not seem conducive to a diverse ecosystem– such as high salinity in the air and soil, sand with little topsoil, constant sea breezes, and lack of fresh water sources— there is an abundance of plants on the island, many of which have medicinal, food, or decorative value. Here are a few plants that can be found right around the property:

Exotic, fragrant blooms of plumeria

NONI! We say YES-I to NO-NI! This strange fruit grows on trees throughout the island. When ripe it has a very pungent smell, but this might explain some of its nutritional and medicinal value. The entire plant, from the leaves, stems, to the fruit, have been used for centuries in the tropics as a therapeutic superfood. The noni has been used as a skin healer, immune booster, and analgesic.

Noni fruit growing at Blue Marlin Beach Resort

ALOE VERA! Aloe vera is used as an immune booster when consumed as a drink, and a skin and hair healer and strengthener. Aloe grows in abundance at Blue Marlin Beach Resort. It is a great sunburn remedy as well. We always recommend using Reef Safe waterproof sunscreen at least 1/2 hour before snorkeling or swimming. But should in case you miss a spot and come out looking like a candy cane, you can always go pick some fresh aloe as an after sun treatment.

Aloe vera– nature’s after sun treatment

BREADFRUIT! Breadfruit, although being a fruit, is more of a potato substitute. It’s starchy flesh can be found under a thick green exterior. Breadfruit may help your blood sugar stabilize. The breadfruit is native to Polynesia where it is baked, boiled or fried as a starchy, potato-like vegetable and made into bread, pie and puddings. In 1789 Britain sent Captain Bligh on the H.M.S. Bounty to Tahiti to collect breadfruit cuttings for introduction into the New World colonies.

A young breadfruit waiting to be harvested

HIBISCUS! The hibiscus flower is not only very ornamental, it is also edible. Our chef often uses the fresh flowers as garnish for our delicious meals. For a romantic welcome to the island our housekeepers will impress you with their floral designs in your room. Any woman will feel a little more special with a hibiscus blossom tucked behind her ear. And what better way to refresh than a nice cold hibiscus juice? This is a truly a beautiful and useful plant known to lower blood pressure and help with digestion.

Our guests enjoy royal treatment when they are on our all inclusive relaxation, adventure, diving, or snorkeling packages. And what better treatment than fresh and tasty meals and snacks lovingly prepared daily by our Chef and kitchen staff? We use the freshest local ingredients including fish, lobster and conch conch caught daily by our boat crew and organic veggies from the mainland farms. Our meals are a fusion of Belizean and International cuisine with a focus on freshness. Included in our menu, you will often find dishes made with corn, a staple of the indigenous Maya people of Belize.

As long as 4000 years ago, the ancient Maya had already perfected the art of domestication and were growing several varieties of this staple crop. Corn (also known as maize) was the center of daily community life in pre-Columbian North and Central America. From its cultivation to its processing to its consumption and its spiritual value, corn permeated all aspects of society and its rituals. Ceremonies revolving around the corn growing cycle were central in the Maya calendar and the corn god was highly revered in the Mayan pantheon.

Dukunu a traditional Maya dish

Corn was, and continues to be, consumed in many forms by the ancient, and now modern day, Maya people of Belize. The Stann Creek and Toledo districts hold some of the strongest Maya traditions and communities. To this day, corn is still ground in communal corn mills and processed into rich drinks (also known as lab– ground corn mixed with spices sugar and warm water), dumplings, tortillas and many other dishes. Traditionally, the corn is processed into “masa”, a corn dough or flour.

At Blue Marlin Beach, we honour this indigenous crop by serving snacks and main courses based on these millennial-old corn-based recipes. Here are five deliciously healthy dishes that our guests (including those who are on a gluten free diet) will enjoy between their dives and adventures on the reef:

  1. PANADES: Scrumptious deep fried corn pockets, crispy on the outside and stuffed with hashed fish, beef, chicken or beans, these little treats pack a big punch. Cover them with a traditional onion relish and some Marie Sharp’s Habanero Hot Sauce and you will be freshly energized
  2. TACOS: These can be served as a soft shell dish made with stewed shredded chicken, onions, cilantro, and pepper sauce. Rolled and stacked, a plate of these warm, soft tacos makes a perfect breakfast or snack with a nice fresh watermelon, lime, papaya or tamarind juice. The other version is a slightly fried shell stuffed with grilled beef or pork and pico de gallo.
  3. CHIPS and CEVICHE: Being right on the sea, our kitchen uses the freshest seafood to prepare the absolute best ceviches. Prepared with limes and tomatoes from the farms on the mainland and conch caught by island freedivers, the ceviche is definitely a labour of love. A perfect partner for a spicy bowl of ceviche is homemade tortilla chips.
  4. CORN CHOWDER: After building up an appetite out on the water fly fishing or under the water diving, our guests enjoy three course dinners every night. Corn chowder is a perfect appetizer to wet your palate. Paired with our homemade breadsticks , this creamy sweet soup hits the spot!
  5. DUKUNU: Derived from ancient Maya recipes, dukunu is a culinary treat. It is based on corn and is usually meatless. Dukunu is a perfect rice or bread substitute for any meal and pairs well with a lovely stew. Roasted corn kernels are blended with coconut milk to form a dumpling that is steamed in corn husks. This lends to a smoky and sweet flavor.

MUSIC OF BELIZE

Throughout the Caribbean and Latin America music plays a pivotal role in ceremony, culture, and daily life. Belize is no exception. In any small village you will hear music playing through open windows, music coming from churches, processions, the corner store. And the music is as diverse as the people of this country. Belize is a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities which bring their own unique history and musical traditions.

Music permeates society, from listening to music in your living room, to the clubs and bars, to variety shows, music is a critical element to everyday Belizean life. The range is broad. In Belize, the rule of thumb is that if it has a good beat most people will spontaneously dance to the rhythm. It is not unusual to find a karaoke machine at most gatherings, with family and friends showing off their vocal skills (or lack thereof) to anything from country music to bachata to rock & roll and everything in between.

Prince Harry Dancing with Locals on a Royal Visit to Belize

The Government of Belize is promoting local talent and production in a now annual music week, filled with performances, interviews, and collaboration between artists to promote the growing industry.

Music Week Feature

The Office of the Music Ambassador is hosting the 3rd Annual Music Week on May 17th, 18th &19th. Our Belize Now team found out more about the upcoming event. Here’s more..

Posted by Government of Belize Press Office on Monday, May 14, 2018

PUNTA, PARANDA, and PUNTA ROCK

Based in an Afro-Caribbean tradition, the Garifuna culture stems from escaped slaves and the native Carib Indians of St. Vincent. In the 1800s this new mixed culture went to seek broader horizons and fled to the Caribbean coast of Belize, where the British colonialists at the time allowed them to land and make a new home. Along with their own language, food, and traditions, came their music.

Punta music is the traditional music of the Garinagu people, who settled in Dangriga, Hopkins, and some small southern villages in Belize. It is based on drums made of mahogany and deer skin and they are played in a group in a fast-paced rhythm that is often accompanied by dancers and vocalists. These drum sessions make an important part of milestone events such as weddings, birthdays, wakes, funerals, baptisms, and any special occassion. A derivative of this genre of music is paranda, which adds guitar and other elements to the traditional beats. Come experience the Hopkins Village Annual International Paranda Fest on April 1, 2019.

Modern day “punta rock” combines electronic sounds with traditional drum beats. Many legendary punta artists including Aurelio Martinez, Andy Palacio, Mohobub and more come from the Stann Creek District, specifically Dangriga, where Blue Marlin main office is located. Dangriga is known as the “Cultural Capital of Belize”. The younger generation of punta rockers were heavily influenced by these original founders of the recording tradition and include Lloyd Augustine, Vida Magdaleno, and other rising young punta stars.

Drums of Our Fathers Monument Dangriga

REGGAE, REGGAE SOULS, and REGGAETON

Hailing from Jamaica, reggae is universally loved throughout the world and especially in the Caribbean. The most iconic reggae legend, Bob Marley, is still leaving his mark having influenced a whole new generation of reggae artists such as Chronnix and Protege. The roots of reggae come from the rastafarian culture and have spread to become embedded in Belizean culture. The reggae genre came into to being in the 1960’s as an evolution of the Rocksteady and Ska musical style. Reggae can be heard coming from bars and restaurants throughout the islands, from people’s cars, and homes.

Reggae music at Placencia Arts Festival

A blend of Latin American and Caribbean traditions and rhythms, reggaeton is a more hard and upbeat version of reggae influenced by hip hop with lyrics in Spanish. On the other end of the spectrum, reggae souls often accompany a Sunday afternoon on the beach or a karaoke session and these soul songs harken back to the simpler times with romantic rhythms and lyrics.

CARIBBEAN DANCEHALL

Belizeans love a great party and often dance late into the night at the local bars and nightclubs and at beach parties. A staple of any good dance party is a great DJ and a great dancehall mix. Dancehall, which originated in Jamaica and spread throughout the world, represents not only a musical genre, but a lifestyle of Caribbean vibes and culture of music and dance.

SOCA and CARNIVAL

Steel Drum Band at Carnival Time

September is a very important month in Belizean history, as it marks the anniversary of its independence on September 21, 2019. This is a month of celebration and patriotism. Along with independence comes the infamous Carnival, where the beat of steel drums, elaborate costumes, and extravagant street parades dominate the season. This is a week of excess with endless parades, dance contests, carnival troops, singing, drinking, eating, and late night festivities. The heart and soul of Carnival is the music.

Soca music originated in Trinidad, but has developed its own flavor here in Belize. Soca artists lead the way in the parades and every year there is a Soca song contest with the most well-known Belizean artists vying for the prize of Best Song. Ms. Ernestine Carballo, Belize’s Soca Queen, is at the forefront of the art movement and giving the youth an opportunity to participate in the arts.

MARIMBA and the MAYA TRADITION

Marimba musicians at Caracol Maya Site

One of the original Belizean musical genres stems from the indigenous Maya communities. “Marimba is a type of music that refers to a percussion instrument made of wooden bars and keys and musical sounds are produced from it by striking with mallets. This music originates from Africa and pre-Colombian Mesoamerica (current day Central America).”

Hollywood has had a long-running love affair with our beautiful country of Belize. Some of Hollywood’s finest celebrities have travelled to Belize for vacation partly due to the lack of crowds, the outstanding and genuine hospitality of our people, and the natural wonders which inspire both the eye and the soul.

Movie legends such as Francis Ford Coppola and Leonardo DiCaprio have gone even one step further and made Belize their home away from Hollywood. Both of these entertainment industry powerhouses have found a peaceful escape in Belize and both frequent as visitors and as hosts to other visitors, as owners of high end eco-resorts in Placencia, the Mountain Pine Ridge, and the Belize Cayes. Madonna even wrote a song about her love affair with our Jewel in the Caribbean, La Isla Bonita.

Leonardo DiCaprio and his private island eco-resort

Even prior to independence, Belize, formerly British Honduras, was the stuff that movies are made of, with its diverse scenery, Caribbean culture, wild wild West appeal, and mysterious history deep in the jungles. The movie, “The Mosquito Coast”, although based on a book by Paul Theroux set in the Amazon, was actually filmed in Belize and shows some of the scenery of Belize City shortly after achieving independence from British rule in 1981. This movie stars legends such as Harrison Ford, Helen Mirren, Andre Gregory, and River Phoenix . It is the story of one man’s dream to overcome the forces of nature by moving his family deep to the jungle in search of a new life and is driven to near death by his unrealistic obsession to tame the jungle and build an ice factory.

The Maya culture of Belize, which back in the ancient Maya days from 2000-5000 years ago, was a flourishing civilization with a population in the millions (today the population is just close to 400,000), has inspired more recent movies such as “Apocalypto”. Filmed in neighboring Tikal and in the original Maya dialect of the region, this is a controversial movie showing the day-to-day struggles of the ancient Maya world. “The Curse of the Xtabai”, a locally produced supernatural thriller, is also based on the Maya world. Filmed in Cayo District with local actors in the Kriol language, this is a tale of the supernatural, Maya superstitions, and ancient spirits.

More recently, with the reality TV show trend booming , what better place to set a show about romance and love at first sight ? In one episode of “The Bachelor”, the contestants experience both love and adventure on the high seas and in the rainforest. Contestants enjoyed lobster diving, helicopter rides, romantic sunsets, and exciting jungle adventures as a way of bonding and getting to know eachother better. Or, how about a show about survival and the elements, such as “Naked and Afraid”? In the Belize episode, participants are forced to survive, much like the ancient Maya, with few tools and resources in the depths of the jungle.

Ellen parodies The Bachelor in Belize episode

On the darker side, some documentaries highlight the social and economic growing pains of Belize as a small Caribbean country in the heart of Central America and the Colombian drug trafficking routes. Ross Kemp made a powerful episode of the show “True Crime” about the gangs of Belize City, which attests to the real-life problems facing the society. Thankfully, eco-tourism and the amazing diversity of the country overrides this darker side. Belize is a safe destination for those coming to enjoy the reef and jungle, with a strong Belize Tourism Board and Tourism Police presence keeping the country’s visitors safe to enjoy the plethora of activities at our front doorsteps.

Belize also has a small, but growing, local film and entertainment industry and this is highlighted every year at the Belize International Film Festival which shows the best of the Caribbean in music videos, documentaries, and movies. Included is another locally-produced film, “Stranded N Dangriga”, filmed right in our neighborhood in Dangriga near our boat launch and near the airstrip where most of our Blue Marlin guests arrive at check-in. This movie was presented at the Belize International Film Festival in June, 2013. One of the judges, Erika Alexander, an American actress best known for her roles as Pam Tucker on the NBC sitcom “The Cosby Show” and as Maxine Shaw on the FOX sitcom “Living Single”, called this Belizean movie “The Hangover Comedy for Belize”, referring to the box office hit “The Hangover”.

Here at Blue Marlin Beach Resort, our iconic Caribbean location serves as a logical and natural backdrop for model and advertising shoots showcasing adventure gear, fishing gear, beach and athletic fashion, diving equipment, and outdoor life. We recently hosted a film production crew which will create a massive advertising campaign for a designer brand name adventure gear line. Stay tuned for the red carpet launch of this high end ad campaign, which partners an amazing location with amazing products!