EASTER on the BELIZE CAYES 2019

Nothing says “family time” and “beach time” more than Easter in Belize. Easter is a four-day weekend and a bank and public holiday at the end of April. Traditionally, Belizeans take this time to reconnect with friends and family, barbeque on the beach, go to Church, and enjoy cooling off in the sea.

Family and fun in the sun dominate the Easter holidays in Belize

The dry season is at its height at this time of year with warm winds prevailing. This makes for the perfect conditions to spend some time on the beach. Many Belizean families will head out to the islands, or cayes, for the weekend to truly make the most of the holiday.

Easter is a magical time in Belize and it is a great time to enjoy the beach parties, clear weather, and time together with loved ones. Book your vacation now for next year as space is limited. Or enjoy a last minute deal here at Blue Marlin. Blue Marlin Beach Resort is your perfect base for exploring and enjoying during the Easter holiday. Here you will see a flotilla of sailboats, catamarans, and day trippers from the mainland coming to enjoy the amazing reef and crystal clear waters at South Water Caye.

No matter where your spring break plans take you, here are 5 top things that make Easter what it is here in Belize and throughout the Caribbean:

Handmade kites in flying in the Caribbean breeze

Go Fly a Kite! Belize falls culturally between Latin America and the Caribbean, drawing from the religious traditions and superstitions of both cultures. Flying kites around Easter time is a practice found in countries such as Bermuda, where is was said to have originated by a teacher using a kite to help illustrate the Ascension of Christ. Here in Belize, children make their own kites and have kite competitions along the beach. Arrange for a day trip to the mainland from Blue Marlin, for a cultural immersion in the local Garifuna coastal village of Hopkins. Watch the Annual Kite Festival and learn how to make hudut (a traditional fish and coconut milk dish served with mashed plantain dumplings). Then come back to the resort for an evening dinner of the fresh fish lovingly prepared by our cooks.

Good Friday: In some Caribbean countries it is considered disrespectful to go into the sea on Good Friday as it is the day of the Crucifixion. In Belize this taboo stems from a blend of superstition and religion as there is an old saying about going in the sea and turning into a mermaid. For more religious Belizeans, this was more to do with foregoing pleasures to imitate the suffering of Christ. This still doesn’t stop most Belizeans or tourists from enjoying the sun and sand with fresh fish on the grill and reggae music playing throughout the long weekend.

Fish is eaten throughout the Lent in the form or hudut (above), BBQ-ed, steamed, in Sere (fish soup), or fried in coconut oil.

Off to the Races: Belizeans love a great road bicycle race. Every year the country’s main highway is shut down for part of the day for the Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic, a grueling 140 mile bike race from Belize City to San Ignacio and back. This brings in the top athletes of the region as well as crowds of thousands to excitedly cheer on the racers. You may run into a portion of the race if you go inland for a Maya ruins day tour, such as Xunantunich. Keep a lookout for Tariq Cano, a local favorite, and a spokesperson for opportunities in athletics for the youth.  This race  tradition started in the colonial era when the main mode of transportation to watch cricket and football matches was on dirt roads from village to village on bicycle.
Also inland in the village of Burrell Boom, come spend the day at the horse race, the Easter Monday Fair, and enjoy the thrill of the races and some great Belizean food.

Beach Parties and Nightclubs: Belizeans love a good party and especially a good party on the beach. Usually there is some combination of Caribbean rum, ice cold Belikin beers, scrumptious homemade meals, seafood, chicken or pork BBQ, music, dance contests, watermelon eating contests,drinking contests, bikini contests, and more. So bring your bathing suit, a love of good food, music, and fun, and come enjoy with locals and tourists alike. The party continues into the night and sometimes to sunrise at outrageous club parties with international DJs and the best Caribbean dancehall music, especially in Placencia, San Pedro, and Caye Caulker.

Art and Reverance: Easter is not only a time for family, but also for Catholic processions, parades, and fairs. In the inland town of Benque Viejo del Carmen, the Latino traditions flourish with an annual decoration of the main street with colored sawdust in the form of elaborate carpets depicting religious scenes and symbols. This is followed by a reenactment of Christ’s procession with the Cross.

No matter what you decide to do on your Belize spring break 2019 vacation, come make Blue Marlin Beach Resort your base for exploring the natural and cultural beauty of our “Jewel” of Central America!

Discover Magazine has published an in depth article on Belize’s famous cave, Actun Tunichil Muknal. For those who do not know, Discover Magazine reports on captivating developments in science, medicine, technology, and the world around us.

crystal-maiden- atm cave belize

The article reads:

Actun Tunichil Muknal is a giant limestone cave in the jungle of western Belize. Over the past 50 years, archaeologists have discovered vestiges of religious rituals in hundreds of caves throughout the land of the Maya.

See also: Maya Ruins & Jungle Package

In Actun Tunichil Muknal, or “Cave of the Crystal Sepulchre,” the remains of a 20-year-old woman known as the “Crystal Maiden” have laid for more than 1,000 years. Archaeologists believe she was sacrificed by a priest as part of a religious ritual. 

Archaeologist Holley Moyes has spent two decades crawling into jungle-choked caves to answer one question: What drove the Maya to make offerings in such dark, remote places?

atm cave in belize

The above picture is the entrance of the ATM Cave.

See also: Belize Sea Tours

inside the atm cave

Some parts of the cave are only accessible by climbing — a challenging task even with modern equipment.

Read the full article here: http://discovermagazine.com/galleries/2014/dec/cave-of-the-crystal-maiden

Everyone know about the Great Barrier Reef, but have you ever wondered what the second largest Barrier Reef on the planet looks like? Watch this great clip from BBC show ‘Wild Caribbean’ to find out more.

httpv://youtu.be/_I38GgC4zz0

Read also: Why You Should Scuba Dive or Snorkel in South Water Caye

Please visit our website http://www.bluemarlinbeachresort.com/ for more information on the Belize Barrier Reef.

 

If you love culture and not crowds then Dangriga is the place you have to visit. Located at the end of the Hummingbird Highway, Dangriga is the capital of Belize’s Stann Creek District and is home to the Garifuna, a cultural and ethnic group who are descendants of shipwrecked slaves and native Caribs.

The town is a suitable base to explore the following Belize tours:

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary

cockscomb basin wildlife sanctuary belize

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary was established in 1986 as the first jaguar reserve in the world. Covering approximately 150 square miles of tropical forest, the park lies at the foot of Victoria Peak, the highest peak of Belize’s Maya Mountains.

Hike through the jungle, splash by the waterfall, or float down the river under a sky of birdsong and green canopy.

Zip Line and Water Fall

waterfall-repelling in belize

Soar with the birds through the pristine canopy in the Mayflower Bocawina National Forest. The complete system features 3 zip line courses over 2000 feet with the longest being over 2,300 feet. You will soar with the birds in this magnificent rainforest.

After zipping for a mile and a half on the longest zip line in Belize, fill your belly with a delicious lunch provided by Mama Noot’s Restaurant. You will then venture on a guided hike to Bocawina Falls where you will have the opportunity to rappel one hundred feet down the falls!

Dangriga Culture Town Tour

cultural tours in belize

Get to know the Garifuna journey and culture, view paintings, murals and thread art portraying all aspects of Belizean culture at a colonial era gallery. Practice some basic drum rhythms and learn about Pen ́s musical creation, Punta Rock. You will have an introduction to the four major Garifuna dances and rhythms: Jankunú, Punta, Hungu Hungu, Chumba. Lunch is a traditional Garifuna delicacy of Hudut, cooked on a fire hearth. Relax under shady coconut trees and listen to the sound of nature.

Following the visit at the Gallery you will visit the quaint workshop of legendary drum-maker, Austin Rodriguez, who manually carves Garifuna drums from mahogany, cedar and mayflower wood.

Marie Sharp’s Factory Tour

marie sharp tour belize

Marie Sharp’s Pepper is one of the best hot sauces on the planet and on this tour; you will enjoy the different samples of products that Marie produces.

Marie’s Sharps is a household name in Belize and is found on hundreds of dining tables around the country.

A recent guest posted this review on Trip Advisor about the Marie Sharp Factory tour:

We enjoyed sampling all their sauces and jams. They are very good. The tour of the factory/plant was quite interesting. Our guide was very pleasant. The small gift shop had all their products at great prices and you could create your own gift boxes.

If you visit, the Bonefish Hotel is the premier hotel in Dangriga and can arrange the above tours for you. The hotel offers modern comforts for business and leisure travel.

From Dangriga, you can also head to South Water Caye, a treasured secluded paradise where you can enjoy a private island experience at Blue Marlin Beach Resort.

Contact us today for more information!

GCC_CockscombBasinWildlifeSanctuary

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, established in 1990 is world renowned for being the first jaguar reserve. This “one of a kind” reserve was established as a result of jaguar studies conducted in the area by Alan Rabinowitz. Besides being the home to Belize’s largest cat, the Sanctuary protects the headwaters of two major river systems and supports an abundance of hardwood vegetation and a diverse faunal assemblage.

See also: Belize Sea Tours

Over 128,000 acres of lush jungle are ringed by the spectacular Cockscomb Mountains. The wonders and diversity are accessible to both the casual visitor and the serious naturalist through a series of nature trails. These trails vary in degrees of difficulty ranging from an easy hour-long stroll along the river to a four (4) day challenge of conquering Victoria Peak . The Victoria Peak trail is only accessible during the dry season and requires a permit and a tour guide (experienced guides can be hired from the local communities buffering the sanctuary).

The trail system within the sanctuary provides breathtaking views across the Basin and waterfalls abound. If the hiking is too much, relax with a swim or try tire tubing down the river.

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is home to all five (5) of Belize’s cats: Jaguar, Puma, Margay, Jaguarundi, and Ocelot. It is estimated that over 80 resident Jaguars are in the area. Belize’s national animal, the endangered Baird’s Tapir also inhabits the Basin and over 290 different species of birds have been recorded.

The jaguar is the third largest cat in the world after the Tiger and Lion, and is the only member of the large cat genus to live in the Americas.  An adult male may weigh up to 200 lbs and measure 6 ½ feet from nose to tail. The CITES Red List (International List of Endangered Species) declares the jaguar as in need of international protection.

See also: Maya Ruins & Jungle Package

Jaguars are often found in dense forests and swamps with good cover and easy access to water.  The best time to spot one is at dusk or dawn.  When the ground is damp, look out for the Jaguar tracks on any of the trails.

Some groups of Maya, known as the Jaguar people, worshipped the jaguar or “Baalum” believing their kings would reincarnate into these cats and so killing a jaguar was a serious crime, punishable by death.

Park Attractions

With over 20 miles of maintained trails, you are offered many opportunities for hiking and wildlife and bird watching over a variety of terrain.

Two of the trials at CBWS are specifically designed educational trails with accompanying information packs and pamphlets.

For those hiking on the Tiger Fern trail and the trail to Ben’s Bluff, bathing in the cooling waterfalls is a must.

More fun can be had in the water with tube floating and swimming in the South Stann Creek.  Visitors with their own equipment can take advantage of the exciting canoeing and kayaking possibilities.

As might expected in such a wild and remote setting, wildlife abounds- Tayra, Neotropical River Otter, Kinkajou, Baird’s Tapir, all five species of wild cat, and numerous snakes and reptiles.  Over 290 species of birds have been recorded here, from the beautiful Scarlet Macaw and the majestic King Vulture to many tiny hummingbirds.

The Sanctuary also has an educational Visitor Center with interactive displays, wildlife specimens, and a spacious conference room ideal for school and other large groups.

There are three designated camping areas in the Sanctuary, the first next to the Sanctuary headquarters and the others are on the trails, for the more adventurous.  Alternatively, we have a wide range of accommodations – from the communal dormitory to the totally independent White House- all set in the picturesque jungle.

Getting There

Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is located six (6) miles off the Southern highway, approximately 20 miles from Dangriga (the nearest town). The access road to the Sanctuary is located in the village of Maya Center where the Maya Center Women’s Group is responsible for the sale of entrance tickets. The entrance fee is US$5.00 and the tickets can be purchased at the Maya Center Women’s Group craft shop located at the head of the access road (immediately off the southern highway).

By private vehicle:

The journey takes approximately 2 ½ hours from Belize City – take the Western highway out of Belize City, turn left into the Hummingbird Highway (follow sign to Belmopan and drive past Belmopan), then turn right onto the Southern Highway (follow sign to Punta Gorda). Drive approximately thirty-minutes down the Southern Highway to the village of Maya Center; turn right into the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary access road (signposted on the highway). Drive six miles on unpaved road to the visitor center.

By public transportation:

The Southern transport bus line traveling from Belize City to Punta Gorda will stop at Maya Center if requested (approximately 3 ½ hours). From Maya Center, Cockscomb Basin is a six (6) mile hike, or a US$15.00 taxi journey.

By air:

You can fly from Belize City to Dangriga via Maya Island Air or Tropic Air. The flight takes approximately 20 minutes. From Dangriga either take a taxi to Cockscomb or take a bus to Punta Gorda and ask to stop at Maya Center. From Maya Center , Cockscomb Basin is a six (6) mile hike or a US$15.00 taxi journey.

Source: http://belizeaudubon.org/parks/cbws.htm