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Garifuna Settlement Day: What is It?

Of the many reasons as to why November is the ideal month to vacation in Belize, the country’s observance of Garifuna Settlement Day and the celebration of American Thanksgiving tops the list. While both holidays are incomparable and individually unique, one thing is true; both occasions celebrate diverse identities and rich cultural history. If you find yourself vacationing in Belize in this particular month, be sure to bring along your dancing shoes and an open mind; November at premiere tourist destinations across Belize is annually a big deal. Let us tell you why: On a local scale, the nation of Belize celebrates its diverse identity with the observance of Garifuna Settlement Day every November 19th. As history has it, the Garinagu people, who have contributed significantly to the antiquity of Belize, arrived and settled in British Honduras (now known as Belize) and along Central American territories in the early 1800’s. Over the next century, the population inter-mixed with settlements of Carib Indians and fused into a single culture called “Garinagu” (or “Black Caribs”). Around the 1800’s, the Garinagus were a dominant population in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, but European politics began to exert its influence throughout the Caribbean. A series of […]

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WestJet Inaugurates Non-Stop Flight from Calgary to Belize

On Friday, November 3rd an inaugural direct flight between Calgary, Canada and Belize City, Belize was commemorated with a short ceremony at the Philip Goldson International Airport. This was the first weekly flight of WestJet’s seasonal winter schedule. To welcome this milestone flight to Belize, members of the Canadian Consulate, the Belize Airport Concession Company (BACC), the Belize Tourism Board, and the Belize Hotel Association joined many others at Philip Goldson International Airport. The congregate was addressed by Manuel Heredia, Jr. (Minister of Tourism) and Lynn Young (Canadian Consulate to Belize). Both keynote speakers expressed that the welcoming of an additional major international flight to Belize signifies economic growth as a result of the increasing popularity of Belize as a destination for not only tourists, but also for investors, retirees, and expatriates hailing from Canada. Tourism overnight statistics reveal that 6% of arrivals to Belize in 2016 were from the Canadian Market, and projected to increase in this 2017-2018 winter season. The Belize Tourism Board’s Director, Karen Bevans, addressed the inaugural gathering and expressed that this new flight “will help with the different areas such as Vancouver and the others that were unable to get a direct connection into Toronto so this makes it much more […]

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White Sandy Beaches in Belize? We Don’t Want Them! Here’s Why.

One of the questions our reservations team gets asked most frequently is “Do you have white sandy walk-in beaches at your resort?” Our answer is always “No”. We then proceed to give a bit more details explaining why we, along with the majority of beachfront resorts and hotels in Belize, don’t have any plans to change that anytime soon. Are you curious as to why we don’t have walk-in and clear-water beaches in Belize? It’s all about our ecosystem. Seagrass is a vital part of a marine life’s ecosystem. Not only does it act alongside the Belize Barrier Reef as a buffer of protection from harsh weather and storms, it acts as a natural defense against erosion. The seagrass that lines the coast of Belize is also a nursery to millions of sea creatures that you’ve come to love about the waters in the Caribbean! Ocean floors that do not have seagrass are extremely vulnerable to wave action from currents and storms, which cause beach erosion at a much faster rate than ocean floors that are covered with seagrass. This stabilization is important for the safety of beachfront establishments along the coastline. More importantly, the seagrass provides an ecosystem support system that is quite complex. […]

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Battle of St. George’s Caye: Why Belize is an English Speaking Country

The Battle of St. George’s Caye on September 10, 1798 is the most historical battle to happen in the land that is now known as Belize. This battle, however, was the final one of (at least) six attempts by the Spanish to conquer the Baymen (resident woodcutters), which ended in victory for the Baymen, as the Spaniards withdrew when ravaged by sickness during the two and a half-hour fight. If any of the attempts by the Spanish were successful, Great Britain would not have been able to establish British sovereignty over British Honduras, which is now known as Belize. If the British had not colonized the land, Spanish would be the official language of Belize, much like its neighboring countries (Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras). Read below more information about the battle(s) of St. George’s Caye: Prior to this historic final battle, the territory of (modern day) Belize was under dispute by Great Britain and Spain. Although Spain never officially occupied Belize, they considered it a part of its Central American territories, which include Mexico and Guatemala, after a war between England and Spain left much of Central American to be reigned by the Spanish. However, the British had entered the territory as early as 1638 to harvest logwood […]

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WestJet Announces New Direct Route from Canada to Belize

WestJet has just announced their 2017-2018 flight schedule, and new routes include direct flights from Calgary, AB to Belize International Airport. With the announcement, WestJet is offering great promotional introductory prices, so take advantage of them while they last. Believe it or not, the lowest fares you’ll find from Canada to Belize or for travel on Fridays, starting as low as $285CAD. “WestJet currently operates a seasonal flight from Toronto, Canada from October to May, therefore the Calgary – Belize flight is a welcome addition that will further boost Belize’s tourism industry.  The new flight is exciting news and it underscores BTB’s (Belize Tourism Board’s) unwavering marketing efforts in promoting Belize as a growing, viable and a must-go destination,” said Ms. Karen Pike, BTB’s Director of Marketing and Industry Relations. Book by: July 31, 2017 (11:59 p.m. MT)^ Travel from: October 29, 2017 – January 31, 2018 Blackout dates: December 20, 2017 – January 7, 2018 The Calgary-Belize flight service is part of WestJet’s seasonal schedule for the winter of 2017-18 which offers optimized service for both the business and leisure traveler and gives Canadians and Belizeans greater connectivity into and out of WestJet hubs in Calgary and Toronto, providing more flight frequency between key routes, more […]

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Belize is the Perfect Honeymoon Destination

Belize is increasingly becoming one of the top honeymoon destinations on the planet thanks to its perfect mix of adventure and relaxation. There’s time to walk hand in hand down a pristine beach and sway in a hammock to a tropical breeze underneath a palm tree in between laughing and having fun as you and your new spouse sail on an inner tube down a lazy river through a series of caves, clamber up the steps of an ancient Maya pyramid, and hike through nature reserves teeming with monkeys, manatees, jaguars and colorful birds of every description.

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How to get from Belize City to Ambergris Caye

From Belize City, travelers have a number of different options when it comes to getting to San Pedro, the capital of the island of Ambergris Caye. Both of Belize’s domestic air carriers, Tropic Air and Maya Island Air, offer regular connections between Philip Goldson and San Pedro. Check the airline’s websites for exact scheduling information but usually there are multiple flights per day connecting the two cities starting at 7:30 am with the last flight around 5:30 pm.

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Banyan Bay Donates to First Children’s Home on Ambergris Caye

On Wednesday, February 1, representatives of Ambergris Caye’s first upcoming children’s home were presented with a gift certificate worth $1,500 in order to supply the facility with necessary equipment upon its launch. Brittney O’Daniel of Raise Me Up and San Pedro Lions Club, Kaitlin McWhorter of Raise Me Up and Britney Travis of On Eagles Wings Ministries (OEWM) gladly accepted the donation, provided by Banyan Bay Resorts (Banyan Bay Suites & Grand Colony Island Villas).

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Flights to Belize

With non-stop flights from most major cities in North America, it’s now easier and more affordable than ever to enjoy a vacation in Belize.
To help you prepare for your Belize vacation, below is a brief run-down of the available flights from the United States and Canada. All international flights land at the Philip Goldson airport in Belize City.

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Celebrate Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize

More than four centuries ago, the British began importing slaves from Africa to work on plantations in the Caribbean. Over time, these people began intermarrying with local Carib and Arawak natives, developing a new culture called the Garifuna.

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Belize is the Perfect Honeymoon Destination
A Belize Wedding
Banyan Bay Donates to First Children’s Home on Ambergris Caye
WestJet and Southwest making it easy for travelers to visit Belize