Seagrape Drive, San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize
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November is Garifuna History Month – Belize celebrates!

Of the many cultures and ethnic groups that make up the identity of Belize, none is more synonymous to November than the Garinagu/Garifuna culture. An annual celebration held in Belize on November 19th and a public and bank holiday, this day signals their prominence and arrival to our southern shores; almost 4 centuries ago. This holiday is known as the Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize. Here are a few facts focusing on this unique culture and people that share part of our identity as a country. History of the Garifuna 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. After rebelling against the British, the Garifuna were pursued throughout the Caribbean. First landing on the island of Roatan (part of modern Honduras) where they adopted cassava into their diet, the Garifuna eventually arrived on the shores of Belize on November 19, 1802, establishing themselves in villages such as Barranco, Seine Bight, Dangriga, Hopkins and Punta Gorda. Their cultural contribution to Belize has been so positive that in 1977, under the leadership of […]

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SEArious fun – Up close and personal with Manatees

Our day trip begins with the fitting of snorkel fins and mask at the SEArious Adventures office on the beachfront of San Pedro Town. Onboard the skiff, our Captain Aron introduced his skipper James and went ahead to discuss our day’s agenda and itinerary. Our most anticipated stop was Swallow Caye, a wildlife sanctuary about 30 miles from our location or 5 miles east of Belize City. This sanctuary spans about 9000 acres and the ocean floor is covered with turtle-grass beds, making it the ideal habitat for a healthy population of about 30 West Indian manatees that roam the area. The sea grass is what attracts these clumsy yet graceful mammals to this location, and they can feed till their hearts content. According to our guide Aron, Manatees can eat over a hundred pounds of food a day. On our arrival to the site and deceleration of the engine, the captain signaled his skipper to take over the steering as he climbed atop the bow and started to look for signs of these elusive creatures. With curiosity peaking, anticipation high and our eyes on lookout for any water movements, we finally got some eye-catching glimpse of these gentle giants […]

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1st Summer Sailing Camp for island youths

Schools’ out and this year, the Belize Sailing Center, located at the beachfront of Banyan Bay Suites, is launching its first Summer Sailing and Fun Day Camp for island kids ages 8-14 on Ambergris Caye. Participants in this program will learn the basics to sail in a fun and safe environment including how to rig & launch a boat, basic knots, sailing terminology, develop wind awareness, and learn to sail a race course. Organizers believe that the summer camps will be a fun way to experience sailing and for the first time, master new skills, or just hang out on the water with friends. So even if your kids don’t know their port from their starboard, your mini-mariners can get a five-star education where they’ll end up a little less Gilligan, a little more Skipper. Give it a try-take the tiller in your hand and helm the boat in your very first sailing lesson! To sign-up call Cindy at 624-4659 or Christina at 633-2228 The club is offering several different dates to accommodate your family’s summer schedule (weather dependent); June 10th– 15th from 9:30am-12pm Includes; daily lessons til 12pm, Lunch Meal, Kidtopia on the beach til 3pm (Fridays – lessons, lunch and […]

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Meet Alex – Our Purchasing Agent

  Generally unseen and stationed behind the scenes, Alex plays an integral role in the operations aspect of the resort. In his 12 year tenure with the company as purchasing agent, Alex has mastered finding a balance with supplier price, service and quality to fill the daily demands of the property including our on-site restaurant. With the help of his trusty side-kick and warehouse assistant, Haroldo, their daily roles comprises of purchasing materials/good/supplies, scheduling of deliveries and pick-ups; ensuring the intake, coordination, and safety of goods coming through warehouse. As part of the purchasing process, Alex researches and connects with different vendors and suppliers. Once purchased items arrive, he is responsible for taking stock of the current inventory and researching inventory discrepancies. When asked what inspires his daily motivation, Alex expressed his ability to be the head provider of his household and to inspire those that work along with him at the resort on a daily basis. Since joining the team in August 2007, Alex has formed and maintained many friendships and has seen many phases to the ever-evolving property including construction and remodeling and expansion of the company. Hailing from San Roman in the Corozal District, Alex relocated to […]

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BTIA hosts 13th Belize Tourism Expo (BETEX), roadshow style!

The 13th Edition of the Belize Tourism Expo (BETEX) which kicked off May 8th in Placencia, culminated in grand fashion on Monday, May 13th, in Ambergris Caye. This year’s Roadshow styled business expo saw tourism professionals meet with 30 local and international travel agents and wholesalers to experience Belize firsthand. These travelers had the opportunity to learn more about the country’s top attractions, accommodations, and visitor services currently on offer. Aimed at selling Belize as a top travel destination, it was paramount that Banyan Bay Suites, Grand Colony Island Villas and Alaia Belize were represented. “With Belize’s rapid rise as a desirable travel destination, the need to market this tiny Central American country is paramount in this day and age. Over the years, we’ve seen the interest of many celebrities, travel professionals and trendsetters having a keen interest in Belize and this is one networking opportunity we could not pass up,” stated Banyan Bay’s Reservations Director, Almira Zul. Properties represented in this year’s BETEX hailed from San Pedro, Placencia, Cayo, as well, Caye Caulker and Toledo. Participants enjoyed cultural presentations and food in each destination visited; networked one-on-one with the people, engaged in business conversations during sessions of scheduled meetings, […]

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Alaia Foundation’s inaugural Half Marathon and 10K Run/Walk a huge success!

The first edition of Alaia Foundation’s Half Marathon & 10K Run/Walk held last Saturday, April 6th 2019, was an overwhelming success with a record number of runners taking on both distances. Runners participating in the event hailed from all across the country of Belize and as far as Michigan, Canada, West Virginia and California. At the crack of dawn, spectators lined Banyan Bay Suites’ resort entrance to support this fantastic community event with over 133 runners competing on a picture perfect day. The event consisted of a 10km run/walk and 21km (half Marathon) distance on the principal streets of Ambergris Caye, with the largest number of participants running the 10km distance.  The event also garnered the support from an international official time keeper, Patrick Hamel of Club Spartan from St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Using advanced digital technology, each runner’s bib was equipped with a chip to calculate with accuracy the times of each runner. There were 5 age categories including Under 20, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, Over 50 and an overall winner in both distances. Placing first in the overall Half Marathon was Leon O’Brian with an incredible time of 1:19:17 and Radmon Smith with a time of 00:35:49 as the overall […]

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Beach and rainforest luxury package!

This seven-night combination travel package highlights two of Belize’s gems perfectly: four nights at Banyan Bay Suites beach resort on Ambergris Caye and three nights at the best country home in all of western Belize, Kukulkan Villa. While at the beach resort, guests will be pampered throughout their stay, and will enjoy but not limited to, snorkeling the Caribbean Sea, access to a golf cart, breakfasts daily, rejuvenating massages and immersion of the local island cuisine. This incredible suite offers 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, Central Air, one spacious living room with a 42″ Plasma TV, equipped kitchenette and dedicated Wifi. Below are elements included in this beach package; * Flight from International Airport- San Pedro (One Way) * Accommodations for 4 nights * Daily Breakfasts at Pier 366 * Dinner at Pier 366 * Snorkeling Trip to Hol Chan Marine Reserve * On-site Couples Massage * 24 Golf Cart rental *Flight from San Pedro – Municipal Airport *Pick-up from Municipal airport – to Villa (vehicle transport) The jungle part of your itinerary combines luxurious comforts in the middle of the rugged wilderness of Belize. Kukulkan Villa is uniquely perched on the foothills of Mopan River Valley and is a short […]

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Don’t stop “Belize-ing”

African natives, Gail and Jonathan Squires fell in love with Ambergris Caye in 1999 when they first visited Belize at ages 47 & 48 years, respectively. They stayed at the Villas at Banyan Bay and brought their son (then 11 years old) along for the visit. They recounted that back then, ‘the sleepy island was all dirt roads, unspoiled and pristine, foot traffic mostly, few organized tours, it was a true tropical escape; bar none.’ Fast-forward to twenty years later, the Squires made their return visit to Ambergris Caye, now the tourist mecca of Belize, accompanied by their youngest daughter, Ashley, age 36. But, what inspired their visit from the sunshine state of Florida, where they currently reside? According to the couple, the island’s laidback, welcoming charm and the warm hospitality of the people is what attracted them to Belize. The couple recounted that back then, Pier 366 was The Palapa where they had breakfasts each morning and the island was only developed up to Victoria House. With few tourists, organized tours, all dirt roads and few cars, it was the most perfect slice of paradise, expressed Jon, as we chatted around the dining table in their B1 Suite. While they […]

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2018 Year in Review

From new accommodation features and updates, to significant customer milestones and ambitious projects, 2018 has been another epic year here at Banyan Bay Suites. So, as we begin a new year, we’d like to take a moment and look back on all the things we’ve learned, experienced, and achieved together in the past 12 months. Resort Upgrades complete – January 2018 saw the completion of our renovated suites and reception area. Each unit has seen cosmetic changes to its kitchen area, décor, ceilings, bathrooms and furniture arrangements. Adjoining the suites master bedroom is the bathroom which was a focal point of the renovations and upgrades. Bathrooms are now transformed into walk-in showers with a rain, hot and cold shower head. The resorts lobby was also transformed into a colorful and stylish waiting area with upbeat and trendy staff members welcoming you at the reception. Installation of studio Gym – More and more travelers are fitness-conscious and the installation of our studio gym is perfect for workouts when on vacation. Designed for our in-house guests, this gym features strength equipment, elliptical, thread mills, kettle-bells, strength bands, stationary bike, free weights and yoga mats. Open daily and located at the lobby area, […]

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Belize Spotlight; The Great Blue Hole Expedition

What lies beneath Belize’s and arguably the World’s largest sinkhole, the Great Blue Hole? That is what a marine contingent from Aquatica Submarines and British philanthropist, Richard Branson will unearth as they board two underwater submersible vehicles on this incredible two week underwater expedition scheduled to take place from Sunday, December 2nd, 2018. The upcoming submarine exploration of the Belize Blue Hole will be helmed by documentarian and conservationist Fabien Cousteau, the grandson of Jacque Cousteau. This underwater expedition will be a coordinated effort between the Branson-funded NGO Ocean Unite, Aquatica Submarines, and a team of scientists from the Roatan Institute of Deep Sea Exploration (RIDE). Aquatica has enlisted a team of scientists, explorers and filmmakers collect scientific data, focusing on a complete sonar scan of the interior. Branson, philanthropist and founder of Ocean Unite, said one purpose of the trip is to raise awareness of the need to protect the seas. Calling the Blue Hole “One of the ocean’s most magical wonders,” he went on to say, “We all share the common goal of conserving, protecting our beautiful global ocean.” Branson is hoping that his involvement in the project will generate awareness around ocean conservation, and is supporting the goal […]

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Belize is the Perfect Honeymoon Destination
A Belize Wedding
Banyan Bay Donates to First Children’s Home on Ambergris Caye
Getting Here