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Snorkel and Scuba Dive with Whale Sharks in Belize

April 18th, 2018

snorkel and scuba dive with Belize whale sharks

Whale Sharks in Belize

Once a year, the largest fish in the world’s oceans arrive in the waters off of Belize. Gladden Spit and the remote atolls of the southern Belize Barrier Reef serve as a spawning ground for fish and other marine species each spring, drawing in enormous schools of whale sharks.

Whale sharks are somewhat misnamed creatures; giant fish that grow up to 46 feet (14 meters) long and weigh up to 30 tons. Called whales for their enormous size, whale sharks are technically classified as carpet sharks, the largest non-mammalian vertebrate species in the world’s oceans. Despite their gargantuan proportions, whale sharks are filter feeders, using a system similar to that of baleen whales to feed on enormous mouthfuls of microscopic creatures like plankton and fish spawn. Without teeth or any known natural predators, whale sharks are curious and friendly creatures known to frolic and play with human divers and snorkelers.

Whale sharks are highly sensitive to the earth’s magnetic fields and the phases of the moon, using these immutable landmarks to circumnavigate their way around the globe. Every spring between March and June, whale sharks enter the waters of southern Belize to feast on krill, plankton, larvae, and fish eggs. The sheltered waters of Gladden Spit and the nearby islands serve as the breeding grounds for thousands of species of fish and crustaceans, drawing in the weary whale sharks to hungrily feed on this abundance.

Able to cruise at depths over 5,000 feet, it can be difficult to spot whale sharks. But following the phases of the moon every spring, whale sharks rise to the shallow waters of Belize to feed, giving snorkelers and divers a unique opportunity to interact with these gentle giants.

Strict conservation efforts in Belize impose a limit of 10 boats in the vicinity of whale shark schools and all diving must cease by 6:00 PM. Only authorized tour guides are allowed to bring divers and snorkelers to where whale sharks feed in Belize. Roam Belize, a locally-owned and operated company, has whale shark packages that include a chance to see these enormous creatures up close and personal.

Roam Belize also organizes tours to all of the top destinations in Belize, including wildlife expeditions in the interior, bird watching, and exploring ancient Maya sites. Roam Belize also rents vehicles as well as provides private transfer and shuttle service to and from anywhere in the country. Roam Belize can also arrange for accommodations at the top resorts, lodges, and hotels in Belize.

Questions about snorkeling or scuba diving with whale sharks in Belize? Send us an email at info[@]roambelize.com. We’d love to help you plan your Belize vacation.

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Dangriga Car Rentals

April 18th, 2018

Dangriga is a town on the southeastern coast of Belize in Stann Creek District. With a population of around 10,000 people, Dangriga is considered one of the larger urban areas in the country and is widely known as the cultural capital of Belize. The largest ethnic group in Dangriga is the Garifuna people, a unique Afro-Caribbean culture that has was recognized by the United Nations in 2001 for being a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Dangriga was originally known as Stann Creek Town thanks to its strategic position on the North Stann Creek River where it flows into the Caribbean Sea. In 1832, the Garifuna emigrated to Belize and settled in Dangriga.

Dangriga has an extremely lively music scene, particularly focused on the traditional drumming style of the Garifuna. A large statue of three Garifuna drums is on display in the center of the town and visitors flock to Dangriga to enjoy live musical performances, workshops, and exhibitions of Garifuna music. Dangriga is the home of punta and punta rock, two uniquely Belizean musical genres that are heavily influenced by traditional Garifuna rhythms mixed with influences from calypso and soca music. The risqué humor and scathing social commentary of many lyrics in popular punta songs give this genre a lively popularity ideal for open-air performances and dance halls.

Belize’s greatest living artist, Delvin “Pen” Cayetano, was born and continues to live in Dangriga, and his studio is one of the town’s most popular attractions. An artist successful in many different media, including painting, sculpture, and music, Pen Cayetano was knighted in 2013 by the Queen of England for his contributions to art and culture.

Other attractions in Dangriga include a bevy of restaurants, clubs, and karaoke bars, the open-air market on the north bank of the river, and the Gulisi Garifuna Museum that details the unique contributions and history of the Garifuna people.

Exploring Dangriga

Roam Belize is a locally-owned tour company based in Dangriga. Roam Belize has a fleet of well-maintained, modern vehicles that allow visitors to explore Dangriga and the region in comfort and style. Roam Belize has a simple, no-hassle rental procedure and can deliver vehicles anywhere in the country.

With a rented vehicle from Roam Belize, you can enjoy all of the sights and sounds that Dangriga has to offer. Whether you’re interested in learning more about the music and history of the Garifuna people or simply want to enjoy a rollicking good time in the cultural capital of Belize, having your own rental vehicle is the best way to explore Dangriga.

Questions about visiting Dangriga? Send us an email at info[@]roambelize.com. We’d love to help you plan your vacation, tours, car rental services, and ground transportation in Belize.


What Is There To Do in Harvest Caye, Belize?

April 18th, 2018
 

In Belize, islands are known as “cayes” (pronounced “keys”). Harvest Caye is a port of call used by many cruise lines and is an offshore island located just a few miles from the mainland.

Harvest Caye itself is very small, and there aren’t many options for cruise passengers. But there is a regular ferry service that connects Harvest Caye to the Placencia Peninsula on the mainland, one of the most popular destinations in the country where you can enjoy activities such as:

Zip Line and River Tubing

Offering plenty of thrills, this tour combines sailing through the upper canopy of the jungle along a zip line with the uniquely Belizean sport of cave tubing, floating down a lazy river aboard an inflatable inner tube.

Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve

Home to some of the last surviving jaguars in the world, the Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve is an enormous wilderness area with stunning landscapes, beautiful mountains, and a wide variety of plants and animals.

Maya Chocolate Making

The descendants of the ancient Maya that built the pyramids and palaces that dot the Belizean landscape have preserved much of their traditional way of life, including making chocolate. Cacao (the source of chocolate) is indigenous to Belize, and this tour allows you to make your own chocolate from locally sourced cacao beans.

Horseback Riding

Belize is a beautiful country with astonishingly beautiful nature everywhere you go. One of the best ways to explore this lush landscape is on horseback.

Hopkins Garifuna Cultural Tour

The Garifuna are an Afro-Caribbean people who have been recognized by the United Nations for their unique language, music, and dance. Hopkins Village is a Garifuna community located on the coast, regularly voted as the friendliest village in Belize.

Roam Belize is the name to trust when it comes to guided tours in Belize. If you’re coming to Harvest Caye and want to visit the sights, book your tour with Roam Belize. A representative from Roam Belize will greet you at the ferry pier in Placencia and then take you where you want to go.

Roam Belize also rents vehicles to allow visitors to explore the country at their own pace. All of Roam Belize’s vehicles are well-maintained, modern vehicles perfectly suited for Belize’s rugged terrain.

“We stopped off at Harvest Caye as part of our cruise, and we hired Roam Belize to take us around. Absolutely my favorite part of the whole trip, hands down. My wife loved the chocolate, and I had a blast doing the river tubing and zip line stuff.”

-Jeff Barter, Gagetown, Michigan            


The Best Places to Stay in Placencia Belize

April 18th, 2018

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Placencia Belize

Nestled between the Caribbean Sea and a lagoon, the Placencia Peninsula in southern Belize features more than 16 miles of beautiful sandy beaches, easily traversed by beach cruiser bicycle. The northern part of the peninsula is where vacationers can relax on the sand or fish the lagoon while the southern part is home to the airstrip and the village, complete with internet cafes, banks, gourmet restaurants and transportation connections to the rest of the country.

The village of Placencia is your one-stop shop for enjoying many of the popular marine activities at the nearby Belize Barrier Reef, including kayaking, snorkeling, fly fishing, and scuba diving. Nearby mainland attractions include exploring Maya ruins, visiting the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Preserve, or visiting the village of Hopkins to experience Garifuna cooking, music and culture.

The Best Places to Stay in Placencia Belize

belize beach resorts

 

Mariposa – Located on a two-acre stretch of privately-owned land, the Mariposa bed and breakfast is independently owned and operated by a retired Canadian couple. After falling in love with the beauty of Placencia, they decided to open their own bed and breakfast. Featuring oceanfront views and an on-site restaurant, Mariposa is a wonderful place to enjoy the best of the Placencia Peninsula.

belize-ocean-club

The Belize Ocean Club Resort – Few locations in Placencia can compare to the luxurious Belize Ocean Club Resort. Located on the renowned Maya Beach, the resort offers one and two-bedroom suites, each with their own seaside balcony. The resort also includes a gourmet restaurant and an incredible swimming pool complete with its own swim-up bar.

Chabil-Mar-beach

The Villas at Chabil Mar – Drawing its name from a Mayan phrase meaning “beautiful sea”, the Villas at Chabil Mar offer oceanfront luxury just five minutes by foot from the village of Placencia. Each villa comes with its own oceanfront veranda. Enjoy fresh-caught seafood at the on-site Cafe Mar beachfront restaurant or go for a leisurely swim in one of the resort’s two infinity swimming pools.

If you’re interesting in exploring all the best that southern Belize and the Placencia Peninsula has to offer, let Roam Belize help plan your itinerary and arrange for your travel needs. A locally-owned and operated company, ROAM BELIZE specializes in helping visitors find the hidden gems in Placencia, Hopkins, and other exciting destinations in Belize.

Roam Belize also offers shuttle service to and from anywhere in Belize as well as transfers from neighboring Mexico and Guatemala.

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Belize Family Adventure Vacations and Family Adventure Holidays

April 11th, 2018

Dreaming of getting away from the hustle and bustle of modern life? Seeking a way to get your kids (and spouse?) to put down their phones for a while? Want to make some unforgettable memories together? 

Belize is the perfect place for family vacations. A small, democratic, and English-speaking country in Central America just a short flight from the United States. Best of all, Belize is a beautiful wonderland of pristine nature where brightly-colored parrots chatter, where the perfume of a thousand flowers fill the air, and where exotic animals like monkeys, giant iguanas, and jaguars roam.

Yes, you can get an internet connection in your hotel, but the beauty of a family vacation in Belize is that everyone will be having too much fun to want to look at their phones. In Belize, you can visit an animal sanctuary, climb to the top of an ancient Maya pyramid, go snorkeling, and sail through the air along a series of zip lines. Little kids love to learn about animals, and older kids love adventures and learning about ancient history and the indigenous cultures of Belize.

The mainland of Belize is composed of pristine rainforests, thick jungles, misty mountains, and towering waterfalls. And Belize also has hundreds of islands in the Caribbean Sea, framed by the largest coral reef system in the northern hemisphere. Whether your idea of a perfect family vacation is spending time on the beach or hiking through a vast wilderness sanctuary, there’s something for everyone in Belize.

At Roam Belize, we love to share the beauty of our amazing country with travelers from around the world. Family means everything to Belizeans, and we love how children have curious and inquisitive minds, eager to explore the world. And because we know that most families are on a budget, we offer special discounts for families with children. 

Furthermore, we understand that not all of the activities and tours that are available in Belize are suitable for young children due to size and weight restrictions. That’s why we work with families to make sure that we match you with trips and adventures that are right for your family.

Roam Belize is a full-service tourism company owned and operated by Belizeans. We offer a full range of travel services, including vehicle rentals, shuttle service, private ground transfers, and tours and adventures to all of the top destinations in the country.

For your Belize family vacation, choose Roam Belize.


Horseback Riding in Southern Belize

April 7th, 2018

One of the best ways to explore the lush nature of Belize is on horseback. Unlike cars or ATVs which produce loud sounds that disturb animals, horses allow travelers to enter the natural world unheard, the perfect way to see and experience the ecological diversity of Belize.

Horseback riding is more than just a great way to get outdoors and explore the landscapes of Belize; it is also a fantastic way to get some exercise. Physiologists have discovered that even riding a horse at a light trot causes riders to burn the same amount of calories as a moderately intense workout equivalent to jogging, swimming, or playing volleyball.

Furthermore, horseback riding is considered a great activity to improve your posture, tone your back and thigh muscles, and activate your “core” abdominal muscles. Horseback riding is also a great way to relax and unwind mentally as it requires the rider to remain balanced while taking in the beautiful surroundings. Lastly, spending time with animals has been proven to raise serotonin levels, the so-called “feel good” hormones.

Roam Belize operates one of the most popular horseback riding tours in the country. Roam Belize’s horseback adventures take place in one of the most beautiful locations in southeastern Belize, a privately owned ranch. The ranch has its own herd of well-trained, very gentle horses who are intimately familiar with the riding trails on the property. This tour allows travelers to experience the wonders of the rainforest, including fragrant plants, colorful birds, and exotic animals like monkeys and giant iguanas.

Roam Belize’s horseback riding tour will take travelers into some of the most unspoiled terrain in the country, including a pristine river that flows down from the Maya Mountains. The horseback riding tour includes a stop at a natural swimming hole on the river which is located between two small rapids, making it the perfect place to unwind and cool off on a hot day.

Roam Belize’s horseback riding tour lasts for five hours. The price is $100 and includes transportation to the ranch, use of the horses, and all the necessary safety gear.

Roam Belize also offers guided tours to all the top attractions in the country. Roam Belize also rents vehicles so that travelers can explore Belize at their own pace. And for travelers who do not wish to drive themselves, Roam Belize provides door-to-door shuttle services and private ground transfers to any destination in Belize.


Belize, a Great Destination for Birdwatching

March 31st, 2018
 
With more than 500 recorded species of birds, Belize is truly one of the best places in the world to spot avian species in the wild. The Audubon Society is very active in Belize, and the country has no fewer than six Important Birding Areas where it’s easy to stop hundreds of bird species in their native habitat.

Whether you’re new to the world of bird watching or a veteran birder, Belize is truly a great place to see birds. 

“We’ve traveled the world to see birds, but our visit to Belize was truly special,” said Dan and Sandy Borling of Katy, Texas. “We booked a tour with Roam Belize and were blown away by our guide, Blasio Ical. The man is a walking encyclopedia on the flora and fauna of Belize, and his specialty is birds. We were astonished by how much we learned from our guide.”

Blasio Ical is a native of Belize and the inheritor of thousands of years of Maya knowledge. Fluent in five languages, including all three dialects of the Mayan tongue, Blasio Ical has been a nature guide for more than 20 years. Steeped in local knowledge about the diversity of life in Belize, Blasio has worked with many of the top luxury resorts in the country. Blasio is also a proud member of the Audobon Society.

These are the six Important Birding Areas being managed by the Belize Audobon Society:

  • Blue Hole Natural Monument
  • Half Moon Caye Natural Monument
  • St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park
  • Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Guanacaste National Park

In addition, the Belize Audobon Society also manages the Victoria Peak Natural Monument, the second-highest point of land in the country. Located inside of the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Victoria Peak measures 3,675 feet (1.1 kilometers) high. The trail to the summit is only open to the public between February and May.

Belize is home to several endangered bird species, including:

  • Black catbirds
  • Brown pelicans
  • Buff-breasted sandpipers
  • Cerulean warblers
  • Golden-cheeked wood warblers
  • Golden-winged warblers
  • Great Curassows
  • Crested eagles
  • Harpy eagles
  • Keel-billed motmots
  • Least terns
  • Ocellated turkeys
  • Painted buntings
  • Yellow-headed parrots

If you’d like to see some of the hundreds of amazing avian species in Belize, book your tour with Blasio Ical and Roam Belize. Roam Belize has several comprehensive bird watching tours to all of the best birding areas of Belize.


Should I Rent a Car in Belize?

March 27th, 2018

Rent a car in Belize

All international flights arrive at the Belize City airport and cruise ships berth at either Belize City or a nearby island, so travelers who want to explore the country must either rely on expensive domestic air connections or private ground transfers. A great alternative for visitors wanting to explore the Placencia Peninsula and villages like Hopkins and the towns of Dangriga and Punta Gorda in southern Belize is to rent their own vehicle from Roam Belize.

Whether you’re arriving at the international airport or need a vehicle elsewhere in the country, Roam Belize can deliver your car to your doorstep, including in western areas like San Ignacio. No matter where you want to go, a private rental vehicle from Roam Belize gives you the freedom to explore the country at your own pace while enjoying the unforgettable beauty of its parks, forests, villages, and towns.

Belize is a relatively small country, but infrastructure investments by the government have resulted in four major highways. Completely paved and modern in every respect, the Northern Highway (now known as the Philip Goldson Highway) connect Belize City to its border with Mexico in Corozal District, the Western Highway (officially the George Price Highway) connects Belize City to the capital Belmopan and destinations in the west, the Hummingbird Highway that connects Belmopan in the southwest to Dangriga in the southeast, and the Southern Highway that connects Dangriga to points further south, terminating in Punta Gorda Town.

These four highways make it easy to traverse the country with your own rental car along with exploring the smaller roads and byways that link to smaller villages and inhabited areas. Many people consider driving in Belize to be half the fun of the vacation as much of the scenery is jaw-droppingly beautiful. Other fun encounters to expect when driving in Belize are the numerous “sleeping policemen” or speed bumps that function in lieu of stop lights. Local children and entrepreneurs are situated around these speed bumps, giving drivers a chance to enjoy an authentic experience of Belizean life. As gasoline is imported into Belize, it is more expensive than in the United States or Canada. Gasoline is sold by the gallon (the same one used in the United States) and runs around US $5.50 a gallon. 

Roam Belize is the country’s premier car rental agency and has a no-hassle booking policy that makes it easy and safe to rent a modern, well-maintained vehicle. Roam Belize also specializes in arranging for bookings at top resorts, hotels, and lodges as well as organizing tours and ground transfers. For more information about Roam Belize’s rental vehicles and services, visit their website today.


Why You Should Visit Dangriga Belize

March 27th, 2018

Dangriga Belize

Dangriga is not only the district capital of Stann Creek, but more importantly, it is the “culture capital” of Belize. No matter where your interests lie, this charming and vibrant coastal town offers something for everybody, and its convenient location makes it the perfect jumping off point for a variety of adventures on both land and sea.

Natural Beauty

The area in and around Dangriga boasts some of the most diverse eco-systems on the planet. You can snorkel in the clear blue water near the reef and observe a fantastic variety of sea creatures, or visit the Cockscomb Wildlife Preserve to hike, birdwatch, cool off under a waterfall, and if you’re lucky, get a glimpse of one of the elusive jaguars who make this their home. Or, just relax on the beach beneath a coconut palm and enjoy the balmy Caribbean breeze.

Garifuna Heritage

Dangriga has a population of about 9,000 friendly residents, most of whom are the descendants of shipwrecked slaves who intermarried with Arawak Indians of the Caribbean Islands – known as the Garifuna. Garifuna culture is the successful fusion of African and Caribbean traditions. Dangriga’s Gulisi Garifuna museum is the only museum in Belize dedicated to telling the story of the Garifuna, and it’s a great place to get an introduction to their history and culture. The Studio Gallery Cayetano offers further opportunity to learn about the art and music of the contemporary Garifuna people. 

Punta Rock

The traditional music of the Garifuna is known as “punta”, but in the 1970s and 80s, musicians modernized and updated the punta style by adding guitars, synthesizers, and other modern sounds to the more traditional instruments, resulting in “punta rock”. The artist Pen Cayetano is credited with creating punta rock, and this favorite son of Dangriga still lives in town, making music with his family band, “The Cayetanos”. This fun and upbeat music, somewhat similar to reggae, can be heard all over the region.

Mayan History

The much older Mayan culture is evident all over Belize, and numerous Mayan sites are within a short drive from Dangriga. Before you head out to explore the ruins, stop in at the Maya Center Mayan Museum to learn more about this fascinating culture.

No matter where you decide to spend your time in and around Dangriga, Roam Belize can get you where you want to go. Contact Roam Belize for car rentals, tours, and airport shuttles to Dangriga and beyond.


Exploring the Beauty of Hopkins, Belize With a Rental Vehicle

March 21st, 2018

hopkins belize car rental

Regularly voted as the “Friendliest Village in Belize,” Hopkins is located on the southeastern coast. Travelers heading to Hopkins have two options: either drive down from the Belize City airport (which takes about three hours) or flying into Dangriga and then driving up the coast (about 30 miles).

Renting a car is the best way to see the sights both in and around Hopkins as well as the surrounding region. Indeed, many travelers say that driving is half the fun of a vacation in Belize! And with your own rental vehicle, you can explore places like the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (home to the world’s first jaguar preserve), ancient Maya cities, Punta Gorda (Belize’s chocolate-growing region), the village of Seine Bight, and the gorgeous Placencia Peninsula.

The best place to rent a vehicle is with Roam Belize. Based right in Dangriga in southeastern Belize, Roam Belize has a large fleet of modern, spacious vehicles that are perfectly suited to exploring the highways and byways of Belize. Instead of driving overland from Belize City and then back, you can rent a vehicle right in Dangriga and enjoy exploring the area at your own pace. When your vacation comes to an end, all you’ll need to do is fly from Dangriga back to Belize City and then back home.

Driving a car in Belize is simple and hassle-free. If you’ve got a valid driver’s license in your home country, you’re all set. The rules of the road are almost identical to those in the United States such as driving on the right, distances measured in miles, and all signposts written in English. The only big difference is that the panoramic views along the way are so beautiful that you’ll need to budget in extra time to stop and take photos!

Roam Belize also offers private ground transfers and shuttle services for visitors who prefer not to drive themselves. All of Roam Belize’s drivers are experienced professionals who have passed advanced safety courses. When you choose Roam Belize, you’ll receive friendly, courteous, and punctual door-to-door service to and from any destination in the country.

Roam Belize also works with tour operators to provide guided excursions to all of the top destinations in the country, including cultural tours of Hopkins to learn more about the Garifuna people, trips to Dangriga (the cultural capital of Belize), ancient Maya cities, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, and adventure tours to enjoy activities like zip lining, cave tubing, bird watching, horseback riding, and more.