Here’s How to tell Winter is Coming in Belize

WinterIsComingNedShovel
In Belize, like in most places, we have the same tell-tale signs that scream winter is coming.

These are the top 5 signs you can look for:

 

1. It’s freezing out! Since it’s not the usual 82 degrees we’ve grown so accustomed to, when the temperature drops 7 degrees, we feel it! At 75 degrees we pull out light sweaters, thin blankets and our favorite winter shorts. Yes, shorts.

December in Belize

Sweater and Shorts. Photo Credit: TacoGirl

2.  There’s an abundance of food everywhere. You know winter is coming when Belizeans start to make their Christmas black cake and homemade eggnog, or as we call it RumPopo. A lot of the food you’ll experience during a Belizean “winter” is seasonal and you’ll have to wait until next winter to have it again, so we recommend that you indulge.

Belizean Food

Traditional Rice and Beans

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3. We can finally build snowmen. Sorry, we meant to say sandmen, or men made of hay. We think they take a little more imagination to create, but they’re equally as fun to put together.

 

Christmas in Belize563718_10152333560130468_1890028781_n

4. Christmas trees are lit in almost every town. While it might not be a Rockefeller Tree Lighting, the twinkling lights set the mood for a fun month of holiday activities.

Christmas in BelizeChristmas in Belize

5. It gets darker sooner. By 5:30PM the sun starts to set and night begins to sneak in. The sun sets an hour earlier than usual, but there is no doubt that the sunsets during these months are the most spectacular of the year. photo (3)

6. The water is icy. Ok. We might be making things up, but we couldn’t miss the opportunity to tell you that since the temperature is still warm, the sea is also warm and perfect for swimming. Our pool, after a long day of jungle adventures, also remains a good way to unwind and relax all year round. The only things that stay icy are the cold Belizean beers and cocktails that we’re sure you’ll love on a sunny winter day. IMG_1914

Who are we kidding? In a tropical paradise in the Caribbean it’s hard to tell when winter is coming, since it never really arrive. We have no snow days, no blizzards, and no below zero temperatures to fear. While it may be hard to tell when winter is coming, we can assure you that sipping on a Tequila Sunrise while sitting at our pool and looking at an amber sunset is so much “cooler” than shoveling snow.

You need to be here. We can help.

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A Valentines Special All Inclusive Affair

February is the month of love and nothing says “I love you” more than an all-inclusive Valentines Special romantic getaway at our Belize Jungle Resort.

Bask in the ambiance of one of our luxuriously appointed Jungle Treehouses and reconnect under the stars in our private, romantic, candlelit outdoor stone tub.

Belize Jungle Resort

Candlelit Stone Tub


When playtime is over, or put on pause, enjoy an exquisite romantic three-course dinner at our Jungle Pot Restaurant.

Valentines Special Dinner

Valentines Special Dinner for two

Our All Inclusive Valentines Special includes:

  •  One night luxury accommodation
  •  Love potion welcome drink
  •  Romantic three course candlelit dinner
  •  Gift of handmade chocolate truffles
  •  Rose petals turndown
  •  Bottle of champagne or Sparkling Wine
  •  Unwind in candlelit outdoor stone tub
  •  Free breakfast

Price: US$ 325.00 per couple. All taxes included.

And if you decide playtime is not over and you want to stay a second day and night, it gets even better! Here is what awaits you:

  •  Romantic Picnic lunch on our beautiful lookout hill
  •  Rejuvenating  massage for two
  •  Romantic three course candlelit dinner
  •  Free breakfast

Price for the two nights: US$ 820.00 per couple. All taxes included

Don’t miss out on this All Inclusive Valentines Special.  Book online or call us at (501) 824 – 3141 for reservations.

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Adventure into Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave

Journey to the ancient underworld of the Maya in one of Belize’s most decorated cave systems filled with relics from the past and remains of actual human sacrifices. If you love adventure, excitement and mystery Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) delivers the goods!

An early morning start takes you through the village of Teakettle in the Cayo District of Belize to the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve. The drive lasts about 45 minutes passing through remote ethnic settlements, beautiful farmlands filled with corn and orange orchards that leaves you thinking, what in the world is the entrance to the Maya underworld doing in such a beautiful place?

Belize Farmlands

Passing through some of Belize’s beautiful farmlands

Upon arriving at the vehicle parking area your guide prepares you for the short 30 minute hike to the cave’s entrance. It is advisable to wear an excellent pair of hiking shoes and a nice pair of socks that you don’t mind getting dirty to ensure your comfort along with comfortable clothes such as a T-shirt and shorts. You will be warned to leave all cameras, cell-phones and picture taking devices behind as they have been banned due to past incidents involving damaging of artefacts. Although this is disappointing, I guarantee what you will see in the cave will remain in your memories forever!

The hike snakes along under the canopy of the trees that affords you glimpses of wildlife in their natural habitats and even takes you through ankle deep stream crossings to cool your feet off, all the while your guide explaining the history of the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve.

You will arrive at a camping/lunch area where your guide will ready the gear to enter the cave. Ensure that your hiking shoes are tied tight, your helmet is comfortable on your head and that your headlight is bright and in excellent working condition. If everything is in order you proceed to find one of the most breathtaking sights you will ever see- The entrance to Maya Underworld!

Entrance to Adventure in the Maya Cave Entrance

Entrance to the Maya Underworld

Beautiful is an understatement! From the crystal clear blue waters of the natural pool, the hour-glassed shaped curve of the rocks, to the incredible canopy of the trees up above, it resembles an oasis from your wildest imaginations. Still, it does not prepare you for what you will meet inside!

To enter the cave you must swim through the pool where you will be immediately plunged into darkness upon immerging from the cold waters (If you cannot swim ask your guide for a life-vest so you can float across the pool). Turn on your headlights and start taking in the natural architecture of the cave’s interior. You have now entered Xibalba (Maya name for underworld)!

Your guide then takes you through the cave where you will have to wade through water, climb over rocks and squeeze through tight places. It leaves you wondering why would the Maya go to all this trouble to leave these relics behind? Their beliefs in leaving sacrifices and performing rituals for their Gods were always for a great purpose.  Whether it was praying for rain or calling on the spirits for aid, the deeper the Maya travelled into the cave to perform these rituals, the greater the problem they wanted to solve.

After snaking your way over and through the rocks you will climb up to a cavern called The Cathedral, filled with Mayan artefacts and even human remains. Here, you have to take off your shoes and walk around in your socks (or barefoot if you don’t want to dirty your socks) to prevent damaging the cave’s interior and most importantly the artefacts that litter the floor.

The interior of The Cathedral leaves you lost for words. It is better to witness it for yourself than to explain everything there is to see.

Your guide will explain what archaeologists thought was the purpose of each ritual. Depending on who your guide is, you may get an anthropological analysis as well. The Maya were very meticulous on where they placed their artefacts. Some were placed to mirror various star constellations or at the foot of huge boulders and rock formations believed the be the throne of the deity they were praying to. Everything again, done for a specific purpose.

The last thing you will see is of course, the human remains of the “Crystal Maiden” a young girl sacrificed for some great cause over a thousand years ago. Spotting your light on her reveals a sparkling glow due to calcification, leaving the impression that she is almost frozen in time.

Cave Adventures in Belize

Crystal maiden sacrificed over a 1000 years ago
source: Marinainbelize.wordpress.com

After hearing a brief explanation about the “Crystal Maiden” you then trek back through the cave the way you came in.  Your guide has left one last little adventure for you, that is, if your heart is up to it. After climbing back down from The Cathedral you will once again wade through the stream and weave your way through the rocks. After entering a small cavern he will ask if you would like to take the next 300 or so feet of the journey in complete darkness.

The experience, if you decide to walk in complete darkness, will be amazing. The guide of course, knows his way like the back of his hand and will steer you every step of the way to ensure your safety. It is a completely flat walk so you don’t have to worry about climbing over or through any rock formations. But being in the darkness heightens your other senses and you might experience things you never did while coming in the first time. After the short walk your guide will tell you to turn on your lights and continue the journey back out of the underworld. You will then have time to eat lunch and rest a little before hiking back to parking area and making your way back to civilization.

Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave is probably the most exciting and mysterious cave tour you will experience here in Belize.  If you love culture and learning the ways of the ancient Maya you will appreciate this experience . It is a must-do tour in the beautiful country of Belize.

Details and Tips

Departure: 8:00 am

Duration: Full day

Fitness: Moderate to good. Some flexibility a plus.

Attire – T-Shirt or Long sleeved shirt, shorts, comfortable socks and a sturdy pair                           of hiking shoes (not necessarily boots).

What To Bring Along:

Extra pair of clothes, water, insect repellent. Lunch provided.

Note:

Children under 10 are not allowed to do this tour.

No cameras allowed in the cave!

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I love Belize Facebook Challenge

Amber Sunset Jungle Resort is conducting a month long facebook challenge to help promote Belize for its spectacular sights and scenes. See here Fans are asked to send in a photo of themselves featuring a Belizean activity or adventure such as Zip Lining, Cave Tubing, diving the barrier reef or even standing atop one of the Maya ruins to be able to get “Likes” from other fans for their photo. The participant with the most “Likes” on a single photo wins an overnight stay for two at our beautiful, serene jungle resort.

The I love Belize Facebook challenge started on September 26, 2012 and has so far gained a lot of attention and a great response from fans wanting to win an overnight stay at the Jungle Resort.  The challenge has so far received 31 entries all vying to win an overnight’s stay for two at Amber Sunset Jungle resort.

With the challenge concluding on October 30th 2012 it’s a tight race, in first place you have Reena Usher with 123 likes featuring a photo of her on top of Xunantunich Maya Ruin in Cayo District, Belize.

Xunantunich Maya Ruin

Reena Usher on top of the Xunantunich Maya Ruin in Cayo District

Kimberly Cain follows at second place with 121 likes featuring a photo of her in the cave at Jaguar Paw located in the Cayo Distrcit, Belize.

Belize Jungle Adventure

Kimberly Cain in the cave at Jaguar Paw

Sheraine Mas the first participant, jumped to an early lead but has seen her likes slowed dramatically.  She features a photo of her rappelling in the jungles of Belize.

Rapelling, Ziplining in Belize

Sheraine Mas rappelling in the jungles of Belize

Gilbert Cummings now sits in third place with 77 likes, featuring a photo of him and his son at the Maya ruins of Xunantunich in Cayo District, Belize.

Belize Jungle Adventures

Gilbert Cummings and his son at the Xunantunich Maya Ruins in Cayo District, Belize

Less than 6 days remain in the competition so it will be exciting to see who pulls ahead to win the I Love Belize Facebook Challenge.  To vote for your favourite photo visit our Facebook page and take a look at all the photos submitted by the participants.  Good luck to all participants.

For a look at all the submitted photos click here.

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A Recap of the 2012 September Celebrations in Belize

The citizens of  Belize hold the month of September in a special place in their hearts. It is a month of patriotism and celebration to honour The Battle of St. George’s Caye and Belize’s Independence. Every year the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) along with the various district city and town councils plan  month long events and exercises for all to enjoy.  However, before September even begins there are competitions held to choose both a patriotic theme and song that will be featured at all official events taking place across the country.  This year’s theme was “Many Faces, Many Dreams, One Goal- Celebrating BELIZE!” by Emogeen Young Ramclam of Lord’s Bank Village.  The song competition had three winners in three different categories.  Shannon Martinez won 1st place in the Carnival Song category with her entry named “Freedom”, Nello Player won 1st place in the Patriotic Song category with “Celebrating Belize” and Tara Gill won 1st place in the Junior Song category with “Belize Dah Mi Country”. Here is a link to listen to all the songs entered in this year’s competition via : http://www.mynationalsong.bz/

A Queen of the celebrations must also be chosen and contestants hailing from all over the country vied for Queen of The Bay 2012 with Yadira Argueta of Stann Creek District being crowned.

The celebrations kicked off on September 2nd 2012 with the Official September Celebrations launch ceremony and the St. George’s Caye Battle Regatta held at beautiful St. George’s Caye twenty minutes away from Belize City’s coast.  From there it was on to the Carnival Jouvert on September 8th where a mix of youths and adults painted themselves with mud and chocolate and danced through the streets of Belize City to prepare for the Carnival held later in the day.

The Belize City Carnival Road March draws a huge crowd every year and this year did not disappoint. Numerous groups of masqueraders entered the road march but there was only one winner with Mahogany Masqueraders taking home the top prize.

On the 10th of September Belize celebrated the Battle of St. George’s Caye, this year being the 214th anniversary. English woodcutters who called themselves Baymen, aided by black slaves fought against Spanish Invaders trying to stake a claim to the land on behalf of Spain. The attempted invasion by the Spaniards was finally foiled by the Baymen on September 10th 1798.  In modern times, the battle is celebrated with an official ceremony held at the Memorial Park followed by a citizen’s parade through the streets of Belize City.

On September 21st, Belize celebrated its Independence.  This was achieved by Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price, known as the father of the nation.   Throughout his early life he fought valiantly for the independence of Belize from British rule which was finally realized on September 21st 1981.  George Price died on September 19th 2011 at the age of 92.  This year and for years to come, September 19th will be known as National Service Day in memory of George Price.

September 21st is the most important day of celebrations; It is the day Belize became an Independent country. It is a day every citizen demonstrates patriotism and declare proudly that we are Belizeans!  The day started off with a fireworks display in almost every district at 12:00 AM.

Belize Independence Day Fireworks

Later in the morning, ceremonies were held in Belize and Belmopan cities to commemorate the event. Following the ceremony in Belize City a Uniform Parade was held through the streets of the City.  High school students along with various youth groups marched in celebration of our independence.  See more pics here http://bit.ly/Ryllwp

Majorettes marching on Independence Day Belize

Belize Independence Day Parade held at Belize City

September is a special month in the country of Belize. Belizeans everywhere, whether at home or abroad patriotically proclaim their heritage and join in the celebrations. We are proud Belizeans!

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Hello world!

Introducing the world to Amber Sunset Jungle Resort! Located in the country of Belize, Amber Sunset Jungle Resort offers you a TRUE luxurious jungle experience like no other.

If you love exploring, adventure, wildlife, bird watching and just being surrounded by nature then plan your next vacation with  us!

Visit our website: http://www.ambersunsetbelize.com/ to book now!

Sunset View From Front Desk

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