The Belize Travelcast is the official podcast of Belize, a new podcast series created by Let’s Go Belizing Ltd. (Belizing.com), a brand that is passionate about telling authentic stories, promoting sustainable tourism, and traveling in Belize. Each episode is an engaging conversation that delivers useful and authentic travel tips and experience through personal stories from our guests. We also deliver relevant updates on the Belize tourism industry and important issues affecting the environment, culture, and economy of Belize. Find @goBelizing on social media.
Chan Chich Lodge: Conservation of Belize's Natural Beauty
In this episode, Cindy from Chan Chich Lodge joins us to speak about conservation efforts to protect Belize and Central America’s wildlife and rainforests.
Chan Chich Lodge in the north of Belize is a pioneer for conservation. Its name comes from the Yucatec words for “little bird” and is built on what was an undiscovered Maya city. Originally a residence for archaeologists and researchers, the lodge became popular with the public as word got out about the hidden gem that is this property and people came to visit for themselves.
Because of the location’s isolation, it is a place where guests can go to be free from distraction and reconnect with themselves and nature. It is also due to this isolation that the conservation efforts began. So far from the nearest town, the lodge started growing their own crops and keeping their own animals such as chickens all for on-site consumption. This sustainability expanded and now the lodge takes every step to reduce its carbon footprint and environmental impact, something that in recent years has become a trend called “ecotourism.”
Cindy enlightens us on all this and delves deeper into the stories of the people who come to enjoy what the lodge has to offer, a unique experience it fights to preserve as organizations contributing to the Belize Maya Forest project. This fund seeks to protect the natural corridor connecting Belize to Mexico and Central America which is inhabited by many treasured and endangered species like jaguars and tapirs.
With over 300 birds in the area and authentic wildlife kept untouched by man, the many trails on the property are a sightseeing paradise that can be explored via the many guided tours offered or simply at your own leisure. The lucky guest might even spot an elusive jaguar passing through.
Let’s go to Chan Chich, where guests can know they are helping to make a difference, traveling with a purpose.
This episode was sponsored by St Leonard's Tours. Book their signature combo tour that takes you from the heights of the Xunantunich Maya temple to Cave Tubing into one of the Maya Underworld gateways.
Let’s go Belizing!
Sak Tunich: Preserving Maya Culture & Tradition
In this episode, we are joined by Ruben Magana, co-owner of Sak Tunich with his father Jose Magana. Ruben speaks about Maya culture in Belize and how it is passed on and kept alive even today.
Part of this cultural preservation is Sak Tunich itself. The name comes from the Mayan words for “white rock.” This is because under the topsoil of the property is a layer of pure limestone. The whole place resembles an authentic Maya site, including a plaza, ballcourt, and ceremonial room all carved and decorated traditionally. It is a place where visitors can see and learn more about the culture and traditions of Belize’s Maya people.
The country is unique in part because it is the only nation where people can get married on any archaeological site. This means that traditions such as Maya wedding ceremonies are particularly strong. One practice in these ceremonies introduces the four cardinal points, north, south, east, and west, with their different associated colors and energies.
One thing Ruben makes clear is that the Maya are not gone. In Belize alone, there are three different branches of the Maya people, of which he is Yucatec. However, ancient traditions are being lost to time and change, such as the language and English and Spanish taking over outside the home, as well as things such as traditional farming practices and rituals.
Take a dive with Ruben into the rich Maya culture in Belize, past, present, and future, and see just how it is showcased throughout the country in both architectures like that of Sak Tunich down to the courting traditions of the people.
This episode is sponsored by St Leonard's Tours.
Let’s go Belizing!
Adventures in Southern Belize with Untame Belize Tours
This episode features Rodwell Ferguson Jr., owner of Untame Belize Tours and Transfers, and a board member of the Belize Tourism Board. In this episode, he dives into all his favorite activities and places to visit in Southern Belize. From rock sliding down waterfalls to hiking the world's only jaguar reserve in Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Reserve, Rodwell lets us in on all the top activities he has done and what he recommends every traveler should try when visiting Belize. Through his company, Untame Belize, he can take intrepid travelers on these memorable experiences.
Rodwell refers to the Southern part of Belize as the "bread and butter" of Belize, as it not only offers inland and island adventures from popular destinations like Hopkins and Placencia but it is also home to some of Belize's prime industries contributing to Belize's economy, including citrus and banana. It is also home to Belize's second largest port, Big Creek Port.
There's much to explore and discover in Southern Belize with Untame Belize. Their tours can range from zip lining through lush forest canopies to swimming with the sea turtles in the Caribbean Sea. Rodwell also mentions some of his favorite destinations in the south of Belize, including Davis Falls, the second largest waterfall in Belize, Red Bank, the largest gathering of scarlet macaws in Central America, and Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, the worlds only jaguar reserve.
If you are looking for adventures in Belize, then Southern Belize is the place to go!
Let's go Belizing!
Relaxation and Adventure on the Belize Barrier Reef: Blue Marlin Beach Resort
This episode is short and sweet with two guests, Mariel and Carlene, from Blue Marlin Beach Resort on South Water Caye.
The name is a tribute to the island which was once used as a fishing camp and in honor of the rare and difficult catch of a Blue Marlin in the area. True to this, one of the top activities around South Water Caye is fishing, for both beginners and experts. In fact, fly fishing can be done right from the docks. Both snorkeling and diving are also available just off the island for those looking for something more adventurous, as the Caye is located on the Barrier Reef.
Along with snorkel and scuba packages, Blue Marlin also offers relaxation packages for those who want to disconnect, go island hopping, hang out, and maybe get a massage. On the other hand, South Water Caye can also be used as a base for caving, ziplining, and any other trips on the mainland.
When in Belize, Blue Marlin Beach Resort on South Water Caye is nothing if not an ideal destination.
Let’s go experience all it has to offer.
Let’s go Belizing!
Destination Weddings in Belize with Blu Zen
In the episode, Norvani Santoya, Reservations manager at the Blue Zen Resort on Caye Caulker, talks about just why Caye Caulker and Belize as a whole are the perfect wedding destination.
As Norvani states, Zen is about finding balance in relaxation and peacefulness. Located in an accessible yet private and secluded location, Blue Zen accomplishes just this. Along with handling arrivals/departures and general concierge service, Norvani and his team are also responsible for creating completely personalized packages for guests and, most of all, weddings.
As the only English-speaking country in Central America and packed with unique attractions such as lobster fest, the second largest barrier reef, and the great blue hole, Belize is the perfect choice for those looking for a destination wedding. Whether you choose to get married on the beach, on a sandbar, in the jungle, on a Maya temple, or on a waterfall, Belize has you covered.
What’s more, the ensuing honeymoon can start immediately after without much need for travel. Blue Zen can take care of all of this. Norvani and his team work with their guests every step of the way and will go to great lengths to ensure you have the wedding and honeymoon experience you envision.
Enjoy Caye Caulker’s laid-back fishing village atmosphere with the best food and the best sunsets in Belize.
Let's go Belizing!
Maya Healing and Culture in Belize
In this episode, we speak with the Yucatec Maya healer and owner of Nuuk Cheil Cottages, Aurora Saki.
Aurora speaks about her Maya culture and the tradition of healing that has been passed down through her family. Her mother learned from her grandfather and her uncle became world-renowned, the same uncle who she studied under for 8 years, learning the secrets of countless plants that when combined and used correctly can create nature's remedies for almost anything. She has now been a full-fledged healer for over 25 years, but this is not all she has accomplished.
As a girl Aurora and her sisters almost single-handedly built the slate carving industry, making the form of art popular and widespread throughout Belize with their work. Growing up she learned not to be ashamed of her culture but to embrace it and won an award for writing her Mayan cookbook. She opened a restaurant. Then she opened Nuuk Cheil Cottages, deriving its name from the Mayan word for “forest” because of the surrounding area. In the heart of nature, Nuuk Cheil is a beautiful property just about 6 miles from the jaguar reserve where guests and groups can rent a place to stay while in Belize.
Listen as Aurora details all of this and more, even including her own Romeo and Juliet story of how she ran away to marry her husband of 30 years, Ernesto Saki, a village chairman of the Mopan Maya. In addition, take a tour of her goodie bag of Maya concoctions that Aurora has created from nature: everything from eye drops to bug spray to hair loss treatments to even a dream serum, all of which she sells as part of being a Healer.
So dive into the fascinating culture of the Maya and the well of ancient knowledge that Aurora has to offer.
Feeling connected to home
Javier, what an incredible gift you have made available to Belizeans living away from home. I am a Belizean listening who listen to your podcast from Richmond, VA. It is keeping me connected to home and giving me hope and inspiration. Thank you so much!!!
What are your vacation costs for family of 4. Kids are 13 and 15