Absolute blog: February 2014

28 February 14

Having never used an agency to make our holiday arrangements, having Rachael and Mandy doing all the organising for us took the stress out of trying to book hotel, internal flights etc online. Giving them our idea of a relaxing holiday, they sorted out the rest. It felt like my best friends were arranging our holiday for me! Brilliant – thank you so much.

Cathy Innes, from Bermuda, who stayed at Portofino on Ambergris Caye and went sailing on Aubisque with Belize Luxury Sailing

LEARN

11 February 14

Learn to Sail

Discover the joy of sailing or improve your sailing skills while having an all inclusive trip of a lifetime, with your luxury catamaran as the classroom and the beautiful Belize waters your school ground. 

Our sailing charters now offer American Sailing Association (ASA) group and private classes for all levels of sailors, offering a personalized curriculum with a rich blend of technical skills, confidence building and spirit of adventure. 

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Your Belize Sailing Charter includes:

  • 6 night instructional cruise aboard a luxury catamaran
  • ASA certified instructors with years of sailing experience and local knowledge
  • Gourmet chef, all meals, wine, local beer and rum cocktails
  • Exploring the world’s second largest barrier reef with multiple snorkel stops, kayaking and fishing sites
  • All ASA course material, membership and certification fees
  • Transfers to and from Belize International Airport
  • All government taxes (excludes crew gratuity)

All Inclusive Instructional Charter Rates:

  • $2,345 per person for all inclusive 6 night group charter with any two ASA certifications (101, 103, 104, 105, 106, or 114) based on double occupancy
  • Single cabin and private instructional charters also available, please contact us for more information, rates and availability
  • Instructional charter includes two certifications. $375 for additional certification

boys on board

Book now – ASA Class Dates:

April 20 – April 26, 2014

April 27 – May 2, 2014

May 31 – June 6, 2014

June 14 – June 20, 2014

July 19 – July 25, 2014

August 9 – August 15, 2014

 

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Don’t just take our word for it!  I expected to learn how to sail better (which I did) but got a lot more.  The hospitality, food, drinks and good times far exceeded my expectations […] Lastly, the company and good times were loads and loads of fun.  It’s a little daunting to know you’re going to be on a 5 day boat trip with people you barely know, but it proved to be very relaxed and comfortable.  

Cliff and Curtis were great to have on board and really made the trip for us.  We also met up with another of the BSV’s charter boats and made friends with those on board where we had a great Thanksgiving dinner. Cannot recommend it enough!”

 

Boat fun
 Dive in!

SEE

11 February 14

Whale Sharks

Few places on the planet experience the return of the largest fish in the ocean year after year, but around the full moon weeks in April, May and June, the whale sharks can be witnessed near Gladden Split in the south of Belize, due to the draw of the seasonal spawning of Cubera Snapper. 

Growing up to 50 ft in length, witnessing these enormous Whale Sharks is one of the most amazing experiences on the planet.

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Also look out for nurse and hammerhead sharks, stingrays, spotted eagle rays, barracuda, moray eels and even octopus, together with a vast kaleidoscope of reef fish including snapper, jack, angel fish, blue tang and grouper.
If you’d like to head out to sea and try your chances at spotting and swimming with the Whale Sharks, Absolute Belize can craft a customized itinerary just for you, combining time at a luxurious beach retreat and enjoying day by day adventures, for an all encompassing Belize vacation – just get in touch.

TOP 10

11 February 14

Top 10 Adrenaline Adventures

The list of exhilarating and adventurous activities in Belize is endless so, to help you decide, check out our shortlist:

1. ATM Caves

Get up close and personal with the long-dead on a breathtaking clamber through an archaeological and natural wonder.  Climb, crawl, swim and scramble through dark caverns, discovering Mayan artefacts, drawings and even skeletons over 1,000 years old along the way.

With around 200 ceramic vessels and the skeletal remains of 14 humans, all believed to be sacrificial victims, it is widely believed that it won’t be long before the ATM is closed to the public.

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2. Dive the Blue Hole

One of the world’s most famous dive sites and an incomparable natural wonder, this atoll was once a dry cave, but rising sea levels over thousands of years caused the dome to collapse, resulting in the perfectly formed 1,000ft diameter circular hole.

At 130ft you can witness the world’s largest known underwater stalactites and gaze up at the perfect hole above.  It is thought to be 430ft deep although no-one knows for sure…

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3. Swim with The Fishes

Whale sharks are the world’s largest fish and can grow to an enormous 50 feet in length. Due to the seasonal spawning of Cubera Snapper between April and June, Gladden Split in the south of Belize sees an exciting amount of fish accumulate, including the elusive whale sharks (sitings are not guaranteed!).

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4. Night snorkel

A night dive or snorkel off the coast of Belize is not to be missed.  See the nocturnal marine life as you’ve never seen it before and observe bioluminescence, where hundreds of species of fish and invertebrates use chemicals within their bodies to produce light. Their flashing colors produce a light show that could rival the Aurora Borealis!

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5. Survivors ‘Catch & Cook’

Spend a the morning out on the water snorkeling, fishing and spear fishing with your guide for snapper, lobster (when in season), conch and perhaps even a barracuda.

Return to the beach and get the fire pit started using coconut husks. Clean and prepare your catch (or lie in the hammock while your guide does it!), cook it over the fire then enjoy the fruits of your labor under a coconut tree with an ice cold Belikin beer.  It doesn’t come any fresher than that!

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6. Swim with Sharks

Go for a dip and get face to face with the nurse sharks and sting rays at Shark Ray Alley, a site where local fishermen used to clean their catch.  Also look out for yellowtail snapper, parrotfish, sergeant majors and French angelfish in amongst the coral.

 
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7. Black Hole Drop

The “Actun Loch Tunich” sinkhole is a vast 300ft collapsed limestone cave, located deep in the lush jungle. At the edge of the abyss (and securely harnessed into your rigging), you rappel to the bottom, enjoying the rock formations and the spectacular rainforest canopy on the way.  A breathtaking and exhilarating experience, but bring your head for heights!

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8. Ride ’em Cowboy

Horseback riding in Belize is extremely professional, with experienced guides and well cared for animals. Catering to all capabilities, venturing out on horseback literally takes you off the beaten track. Ride into the jungle and swim in hidden waterfalls, explore various dry caves and even canoe deep inside an underground river cave (er, leaving the horse outside the cave for that bit), or let your hair down and gallop through open savannas.

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9. Into the Wind

With the easterly trade winds and the calm waters, conditions on Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye are perfect for wind and kite surfing. For the serious surfers, it is possible to windsurf the 12 miles between Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye and back, although a pit stop is recommended!

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10. Zip Line through the Jungle

At up to 80 feet off the ground, zip lining through the tropical jungle gives you a bird’s eye view as you fly on a wire from treetop to treetop.  It’s as close as you can get to flying over the jungle, so absorb the scenery (amid the screams) that cannot be seen from the ground.

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So are you up to our Top 10 challenge?  Check out our Adrenaline Addict itinerary, or get in touch and we’ll tailor make something just for you.

 

 

TASTE

11 February 14

Cacao

Cotton Tree Lodge, one of our favorite jungle retreats in Belize, has teamed up with Taza Chocolate, to offer a complete cultural and sensory immersion into the world of chocolate, for the ultimate chocolate addict. 

In partnership with Maya Mountain Cacao they are collaboratively laying the groundwork for a single origin chocolate bar and the chocolate week enables enthusiasts to experience the process from bean to bar, from the spectacular surroundings of Cotton Tree Lodge.

 

Southern Belize, Absolute Belize

Visit a local Cacao farm and meet the growers, learn about the production process, enjoy a chocolate making master class and make your very own bar of chocolate. There will of course be plenty of opportunities for tasting!

Cotton Tree Lodge, Absolute Belize

The region boasts a rich cultural history, lush jungle terrain and pristine waters, so the itinerary can be tailored to include visits to Mayan ruins, snorkeling or fishing day trips, horseback riding, trekking through the jungle or cave exploration… putting those extra cacao calories to great use.

Cotton Tree Lodge, Absolute Belize

Chocolate Week is scheduled for March 22-29, 2014 and rates start at US $1,195 per person. Can’t make it in March? We can craft a Cacao based itinerary, tailored just for you – have a look at our Cacao Crazy itinerary for more ideas and get in touch.

Belize-CacaoFest

Hit list

Whether you want an action packed agenda in the water and the jungle, or simply spend some quality time in a hammock, Belize has something for all tastes and tempos.

Map of Belize, showing our 4 main regions
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