Belize’s Best Kept Secret: Visiting Placencia’s Chabil Mar In The Winter

by Larry Waight

It’s never winter in the Caribbean, and that means that there’s never a bad time to visit. But if you really want to maximize your time in the sun, there’s no better option than the winter. While residents of Canada and the upper United States find themselves trudging outside to shovel snow, you can be plunging into perfectly temperate and brilliant blue waters.

The ‘point’ in Placencia Village, Belize. Image courtesy Muy’Ono Resorts/Dylan Hetelle

With 13 countries scattered throughout the Caribbean Sea, you may have a lot of choices to choose from, but few are better positioned than the peninsula of Placencia off the southeast coast of Belize. Its unique geography gives it the feel of an island, while the town of Placencia Village continues to exist largely as a homey fishing village. And there’s no better way to enjoy this “Island You Can Walk To” than at the resort of Chabil Mar. 

A Part of the Ecosystem 

At your service!

Some resort developments impose themselves on the environment, but Chabil Mar is built on the proud legacy of eco-tourism and has been awarded Green Globe certification. This isn’t a certification that’s handed out lightly, as it requires resorts to meet 44 major criteria and achieve hundreds of indicators to qualify. In addition to employing sustainability practices in their own business, Chabil Mar encourages guests to employ ecologically friendly standards of their own with support for programs like Pack For a Purpose.  

A few miles to the east sit the world’s second largest barrier reef. To the west is the wild and adventurous Cayo District. The continued existence of these beautiful landmarks will be influenced by the tourism industry — and the tourists themselves — today. 

A Part of the Community 

Photo Courtesy: Chabil Mar Resort


The beaches that run up either side of the razor thin Placencia Peninsula make a compelling argument for visiting, but the people are the heart and soul of this place. The Garifuna settlement of Seine Bight and the resort town of Maya Beach Village are both worth visiting, but Chabil Mar sits directly in the heart of Placencia Village — and Placencia Village is the hub of activity on the peninsula. That’s not to say it’s big. You’re more likely to run into golf carts and bicycles than you are cars and trucks.

chabil mar grilled lobster belize

A lunch of local lobster. Image via Chabil Mar

As the closest full-service resort in Placencia Village, Chabil Mar’s villas hug both the town and the sea. But that doesn’t mean you’ll need to share the amenities. From beach-front dining to boating off Chabil Mar’s private pier to drinks on a personal beach, you get the VIP treatment without having to distance yourself from everything else. 

A Part of the Land 

Placencia feels like an island when you’re there, but it perfectly straddles the Caribbean Sea and Belize’s mainland. That leaves you with a staggering number of options to explore. The Belize Barrier Reef is the most obvious attraction on the water, but it’s a big ecosystem with a lot of preserves and reserves, and there are also aquatic landmarks like the Blue Hole. Head further inland and you’ll find plenty of opportunities to explore jungles and waterways, observe local nature, and explore the ruins the Mayas left behind. 

Chabil Mar can help you make the most of your time and your money with a variety of different packages that highlight the sheer breadth of experiences Placencia offers. Chabil Mar can scale your experience from an intimate couple’s getaway to a yoga retreat hosting dozens; and their packages highlight diverse activities like birdwatching, snorkeling, and fishing. 

And if none of the packages are quite the right match for the vision you have for your Belize vacation, the staff at Chabil Mar are ready to help you customize a package that’s perfect for your needs. No matter what excursions you pick, you can rest easy knowing that Chabil Mar only partners with the best guides in their specialized fields. 

A Part of Your Experience 

Photo Courtesy: Chabil Mar

For many visitors, Chabil Mar is merely a place to recuperate between the adventures of vacationing. For others, the opportunity to kick back and relax on the property of Chabil Mar is the entire point. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, you can expect the same level of restful accommodations and friendly service during your stay. Every single villa on the property faces the sea, and all of them have been decorated from top to bottom with decor and art made by local Belizean artists.

You could hypothetically stay on-site without ever having to leave. The onsite restaurant cooks up delicious cuisine inspired by the fresh and local ingredients often pulled right out of the sea, but you can also choose to have your dinner delivered out on the veranda or on the beach if you’d like. Ultimately, Chabil Mar is about fitting in; fitting in with the local ecosystem and community, and fitting in to best accommodate the experience you’re looking to have. There’s no better place to be this winter.

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