Archive for the ‘belize’ Category
Belize has a wonderfully diverse society, made up of a multiplicity of cultures and speaking many languages. English is the official language but Spanish is widely spoken. It stands out as the country with the largest ratio of land to people. Unlike its neighbors and other developed countries, the country is uncrowded and full of wide open spaces.
Bordered by Mexico to the north, Guatemala to the south and west, and the enchanting Caribbean sea to the east, our little jewel is only about 180 miles long and up to 68 miles wide. With a population of approximately 312,000 people (2011 census), the population density is the lowest in Central American and one of the lowest in the world making for wide open spaces to explore and discover.
Belize’s relatively undiscovered status has been one of the country’s most powerful attractants over the centuries and the inhabitants from the time of its modern history have liked it just that way. The area was the center of the vast Mayan Civilization founded about 2,000 B.C.
In Belize we grow up on sweet corn and here at Ka’ana we absolutely LOVE it. You can find it as a gelato and in some of our cocktails (Who doesn’t love Ka’ana’s signature Sweet Corn Colada?). Some people even add it to our fish tacos.
Corn is grown successfully in Belize, with the Cayo, Toledo and some parts of the Orange Walk District being particularly successful. It’s sweet, it’s crunchy and definitely satisfying and the best part is that you can get it from anywhere – from street vendors or fine restaurants in a variety of options.
As kids we grew up eating “sugar-corn” ice-cream and popsicles, you can also get rich and creamy atole – hot or chilled. Here in Belize we love sweet corn smothered in butter or lime and chile – even dipped in cream and sprinkle with cheese, yum yum!
The Mayas adored it, today’s new generations still enjoy it and now you too can get your sweet corn fix whenever you visit us!
Adrenaline junkies get ready for the ultimate adventure duo: Ziplining high above the jungle canopy and later floating through cavernous sanctuaries where Mayas once performed their sacred rituals with only your guide and headlamps to lead the way. Check out more details here.
Wilbert has been with Ka’ana from the onset of the company in 2007, but has been a specialized tour guide even longer than that. He is an outgoing people-person who loves nature and the great outdoors (to say the least)! I caught up with him and shot off a few questions just before he headed off to his newest adventure of the day.
What’s the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is showing off my beautiful country and sharing some of its secrets with guests the way I would with my own family. Knowing that many of them have never been in a jungle environment before makes me even more eager to teach them as well as learn a bit about the world they come from. Its a win-win situation.
What are some of the popular spots most people like and why?
I’ve heard many guests comment that you are a walking encyclopedia. Where do you get your knowledge/inspiration?
(Laughing heartily) I believe my own grandfather is the real walking encyclopedia, I’ve learned so much from him while growing up right here in the heart of Maya country – and I am an actual Maya descendant! I add to my knowledge by reading history, watching documentaries on TV and believe it or not, also from my guests. I still truly believe that I learn something new everyday and my biggest inspiration – the love of my country, the land and my family.
I live by my own motto – “I do what I love, and I love what I do!”
Want to impress your sweetie this Valentine? Or maybe just impress your sweet tooth? Here’s something a little different from your ordinary box of chocolate.
1. Milk Fudge – This candy is a Belizean favorite made from boiled sweetened condensed milk, sugar and spices. Peanuts, cashews, coconut flakes or raisins are sometimes added.
2. Tablata – Another Belizean favourite, this candy is made from the grated young coconut meat mixed with thin ginger slices and sugar.
3. “Wangla” or “Jojoli” – This exotic tasting confection is made from toasted sesame seeds and sugar and pressed into a crunchy bar.
4.Cotobrute – Here’s another version of coconut sweets – this one is made of chunks of coconut and melted sugar.
5. “Tambran” – This is Tamarind mixed up with sugar and rolled into bite-size balls. Its sweet and tangy taste will make your mouth smile!
6. Coconut Tarts – Yeah, we never run out of goodies to make from coconut… A sweet coconut concoction is cooked with milk, sugar and spices and baked into this little beloved pastry.
8. Sweet Potato “Pone” – Some say “Pone”, others say “Pound” – whatever you want to call it, you’ve not tasted a true Belizean dessert if you have not tried it.
9. “Stretch-mi-guts” – Belizean coconut pull candy - not quite so common in Belize anymore so consider yourself lucky if you get to try it.
10. “Supa” or “Cocoyol” – This sweet stewed candy can make for a special treat as it is one of Belize’s traditional sweets derived from the Mestizos. This treat may is sticky, gooey but plenty delicious.
Want more reasons to know why Belize is so sweet?
Get the very Best of Belize: Reef and Jungle, see the best way to do luxury in Belize here: http://tinyurl.com/6vf465j
Meet Patricia Rodriguez, our Reservations Manager and Destination Wedding Coordinator. Patricia, affectionately known as “Patch” to all of us, is reserved and soft-spoken, but a steady and dedicated personality of Ka’ana. She works tirelessly with any guest, whether it’s about their stay or to co-ordinate their wedding day, to ensure that it will be amazing and everything they want it to be and more. We asked her a few questions about what motivates her.
What’s the most exciting part about your job?
Meeting and interacting with people from all walks of life; everyday is a new experience.
What keeps you focused on the details of other people’s weddings?
Knowing that the experiences our team puts together will create memories for our guests for a lifetime. When coordinating weddings I try to get in the mind of the bride to picture what she wants her special day to be like. That way I can ensure her wedding day is stress free, all she has to do is smile for the photos.
Do you have a favorite moment(wedding or otherwise) that stands out in your memory?
I’ll always remember my first wedding at Ka’ana. When Lauren & Eric walked over to their onsite wedding pergola it brought them to tears. It’s an amazing feeling to know that my team and I were a part of making that moment extra special.
(CNN) — Protected rainforests, Maya ruins, Caribbean beaches and the longest barrier reef in the western hemisphere. Add English as the official language and the widely accepted U.S. dollar, and you can get a great vacation on easy mode in Belize.
Still, with so much to do, it can become a lot of work to fit it all in. Travelzoo editor Andrew Young recommends taking on just a little bit of this country in the heart of Central America at a time, and offers this list of his five top spots to get you started.
The Blue Hole
Just off the coast of Belize lies an underwater paradise for novice snorkelers and veteran divers. The Blue Hole is world-renowned as an open-water diving spot. During the Pleistocene era, the Blue Hole was a giant cave on dry land. The stalactites and stalagmites remain and are staggering sights through the crystal blue water.
Ambergris Caye is the largest island of Belize, accessible via a small airplane from the mainland of Belize. Believe it or not, the best way to tour Ambergris Caye is by golf cart. Drive around and stop to see mangrove trees, the Belize Barrier Reef that almost touches the shore and lagoons teeming with crocodiles.
Maya ruins of Lamanai
Some use Belize as the entry point to Tikal, the famed ruins in Guatemala, but it is also home to several ancient Maya cities. One of the more interesting is Lamanai, which was still occupied by the Maya when the Spanish first arrived. The cultural collision is forever noted here, between the pyramids and the ruins of two Spanish churches.
Caves Branch River tubing
Geologists recently stumbled across a vast subterranean network of Maya ceremonial caves. At the Nohoch Che’en Caves Branch Archeological Reserve, guides will lead you across jungle pools to the caverns filled with artifacts like sacrificial skeletons. The spiritual underwater history lesson is a must-do.
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary
Interested in the chance see a jaguar up close and personal? The Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary is the world’s first jaguar sanctuary. And, it’s also a campground where you can pitch your tent, go hiking, and listen to a symphony of jungle sounds.
Read the whole article here: http://tinyurl.com/a6ojs9b