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Coming to Belize on a Cruise?

Cruise ship ToursHey readers and Cruisers, I found an awesome website sent to me by one of my Beautiful Belize fans. I always feature links, images, websites, hotels, restaurants and things that our fans send in. I revised this site and think it is offering great deals for Cruise Ship Passengers coming to Belize. The first time I went on a cruise I purchased my tour from the ship itself but when I got to port i soon realized that If I had found an individual operator I could have saved at least 50% of what I spent for the exact tour. Now I’m a savvy cruiser, and only buy from independent tour operators or even the taxi’s that do individual tours. Carnival Tours Belize is one of the best sites I’ve seen in a long time.It offers amazing discounted tours. And has all the amenities and safety procedures in check. As Quoted directly from their website

Belize Cave tubing

…”Over the years we have operated directly for many cruise lines and we continue to do so in the Winter Season. This summer we have decided to make our services available to all cruise passengers visiting Belize and by booking directly with us you can realize tremendous savings while securing the best possible services, the most experienced guides, and the reliability of a credible tour operTouring on Carnival in belizeator”…   “The owners, management and staff of Carnival Tours Belize represent over 100 years of combined experience in the Belize Tourism Industry. In the majority of cases we own the assets deployed in operating the many tours we conduct and several destinations are company owned as well. We are the true pioneers of tourism in Belize and have greatly contributed to the development of the country”…

This website was so cool, it even has a live chat where you can talk to an operator and book your tour. I browsed the site and noticed that they have been mentioned on Trip Adviser too, they also have an array of tours to choose from including the ever so popular Cave Tubing, the Zip Line or Zip Rider, tonnes of  Snorkeling Tours, and all the Mayan Ruin Tours,  just to name a few.  If I were going to Cruise and stop off in Belize I would definately recommend purchasing your tours from this website verses paying the crazy prices that the ships charge.

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September 20, 2010 Posted by | Ambregris Caye, Belize, Belize Holiday, Carnival Cruise Ships, Central America, Cruise Tourism, Tourism, Travel, Travel Information, Vacation | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Belize Manatees a Separate Subspecies, DNA Confirms

Original Article by LiveScience

Manatees in belize The endangered manatees that live off the coast of Belize are genetically distinct enough to be considered a separate subspecies from Florida manatees, a new study finds.

These Antillean manatees in Belize, however, showed extremely low genetic diversity, raising questions about their long-term genetic viability, the researchers say.

The Central American country of Belize hosts the largest known breeding population of Antillean manatees, about 1,000 individuals, and is touted by biologists for its potential to repopulate other parts of Central America where manatees are severely reduced, or even absent.

Mixing manatees

Scientists had questioned whether the two seemingly distant Belize and Florida populations were interbreeding in light of radiotracking evidence that manatees are capable of migrating long distances.  Florida manatees have turned up in places as far away as Rhode Island, the Bahamas and Cuba.

The researchers analyzed information on nuclear DNA and DNA within mitochondria, the energy-making structures in cells. While mitochondrial DNA is good for understanding historical relationships on an evolutionary time scale, nuclear DNA can provide a modern-day assessment of whether the two populations are migrating and interbreeding, the researchers said.

The genetic evidence suggested Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) are not regularly mixing with populations of Antillean manatees (Trichechus manatus manatus) in Belize.

Bottleneck species

Belize’s Antillean populations also scored lower in genetic diversity than textbook examples of “bottlenecked” endangered species, such as Wanglang giant pandas, the East African cheetah and an island koala population founded by only three koalas. These species have experienced events that drastically reduced their numbers (called a bottleneck).

Endangered species need genetic diversity to weather threats to their survival, such as diseases, hurricanes or habitat destruction. When a population drops to low numbers, the diversity of its gene pool also shrinks. That means if, say, there’s a genetic vulnerability to a disease, most of the manatees would have that susceptibility and could be wiped out if the illness strikes.

Even after a population rebounds to greater numbers, that initial population decline leaves a legacy of reduced genetic diversity.

Manatee corridors

The low genetic diversity in Antillean manatees is attributed, in part, to centuries of hunting that were only curtailed early in the 20th century.

But even with such a small gene pool, notable differences were found between the two manatee subspecies.

“When it comes to the sustainability of species, this is the type of genetic diversity you want to preserve for the future,” said study researcher Margaret Hunter, a conservation geneticist at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

To sustain the diverse gene pool these populations offer, managers will need to consider methods of enabling natural migration and mixing to take place between the two populations, the researchers say.

Original Article Here: http://www.livescience.com/animals/belize-manatees-subspecies-low-genetic-diversity-100914.html

September 15, 2010 Posted by | Tourism | 3 Comments

The Crystal Skull of Belize

vacation in belizeThe Crystal Skull was found in Belize and should be in one of our Museums here, but as far as we know it is still out the country, hopefully one day we will get it back as it is a big part of history and in my opinion, almost forgotten.

The most famous crystal skull is the Mitchell-Hedges “skull of doom” allegedly discovered by a 17-year old Anna Mitchell-Hedges in 1924 or 1927 while accompanying her adoptive father on an excavation of the ancient Mayan city of Lubaantun in Belize. Because of its small size and other characteristics, it is thought more closely to resemble a female skull and this has led some to refer to the Mitchell-Hedges skull as a “she.” The Mitchell-Hedges skull is made of clear quartz crystal, and both cranium and mandible are believed to have come from the same solid block. It weighs 11.7 pounds and is about five inches high, five inches wide, and seven inches long. Except for slight anomalies in the temples and cheekbones, it is a virtually anatomically correct replica of a human skull.

The Mitchell-Hedges family loaned the skull to Hewlett-Packard Laboratories for extensive study in 1970. Art restorer Dr. Frank Dorland oversaw the testing at the Santa Clara, California, computer equipment manufacturer, a leading facility for crystal research. The HP examinations yielded some startling results.

Researchers found that the skull had been carved against the natural axis of the crystal. Modern crystal sculptors always take into account the axis, or orientation of the crystal’s molecular symmetry, because if they carve “against the grain,” the piece is bound to shatter — even with the use of lasers and other high-tech cutting methods.

To compound the strangeness, HP could find no microscopic scratches on the crystal which would indicate it had been carved with metal instruments. Dr. Dorland’s best hypothesis for the skull’s construction is that it was roughly hewn out with diamonds, and then the detail work was meticulously done with a gentle solution of silicon sand and water. The exhausting job, assuming it could possibly be done in this way would have required man-hours adding up to 300 years to complete.

New-agers have associated the skulls with the belief that the Mayan “Long Count” calendar runs out on Dec. 21, 2012, when it reaches the end of a 5,126-year cycle. According to this theory, all 13 skulls must be reunited and lined up together to prevent the world from falling off its axis.

Is the Mayan 2012 Doomsday real or just a fantasy? end of the world 2012

This interesting legend connects 13 original Skulls to the Maya Calendar’s b’ak’tun-cycle. This is the Mayan Long Count which ends at 13.0.0.0.0. The current cycle ends on 21.12.2012 or on 23.12.2012. According to the Mayans our existing world will end on that day.

There are different opinions all over, if this is a real “End Of The World” or a transition to new spiritual level. According to Mayans there have been several end of the world events due to natural disasters. This latest Apocalypse on 21.12.2012 would be due to man’s own actions.

The “13 Skull Theory” is that all the 13 skulls scattered around the world will be united to pass us knowledge and enlightenment which will help us to stop the Apocalypse happening on 21.12.2012

The World Will Not End – The Debate Begins!

They say that the world will end in December 2012, but the Mayan elders are angry with this. The world will not end. It will be transformed.

Many of the Elders have publicly stated that “Anthropologists visit the temple sites and read the steles and inscriptions and make up stories about the Maya, but they do not read the signs correctly. It’s just their imagination, other people write about prophecy in the name of the Maya. They say that the world will end in December 2012. The indigenous have the calendars, and know how to accurately interpret it, not others.”

Carlos Barrios was born into a Spanish family on El Altiplano, the highlands of Guatemala. His home was in Huehuetenango, also the dwelling place of the Maya Mam tribe.

With other Maya and other indigenous tradition keepers, the Mam carry part of the old ways on Turtle Island (North America). They are keepers of time, authorities on remarkable calendars that are ancient, elegant and relevant. Mr. Barrios is a historian, an anthropologist and investigator. After studying with traditional elders for 25 years since the age of 19, he has also became a Mayan Ajq’ij, a ceremonial priest and spiritual guide, Eagle Clan. Years ago, along with his brother, Gerardo, Carlos initiated an investigation into the different Mayan calendars. He studied with many teachers. He says his brother Gerardo interviewed nearly 600 traditional Mayan elders to widen their scope of knowledge.

Mr. Barrios says, we have been in a time when the right arm of the materialistic world is disappearing, slowly but inexorably. We are at the cusp of the era when peace begins, and people live in harmony with Mother Earth. We are no longer in the World of the Fourth Sun, but we are not yet in the World of the Fifth Sun.  This is the time in-between, the time of transition. As we pass through transition there is a colossal, global convergence of environmental destruction, social chaos, war, and ongoing Earth changes. All this, Mr. Barrios says, was foreseen via the simple, spiral mathematics of the Mayan calendars.

“It will change,” Mr. Barrios observes. “Everything will change.” He said Mayan Daykeepers view the Dec. 21, 2012 date as a rebirth, the start of the World of the Fifth Sun. It will be the start of a new era resulting from and signified by the solar meridian crossing the galactic equator, and the earth aligning itself with the center of the galaxy. At sunrise on December 21, 2012 for the first time in 26,000 years the Sun rises to conjunct the intersection of the Milky Way and the plane of the ecliptic. This cosmic cross is considered to be an embodiment of the Sacred Tree, The Tree of Life, a tree remembered in all the world’s spiritual traditions. Some observers say this alignment with the heart of the galaxy in 2012 will open a channel for cosmic energy to flow through the earth, cleansing it and all that dwells upon it, raising all to a higher level of vibration.

This process has already begun, Mr. Barrios suggested. “Change is accelerating now, and it will continue to accelerate.” If the people of the earth can get to this 2012 date in good shape, without having destroyed too much of the Earth, Mr. Barrios said, we will rise to a new, higher level. But to get there we must transform enormously powerful forces that seek to block the way.

September 1, 2010 Posted by | Archaeology, Belize, British Honduras, Crystal Skull, Documentary, History Channel, mayan ruins, Tourism, Travel, Travel Information, Vacation | , , , , , | 2 Comments