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Recognize and Honor the Stars of Tourism

Nominate by midnight April 14th, 2010 for the 10th Annual National
Tourism Awards

The Belize Tourism Board welcomes your nomination for the 10th Annual National Tourism Awards. If you were impressed by the quality of service you received in any of the following categories, we encourage you to do your part to ensure that excellence receives the recognition it deserves.

Deadline for nomination is midnight April 14th, 2010.


* Minister’s Award
* Lifetime Achievement Award
* Corporate Organization of the Year
* Education Award of the Year
* Environmental Organization of the Year
* Receptive Service of the Year
* Hotel of the Year
* Restaurant of the Year
* Small Hotel of the Year
* Tour Operator of the Year
* Tour Guide of the Year
* Frontline Person of the Year
* Cultural Award of the Year
* Small Vendor of the Year

Judging Process:
The Belize Tourism Board ensures that the judging process is fair and credible. After all nominations are received, the top four organizations in each category will be placed on our website. You will get another opportunity to provide feedback by being able to vote for your favorite in each category. Representatives of the BTB’s Board and management team will select a panel of judges comprised of representatives from the tourism industry (both private and public sector). The identities of the judges are kept confidential.
The two highest votes in each category are then presented to the judging panels and nominees are assessed on how well they meet the award criteria. These semi-finalists are then further reviewed, and may even be subject to site visits or interviews. The panel of judges then confers and picks the winner for each category.

To submit a nomination to the Belize Tourism Board click here


March 24, 2010 Posted by | Tourism | Leave a comment

The Brown Pelican – Seen throughout Belize

the brown pelican of belize

Unique among the world’s seven species of pelicans, the Brown Pelican is found along the ocean shores and not on inland lakes of Belize. It is the only dark pelican, and also the only one that plunges from the air into the water to catch its food.
While the Brown Pelican is draining the water from its bill after a dive, gulls often try to steal the fish right out of its pouch. They sometimes even perch on the pelican’s head or back and reach in. The pelican itself, however, is not above stealing fish from other seabirds. It also follows fishing boats and hangs around piers for handouts.
The Brown Pelican frequently lowers its head onto its shoulders with the bill open, pulls its head back, and stretches the pouch over its throat and neck. The exposed neck looks like a large lump sticking up out of the pouch.
Unlike most birds, which warm their eggs with the skin of their breasts, pelicans incubate their eggs with their feet. They hold the eggs under the webs that stretch from the front toes to the hind toe, essentially standing on the eggs to warm them. This peculiar incubation method made them vulnerable to the effects of the pesticide DDT. The DDT made the eggshells thin, and the incubating parents frequently cracked their eggs.

Belize Brown pelican Bird

The Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)

March 18, 2010 Posted by | Belize, birds, Brown Pelican, Central America | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Mayan Ruins of Belize

Belize is blessed with an outstanding archaeological heritage of Maya temples and palaces. It is known that the Maya occupation began as early as 1500 BC, and although it began its decline in 900 AD, some Maya cultural centers continued to be occupied until contact with the Spanish in the 1500’s. During the Classic Period (250 AD to 900 AD), the population of Belize exceeded over one million people, and it is believed that Belize was the heart of the Maya civilization at that time.

Although large Maya cultural centers no longer exist, there is still a significant Maya population residing within many small villages.

For those who are interested in archaeological sites, the Belize Institute of Archaeology has committed to developing locations which are easily accessible for the casual tourist. This does not indicate the Institute’s total commitment to the vast archaeological potential of Belize, but it does
allow visitors the opportunity to appreciate Maya history, as well as to appreciate the tremendous undertaking that is required to restore the Maya Sites.

Belize Maya Ruin

March 16, 2010 Posted by | Archaeology, Belize, Belize Holiday, British Honduras, Central America, History, Mayan Ruin | , , , , | Leave a comment


natures hidden secret
Dr. Camille Donnelly
Sign up now!!! Members $25.00 Non-Members $50.00

BELIZE CITY: The Radisson Fort George
…March 22 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
in Belize presenting a Change Leadership Training
…March 23 8:30 am- 11:00 am
In Belize working for two hours with a small group of workshop participants to explore using technological resources to remain connected with resources in Michigan

SAN IGNACIO: Ka’ana Boutique Resort
…March 24 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
in Cayo presenting a Change Leadership Training
…March 25 8:30 am- 11:00 am
in Cayo working for two hours with a small group of workshop participants to explore using technological resources to remain connected with resources in Michigan

PLACENCIA: The Inn at Robert’s Grove
…March 26 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
in Placencia presenting a Change Leadership Training

Register at: info@btia.org

Participants will learn:

* Why 21st century leadership demands new tools
* How people experience change
* Why some people resist change even when they will benefit
* Action steps for leading successful change

Dr. Camille Donnelly is the creator of cutting edge leadership research, and a leader herself with over thirty years of practical experience in the trenches. An entrepreneur since 1984, she knows what it’s like to feel solo and reach for opportunities to connect and grow. Camille successfully helps leaders in business, family business, education, non-profits, community organizations, and international agencies throughout North America and the Caribbean. Working with an international network of successful, practical leaders, Camille is valued for her insight, honesty, kind determination, and accountability for success.
Dr. Camille Donnelly, owner of Donnelly Leadership, is a founding member of the West Michigan Family Business Council that is now the successful Family Business Alliance. She facilitates a CEO Family Business Round table providing a safe, productive sounding board for discussing issues critical to family businesses.

March 13, 2010 Posted by | Tourism | Leave a comment

Baron Bliss of Belize

Henry Edward Ernest Victor, Mr Baron Bliss

Baron Bliss Day is held every 9th of March

Many of us know the British-born traveler willed two million U.S. dollars to a trust fund for the benefit of the citizens of what was then the colony of British Honduras simply as Baron Bliss and yearly we look forward to the holiday and festivities that marks the remembrance of his life and death every March 9th in Belize.

The national benefactor of Belize, was born Henry Edward Ernest Victor Bliss in Marlow, county of Buckinghamshire with a family lineage that went back to Edward Bliss, an Englishman who gained the Portuguese title Baron Barreto in the1820’s. The English Barons Barreto considered that, being Bliss’ too, they could legitimately use the name Baron Bliss. It was during his early adulthood that Bliss became the Fourth Baron of the Former Kingdom of Portugal. It is generally accepted that Bliss received his title of Fourth Baron through a family lineage with one Sir John Moore, a war hero of battles past.

As an adult living in Quarry Court in Marlow, he was an engineer by profession and had been appointed a Justice of the Peace. A marriage to Ethel Alice Bliss produced no children. By the end of the first decade in the new century, Baron Bliss was wealthy enough to retire to his love of seafaring & fishing. However, in 1911 at the age of 42, the Baron was stricken with a paralysis, probably polio, that left him paralyzed from waist downward, confining him to a wheelchair. Though paralyzed from the waist down from 1911, Baron Henry maintained his love of sailing and fishing. Undeterred, the Baron remained active and acquired a yacht, the Sea King, using it for leisure travel around the United Kingdom. After the start of the First World War in 1914, the Baron’s yacht was commandeered for the British war effort. Once the War had come to an end in 1918, Baron Bliss commissioned the building of the Sea King II. She was a yacht for meant for tropical waters, built to the Baron’s specifications. When the Sea King II as competed in 1920, the Baron prepared left England, never to return, he left his wife and his native land for the Caribbean, spending the next six years living aboard his yacht Sea King II off the Bahamas and apparently spending time at Dunmore House (now the official Governor’s Residence), on New Providence. He had purchased property on some of the islands, but whether he intended to settle in the Bahamas is open to speculation.

By late 1925, the Baron had grown tired of the social & administrative life that had become his routine so he decided to move on. His next stop was Trinidad where he contracting food poisoning shortly after arriving. This sickness coupled with a dislike of the general atmosphere led the Baron to hoist anchor again. This time he would head for Belize (then British Honduras), following up an invitation from the Attorney General, Willoughby Bullock. After a brief stop in Jamaica, most likely for medical attention, the Sea King II on January 14th, 1926, dropped anchor in the Belize City harbor. After arriving in Belize, the Baron’s health seemed to improve. He took every opportunity to venture forth in his small launch to go fishing, to visit the cayes and to visit the barrier reef. Unfortunately, about a month after arrival, doctors called to the yacht to attend to the Baron found him to be gravely ill. Baron Bliss asked that the Governor of Belize, Sir John Burdon, visit him aboard his yacht. When the Governor arrived, the Baron informed him that he wished to bequeath the bulk of his estate to country of Belize. And on 17 February, one day after his 57th birthday, the Baron’s will to that effect was signed & executed aboard the Sea King II.

The Bliss in Belize

The Baron’s will was meticulous. It called for the formation of a trust fund, and dictated whom the main bankers were to be, Messers Coutts & Co., of London, England; the auditors, Messers Alexander Clapperton, C.A., also of London, England; and the Board of Directors, initially the Governor, the Colonial Secretary & the Attorney General of Belize. The Baron Bliss Trust was to invest his money, and all income generated from the principal would be used for the permanent benefit of Belize and all its citizens.

The principal amount of the Trust, consisting mostly of British stocks, securities & term deposits was not to be touched. The value of the Baron Bliss Trust stands at about US$800,000. The money is not to be used for churches, dance halls or schools, except agricultural or vocational. Only the interest is to be spent and no loans can be raised on the security. An interesting stipulation is that no American is to be a trustee or an employee of any trustee — no reason is given. At the time of his death, the Baron’s bequest to Belize was valued at some one million, eight hundred and fifty thousand dollars, but before we were quite finished counting, England had dropped a bombshell. Even though it is specifically stated in the first line of his will that Baron Bliss considered himself domicile in Belize, and while he even wrote a letter to his brother to that effect, the British government decided to contest the matter in court. On March 11th, 1929, a decision was handed down by a Mr. Justice Rowlatt of the King’s Bench which read and I quote, “I must find that it is not made out that this gentleman acquired a British Honduras domicile.” As a result, at least a quarter of the original amount given to us by Baron Bliss was taken out for British taxes.

Part of the trust was designated for an annual boat regatta which is held every year in honor of the Baron. This regatta is the focus of Baron Bliss Day activities in Belize City. Other towns in Belize celebrate the day by having small boat races and parties.

March 9, 2010 Posted by | Baron Bliss, Belize, Belize Holiday, British Honduras, Central America, History, March 9th, Tourism, Travel, Travel Information, Vacation | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Crystal Skull of Lubaantun in Belize

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.

Mitchell-Hedges was in Belize, because he believed he would find the ruins of Atlantis. 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.

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 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.

GtB Is the mayan 2012 Doomsday real or just a fantasy?
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 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 .

found at the mayan ruin Lubaantun

March 9, 2010 Posted by | Belize, British Honduras, Central America, Crystal Skull, mayan ruins, Tourism, Travel, Travel Information, Vacation | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

March Calendar for Bliss Centre

The National Institute of Culture and History re-started its annual Women in Arts exhibit in 2009 and it now a part of 2010 calendar of activities. First in the program is an art exhibit, which runs from March fifth to the twenty-sixth at the Bliss.

March 4, 2010 Posted by | Belize, British Honduras, Central America, Tourism, Travel | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chinese “Belize Guide & Map” Travel Guide launched in Taiwan

Belize City, Thursday February 18th, 2010 – The 2010 Taipei International Book Exhibition was the ideal event to present the new “Belize Guide & Map” which took place from January 27th to February 1st.

The Embassy of Belize in Taiwan along with the Central American Trade Office (CATO) also in Taiwan together with support from the Belize Tourism Board and the Embassy of Belize in Taiwan joined efforts in the production of  a “Belize Guide and Map” in Chinese (with English sub-titles).


The Belize Guide & Map was launched at the 2010 Taipei International Book Exhibition held earlier this year from January 27th to February 1st, 2010 by Belize’s Embassy in Taiwan.


The Chinese written Belize Guide & Map was put together by a team of travel writers who visited Belize last year and were hosted by the Belize Tourism Board and the tourism private sector.  It is complete with destination information on Belize’s tourism attractions, maps, lists of “must eat local cuisines”, “must-buy souvenirs”, ‘must-try popular activities” and even a segment on “Plus+ Life in Belize by Taiwanese immigrants”, as well as sources of information in the planning of trips to Belize.   The Guide was developed to promote Belize in Taiwan and other Asian markets interested in visiting Belize.

The Belize Tourism Board is pleased to have partnered with the Embassy of Belize in Taiwan, the Central America Trade Office and the Embassy of Belize in Taiwan in their efforts to promote Belize in Taiwan and Asia and looks forward to a continued working relationship.

March 2, 2010 Posted by | Tourism | Leave a comment

What is the size and geography of Belize?

Consisting of approximately 9,000 square miles, it is a country close to the size of the state of Massachusetts. With the Caribbean Sea being the eastern border, Belize has an extensive low-lying coastal plain, with the elevation and topography changing as you travel west. The country is traversed at the midsection by the Maya Mountains, the highest point being 4020 feet above sea level. Visitors to our wonderfully natural Belize will find two countries in one: Offshore and along the coast is a true but unique Caribbean, a blue-green world of picturesque mangrove and coral islands, a variety of fringing reefs, a nearly continuous barrier reef groomed with a multitude of pristine islands with beautiful beaches as far as the eye can see and three huge atolls on the outside of the reef normally seen only on postcards. These islands (locally known as cayes) possess some of the most comfortable and luxurious hotel and resorts in the Caribbean. Within the jungle interior, visitors will encounter many striking vestiges of the ancient Maya civilization, pine-clad mountains, slow and fast moving rivers, majestic waterfalls, placid lagoons, dense tropical forest, yawning caves and caverns, and panoramic grasslands.

October 4, 2009 Posted by | Belize, Blue Hole, British Honduras, Central America, Diving, Tourism, Travel, Travel Information, Vacation | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What kind of currency can be used and/or changed in Belize?

The currency in Belize is the Belize dollar, which is equivalent to U.S. $0.50. This makes for a simple exchange of 2 Belizean Dollars for 1 U.S. Dollar. While major credit cards and travelers cheques are widely accepted, U.S. Dollars can be used country wide at the above stated exchange rate. Carrying cash in small denominations is recommended, avoiding the receipt of change in local currency. And to avoid the long lines at the local commercial banks, you can use the newly established Casas De Cambio to quickly facilitate the exchange of foreign currency.

July 30, 2009 Posted by | Central America, Tourism, Travel, Travel Information, Vacation | Leave a comment