Tag: Tropic Air

TROPIC AIR ADDS FLIGHTS BETWEEN BELIZE CITY INT’L & PLACENCIA

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 137

PRESS RELEASE
June 28, 2018
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye

Tropic Air announced today a substantial increase in flights for visitors to, and residents of,
Placencia. The increase is effective November 15th, 2018 and represents the company’s
confidence in the growth of tourism to Placencia, Maya Beach, Seine Bight and the surrounding
communities.

“Our commitment to the residents and tourism community of Placencia is to increase service in response to demand. We are now doing so,” said John Greif III, President of Tropic Air. “Placencia is an integral part of the network for Tropic Air, and as Belize’s leading airline, we feel that it is important to expand and show our confidence in a growing domestic marketplace.”

The new schedule for Belize International to/from Placencia. New flights are listed in Bold.

The new flights are now bookable via the web at www.tropicair.com, via e-mail at
reservations@tropicair.com, by phone at +501 226-2626, via Whatsapp at +501 622-5857, by
WebChat, at any of our stations, or by visiting any of our authorized sales agents.

About Tropic Air
With nearly 40 years of service, Tropic Air flies over 200 daily scheduled flights with 15 aircraft
to 15 destinations in Belize, Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. Tropic Air now employs over
350 team members and will carry over 300,000 passengers and 425,000 items of freight system
wide this year.

Tropic Air recently successfully completed IATA’s Industry Standard Safety Audit for the third
time, after joining the program in 2015. In September, Tropic was also admitted as a member of
the Latin American Airlines Association (ALTA), after meeting its professional standards
requirements.

Journalists with media enquiries, please contact the press office: pr@tropicair.com

 

The Blue Holes of Belize – there’s more than just one!

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 133

Blue holes or cenotes are underground cavities occurring in carbonate rocks that are open to the surface.

©Tony Rath Photography – trphoto.com

One of Belize’s most famous attractions, and an example of these, is the Great Blue Hole. Located in the lighthouse reef atoll approximately 62 miles from Belize City, it is an almost perfect circular chasm of deep blue in an azure sea. 1000 feet in diameter and more than 400 feet deep, it is the only Blue Hole on earth that is visible from space, and it’s a diver’s paradise.

Most visitors to Belize are probably unaware that in mainland Belize close to Belmopan, Belize’s capital city, and just off the Hummingbird Highway lies another of these craters, known as The Inland Blue Hole. Unlike its marine counterpart, this Blue Hole is a fresh-water cenote, located within the St Hermans Blue Hole National Park, a 575 acre forest teeming with wildlife. It is significantly smaller than the Great Blue Hole with a diameter of 300 feet and a depth of 100 feet. It’s a great spot for a refreshing dip while taking a Belizean road trip.

© Tony Rath – trphoto.com

Belize’s third Blue Hole is still something of a secret. Located in the rainforest area on the border between the Orange Walk and Cayo districts between the Valley of Peace and San Jose, Cara Blanca is just one of a series of 25 cenotes. If you look it up on google earth the pools can be clearly seen. Cara Blanca is approximately 330 in diameter and 230 feet deep. In recent years archaeological diving expeditions have discovered pre-historic bones of huge mammals, along with Maya artifacts. The latter demonstrating how Cenotes and caves played an important part in ancient Maya culture as they were thought to be the opening to Xibalba or the underworld. The presence of a small plaza with sacrificial pots and other relics here, is thought to be evidence of this worship.

It is rumored that other Blue Holes exist in Belize. There are definitely underwater caverns behind Caye Caulker and deep blue cenotes in both southern and northern Ambergris.

Let us know if you know of any, elsewhere in the country. We’d love to hear from you.

TROPIC AIR AND COPA AIRLINES ANNOUNCE INTERLINE AGREEMENT

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 211

PRESS RELEASE
June 15, 2018
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye

Tropic Air and Copa today announced the commencement of an interline agreement that allows customers to purchase connecting flights on one ticket and receive boarding passes for all segments at their first check-in. Tropic serves 15 destinations from Belize’s Goldson International Airport which Copa serves nonstop from its home at Panama’s Hub of the Americas.

“We are thrilled to enhance our partnership with Belize and provide great connectivity to our customers from 75 cities in the Americas offering the best regional on-time performance and service standards,” said Christophe Didier, VP of Global Sales for Copa Airlines.

Steve Schulte, Chief Executive Officer of Tropic Air commented, “We are thrilled to start our interline relationship with Copa. We look forward to welcoming more Latin Americans to Belize, and to providing both of our customers with access to our growing list of destinations across the region.”

“At Tropic, we strive to put the customer first in everything that we do,” said John Greif III, Tropic Air’s President. “This partnership will enable us to connect our customers to Copa’s extensive network of destinations, offering greater choice and convenience. It also enables our tourism partners to have seamless travel options, and demonstrates our determination to expand and strengthen our connecting route network.”

The agreement commences immediately, and tickets are available for sale. Connecting flights can be bought through professional travel agents.

About Tropic Air
With neary 40 years of service, Tropic Air flies over 200 daily scheduled flights with 15 aircraft to 15 destinations in Belize, Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. Tropic Air now employs over 350 team members and will carry over 300,000 passengers and 425,000 items of freight system wide this year.

Tropic Air recently successfully completed IATA’s Industry Standard Safety Audit for the third time, after joining the program in 2015. In September, Tropic was also admitted as a member of the Latin American Airlines Association (ALTA), after meeting its professional standards requirements.
Journalists with media enquiries, please contact the press office: pr@tropicair.com

About Copa Holdings, S.A.
Copa Airlines and Copa Airlines Colombia, subsidiaries of Copa Holdings, are leading Latin American providers of passenger and cargo services. The airlines offer service to 79 destinations in 32 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

During Copa Airlines’ 70 years of continuous operations, the Hub of the Americas in Panama has become the leading hub on the continent. Copa operates one of the youngest and most modern fleets in the industry and has one of the best on-time performance rates in the industry. In addition, in 2017 Copa received the award for “Leading Airline in Mexico and Central America” at the World Travel Awards and earned three Skytrax 2016 awards: “Best Airline in Central America / Caribbean,” “Best Airline Staff Service in Central America / Caribbean,” and “Best Regional Airline in Central America / Caribbean.” Copa is a member of Star Alliance, which offers passengers more than 18,450 daily flights to 1,300 airports in 190 countries.

Gud Maanin Belize

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 901

Belize is a happy country and its normal to greet each other with a “Hello”,” Good morning “, a “Hi how are you” or a “What’s happening”. We are the only country in Central America where English is the official language. But depending on where you are in the country and who you are talking to, you will discover quite a diversity of language in the manner of greeting strongly related to the melting pot of cultures that are our people.

“Gud Maanin” or “Weh di go aan?” are two familiar Kriol greetings, sung here in a Belizean favorite by the late and well-respected King of Brukdown, Mr Wilfred Peters.

Whilst English is the official language, Kriol is spoken by most Belizeans, particularly at home or in informal situations. Often thought of as a dialect, it is in fact a language with its own set of rules and grammar.

In areas where the Mestizo culture is strong particularly in northern Belize and the Cayo district, the favored language is Spanish and familiar greetings are “Buenas Dias”,”Hola” and “Que Pasa?” Northern Belize still has several Maya villages, where Yucatec Maya is still spoken, though sadly the language is dying out. “How are you” is “Bix yanikech”, Good morning is “Ma’lob Ja’atskab K’iin”

Two other Maya languages are spoken in Belize, predominately in villages in the Toledo district where the Maya culture is strongest. The village of San Antonio is mostly populated with Mopan Maya and a traditional greeting which means both Hello and Goodbye would be “D’yoos”. San Pedro Columbia is the largest Q’eqchi Maya community and they also have their own language. A typical greeting would be ” Ma sa’aach’ol” (how are you?) When speaking to an older woman the greeting would be “Naxin” and for an older man “Waxin”. The younger generation greet each other with the more informal “Chan xawil”.

Stann Creek is the cultural heart of the Garinagu or Garifuna. “Buiti Binafi” is the greeting here. This language which is part of the Arawak group of languages is rich in stories of the Garifuna culture.

In the Mennonites communities of Belize such as Spanish Lookout, Blue Creek and Barton Creek, the language spoken is low German. Good morning is “Goomorjess” or the informal “Morjess” Like many other Belizeans they also speak Spanish, English and Kriol.

Whilst the languages mentioned above make up the main cultural groups in Belize, today there are many other peoples, who have visited, fallen in love with and settled in the country. It’s not un-usual to hear Lebanese, Chinese and even French. Belize really is just one big melting pot.

TROPICMILES – TROPIC AIR’S FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAM

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 825

San Pedro,
Ambergris Caye,
Belize
Thursday, December 14, 2017

Today, Tropic Air unveiled its Frequent Flyer Program, TropicMiles, which will officially launch on January 1, 2018. This loyalty program will reward customers for flying with Tropic Air, and provide them with unique benefits for being a member.

Once registered and enrolled, members can redeem their miles for seats every day. Members will earn miles for every dollar spent on Tropic Air flights, and miles won’t expire as long as there is earning activity within a 12-month time period. The number of miles earned is based on the fare and fare category purchased, and the same is true for redeeming miles. In addition, members that reach certain annual thresholds will be elevated to TropicMiles Gold status, which will entitle them to additional benefits, like bonus miles for each flight.

“We are always looking for more ways to engage our customers and make their journeys with us more rewarding,” said John E. Greif, President of Tropic Air. “The TropicMiles program highlights our commitment to constantly grow the benefits of flying with us.”

“The feedback from our test customers on this new program has been fantastic. The availability of a Frequent Flyer program for those that travel within Belize has been the number one request by our customers” said Steven Schulte, CEO of Tropic Air. “Today, we are pleased to give it to them.”

Customers wishing to become a TropicMiles member, or wanting to learn more about the program can do so by visiting http://miles.tropicair.com

About Tropic Air
After nearly 40 years of service, Tropic Air continues to differentiate itself by offering a reliable product with exemplary customer service. Flying over 200 daily scheduled flights with 15 aircraft to 15 destinations in Belize, Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala, Tropic Air now employs over 350 team members, and will carry over 300,000 passengers and 425,000 items of freight system wide this year.

Tropic Air recently successfully completed IATA’s Industry Standard Safety Audit for the third time, after joining the program in 2015. In September, Tropic was also admitted as a member of the Latin American Airlines Association (ALTA), after meeting its professional standards requirements.

The Sport of Kings

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 1144

Horse racing’s history dates back thousands of years to the domestication of the horse by the people of Central Asia. The sport consisting of horses with rider racing round a track, was adopted throughout the world and was christened the sport of Kings when King James 1st of England made it his pastime of choice.

© horseracingbelize.com

Horse racing was introduced to Belize in the 1920s. At that time there were 2 major horse races. The Dewars Cup, named because of its sponsor, took place on Boxing Day, December 26th. The other race took place on 1st January. Some horses were imported from Jamaica, others were the Belizean bred family pony. People gathered for a bit of fun, to race their horse and of course to drink, bet and hopefully make a bit of cash.

Today there are several stables in Belize that breed horses but horse racing hasn’t changed much. Unlike the rest of the world it is relatively small scale and Horse breeders and owners come from all walks of life. There are now 3 race courses, Castleton Race Track in Burrell Boom, The Benny Padron Race track in San Felipe Village, Orange Walk and the Peoples Stadium in Orange Walk, which also acts as a football pitch and sports stadium. The terrain is grass, the type of race for those who know their horse racing terms, flat. Race meetings take place most months throughout the year at one of these three tracks. The Belize Triple Crown Challenge which takes place in April/May consists of 3 races, The Castleton Derby at Castleton race track, the San Felipe Stakes at the Benny Padron Race track and the Old Masters Stakes at the Peoples Stadium race track. This race series is open to three year old thoroughbreds from Belize. This year the horse Padrino made history by winning all three races.

If you are here for the Christmas vacations and are interested in seeing horse racing Belizean style, Castleton Races still take place on 26th December. Its no longer called the Dewars Cup but it is still the Sport of Kings.

 

Featured Photo: © horseracingbelize.com/

Queen Conch in Belize

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 1576

As we discovered in a previous blog, everything is not always as it seems.  Cashew nut is in fact a fruit and chocolate comes from a seed.  This month we talk a little about one of Belize’s favorite foods, Conch; where it lives, how its caught, how its cooked and how… it’s a snail!

If you are eating conch in Belize, you are most likely eating Queen Conch. Horse Conch or mai mula as it is locally known is also eaten especially in ceviche but sadly it is now rare and considered a delicacy. Queen Conch is a large sea snail that can be found close to the reef in shallow water in the sand or seagrass.  Conch don’t like to stay in one place and tend to travel miles looking for food. They move about in groups or schools using their “foot” to drag them across the sandy sea bottom.

Local fishermen are skilled at knowing where to find them and only those with a commercial fishing license are allowed to catch them. They are relatively easy to catch but extracting what’s inside requires skill and precision. The fisherman makes a small hole in the spiral part of the shell preferably using another conch shell (a knife is liable to break). This hole breaks the vacuum inside the shell making the meat easy to extract. Once extracted it needs to be cleaned of all the brown skin, best done with a fillet knife.  The “nail” and eyes are normally discarded or kept as bait or to chum. Experienced Conch fisherman never throw the empty shells back into the same place they have caught the conch as other conch will not return to this place. Instead they wait until their catch is complete at the end of the day and throw the shells back in, where there aren’t any conch. That is why you often see piles of shells in one place.

Freshly extracted conch meat can be eaten immediately as its sweet and tender. The tough muscle or foot can be tenderized with a mallet so that it too can be consumed. Every local fisherman and chef have their own special recipe for conch ceviche but staple ingredients include conch meat of course, lime (lots of it) cilantro, onion, tomato and habanero pepper(if desired). Conch fritters, conch soup (which is known to be good for the back) and conch steak are the most popular dishes you will come across in Belize. However, if you want to ensure that you get to try one or all of these tasty dishes you need to visit between 1st October and 30th June which is open conch season. At all other times of the year, the fishing and serving of conch is forbidden in order to maintain the conch population. Luckily that time is now.

 

 

Mango Season. Cashew Season. No, it’s Chocolate Season!

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 1881

Mango

May and June see the start most Belizeans favorite season, mango season. After eight months of deprivation, these sweet beauties suddenly grace every market stall and roadside vendor in Belize. The countryside and city yards overflow with mangoes of every shape and size, with colors ranging from green to red, to yellow and even blue.

In Belize, there are well over 20 varieties of mango with names just as colorful as their skin. There are Hairy mangoes, Blue mangoes, Garlic, Daddyfoot, Common, Number 11, Slippers, Julie and even Turpentine.

No. 11 Mango

There are four different stages of the mango, each with a very different taste. When it is green, the mango is hard and tart, delicious with salt and local habanero pepper, and is often used to make chutney. When its full or ‘turn’, the mango is just about ripe with a firm, slightly less sweet flesh, which is easy to eat and great in salads. Ripe mangoes are juicy and ready to eat with a delectable slightly perfumey aroma and taste. Overripe fruit is extremely messy and is best used to make mango juice. Add some lime, ice and a little bit of mint to it and you have a refreshingly delicious drink. The mango is paid homage to at an annual Mango Festival, in Hopkins in the Stann Creek District, usually at the beginning of June.

Cashew

Belizeans love to celebrate the bounty of nature and the cashew is another fruit feted with its own festival. The Cashew Festival is held annually in Crooked Tree Village in late April or early May. Wait! It’s a fruit? Yes, the cashew is actually a very fragrant fruit with the more familiar nut hanging below. It grows wild in North Central Belize and flourishes despite the poor sandy soil in that region. It doesn’t need much water or fertilizer so it is indeed seen as miraculous. Harvest is generally between March and June where the trees are resplendent with red, orange and yellow that is the cashew fruit. Birds love the fruit as well, much to the chegrin of the farmers. It also makes a great wine.

Cashew fruit. ©TropicAir.com

Here is a great video that tells you all about this fruit and nut!

Cashew SeasonStraight outa Crooked Tree and in time for cashew fest 2017.

Posted by 501Boyz Production on Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Cacao

Did you know that chocolate was a fruit as well? Strictly speaking cacao (where chocolate comes from) is the actual fruit of the Theobrama tree. These colorful pods grow straight from the trunk or branch of the tree. Inside these pods are about 20 to 30 seeds covered in a thick sweet pulp that tastes nothing like chocolate, but is delicious all the same.  It’s the beans themselves that are taken from the pod, fermented in a box covered with banana leaves, dried and roasted.  Once roasted they are ground in a machine to release the oil (cocoa butter) which is put back into the cocoa mass to produce a liquor which will become chocolate as we know it.  The Cacao Festival a celebration of chocolate occurs annually in May in the Toledo District of Belize.

Cacao Pods. ©JCCUELLAR.COM

TROPIC AIR LAUNCHES iOS APP

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 1536

San Pedro,
Ambergris Caye,
Belize
Monday, May 8, 2017

Tropic Air has launched a new mobile iOS app, offering travellers greater convenience from booking to boarding. Designed to be fast and intuitive, the mobile app aims to provide users with a functional and seamless user experience.

Key features of the mobile app include flight booking, exclusive deals, tour and travel information, as well as itinerary management.

“Tropic Air is constantly improving and enhancing our various digital touch points to keep up with the changing landscape of the travel industry. With our mobile app, customers can expect greater control and convenience when it comes to planning their travel itineraries,” said Tropic Air’s President, John Greif III.

Built in conjunction with a leading developer of digital solutions, the new Tropic Air mobile app is now available for download at the Apple App Store, and is compatible with iOS 9 and 10. Users can look forward to more features that will progressively be added in future updates, in addition to an Android version that is now planned.

About Tropic Air
Founded in 1979, by John Greif III, with just a single airplane and two employees, Tropic has steadily grown to become the largest and most experienced airline in Belize. It now employs over 345 staff, and offers over 200 daily scheduled flights with 18 aircraft to 19 destinations in Belize, Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. Chetumal, Mexico became destination number 19 on January 16th. Tropic Air joined IATA’s ISSA Registry in 2015.

App Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tropic-air/id1223899481?mt=8

 

Belize Food

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 2544

Belize’s abundant cultural interaction makes for an incredible diversity of foods. As tourism has increased, so has the availability of international cuisine countrywide and whilst the mainstay of Belizean fare is undoubtedly stewed chicken, rice and beans served with plantain, potato salad or coleslaw, every region has at least one or two specialties based on its cultural heritage.

Corozal maintains a strong Mexican influence.  Corn is a staple here and used in the making of tamale, a corn based dough called masa surrounding chicken, wrapped in a banana or plantain leaf served with a juicy tomato based sauce. Traditionally the tamale was prepared by the ancient Maya for feasts.  Today they are eaten by everyone. Dukunu another delicacy is made from the ground and roasted corn kernels steamed in corn husks.

Making tamales over an open fire hearth: ©JCCUELLAR.COM

Most street corners in Belize towns, have their own taco stands and local favorites but Orange Walk arguably has the best. Tacos, a rolled corn tortilla with meat filling can be spicy or not, and make for a delicious breakfast. Orange Walk tacos are shipped countrywide by Tropic Air via our cargo department, so wherever it is likely that will be able to enjoy them or you can get them flown in specially.

Tacos in Orange Walk: © Tropic Air

The cuisine of Ambergris Caye one of the main tourist destinations of the country has absorbed influences from around the country and here you will find every kind of Belizean delicacy, as well as international cuisine, with an emphasis on seafood. With dishes ranging from Japanese sushi, to Italian pizza, to Salvadoran pupusas, your taste buds won’t be disappointed. Lobster and Conch are seasonal and the local specialty of ceviche, is usually made with either of these raw and then “cooked” with lime juice, cucumber and habanero pepper.

Shrimp Ceviche: ©JCCUELLAR.COM

In the South, in Placencia and the Cayo district, similar international cuisine is abundant whilst in Hopkins, and Dangriga (Stann Creek district), the traditional flavors reflect the strong Garifuna culture. Coconut milk, banana and plantain, fish and cassava root are all popular ingredients used to make the specialities of this region, which include Sere, a coconut based fish soup, and Hudut, consisting of mashed plantain.

As well as the staple, chicken with rice and beans,in Belize City, a diversity of fried chicken restaurants, offer a variation on a theme, creole and spicy, others oriental and crispy, all served with orange Fanta infused ketchup. With nicknames such as “kick down fence”, “Nice and Nasty”, “Freetown Kentucky” and “Greasy Bag”, who can resist this artery clogging indulgence!

Rice and Beans with Stew Chicken. © SanPedroScoop.com

Healthier fare is on offer in the Toledo district, where the indigenous Maya have a mainstay diet of corn and beans and whatever else is grown on their farm. The Midday meal is often caldo a clear soup eaten with tortillas and accompanied by the Maya cacao drink Kukuh which is a mixture of ground cocoa beans, pepper, corn and water. Along with the Maya there is a strong East Indian influence here and the local spices are added to make delicious curry.

Throughout Belize you will find three countrywide staples. The “Johnny Cake” a heavy bread eaten plain or with ham/cheese or chicken, traditionally cooked over an open flame, “Fry Jacks” deep fried flour tortillas, or “Pepper”. No Belizean meal would be complete without a bottle of hot sauce made with habanero chile peppers. This stuff is addictive and once you’ve tried it you will have it on everything, just like the locals do and be sure to take a bottle home for your friends.