Tag: Tropic Air

Tour ATM with Tropic Air

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 1152

Belize is fortunate to possess some spectacular and diverse wonders of nature. From the world famous Blue Hole, to hundreds of coral rimmed Cayes, to Maya sites scattered across large swaths of rainforest.

Amongst all this beauty is ATM (Actun Tunichil Muknal) Cave, a must see on your Belize bucket list. Actun Tunichil Muknal, which means Cave of the Stone Sepulcre, was discovered in the late 80s and first opened to the public in the late 90s. Located deep within the Cayo rainforest, it’s a 7 mile journey down a dirt track from the main highway near Teakettle village. Then, it’s a 45 minute hike through the rainforest, crossing the Roaring River several times, before arriving at the hourglass shaped entrance to the cave. The cave is reached with a brief swim.

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Courtesy Chaa Creek: book your ATM tour with Tropic Air

Ancient Maya belief held that entering a cave was to enter Xibalba, the Maya Under-world.  As you wade, walk and swim through the dark underground river using only the light from your headlamp, one can begin to imagine why the Maya used caves as sacred places.  As you reach “The Cathedral”, named because of its scale, magnificence and sacredness, you can see giant stalactites hanging from the ceiling, and ancient Maya artifacts including pottery and human bones littering the cave floor.  Venturing still deeper into the Maya underworld, the trail ends high in the rock face (only accessible by ladder) where the calcified skeleton known as the Crystal Maiden, but now assumed to be a young male, is located. It is thought that he was a sacrifice to the Gods in a time of need.

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Tropic Air landing at Maya Flats in San Ignacio

Tropic Air offer is thrilled to offer a day tour of ATM for those staying on the Northern Cayes.  An early morning flight from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye will take you to Belmopan where your tour will begin and end. All visits to the cave will be undertaken with a licensed cave guide, and all of whom are passionate and knowledgeable about their heritage, and who enjoy sharing it with visitors.

The warm cave water is refreshing even on cooler days. Its depth will vary at different places within the cave, and is dependent on the amount of rainfall there has been. There are times when the river is in flood and tours are suspended. Closed toed shoes with socks are essential, and in certain parts of the cave you will need to remove shoes in order to avoid damaging the the many ancient artifacts scattered on the ground. Helmets and head torches are provided by the guide.

A sweet treat for May

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 844

DATES FOR THIS YEAR’S (2017) CHOCOLATE FESTIVAL ARE MAY 19TH, 20TH, 21ST.

This month is a very special one for the Toledo district of Belize because it marks the 10th Anniversary of the Chocolate Festival of Belize.

Back in 2007 the first festival was founded originally as the Toledo Cacao Festival, with the idea of promoting this very unique district of Belize and the amazing cacao that grows here.  The then British company Green and Black who were buying the majority of the cacao for their “Maya Gold” bar, were one of the main sponsors of the event, along with the Toledo Cacao Growers Association (TCGA).  The event opened with the signature “Wine and Chocolate” evening.  All the cuisine was chocolate related and guests were treated to bars of “Maya Gold” as a welcome gift. The following day a street fair was held in the town of Punta Gorda, the town clock was painted especially for the event.  There were stalls of all kinds selling every kind of cacao related product you could think of, wine, vinegar, soaps, earrings and of course chocolate.  Local musicians played marimba and the Maya ceremonial deer dance was re-enacted. There were activities for children to learn all about cacao and even trips to local cacao farms could be arranged. The event culminated on the Sunday with fireworks and the music of The Three Kings.

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©JCCUELLAR.COM

The Maya of the Toledo district have of course been making chocolate for thousands of years. They discovered that if the seeds grown in the pods of the Theobrama Cacao tree were roasted and ground, mixed with local spices and water, that they provided a refreshing drink. This drink originally drunk in dried gourds is still very much a part of the Maya culture although today it is more likely to be drunk from brightly colored plastic cups.  This first ever cacao event was not only a showcase of the traditional Maya culture but also an inspiration for a handful of people to start making their own “bean to bar” chocolate within Belize using Belizean cacao. By the following year there were already four new chocolate makers in Belize, showcasing their products at the 2nd Cacao Festival.  These included Belize Chocolate Company, Cotton Tree Chocolate, Goss Chocolate and Ixcacao (originally Cyrila’s)

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©JCCUELLAR.COM

The Toledo Cacao Growers Association which was established in 1984 was the original source for buying beans.  Until very recently the cacao farmer would harvest the pods, extract the beans and then ferment them in wooden boxes covered with banana leaves. This process would take approximately 7 days.  Once the beans were fermented they were laid out to dry.  The TCGA would buy these dried and fermented beans from the farmer.  In 2010, Maya Mountain Cacao started purchasing wet beans from the farmers in an effort to provide a more consistent quality to the buyer.  The TCGA quickly followed suit and today both companies centralise the fermenting and drying of the cacao.  It is at this stage that the various chocolate makers buy the beans to transform it into chocolate.

The Cacao festival changed its name in 2013 to The Chocolate Festival of Belize.  As with years gone by, this year the event will be held on the Commonwealth weekend 20th – 22nd May and will follow the same format as the original with Wine and Chocolate evening on Friday, Taste of Toledo street fair  held on the Saturday and Grand Finale on Sunday.  Come and check out what promises to be a fabulous, informative weekend filled with chocolate, culture, music and fun and of course make sure you fly there on Tropic Air.

The Community is our fuel

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 477

Tropic Air has a strong tradition of charitable giving and fundraising, dating back to our founder who was a passionate philanthropist. Through a mixture of donations and fundraising activities, we continue to support charities and local community projects.

Tropic believes it has a corporate responsibility to providing excellent service both on the air and on the ground. As a responsible corporate citizen, we work with a variety of nonprofit partners to make a difference in the communities we serve. This commitment to inspire our community is how we conduct business every day. We work hand-in-hand with local organizations, connecting communities within our areas of commitment: youth and education; health; drug prevention; community and the environment.

Usually, we give through flight donations and other assistance programs, but this year, we decided to take it one step further, with the launch of the #TropicGivesBack. For every ticket bought by our customers at the month’s selected station, $1 is donated to an organization chosen by our staff stationed in that community.

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In January, our team in Dangriga raised $500 for the Dangriga Red Cross. In February, Caye Caulker raised $400 for the Cancer Support Group, Arms of Love. March saw Belmopan raise $400 for King’s Childrens home. Currently, it is San Ignacio’s turn, with Punta Gorda scheduled for May.

“Our love of people and community is our most powerful fuel, which is why we have a long history of helping through nonprofit support. We are committed to giving back not just nationally, but in the communities where our customers and employees live and work” said John Greif III, Tropic Air’s President. “Through the #TropicGivesBack Donation program, we hope to spark social, economic, and environmental initiatives in communities across the country. We sincerely appreciate being part of these communities” said Steve Schulte, our CEO.

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With this success of this program, we would like to thank our customers´ dedication to making Belize a better place, and we look forward to making this program an annual event.

So as you travel around Belize, look for the banner with our program’s mascot, Lucas, on it. Buy a ticket, and help us to give back.

November in Belize

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 545

Belize is a country of celebrations or jump ups as we call them and Belizeans love to party. Most months of the year have at least one holiday or anniversary commemorating or celebrating something of national significance.  In November, all of Belize celebrates Garifuna Settlement Day on the 19th of the month.  This holiday commenced in 1943 in the Stann Creek and Toledo districts of the country and in 1977 it became a national Holiday throughout Belize.

The Garinagu (plural of Garifuna) or Black Caribs first arrived in Belize, then British Honduras on November 19, 1802. They were the descendants of Carib Indians and Black Africans from St Vincent.  According to history, they arrived in dug out canoes or dories and the re- enactment, called Yurumei, has become part of the Garifuna cultural ritual that occurs every morning on November 19th.

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Belize has Garifuna communities living throughout Belize with approximately 15,000 people making up 7% of the population. The highest concentration can be found in the Stann Creek district and in particular Dangriga.  The word Dangriga is from the Garifuna language meaning “sweet water”. Here the celebration lasts all week with parades, drumming, live music, dancing and much fun.  The women and men dress in their traditional and colorful clothes and a Miss Garifuna pageant is held where young ladies showcase their knowledge of traditional dancing and language. In nearby Hopkins, traditionally a small fishing village, the children still learn and speak the Garifuna language .

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The Garifuna culture is a strong and proud one.  They have their own yellow, white and black flag symbolizing the sun, peace and the people.  The food is also different from the ubiquitous rice and beans with Hudut, bundiga and cassava bread being just some of the delicacies to be found.

Let Tropic Air fly you to experience the Garifuna culture.

Romantic Islands of Belize

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 470

There are many reason couples choose Belize as their destination to get engaged or tie the knot. Belize is simply romantic and our destinations, especially our islands, offer not only the perfect setting, but an array of places to stay and dine.

Whether you prefer a high end experience with your loved one or prefer, seclusion and the basics, Belize has many options to choose from. From our largest and most northern destination, Ambergris Caye, to the small secluded beaches of the Silk Cayes, you can find just the right location to propose or simply fall in love all over again.

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The best part is that getting to your island getaway is easy and simple with Tropic Air. We fly to Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker as well as numerous destinations on the mainland, where getting to your romantic island is then a short boat ride away. Need some options? Then check out the following article on Belize’s Most Romantic Islands and let Tropic Air take you and your loved one on a romantic escape.

LINK: http://www.travelchannel.com/destinations/belize/articles/belizes-most-romantic-islands

Let’s go visit Toledo!

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 644

Toledo the southernmost district of Belize is arguably one of the richest areas of our country in terms of culture and topography.  Cradled by high mountains, dense jungle and the blue Caribbean sea, the area is abundant in nature reserves, pristine rainforests, extensive cave systems and some of the best off shore cayes and yet historically it is one of the least populated and visited.  Formerly frequented by the hardier eco traveler and backpacker,  Tropic Air’s daily scheduled flights from almost anywhere in Belize including the International airport, to Punta Gorda the areas capital ,coupled with the increase in a variety of accommodation ranging from luxury lodges to bed and breakfast inns has opened up this diverse area to the mainstream traveler. Visitors can even stay in a traditional Maya home in a thatched cottage in one of the many Maya villages.  This homestay project offers the chance to experience the Maya way of life. Food is authentic Maya fare of corn tortillas made on the fire, with corn ground on a traditional metate handed down over the centuries from family to family. This is served with caldo a tasty chicken stew with potatoes and vegetables grown on the family farm.

Deer Dance

Whilst the Toledo district like the rest of Belize, is culturally diverse, the Maya culture dominates here, more than any other area of Belize.  Some 30 villages inhabited by the Kekchi and the Mopan Maya dot the surrounding countryside. San Antonio located 25 miles outside of PG has one of the largest Mopan Maya communities in Central America and one of the centers for the annual deer dance.  Villagers wear colorful costumes and dance to marimba music.  The dance symbolizes the relationship between man and nature.  The Maya maintain a strong link to the past through rituals, folklore and family.  Fiestas dancing and traditional music remain important as several festivals and celebrations occur throughout the year.

Belize Chocolate Fetival - Wine & Chocolate NightThe most recent annual event is the Toledo Cacao Festival held in May in Punta Gorda and throughout the district.  Activities range from a wine and chocolate tasting evening to cookery competitions and a craft fair, trips to the outer Cayes and a cacao trail tour in Toledo’s chocolate country.
Other festivals in the district include the feast of San Luis during Easter, Garifuna settlement Day and the East Indian Festivals.  In October The Tide fish fest is a weekend annual event dedicated to raising awareness of environmental issues.  The weekend consists of a seafood gala with delicious food on offer, a youth conservation competition and a fishing tournament.

Annual TIDE Fish Festival

In November the Battle of the drums showcases local musicians as they display their talents in 5 different categories of Garifuna drumming.

Tasty food in San Ignacio

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 510

Much of traveling has to do with finding great places to please your taste buds. In Belize the choices are wide and delightful and San Ignacio is certainly a destination that delivers on this.  Sure, San Ignacio a great destination for a range of tourist activities like spelunking, Maya Archaeological exploration, horse back riding, canoeing and more but doing all those wonderful activities work up an appetite.

Tropic Air is the only airline that can take you to experience these delights in San Ignacio. Book with us today and check out the following blog from Lorenzo Gonzalez on details about your food options that will have your mouth watering.

See you on the next flight ;).

BOOK NOW: Call our reservations at 226-2012, drop us an email at reservations@tropicair.com or do it right from our website on the left side.

BLOG: San Ignacio, Cayo’s best food spots.

Insider Tips to Belize from Tropic Air

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 652

Think outside the box. September and October are some of the best months of the year for diving. Fewer people visit and you are sure to find great deals on accommodation.

 

SCUBA Diving Belize - Tropic Air
©Belize Tourism Board

 

Put “visit at least one Maya site” on your to do list. There are sites in each of the 6 Belize districts.

 

Lamanai Tour with Tropic Air
@Belize Tourism Board

 

Snorkeling the 2nd largest barrier reef is a must, but be sure to wear a rashguard or t-shirt as the reflection of the water will increase the effect of the sun’s rays.

 

Hol Chan Marine Reserve Tour with Tropic Air
@Belize Tourism Board

 

Fly rather than drive. Tropic Air has flights to most destinations and also offer charters to more remote and exotic places.

 

Tropic Air - the airline of Belize
©JCCUELLAR.COM

 

Belizeans love to party and there are festivals and celebrations countrywide most months of the year. Check with the Belize Tourism Board www.travelbelize.org to find out what’s going on when you plan to visit.

Belize City Carnival - Tropic Air
©JCCUELLAR.COM

Talk to the locals and find out where they eat.

 

Local Food - Tropic Air
©JCCUELLAR.COM

 

Go visit the Belize Zoo -known as the coolest little zoo in the world, you will see an amazing selection of Belizean wildlife in their natural habitat.

 

Zipline & Belize Zoo Tour with Tropic Air
©JCCUELLAR.COM

 

Caving can be fun! Try a relaxing tubing trip through a cave system or for something more adventurous, visit one of the caves traditionally thought of as part of the Maya underworld.

Tropic Air Cave Tubing & Airboat Tour
 

You really cannot miss the famous Blue Hole if you come to Belize. If you don’t want to dive or snorkel it, then see it by air. Tropic Air can take you there. It’s on most peoples bucket list!

 

Blue Hole Tour with Tropic Air
©Jose Luis Zapata

 

If you are based on the mainland for your vacation, try to take at least one trip to the Cayes. Tropic Air flies to Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker

 

Caye Caulker with Tropic Air
©JCCUELLAR.COM

 

If you are based on the Cayes try to take a trip to the mainland to experience all it has to offer. Tropic air can take you there. (link to Destinations page)

Belize City with Tropic Air
Make sure you try the national dish of Belize – stewed chicken, rice and beans with coleslaw at least once on your trip… and I bet you won’t be able to just have it once.

Merida – a city you should live and love

Posted By : Tropic Air/ 745

This is a city rich in culture, shopping, amazing eats, art and architecture. Merida is the capital city of Yucatan and is considered the safest in Mexico. You can enjoy a scenic stroll where its avenues or the main boulevard called the Paseo consist of hidden gardens, boutique hotels, cafes and mansions dating to the mid-19th century. Getting around is very easy. You have access to taxis, bikes and if you’re looking something romantic, horse and carriage rides around the Paseo Montejo.

How to get there: it’s an hour and forty minute scenic flight from Belize on Tropic Air, who operate Cessna caravans on the route. They currently have a summer special starting at $355USD roundtrip (enter promo code MID when booking), see website for restrictions and conditions.

MORE ON MERIDA: http://www.sanpedroscoop.com/2014/03/merida-belize-culture-museums-food-shopping-best.html