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Una parada en Belice

Posted on 23 Nov, 2009 in the Articles about Portofino Beach Resort Category. 1 Comment

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CON TODO EL PODER DE LA INFORMACION    Managua, Nicaragua – Lunes 23 de Noviembre de 2009 – Edición 10516

Belice es un país que sorprende. Desde que se pone pie en el territorio, su población y sus ofertas turísticas halan el interés.

Está poblado por tan sólo 300 mil personas, eso equivale aproximadamente al 5.3 por ciento de la población total nicaragüense. Así es que es posible ver algunas zonas con casas bastantes dispersas y variadas. En cuanto a materiales y a construcción, hay de madera, concreto, horizontales y verticales.

Sus habitantes, además, tienen orígenes diversos. De modo que el turista se topa con negros, blancos, mestizos y asiáticos, entre otros, que siempre tienen algo que decir. Aunque no todos hablan bien el español.

También resulta un país atractivo por lo que ofrece en términos turísticos. Posee, por ejemplo, los arrecifes de coral más extensos del Caribe y del planeta, se calcula que empezó a formarse hace unos 500 millones de años.

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San Pedro, multifacético
Posee, además, islas perfectas para aventuras. La Isla San Pedro es un ejemplo de eso. En ésta se pueden hacer desde caminatas por la playa hasta esnórquel, es decir, nadar en la superficie del agua para ver, en el caso de la Isla, desde mantarrayas y tiburones gato hasta tortugas, langostas y, por supuesto, arrecifes de coral.

Si usted nunca ha realizado está práctica, tampoco es problema, ya que hay instructores que se encargan de dirigirlo. Y si cuenta con amigos expertos en el deporte ¡mejor! La experiencia resulta más divertida.

La Isla también tiene un sentido histórico: está vinculada a los mayas, piratas europeos y refugiados mexicanos. Cuenta con hoteles de primera clase, como el Hotel Portofino Beach Resort, con 100 metros de playas blancas y palmeras.

Ése es un hotel de casi tres manzanas, ubicado a unos 10 kilómetros al norte del pueblo de San Pedro, al que se llega en bote. Tiene habitaciones de todo tipo: suite, vip suite, cabañas y hasta una mansión frente a la playa con un ambiente rústico y tropical. Aparte de eso cuenta con su propio centro de buceo.

Hotel Costa Maya Resort es otra buena opción. El gerente del hotel, Rodrigo Noguera, explica que el complejo está cerca de los arrecifes. Además, su personal es bien activo y amable. Posee suite cómodas y aptas para el ambiente tropical. Los visitantes lo llaman “un pedacito del cielo”.

Aunque si prefiere el pueblo para bailar e interactuar más con los locales, hoteles como Ramón`s Village y Sun Breeze son de mucha ayuda. Ambos están cerca de la costa y de los centros nocturnos de la zona.
Isla Icaco “particular”
Isla Icaco, Caye Caulker, situado a 17 kilómetros de San Pedro, es otro encanto de Belice. Tiene una historia particular, con tres o cuatro calles principales. Fue fundado por Luciano Reyes, el primer dueño de la Isla en el año 1750.

En la Isla es muy fácil conocer a sus descendientes. Doña Lidia Alamina de Vega es su tataranieta. Tiene 85 años y es una de las mujeres más ancianas del lugar. Está casada con Antonio Vega, de 93 años, con quien procreó diez hijos, de estos siete varones.

María Vega y Antonio Vega Jr., hijos de doña Lidia, incluso son dos impulsores del turismo en el Cayo. Vega Inn and Gardens es uno de los hoteles de la familia, y uno de los 80 que hay en todo el sitio.

Belize Odyssey Resort, es otra famosa propiedad hotelera. Su dueño es Antonio Vega Jr. y la administradora es la nicaragüense Patty Reyes Cruz. Cruz expone que ofrecen alojamiento echando mano de 22 unidades habitacionales, cuatro de éstas apartamentos, con vistas a la costa.

Brinda además asistencia a huéspedes y deportes marítimos. Tiene una capacidad hasta para 80 personas. Por otra parte está cerca del “aeropuerto” de la Isla. También destaca Plaza Hotel, en el centro urbano, con espaciosas habitaciones y comida de rey.

El representante de la Cámara de Comercio de la Isla, Antonio Aguilar, dice que en general hay hoteles para todos los segmentos: para el más y menos pudiente. Refiere que ellos se mantienen, usualmente, con la pesca y el turismo.

“Con el turismos nos ayudamos mucho, nos visitan mucho turistas europeos y americanos porque en la Isla se pueden realizar diferentes actividades, como buceo, esnórquel, pesca con caña, giras en botes de vela, ciclismo, natación, caminatas o exploración de playa”, especifica.

“Si vas por la calle también encuentras cosas que ver y comprar, ¡qué más te puedo decir! Tenemos de todo y somos un pueblo pequeño con mucho corazón, somos amigos de todo el mundo y somos un destino barato, porque aquí prevalece el dólar beliceño que equivale a dos americanos”, resume el empresario.
¿Dónde buscar más información?
Si planea visitar Belice primero le recomendamos consultar la tarifa de viaje en Taca Airlines, ya que varían por temporada. Otras opciones son recurrir a los portales de hoteles, para conocer de paso otras ofertas, como www.SunBreezeSuites.com; www.costamayareef.com; www.portofinobelize.com; www.CayeCaulkerPlazaHotel.com; http://belizeodyssey.com; www.maruba-belize.com ; www.blackorchidresort.com

En “Agua de la Roca”
Si va a Belice, visite Altun Ha o Agua de la Roca, ubicado a una hora de la capital. Es un área del mundo maya que fue habitada por primera vez en el año 250 antes de Cristo, según historiadores locales. Se presume que alguna vez fue un centro de negocios de piedras “místicas” como el jade.

Hoy el sitio sirve para contemplarlo. Otra opción es el hotel Black Orchid, vistoso por su “lago”, y el Hotel Maruba Resort Jungle Spa. En este último, aparte de encontrar un ambiente exótico, tiene la opción de recurrir a masajes relajantes, así que ¡aproveche la ocasión!

Algunos detalles
* Clima: Tropical, normalmente cálido y húmedo
* Temperatura: 24 a 27 grados centígrados en promedio.
* Aeropuerto: ubicado en ciudad de Belice
* Lengua oficial: inglés, español y criollo beliceño
* Visa: No la requieren los centroamericanos
* Moneda: dólar beliceño, aunque la mayoría de los hoteles, restaurantes y lugares orientados al turismo aceptan moneda norteamericana y cheques de viajero.

* Vacunas : No son necesarias, salvo que provenga de un lugar afectado por alguna enfermedad pandémica.

* Al consumir: pregunte en qué moneda está el precio del producto: si en dólar beliceño o norteamericano. Dejar propina es voluntario, y como el resto de países, dejar un 10 por ciento del total consumido es suficiente para el reconocimiento de un buen servicio.

* Hoteles: Tarifas variadas, todas en dólares.

For reading this article in english click here and for other languages, you can use Google Translate

1 Response to "Una parada en Belice"


1 | Pablo said on February 7th, 2011 at 12:19 am

Que hermoso es este pais, sin duda de los mejores del continente al momento de vacacionar. Saludos!

Pablo


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Weekly Edition Newspaper: November 13 – November 19, 2009 | San José Costa Rica

By Tim Rogers
Nica Times Staff | trogers@ticotimes.net

AMBERGRIS CAYE, Belize – For many Central Americans – a predominantly Pacific-coast oriented population – the Caribbean side of the isthmus has always been considered curiously, if not distantly, as “the other coast.”

weekly_11_13_09st11But for Belizeans – Central America’s peculiar English-speaking neighbors who live in a small slice of jungle and beach wedged between Guatemala and Mexico – the Caribbean is the only  coast, and it’s the rest of the region that seems a bit curious.

Since its full independence from Great Britain in 1981, Belize has mostly lived with its back to the rest of Central America, opting instead to identify with other English-speaking island nations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

As a demographic illustration of that point, one needs only to travel across Belize to note that the closer one gets to the rest of Central America, the fewer Belizeans one will find. Indeed, more Belizeans live on the Caribbean island of Ambergris Caye than in the mainland capital city of Belmopan, which, with a population rounded up to 10,000, is the least inhabited capital in the world.

For the most part, Belize has had good reason to stay on the Caribbean side, especially considering how slow the rest of Central America has been in welcoming it to the neighborhood. Guatemala didn’t recognize Belize until 1992, while those with older maps still referred to the country as “British Honduras” years after its independence.

But now that’s starting to change, as Belize begins to embrace some of its neighborhood roots and tries to use its unique geographical situation to its advantage.

“We are Central America, but we are also the Caribbean. So we want to be a Caribbean getaway for Central Americans,” says Sandra van Noord, owner of the stylish beach resort Portofino, on Ambergris Caye.

As the country integrates more into the rest of the isthmus, Belize is also trying to distinguish itself as Central America’s Caribbean destination, rather than the Caribbean’s Central American destination.

“Competitiveness is key in a global market, so we need to move forward on integration with Central America,” said Dionne Chamberlain, head of Belize’s Tourism Chamber and president of the Federation of Central American Tourism Chambers (FEDECATUR).

Chamberlain said that the world economic crisis, which has hit Caribbean tourism markets even harder than Central America’s, has forced the tourism sector to “revitalize our industry” and “start thinking outside the box.”

As Central America tries to promote itself in Europe and Asia as a single, multi-attraction destination, Belize – the region’s most developed, English-speaking Caribbean destination – has a lot to offer the package as a complement to the rest of Central America.

“We can’t keep putting all our economic eggs in one basket and looking toward the United States as our only tourism market,” Chamberlain said. “We need to form new partnerships and collaborations and start looking to markets such as Mexico, Russia, Europe and Canada.”

With daily flights to and from Cancun, Mexico’s largest resort town, Belize can also serve as “a link between Cancun and the rest of Central America,” says Mike Singh, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Tourism.

Jungles, Caves & Reef

weekly_11_13_09st12The former heart of the Maya civilization some 3,500 years ago, Belize is home to spectacular pre-Columbian ruins – some of which are so tucked into the jungle they are accessible only by traveling up the extensive Belize River, which starts in Guatemala and winds 180 miles to the Caribbean Sea.

Most of Belize is jungle – over 75 percent of the country is covered in tropical forest, half of which is protected. The jungles of Belize are home to abundant bird and wildlife, including five species of wildcat.

Underneath the jungle lies Central America’s most extensive cave system, providing unique and wild cave-tubing day tours where tourists can float down the river in inner tubes through miles of caves, wearing only a bathing suit and a spelunker’s headlamp.

But Belize’s most famous attractions lie under the crystal blue Caribbean waters. With a 185-mile long coral reef – the longest in the Northern Hemisphere, a world heritage site and one of the seven underwater wonders of the world – Belize is home to some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the world.

Amid the waving and hypnotizing coral, electric-colored fish festively festooned in flamboyant striped patterns, dart in and out of their underwater castle playground. Hugging the seafloor like shadows, giant stingrays flap effortlessly beneath the diver as sea turtles nibble on sea grass before darting to the surface for a gulp of air.

Meanwhile, at the extreme edge of vision, a giant nurse shark swishes her tail and moves away into the darker ocean depths.

Skin divers can see a greater variety of sea life during a two-hour snorkeling trip on the reef than they can from a lifetime of watching the Discovery Channel. And it’s all just a 10-minute boat ride off of either Ambergris Caye or the much smaller and cozier Caye Caulker, 10 miles south of Ambergris Caye.

At the end of the day, with one’s back properly burned from snorkeling, it’s back to the hotel for several cold Belikin Beers and a fresh seafood dinner (which, incidentally, feels like a guilty pleasure after a day of making new fish friends on the reef).

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Belize Food & Culture on International TV!
Chef Keith Jones brings you the first delicious season of ‘Taste of Belize’, his unconventional culinary-variety show!

Colours TV arrived on Ambergris Caye on Friday, November 13, with a camera crew that will be filming a new show called “Taste of Belize” with celebrity Chef Keith Jones for the television network. The new six-episode culinary experience promises to expose the very best of Belize’s food and culture to millions of viewers in the United States.

Colours TV entices its viewers to join Chef Keith Jones, for a unique “Eatertainment” experience, while he travels across Belize, as the “culinary ambassador to the world.” In each episode, Jones will meet vibrant “people” within Belize. From local standouts to international visitors, Jones sets out in search of interesting people and amazing cuisine.

With over 25 years of food artistry expertise, Chef Keith Jones promises to bring his effervescent personality and flair for exotic cuisine to Belize, the “Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret” for his third television series. “Taste of Belize with Chef Keith Jones” is a feast for the eyes, the soul and the imagination!

This week, Chef Keith Jones was at Portofino Beach Resort and La Perla del Caribe cooking up a storm, before he set to visit other parts of the country. Shot in high definition, Chef Keith Jones is set to travel around Belize, taking viewers on a journey filled with food, culture and fun. He connects with Belizean Chefs that help him prepare traditional dishes, while learning cultural lessons from the people he meets along the way. Colours TV promises that this will not be your ordinary “how-to” cooking show, this is what Chef Jones likes to call, ‘Eatertainment’

Taste of Belize with Chef Keith Jones will be scheduled to run during the most desirable day parts in an effort to maximize viewership and sponsorship support. Colours TV will help distribute Belizean content across the United States to over 19 million homes and 47 million potential viewers.

“The sharing of these cultural stories fit perfectly with our mission of celebrating people of color, and showcasing them in a positive light,” said Arthur O. Thomas, Executive Vice President Colours TV.

If the name “Taste of Belize” sounds familiar to you, it’s because Chef Jones picks up the name for the show after BTB annual Taste of Belize culinary competition which he was a judge for earlier this year. “Taste of Belize with Chef Keith Jones” will be six – thirty minute episodes that is due out on spring 2010; filming is scheduled to be complete by November 24, 2009.

Guest Book Keith

About Chef Keith:
Keith Denard Jones or Chef KDJ feeds all the senses while sharing over twenty years of culinary artistry and chef’s secrets through his “Eatertainment” presentations which debuted November 9, 2009 on Colours TV. Chef Keith Jones brings his entertaining presentations to the world of delicious, healthy food preparation.

Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Jones studied under certified Master Chef, Edward Janos for eight years, learning classical French cuisine and techniques. Jones was certified as an Executive Chef in December 1999. Since his certification, he has won several medals from the American Culinary Federation culinary salons in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Colorado, including the grand prize in the Clos Du Bois Wine and Food Pairing competition.

Jones has been featured on The YES Network, (Yankees Entertainment Sports – New York), V-103 FM (Atlanta),KUSATV, Rocky Mountain PBS, Mix100.3 Radio, Rocky Mountain News, Mangia, Colorado Expression, Architecture and Design of The West, Denver Business Journal, ColoradoProud and 5280, Denver’s Mile-High Magazine. He also has a book published – “Cooking up your Dreams”. For more on Chef Keith Jones visit www.chefkdj.com

Pier Dining

4 Responses to "Three Days of Filming at Portofino Beach Resort with Chef Keith D. Jones!"


1 | Nigel P. Miguel said on November 29th, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Thank you so much for allowing The Taste Of Belize with Keith Jones to film at your resort. The resort was an awesome back drop for the show and you and the staff at resort were incredible. Looking forward to seeing you guys during the Belize Film Festival.

Nigel Miguel
Belize Film Commissioner


2 | Keith Jones said on November 27th, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Jan/Sandra/Portofino, you guys are the best! Thanks for making our filming such a joy. You have a wonderful resort and I hope we can generate more sales!!! Good luck and I look forward to the next time our paths cross.

All my best,
Keith


3 | Art Thomas said on November 27th, 2009 at 12:05 am

Dear Portofino, Thank you so much for helping make the ‘Taste of Belize with Chef keith Jones’ a major success. Your resort will add a wonderful element to the series. I look forward to our next visit. Warm regards, Art


4 | Sean said on November 26th, 2009 at 6:54 am

Keith Jones!! Congrats Jan and Sandra.

Your truly,

Your other chef,

Sean


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