While on the catamaran, we were just a few feet from the Barrier Reefs, it was prohibited to get too close to them. As we were watching the sunset, it rained for 5 minutes which was the only time it rain while we were vacationing. Some guests had bathing suits on so they went for a dip. Others jumped in with their clothes on (myself included). It was AWESOME being in the water and watching the sunset. Little did we know, it was warmer in the water than it was out of the water.
As I said some of us went for a dip with our clothes on. And unfortunately had to air dry. I was beginning to think it wasn't such a smart idea after all. But of course a few alcoholic beverages soon allowed me to forget about being chilled
When we were preparing for our vacation, one of our personal "must-do" tasks was to visit the Mayan ruins... any one of them. Once we got there, and after speaking to some of the locals, we decided on Lamanai. Our travel package, which included breakfast, had us on a water ferry to Belize City first thing in the morning. Once there, we were put into a van and after a beer and rum punch stop at the store we were off to the Orange Walk District in Northern Belize.
Upon arrival at the New River dock, we met our guide Eddie and he started the tour off by educating us on the various plant and vegetable life growing around the launch site. In order to get to Lamanai (or 'Lam'an'ain' as recorded by the Spanish missionaries over a millenium earlier and means "submerged crocodile" in Yucatec Mayan), we had to take a boat (roughly an hour long) up the New River and were exposed to the many exotic plant and wildlife along the way. Many species of bird that I had never seen or heard of previously including some animals I thought that I'd be terrified to see without a the comfort of a cage separating us (crocodiles). Getting to the ruins was merely the highlight of an already "highlight-filled" journey.
Walking through the jungle underneath dozens of howling monkeys was one thing, but walking into a clearing to see a temple built over a thousand years ago was jaw dropping. If you've never seen a Mayan site, its hard to describe the feeling. Surrounded by that level of history, for better or worse, was seemingly palpable... though it could've been the humidity. Eddie, was filled with a wealth of information and had the gift of being able to impart a great deal of it in the simplest, yet most humorous of ways. Amazing guy.
All in all, I would recommend this trip to anyone with even a remote interest in the Mayan culture. If you happen to get Eddie as your guide, consider yourself lucky, and make sure you take advantage of his knowledge by asking questions.
It's cheap, it's fun and most of all...unique! On Ambergris Caye, hire a boat to take you to the Hol Chan Marine (any hotel will have contacts) and swim/snorkel with the baby sharks and stingray. An incredible adventure for those sea creature-lovers. :)