The birds love the cayes, also.
We asked to be taken on a tour to see seabirds and a guide took us on his boat out to Bird Caye.
He may have made this name up but there were many birds there on that little caye and nothing else.
Ambergris is directly in the Mississippi Flyway and the Belize mainland is in a bottleneck of the Central, Pacific and Mississippi Flyways, a unique vantage point to observe migration.
Lamanai, which is located on the New River (keep your eyes open for crocodiles and manatees, as well as the local troop of black howler monkeys and the more than 350 bird species recorded here
It is a long boat trip to the Mayan ruins at Lamanai. The day we went it was pouring down rain and we got soaked.
Buy a waterprouf poncho before you go, not afterwards like we did.
Just 20 minutes away by boat but back several years in time, is Caye Caulker. It is mostly swam ans mangroves. Life here is in slow motion with rows of clapboard houses and sandy streets.
We got off our boat there to have a look around the island. Not much to do there except snorkel, swim, or go out on a boat tour.
We did see this beautiful starfish at the waters edge.
The highlight of the childrens day was going out on the glass bottom boat so they could see the fish.
After they got to a certain spot the boat anchored and everyone got into the water to snorkel or just play.
We went out on several different ones and they were all good.
If you go down to the lagoon just south of the power plant the locals throw a chicken or two at the cocodrillos. They tie a string to the chicken ( It's not alive-it's from the supermarket) and try to lure the crocs op on the mudflat.This was the small one ,the big crocodile we saw was at least ten feet- this guy maybe 4-5 feet. We brought some drinks and watched along with maybe 15 people.Everyone driving their golf carts past would stop and gawk.I saw a bony stray dog run up and snatch a piece of chicken from a snoozing crocodile
Well as strange as it is cave tubing is quite popular and fun too.
Most tour companies offer this excursion in San Ignacio, one of them being Eva's (it is a restaurant and bar, they offer excursions and the information they give is excellent, but don't eat at this place, it ain't so good).
The cost of this excursion for a full day out, exploring over 4 caves is likely to cost you 60 US Dollars each, you can shop around but prices don't vary much.
The destination was Caves Branch a well established area and renounded for it's excellent caves, our tour guide gave us a great insight into the Belizean life and how things work in the Country as well as explaining what the caves meant to the Mayans.
Basicly in ancient times the mayans would hold sacrafices to thier Gods within caves as they beleived that caves were the gateway to the Gods, many children were victims of this sacrafice, being beaten over the head till dead, sounds charming, no you won't see any bones at caves branch, but there is another tour that offers this, it does cost more though.
You pick up your inner tube, life vest and head light, walk for about 30 mins. and then enter the very refreshing water and the rest of the day is spent drifting through caves, it is utter relaxation.
Don't forget you will get wet, so swimsuit or shorts is a good idea as well as insect repellent, don't take camera's as they are likely to get damaged.
Canoeing can be fun, despite what you might think. Whilst in the Cayo district of Belize, the folks and I decided to canoe down the Macal river (the river runs through San Ignacio town and Santa Elena town)
This was a 14 mile canoe trip with no guide (as we didn't want one, but other tour operators offer them) We arrived at black creek which is a little off the beaten track, then we hopped in our three man canoe and spent close to seven hours on the river, it was absolutely fantastic!
Iguana's line the banks as well as birds and strange trees, this trip is well worth doing, the cost for the three of us with Snooty Fox Tours was 120 BZ Dollars (or 50 BZ Dollars each).
Caye Caulker is a short jet boat trip from Belize City. While most people have heard of Ambergris Caye, we much preferred Caulker...quite and nice local lifestyle.
Great breakfast place (The Lunch box? Sand Box?) where for a few dollars you get cinnamon rolls just out of the oven along with fresh yogurt over FRESH fruit and coffee.. (locals get take out there)
We hired a local fellow to take us out to the Coral Reef (I believe it's one fo the top three in the world) to snorkel and swim with the rays .. nice, very nice. We flew on to Ambergris on a small plane ...
On Caye Caulker, I spoke to several of the fishermen that I saw around the island. I speak english and spanish and was suprised to find that a couple of them spoke neither language well. Some spoke broken spanish and looked indiginous central american to me. I didn't ask, because I didn't want to mention that their spanish was not great (I hardly speak flawlessly myself). I am only guessing, but I assume the native language of some of the fishermen was a mayan language, which I thought was pretty cool.
If you take a dive trip to the Blue Hole, its worth doing one that lets you stop at Lighthouse Reef island (picture perfect) for lunch and a chance to see the Red Footed Booby nests - see something above ground for a change.
This is believed to be the highest waterfall in Central America and is actually over 1,500 ft to the bottom. A viewing platform overlooks the falls. There is a short scenic trail around the escarpment for taking in the valley view.
We drove up and had lunch up there (there is a little store which sells some food and souveniers). The road is unpaved (and very rough) and takes you through the Mountain Pine Ridge region - this region has pine trees and is reminiscent of Georgia.
There is a lodge up here called Blancaneaux which was built by filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola. We met some folks that biked over from it. They were told it was an easy ride, but it took them 3 or 4 hours.
You can get a picture of these falls as wallpaper.
The Blue Hole Park is part of the Belize Park system which was established in 1981. The 'hole' is a part of a system of limestone caves and sinkholes which riddle this area. It isn't the same as the Blue Hole on Lighthouse Reef which has been extensively publicized by Jaques Cousteau. THAT Blue Hole is some 300 feet deep and is accessed by SCUBA divers.
This Blue Hole has faintly bluish water - it must be colored by some chemicals in the soil (probably copper). The websites say that it is about 25 feet deep, but I could walk around in most of it only up to mid calf. Of course at the time it was the middle of a drought. There were no changing facilities when I was there - I had to change in the bathroom. The water was COLD. Too cold for Bob - he didn't want to swim.
The website says:
If you have the time, catching a bus heading to Dangriga can be an inexpensive way to get there. If you go by bus, be sure and check bus schedules for return times.
12 miles southeast of Belmopan on the Hummingbird Highway
On this trip we took two days (while staying at the Belize Tropical Education Centre) to do something out of the ordinary. The first day we were driven to a Cave where we then got on our dry fit gear and out on our flashlight head band. The cave was beautiful and we were inside for around 4 hours. The limestone on the walls was awesome to see and there are tons of shadow tricks which were performed by ancient Mayans and even lime stone diaramas which have formed over time. We saw a whole skeleton and many skulls and bones. We also saw many old ancieant cooking artifacts. At one point we all turned our flashlights off and were given a haunting operetic show by a fellwo classmate in the echoeing dark. It was wonderful and the water was a nice temperature.
The Peninsula of Placencia is a must see must stop must enjoy spot in Belize. Many will go to the outer islands like Ambergris for scuba diving and beaches- but that is not necessarily 'my thing.' Placencia is a 'one road' simple community on the coast with a number of nice and affordable guest houses and small hotels where you can 'hole up', just relax, sit by the water, read, and gaze out at the numerous islands off shore. While I was there a female jaguar had been seen nightly walking down the main road with her cubs, so you know I am not talking about a busy, night-club kind of place.
(pictures were taken at Serenity Lodge - Placencia)
St. Herman's Cave is part of the Blue Hole National Park. It is located 400 meters from the Hummingbird Highway. You can also walk from the Blue Hole, but we elected not to do that.
St. Herman's Cave is a large sinkhole, 60 meters wide, funneling to a 20 meter entrance to the cave. Concrete steps down into the cave have been constructed over the steps made by the Maya who used the cave during the Classic Period (0- 900A.D.). This is one of three entrances.
As we approached the cave, we felt a surge of cool, damp air which caused my camera lenses and my glasses to fog up.
You will need a flashlight. We used a dive light as our flashlight, but we didn't go back much beyond the entrance as we didn't have a guide. You can actually go into the cave for about a mile.
From the website: "Pottery vessels, used for the collection of "Zuhuy Ha" or virgin water from cave drippings, along with spears and torches, have been removed from St. Herman's Cave for study by the Department of Archaeology in Belmopan. Thanks to the Belize Government, permission has been granted to BHNP visitors, admitting them to St. Herman's Cave without the usual permits required for entering caves. Permission must still be obtained from the Department of Archaeology to enter Mountain Cow and Petroglyph Caves, which are beyond the border of the BHNP. "
The National Park is open daily from 8 am to 4 pm and is managed by the Belize Audubon Society, who have a small pamphlet about it. Belizeans pay an entrance fee of $2 and foreigners $8.
We were so happy with our stay at Seaside Cabanas; we've only been back for a week and we're already...more
PARADISE. A true vacation. Fabulous scenery and beautiful diving. You feel taken care of by the...more
Mile 6 Cristo Rey Road, San Ignacio, 000000, Belize
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