As we skimmed over the water we saw so many birds I can’t even begin to tell you all the names but we saw, kingfishers, blue herons, white egrets, snail hawks and a brown hawk which is a nocturnal bird that is so well camouflaged it just looks like a knot on the branch. We also saw Jesus birds so named because as they walk on the water lilies it appears as though they are walking on water.
We were picked up at our hotel at 9am (ish) and then went a few miles down the road to just after the toll bridge where our motorboat was docked. Fernando our guide was extremely informative throughout and made it all that more of a good day and he also has eyes that can spot anything and everything.
When we got to Lamanai we first had a look round the museum which has one of the original stellas in it and lots of info about the site and then made our way to the complex. The first structure is the jaguar temple and if you look on the left hand side you can see the face of the jaguar made out through the recesses in the stone.
From the high temple we walked on to the masked temple. There used to be 4 masks but there is now only one remaining and it is completely different to any other temple we have seen. If you walk round the back of the temple you can see down to the river but you also realize how high up you are!
As we got back to the docking area our guide spotted a toucan in the tree. WOW!!! It didn’t stay for long but we got a great view of its beautiful colours as it flew off. One of the guys hadn’t even seen that one, he was looking at the other toucan that no-one else had spotted so we got to watch it for a while. The colours are truly amazing; I can’t believe we got to see them as well as the Howler Monkeys.
One of the things we wanted form this trip was to see Howler monkeys and we saw them at the high temple. They make a noise like a lion roaring which echoes throughout the forest canopy, not at all what I expected, we heard them before we saw them.
Water lilies cover large areas of the river banks and with their white flowers look beautiful. The river trip takes about 1.5 hours (23 miles) and you then get to the large lagoon when you stop and hike into the jungle to see the ruins.
Howler monkeys 2
At first the Howler monkeys were way up in the trees but then Mom, Dad and baby came down lower so we could get a good look at then. You have to be careful not to stand right under them because they will wee on you or worse!
At the Lamai ruins we found this bat on a signpost (dead) but we petended it was sleeping for our daughters sake!
When you get into the jungle you need to step over the huge roots of all the trees as well as the strangler fig.
You then walk through the jungle, look out for the strangler fig on some of the big trees, they are so ferocious that they root themselves very fast and within a few years can kill off a large tree.
Along the river we passed many fishermen just using a line in the river, no rods or nets, amazing they manage to catch anything!
We did not see any large crocodiles but I guess if there are small ones the big ones must be pretty close by!
We then climbed up to what would have been rooms and a meeting area where decisions on harvesting and planting would have been made.
There are a few other temples dotted around the jungle. This one had very good examples of the stells that were found on the pyramids.
Orange Walk District Hotels
14 Main Street, Orange Walk, 84, Belize
Good for: Couples
Gallon Jug, Orange Walk, Belize
Good for: Business
Lamanai Outpost, P.O. Box 63, Orange Walk, Belize
Good for: Business
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