Belize & Guatemala

Hike and Snorkel in Belize and Guatemala

Usually by the end of March we are beginning to think about kayaking and sometimes even planning our first kayak trip. Yet here it is the first week  in April and after a March where Mother Nature sent four Nor’easters to DELMARVA and temperatures that never left the 40s we again have the word “snow” in our forecast. So instead of preparing to write about our first kayaking trip I’ll share our trip at the end of February to Belize, where it was warm, sunny, hot and humid.

We joined the Road Scholar program Hike and Snorkel to Find the Mystery of the Mayansin Belize and Guatemala which began in Belize City. Our trip consisted of just 8 other travelers, and 2 guides, supplemented by local guides, for the next 10 days. It was an amazing journey.

Both our guides are avid birders and with frequent bird sightings they provided us with a wealth of information. The Jabiru Stork, larger than a Wood Stork, was on my must see list, and of course one appeared alongside the road the very first day. Howler Monkeys swung from the trees at many of the locations, and when we couldn’t see them we heard them in the distance. To enhance our understanding of the wildlife we spent a morning at the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center, a rescue operation home to 125 native animals housed in natural surroundings. If you are in the area the Belize Zoo is worth a stop.

 

Three different Mayan ruins were on our itinerary. A 25 mile boat ride on the New River brought us to Lamanai our first stop. Traveling into Guatemala our exploration of Mayan Culture continued first at Tikal, with huge temples raising from the forest floor and then onto the ruins at Yaxha which are more remote.  At each location a local guide joined our small group enhancing our experience. The intricate details the Mayans used in constructing their temples are fascinating.

 

Without a doubt the highlight of our trip was the swim/hike into the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave where artifacts still remain where they were found, including the Crystal Maiden Skeleton. A young girl obviously sacrificed. ( Cameras are no longer allowed in the Cave, however if you google ATM Cave you will see many photos prior to cameras being banned).  This caving experience was the trip of a lifetime.

Our last three days were spent on the Caribbean Sea for snorkeling on the Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest coral reef in the world.

You can read a detailed itinerary of this trip on the Road Scholar web site and without reservation we highly recommend the trip to anyone considering a trip to Belize or Guatemala.

Hopefully our next post will be about our first kayaking trip of 2018. (We did kayak in the Caribbean Sea just to add it to our list of places we’ve kayaked.)

Road Scholar Trip Description: https://www.roadscholar.org/find-an-adventure/20813/hike-and-snorkel-to-find-the-mystery-of-the-maya-in-guatemala-and-belize 

For more Kayaking Delmarva blog posts visit our Blog Index.

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