S: Belize & Guatemala June 2011
FC: Belize and Guatemala June 2011
2: Day 1 Pittsburgh-Houston-Belize City. We then took the water ferry to the nearby coral reef island of Caye Caulker. We are staying at Popeyes--overlooking the Caribbean Sea. It is beautiful here. We spent the evening exploring the area. | Day 2 We are in the Caribbean Sea on the Mezo American Reef, which is the second largest barrier reef in the world. Today we took a guided tour to Swallow Caye and Hol Chan Reserve and swam with manatee, sharks, green eels, sting rays, etc. It was amazing! I am not a great swimmer and the whole experience was a total rush for me. We spent the evening wandering the island and lounging in front of the hotel where a warm breeze was blowing. It is a different world here. | Day 3 Our snorkeling experience was so great yesterday, we decided to take the same tour. Some of the others in our group went diving at the Blue Hole instead. I was not quite as brave as I was yesterday and spent a little more time on the boat. We also visited Shark and Sting Ray Alley today. I have never seen so many sharks and sting rays. You had to be careful jumping out of the boat so that you would not step on one. The water was only about 4' deep and they would swarm around you. Totally amazing! | Day 4 Today was a "Choose Your Own Adventure Day". I chose to go cave tubing and zip lining. We walked through the jungle with our tubes and then floated back through caves--they were big sink holes that were once under water. We had a great guide who assisted in my float. It was fun, but my true thrill of the day was zip lining through the jungle. It was lightly raining and the lines were very slick. I would do this again--it is a must do! | Day 5 Today we left Caye Caulker and traveled inland. We went to the Baboon Sanctuary--the locals call them baboons, but we know them as Black Howler Monkeys. Our guide was very knowledgeable and we learned a lot about the monkeys and the flora and fauna of the rain forest. We then headed to Altun Ha. This was our first look at some of the Mayan ruins. We did not have a guided tour but were impressed with what was built there. Our final destination was Orange Walk Towne. This is off the normal tourist track. We rested up for tomorrows adventure to Lamanai. | Day 6 We traveled by riverboat along the New River Lagoon to Lamanai. Our riverboat guide pointed out many bird species, iguanas, and crocodiles as we traveled. We even had the unique experience of having a monkey board our boat! Lamanai was settled over 3,000 years ago and has very impressive temples. It is one of the longest occupied sites in the Mayan world. We had a fantastic guide and climbed some massive temples. One had a rope in the front to assist you with your climb up and down. We packed up and moved on to Clarissa Falls after our day trip. We are staying in palm-roofed huts here and after a few minutes here saw our first tarantula! | Day 7 We took an exciting tour of Barton Creek Caves today. It was a rough van ride through hundreds of acres of oranges, but worth the view at the end. The Mayans used the extensive cave network for their religious ceremonies. Next we were led to Five Sisters Falls. This was an amazing waterfall that we got to swim beneath. Another memorable experience! | My Adventure
3: Day 8 We were up and moving to the Guatemala border. We exchanged our money with men before entering the building to cross the border. We then loaded into vans and headed to Tikal. We had a very impressive tour of Tikal. It is the most famous Mayan Ruin in the world. We climbed many temples and I wondered into the jungle to try to drop a geocoin--I got a little nervous and unfortunately did not succeed. After our tour we learned that Guatemala was on high travel alert and there was a massacre here this week about 30 minutes away from where we were--part of the drug wars. I am glad I got to see the ruins and did not run into any problems. | Day 9 Today we went zip lining in Guatemala! Another awesome zip line tour through the jungle. I also did a little shopping from the local vendors. We then headed back to Clarissa Falls. I must admit that it was comforting to leave Guatemala. | Day 10 Time to head home today. We drove back to the airport and after a slight problem with a knife was on my way back to the states. Arrived home around 2 a.m. A wonderful, memorable trip!
4: "Choose Your Own Adventure Day" We chose to go Cave Tubing and Zip Lining today. One of the best days ever! | Caye Caulker
6: explore | Altun Ha
7: Baboon Sanctuary
8: A Great View from the Top! | Amazing River Trip to Lamanai
9: Lamanai Settled over 3,000 Years Ago
10: Three nights in Clarissa Falls--Peaceful. | Another Day In Paradise
12: Me Gusta Belize Mucho! Mucho! | Barton Creek Cave, Lamanai, Five Sisters Falls, San Ignacio Marketplace
13: Memorable Days
14: Tikal in Guatemala
16: "Laughter is an instant vacation."
17: Zip-Lining through the Jungle ---My Favorite!