Belize – Mayan Ruins, Cave Tubing, and More.

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Belize is a stunning country that has a shocking number of things to offer considering its small size. It’s an English country which makes it easier to visit for those who fear the language barrier.

I had a sponsorship to visit Belize for a corporate retreat. This meant that the trip was 100% free which is a great way to visit anywhere.

I was booked for a one week stay at the Jaguar Reef Lodge. Even before setting foot at the lodge I was excited not only because of the lodge’s excellent reputation but because the founder is a well-known supporter of the Sea Shepherd organization which is a large anti-whaling organization.  I love to support people and organizations that try to do good in the world.

Once I arrived at the hotel the views and the rooms were beautiful. It was the perfect place to unwind with a group of industry colleagues many of which I was meeting for the first time.

The great thing about this event is that it was packed with day tours. All of them which left me hungry to return at a later date.

Cave Tubing:

I had never heard of cave tubing before. It’s the same thing as river tubing but instead of floating down a regular river you float down a river that goes through caves. This is offered at Nohoch Che’en Caves Branch Archaeological Reserve. The Branch River flows through nine stunning caves including the Crystal Cave which is the highlight of the tubing experience.

To get to the river you pick the tube you will float down and hike through the jungle. Once you begin your journey down the river you do not have long to enjoy the calm of the river until you are immersed in the caves.

These caves are spectacular to behold. Almost as soon as you enter you can view stalactites on the ceilings and ancient Maya paintings.

In my opinion it’s hands down the must-do attraction in Belize.

Ruins:

The Mayan ruins in Belize are comparable to the ones in Mexico but without the crowds. There’s at least ten worthwhile archaeological ruins to explore and since I have only seen the Caracol ruins it gives me ample reason to return.

Caracol is located in the Western part of the country near the Guatemala border. What I loved here was how it was located in an undeveloped tract of land. This is the largest Mayan site in Belize and at one time it supported a population of 120 000.

The tallest pyramid here is called Caana or “Sky Palace” and is the tallest ruin in the country. In my books this makes it the must visit ruin.

I really enjoyed my time here and it is something else that I would add on the must-do list in Belize.

 

Hiking:

I’ve hiked all over the world as it’s my favorite way to explore the world and to get away from the crowds. It’s something that I prefer doing by myself or with just one or two close friends. I never do guided hiking tours but this was an exception due to the trip being sponsored.

We went to the Cockscomb Basin Forest Reserve which is beautiful. This is true rainforest and the forest is lush and alive. It was also the worse hike I have been on for mosquitoes – anywhere. If you visit this area bring mosquito spray and I do not say this lightly. Every time I would swap my leg I would kill ten mosquitoes and it was an endless battle between me being eaten and me killing my tormentors.

Our 2-hour hike took us on Tiger Fern Trail with the goal being a waterfall with a swim hole. Unfortunately, the path we were on ended up being blocked due to a mudslide. It was a disappointment but the journey was memorable and I enjoyed the effort it took. We were less than 200 meters away from our goal.

We ended up turning back and the return trip was just as enjoyable. There’s clearly many hiking opportunities in Belize and I still want to see that waterfall. This means I am convinced that I will one day return.

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