Belize Jungle: Searching for crocodiles in the Caribbean

Trip to Mexico: A two-day stay in Belize

Two days were enough for us to feel surrendered to Belize landscapes. We made a getaway for a tour on the Hondo River, right in the middle of the Lamanai jungle, where it was possible to see a great diversity of animals, plants and even Mayan ruins!
Read this article to find out everything about this adventure in the Caribbean!

“Tom Sawyer” atmosphere on Hondo’s riverbanks

Not that we were tired of vacationing in Mexico. But as we were not too far from Belize, we decided to take a two-day trip to one of the most beautiful forests on the earth, with absolutely unbelievable wildlife.

We stayed at Lamanai Hotel & Marina, a “Tom Sawyer Adventures style hotel, in little houses over the water. It was located in Orange Walk, a Belize region district. Despite not being a luxury hotel, this is, in our opinion, a good place to stay if you want to take this boat tour on the Hondo River. The Lamanai Hotel & Marina is located by the river. With a bit of luck, sometimes it’s possible to see some crocodiles walking through the lawns. Don’t worry because these are very restrained in their appearances and don’t usually attack, unlike saltwater crocodiles, 

However, as we understood, there is not much care for the ecosystem there. Crocodiles are very neglected, mostly due to the discharges made into the river by a public sugar factory. Animals run away, trying to escape death. For this reason, we were not lucky enough to see any crocodiles strolling across the hotel lawn during our stay in Belize. 🙁

Discovering some wonders in Belize

After an excellent breakfast, we continued our journey by van to the small port where our boat trip would begin. Rafa was already looking forward to getting in the water, so we managed to avoid it. Otherwise, our dog would be lunch for the crocodiles. 🙂

It was a 1-hour trip of discovery of that river. The watercourse floats from wide to narrow, among vegetation. However, this river is quite deep and maybe that’s why we didn’t see crocodiles at any spot along the way.

But the Lamanai jungle hid other treasures as well. These were very old and well-kept by nature – the Mayan Ruins of Lamanai (which means “Crocodile underwater”). This set of architectural structures is what remains of a Mayan city and the beginning of its construction dates back to 1500 BC. It was an important ceremonial space from the late pre-classic period and it consists of three temples: the Jaguar Tempe, Mask Temple and High Temple, which is the highest point. The view from there is breathtaking! See with your own eyes!

Those stone structures are imposing and make us feel small. There, next to the temples, we could almost imagine the daily life of that civilization of so many years!

Our well-deserved rest

The heat was getting stronger and we were feeling like we were melting away, in the middle of the Mayan territory! During that walk through the old town, our guide shared with us a taste of nut from a specific type of palm tree in that place – Cohume nuts – which is not only edible, with a slight coconut flavour inside, as it is also used to produce oils and other aesthetic products. Delicious and great to recharge our batteries!

Almost at the end of the tour, we had our deserved meal to restore all energy spent under that intense sun. Finally, had a nice bath in the river, but only Pedro ventured himself. Sara played safe because she was afraid of the crocodiles.

When our boat reached land, we spotted one or two iguanas in the distance. Large but fast, they dove into the water. But this time, we were lucky enough to have a glance at them! 🙂

To sum up, it was a very tiring day but, above all, very rewarding. It was worth all the sweat (plenty of it!) to get to know all those places full of history, in the middle of Belize nature! We ended this journey with dinner on our room’s balcony, with a calming view over the river. Is there a better ending for this day? 🙂

Watch the video of our adventure in Belize here!

Kisses, hugs and licks

Sara, Pedro and RAFITA 🐶

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TUGA.ME team