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San Ignacio, Belize Jan 11-14, 2012

27 °C

On the morning of Jan 11th we took a ferry from San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, to Belize City on the mainland. From there we took a taxi 2hrs to San Ignacio located in the Maya Mountains, only 30min away from the Belize / Guatemala border.
We stayed at the Maya Mountain Lodge just outside of the city. It was a secluded, which I really enjoyed. We couldnt hear the hustle & bustle of the city at all! Only the breeze in the trees, tropical birds & monkeys :)
The lodge had a communal deck which was a great area for meeting fellow travelers.
The 4 of us rented a taxi & driver for an afternoon and visited Barton Creek Cave. Before I go on about the cave, let me tell you a bit about Belize roads ... they are the worst I've ever traveled! If they're actually paved, they have car-sized potholes. But more likely they are unpaved, and pure bumps & potholes & gravel! We had to take the worst road in all of Belize to get to the cave. It was only a few km from our lodge, but took over an hour!
Getting geared up to paddle through the cave. We had little lights on our helmets and one flashlight per canoe. Other than that it was total darkness. We saw Mayan skulls, and old pottery, as well as stalagmites. I didnt take any photos inside cuz it was too dark for them to turn out.
The opening to the cave.
After an hour or so in the cave, we took the same crappy road to Big Rock Falls. This waterfall is not on any of the day excursion routes (probably cuz tour buses could never make it down this road), so we were the only ones here! Awesome!
We also made a quick stop at the Belize Zoo. I really wanted to see a toucan, as it is Belize's national bird. We didnt see any in the jungle / rainforest ... so we figured we'd for sure see one at the zoo. No such luck ... earlier in the year a hurricane had damaged the zoo and the birds escaped :(

We saw this talking parrot that would say 'Hola' (Hello in Spanish)
A coatimundi ... there were a few white ones too (albino???) but I didnt get a good photo
Harpy Eagle ... this bird was huge! At least 2ft tall!
Howler Monkey
Grey Fox
For $50 they locked us in a cage, and let a jaguar out, and he climbed on top of the little cage we were in and we fed him chicken and got to pet him through the cage while he was occupied with the chicken! Cool experience being so close to such a big cat!
Feeding him chicken
It licked Kevin's forehead! He said it felt like sandpaper.

Well, thats it for Belize. We crossed the border into Guatelmala for one day, but that will be my next post.

Posted by ChantelleS 16:30 Archived in Belize Tagged san cave waterfall belize ignacio

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