Western Caribbean cruise, part 2: Belize

Today’s tidbit: “When you realize the value of all life, you dwell on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future.” – Dian Fossey

Last week I shared the beginning of our Western Caribbean cruise, starting with Tampa + Roatan, Honduras. Continuing along, our next stop was beautiful Belize. We booked a full day Lamanai Mayan Ruins excursion where we enjoyed a bus and river boat tour to the ruins. Lamanai is one of the largest Mayan sites in Belize, expanding over a huge expanse on the Belize New River, the Lamanai Mayan Center holds over 800 structures deep in the Tropical Forest. We experienced driving through vast land, zooming along the river, walking through the forest and taking in all the history at the ruins.

Sneak peek image:

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Be sure to click below to read more and check out more pictures. Enjoy!

{Belize Barrier Reef}

Due to the reef and protecting it, cruise ships aren’t allowed to come all the way to the port, having to anchor in the ocean. Once anchored, we had to take an hour boat ride over to the port. This made getting off the cruise ship much longer, since we couldn’t just walk off, but it’s really good people care about the environment and preserving the reef! It is one of the largest coral reef systems in the world after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the New Caledonia Barrier Reef.

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{Belize excursion: bus ride + boat ride upriver}

It was getting very black with a chance of rain as we boarded the boat and headed upriver but were fortunate only a passing shower rolled by, only getting a little wet.

As the website states, “Getting to Lamanai is half the fun”, your Exploration Excursions starts at the Port of Belize City where you will be transported in comfortable air-conditioned van 1hr North to the Orange Walk District of Belize, the drive will lead you across rivers and vast expanses of land providing you with a true Belizean Country tour. You will arrive at the Tower Hill Bridge where you will board your boat for a spectacular boat ride upriver continuing your journey to Lamanai. The boat tour is by far the highlight (except for the Lamanai Ruins of course but you will have to flip a coin…..) of the excursions!

You will travel through miles of virgin river fauna, viewing majestic trees with overhanging air plants and colorful Orchids. The boat ride is a wonderful opportunity for wildlife spotting as well, with 100 + variety of tropical birds and occasional fresh water crocodiles floating near the river’s edge.

Your boat will dock at the Lamanai Welcome Center where your exploration will begin with your BTB & BCIA Certified guide.” Read more.

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{Belize excursion: Lamanai Mayan Ruins}  

As the website states, “Lamanai is one of the largest Mayan sites in Belize, expanding over a huge expanse on the Belize New River, the Lamanai Mayan Center holds over 800 structures deep in the Tropical Forest. Lamanai (Submerged Crocodile in Mayan) was occupied as early as 1500bc, the small onsite museum where your Lamanai exploration begins once on the site holds precious artifacts spanning well over 2000 years of Mayan History.Your tour begins with a visit to the On-site Museum which contains Mayan Artifacts discovered during the site excavation and history of Lamanai.

Well kept paths though ancient jungle will lead you to the monuments and Temples, Howler Monkeys relaxing on many of the huge Ceiba trees can be seen all over, Toucans are present as well as countless other bird species.

The Lamanai exploration will be approximately 1.5hrs, guiding you to the Ball Court, the Jaguar Temple and the Lag Temple where you will be able to climb 125 feet to the top and gain an unforgettable view of the whole Lamanai ruins, New River Lagoon and the vast Lamanai Archeology Reserve.” Read more.

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After spending the majority of the day on our excursion, we arrived back at the port with an hour to wander around, and enjoy a drink, before having to head back. We had to leave enough time to take the water taxi from the port back over to the ship.

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I signed it! See the heart?

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{evening on the cruise ship} As we sailed away from Belize we watched the spectacular sunset off our balcony. After getting ready, we enjoyed delicious wine, dinner and dessert followed by a night show + other activities onboard.

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I am glad we were able to explore the Lamanai Mayan Ruins excursion but it was a tough choice, since we didn’t have time to enjoy the Belize Barrier Reef. It is definitely someplace I want to come back to and visit for longer.

Have a wonderful weekend! Check back next week as we head to Costa Maya.

7 Responses to “Western Caribbean cruise, part 2: Belize”

  1. Holly says:

    Looks like a fun day! That sunset is gorgeous! I’ll go with you next time and we can explore the Barrier Reef 😉

  2. Lindsey says:

    Loved all the GREEN! What an amazing trip!!

  3. Karen says:

    Yes the snorkeling and other water activities are better enjoyed with your friends. Definitely worth another visit! Lovely post, as always.

  4. Stacey says:

    What a fun day. Love the adventures and photography! Belize is a beautiful place.

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