While the Great Blue Hole and extensive reef system are the main attraction for many, our river trip to the Mayan ruins of Lamanai was definitely the highlight while in Belize, due in large part to our enthusiastic and humorous local guides. Along the way, they pointed out limpkins, laughing falcons, Wish Willy iguanas, Jabiru storks, and the Belizean provision tree (its bark is highly regarded as a blood tonic and is used to help anemia, low blood pressure, and fatigue). They also taught us local proverbs; a favorite was: “When the crock comes from the deep and tells you that the fish at the bottom have a belly ache, you better Belize it."
Lamanai, meaning sunken crocodile, is viewed by the Mayans as a creature from the underworld. We were lucky to get a sighting of this underworld creature, along with troops of Mexican black howler monkeys at the ruins.
After our time in Belize, we were off to the beautiful island of Roatan in Honduras. Here, we had the most exhilarating surprise . . . a “Pirates of the Caribbean” zip line ride. A first for many of us, we overcame our fears and the zip line proved to be a thrilling experience that we would never forget and vowed to do again!