After a few days at the beach, we caught a ferry to the mainland, rented a little Jeep, and drove inland. Relatively quickly the beaches and swampy mangroves faded away to rolling hills and jungle. We stayed in a bed and breakfast in Belmopan and a small hotel in Hopkins, did day trips with our car. We did a lot of hiking in places like the Cockscomb Jaguar Reserve, most ending with a great payoff of a view, waterfall, swimming hole or even a crashed plane.
We also rappelled into a jungle and cave filled sinkhole after a several hour, very sweaty, hike up the jungle. Then we had to climb out…That was tame compared to the coolest thing we did however.
Unfortunately cameras were not allowed in, but I will do my best to describe it. We started your day with a 7 mile drive down dirt roads in terrible condition, including several door high water crossing. You are required to take a guide to this area, so that means we were following at local down this road at 35mph; I estimate a safe speed was 10. Eventually we arrived at the trails head and immediately had to swim across a river, in our clothes and shoes, carrying our gear. An hour of hiking through the jungle later, we arrived at the mouth of a cave with a river flowing out of it. The guide was kind enough to point out a venomous for de lance snake at the entrance. Then it was time to throw on our life vest, helmet, and headlamp and swim upstream into the cave. We swam, climbed, crawled and squeezed a half mile into the cave before climbing a small rock face and entering an enormous cavern. This cavern was filled with pots left behind by Mayans. As we trekked further into the caverns, it became clear it wasn’t just pots left behind; it was also a sacrificial chamber with complete human skeletons left behind. One of the skeletons had even crystalized from the minerals in the cave. I have NEVER felt more like Indiana Jones.
Don’t turn your back on a cat!
300′ rappel into a large sinkhole through the jungle canopy
Leafcutter ants… These will be familiar if you watch a lot of David Attenborough narrated programing.
This guy was the size of a sunglasses case.
This was one of 5 macaws that flew together directly overhead. It was as amazing and basically impossible to photograph well. There were also toucans, which were impossible to photograph well. On this trip, I learned toucans fly shockingly fast, big beak and all.
I hadn’t been swimming.
This is just the roots at the base of one of the Rainforest Trees*
*Rainforest Tree is probably not the “scientific” name.
The jungle is hot.
This is what happens when you are TOO SLOW and the remote doesn’t quite reach.