Belize offers wonderful ways of experiencing nature close to your heart.
Explore how best you can enjoy its natural splendor in these great places.
Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave
The center of Maya spiritual history, Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave (ATM) is a genuine historical place in the world. This underground site is where the spiritual leaders of Maya used to perform many rituals and prayers for rain. It later became a sacrificial site of humans, when it was hit by drought in 900 AD.
Department of Archeology in Belize allows only trained guides to take small groups into the cave, which is a 45 minute walk through the forest. During this cave tour, you will get to view crystallized stalactites, ceremonial vessels which were broken during rituals and sacrificial bones, which include the entire skeleton of a Maya woman.
Chaa Creek Organic Farm
Chaa Creek is a nature preserve resort, consisting of outdoor restaurants, pools and thatched cottages. They offer a number of ways of getting to know their 365 acre land. You can visit the butterfly farm and take a night tour of the rainforest led by their naturalist guides. The best part is that, most of the herbsand vegetables used in their restaurants, come from this organic farm.
Situated in San Felipe, Cyrilla’s Chocolates is a natural cacao farm which does not use any electrical devices for harvesting their beans. This farm is handled by Cyrila, Juan, her son and Abelina, her daughter-in-law.
At Cyrila’s, you can take part in the demonstration of chocolate making process. You also get the opportunity to crack the bean shells, after they are fermented and grind them on a traditional grinding stone or a matate into thickly concentrated chocolate syrup. You can experience the taste of unsweetened cocoa and the change in taste after a tad of honey is added.
Lamanai Outpost is situated in northern Belize Orange Walk district. Here you can view the Pre-Classic Maya architecture, which is second largest structure. You can take a boat tour at night to see the red twinkling eyes of frogs, tropical birds and crocodiles peeping out of water. Staying at Lamanai Outpost gives a feeling of being in the heart of forest, with constant noises of birds, insects and other animals throughout the darkness and hard, quick lashing of rain.
If you like to experience the traditional life and indigenous culture of Maya people, the best way is through Maya homestay, where you get to stay with a family. About an hour’s van ride from Punta Gorda’s airport, the residents in San Jose village, allow the visitors to stay for $10US per night. This includes homemade meals prepared from freshly grown garden vegetables and tortillas and a hammock for sleeping. The houses are built of thatched roofs and simple wooden planks and most of them consist of an outhouse. You can be a part of the family activities, which include weaving baskets, farming and plucking coconuts from tree tops.