Continued from The Blue Hole national park and the Cockscomb Basin Sanctuary
November 11. 2018
Since there’s a kitchen we could use at the Cocopele Inn, we’d picked up breakfast food at the market the day before. Fresh pineapple, home made yogurt and granola, star fruit and bananas….YUM.
Today was spent climbing ruins. First we walked to Cahal Peche, then taxi to Xunatunich and then taxi back to visit the Iguana sanctuary at the Ignacio Resort Hotel. By then it was 3:30 so we picked up snacks and chilled in the room for a while before heading out for dinner to Cenaida’s again. It was good, cheap food so why not? Apparently the town pretty much shuts down on Sundays as Cenaida’s was closed so we went to Burns Avenue (tourist street). Eva’s turned out to be pretty good as you could order off the lunch menu which made the prices very reasonable.
Monday, November 12
We’d made arrangements with Belize Adventure Trails to visit highlights of the area. Oscar picked us up bright and early and we headed for Caracol. It’s only about 40 km away but takes a couple hours to get there as the roads are quite primitive. There are two stops along the way to enter the conservation area so they know who goes in and out.
Caracol is impressive and worth the drive. Of course we climbed a few of the ruins as the view is definitely worth it.
Our promised lunch was really impressive. Oscar pulled out a table cloth, plates and warm chicken, rice, salad, salsa and chips along with rum punch. Wow! Much better than the sandwich we were expecting.
Next stop was the Rio pools which is gorgeous and a wonderful, refreshing swim.
Then came the Big Rock Falls. It’s a climb to get down there but again, worth it. It’s aptly named as the water cascades over huge hunks of granite. We swam some more and squeezed the last bit of daylight out of the day before climbing back up. By the time we reached the top we were sweating again.
By the time we got back is was after 6 and none of us very hungry so we picked some cheese and buns up at the Chinese grocery and stayed in.
Anita and Barb left early for the ATM cave and then Eder came to pick Sue and I up for our trip to the Barton Creek cave. Again, it wasn’t far but the rough road made the trip close to an hour. It was a nice relaxing canoe ride through the cave system then walked around for a while enjoying the birds and trails around the area.
Back in town we meandered and went for a late lunch at Ko Ox Hah Ann. The lamb burger was really good!
Anita and Barb returned having really enjoyed a fantastic day in the Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave (ATM for short)
Some of us dropped in at the office of Belize Adventure trails for advice on what to do with a spare morning. He recommended Ajaw chocolates so we wandered up the road to find it. That was a well spent hour or so, learning all about the history of Mayan chocolate and tasting lots of it.
Wilbert picked us up around noon and we headed off to Guatemala. First stop after the boarder was Sarita’s. It’s been 10 years but I still remember how good their ice cream is. The ladies agreed it was pretty darn good!
One in the National Park, we dropped off our bags in our room and joined Wilbert on an evening tour of Tikal. It was raining so there wasn’t much of a sunset and walking back in the dark was interesting. Thankfully our trusty guide remembered lights!
We met Wilbert in the lobby at 4:30 am, this time armed with lights. After climbing Temple #4 we sat and waited.for the sun to come up. The sunrise was nothing spectacular but it was really cool hearing the jungle come alive. A quash climbed up and peaked it’s head over the edge. When it saw people, quickly scooted back down. The birds woke up and the howler monkeys started to roar.
Next we went to explore the main plaza and climb another temple where we could watch the jungle canopy and the antics of parrots and toucans. Then back down to explore more of the ruins. By around 9 am the tour buses started to arrive and the animals began to quiet. That was breakfast time for us.
We hit the road around 11 or so and stopped at some shops, one last Sarita’s ice cream and back to Belize.
Wilbert kindly dropped us off at the Chaa Creek Lodge where we visited the butterfly farm. It’s free for guests but definitely worth the price of admission. David provided us with lots of interesting information and we lucked out in seeing a few blue morph butterflies emerge from their pupa.
The staff at Chaa Creek were very kind and offered us a ride on their shuttle to town which saved us $60 BZE on a taxi. So we took the bus with the workers and got off in San Ignacio where we decided on an early dinner at Ko Ox hah Na(Let’s go eat). Wilbert recommended it and turned out he was right. YUM!