Another excursion on our cruise was in Belize. I was told that Belize was beautiful so I was excited to see for myself. We spent half a day on the Belize River. It was indeed beautiful. We saw: bats hovering near the river’s edge, Howler monkeys sleeping in flowering trees, an alligator in the water, a Jabari stork  and huge iguanas resting in the flowering tree branches. 

Our tour guides genuinely shared their knowledge of Honduras. The trees with orange flowers were called Flamboyant tree. I think it is their national tree.

They eat armadillo, green iguanas, and lots of fresh fruit. Our lunch at the planned stop alongside the river was delicious BBQ chicken, rice and something similar to a sweet potato, washed down with a Belikin beer.

Their language is a mixture of English creole. The guide suggested to us, “take off the ‘er’ and add ‘a’ to our words. For example, sister becomes Sista, driver becomes Driva. The ‘th’ sound becomes ‘d’ , for example this becomes dis.

Their culture culture mixes African and Mestizo cultures. Approximately 11% of their population is of Mayan descent.

In the afternoon we toured ruins of Altun Ha. The site was used for Mayan ceremonies and was one of the richest sites. A large emerald head was uncovered there. You can read more about that here:

  At the top of the pyramid blood letting ceremonies were held. The steep steps were made of limestone mixed with shells.

In the hot, humid afternoon, after a break to pour my water over me so I would not pass out, I climbed to the top of Altun Ha! The tour guide kindly stayed with me until I had enough steady strength to climb down. When I made it down I bought a freshly cut coconut, the lady deftly used a machete to whack it open. I could feel my electrolytes stabilizing as I sipped.