Today we headed out early to Mayflower Bocawina National Park to maximize our time for birding and hiking adventures. Some hikers headed off to a Mayan ruin while others spent their time with binoculars pointed up in the trees to spot some of the six hundred species of birds found within the park. Those who wanted to get their blood pumping climbed up the Antelope Falls trailhead and got to swim in a pristine pool filled with tadpoles and crystal-clear water, a well-deserved treat on such a hot day in Belize! After our hikes, we headed into town for an authentic Mayan lunch of stewed chicken, rice and beans cooked in coconut milk, and delicious banana cake. In the afternoon, we strolled Placencia and then freshened up for our evening concert with the Garifuna Collective.
National Geographic Sea Lion
Monkey River and Ranguana Caye
Shortly after National Geographic Sea Lion dropped her anchor, we awoke to very calm seas with overcast skies and a light southwest wind coming off the land. Our guests prepared for early morning adventures and headed out in Zodiacs and local skiffs to explore the meandering lower reaches of Monkey River, the largest estuary of southern Belize. Great blue herons and great egrets stood knee deep on the sandbars near the shore while yellow-crowned night herons and black vultures hunkered down in the drizzle that accompanied us. Guides and guests gazed up at the treetops, hoping to see green iguanas with the males in their bright orange breeding colors and perhaps a troop of Yucatan black howler monkeys. We walked the trails through the gallery forest a few miles upstream. Our luck was shining brightly, and several monkeys were sighted high above. We returned to the ship to savor the delicious brunch prepared by the amazing hotel department. Ranguana Caye was our base for the snorkeling and island activities this afternoon. Guests had a wonderful experience swimming among the bright and beautiful fish and the other tiny critters that live in the hard and soft corals of the fringing reefs. Parrotfish, angelfish, butterflyfish, and sergeant majors were some of the familiar friends seen. As the trip wound down to the final stages, contact information was exchanged among new friends, experiences were shared, and future trips were discussed. Guests bid farewell to the crew and staff. Glasses were raised, and a guest slide show put smiles on our faces.