From the Field: Welcome to the Belize Jungle!
From Andrew Mountsier, Expedition Guide, Safari Voyager
Welcome to the Jungle! Our itinerary in Belize and Guatemala offers both days on the beach and days exploring the rich jungles of the tropics. While the snorkeling around the beautiful Cayes of Belize is my favorite part of the itinerary, I was more than excited to step outside of the temperate rainforest I am used to in Southeast Alaska and into the bio-diverse and lush tropical rainforest that Belize and Guatemala have to offer.
You can feel the moisture in the air as you walk through these dense forests. Although it is a nice reprieve from the sun as the multi-layered canopy stretches high to the sky with the Ceiba tree, and numerous other smaller trees fill in the gaps below it, making an amazing habitat for a variety of bird species. Tree roots line your path and stretch far and wide, interlocking with roots of other trees in order to sustain themselves from strong winds and minimal topsoil that can get washed away in the heavy rains of the wet season. Rich mahogany trees are present, but the remainders tell the tale of a time not too long ago where they were highly sought after by furniture makers for their beautiful color and easy-to-craft qualities.
The best part however is finding the light blue streams that pass through the jungle over their limestone river beds. Even in the shade the heat will eventually get to you, but the opportunity to stop at a swimming hole fed by waterfalls along the trails is a perfect way to cool off and enjoy a break from the hike.
The journey would not be complete without wonderful interpretation from the wonderful guides, whether it’s the Belizean guides on board or the Guatemalan guides we meet on shore, the love for their area and the ability to get to show it off and help us understand its importance is truly an incredible experience that I am so thankful to be a part of.