We took a helicopter ride this weekend overseeing the natural beauty of Belize. This unique adventure took us over the Maya Mountains, which practically covers the lower half of Belize. This trip can be taken from Belize airport straight to Ka’ana’s own on site helipad.
It comprises of the Blue Hole National Park (665 ac.), (not to be confused with the “Blue Hole” atoll in the Barrier Reef), the Chiquibul National Park (265,262 acres) and Caracol, the Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Reserve (96,000 acres), the Five Blues Lake National Park (4,060 ac.), the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve and the Colombia Forest Reserve.
Next up, our eyes were glued to a stunning waterfall somewhat hidden in a crescent of a large mountain. This is actually the largest waterfall in Belize and in Central America; called 1000 ft Falls. This has recently been proclaimed a National Monument and has been opened to the public. Even though the name suggest otherwise, this waterfall is closer to 1,600 feet. This isn’t the only waterfall- there’s many around this area.
After viewing all these amazing waterfalls, we then flew over Caves Branch where we were able to see the beauty of the river as it flows through the cave system. This area encompasses 58,000 acres that are situated beneath a 100 ft rainforest canopy and is bordered by turquoise waters of Caves Branch River.
We then flew across the Sibun Forest Reserve and finally the Southern and Northern Lagoons as we headed for our final landing on the helipad at Ka’ana Resort with these unforgettable images forever imprinted in our heads.
Today marks exactly one month before the predicted “End of the World”- at least according to the Maya Calendar- and we want you to end it with a bang (That is if it really ends, anyway!) Here’s our list of suggestions of the most memorable things you can do here in Belize!
The whale shark is the largest fish in the world, and one of the largest creature of any kind alive today. They are most often seen in Belize from Placencia or Hopkins. Unfortunately, since whale sharks are night feeders, there really are no guarantees as to when they show up.
3 or 4 days before and after the full and new moons in April and May are the best times to interact with the sharks, they are often sighted through the summer months as well. They roam up and down the coast, the Gladden Spit area about 26 miles off the coast of Placencia is known to host large concentrations of whale sharks during April and May when Mutton and Dog Snappers are spawning (the whales ingest the spawn as food).
Despite their size, whale sharks are a remarkably gentle and curious creature. The whale shark’s gentle natures makes swimming with them a special treat for divers and snorkelers. The whale shark’s curiosity even pulls fishing parties into its thrall. We have sometimes had whale sharks seem to be asking to be petted as they glide alongside our fishing boats.
An opportunity to share the water with a creature larger than a school bus does not come often in life – and is definitely not soon forgotten!
Climbing Victoria Peak is an adventure few Belizeans or visitors get to experience. It’s 3,675 feet high but the going is mostly through tropical rainforest. The entire trip is approximately 40 miles and doing the hike usually takes about 4 nights and 5 days.
Ensure your backpack is fully equipped with all your necessary gear and equipment and your on your way to triumph when you hit the summit! No easy feat – it is said that less than 300 people have actually made it all the way to the top. Will you be one?
Lamanai means “submerged crocodile” in the Maya language and it’s also the name of the third largest, and possibly most interesting, archeological site in Belize.
Located in the Orange Walk District, the Lamanai temple complex sits atop the western bluff of the New River Lagoon and is surrounded by pristine rainforest.
Lamanai was occupied continuously for over 3,000 years and it’s remoteness contributed to it’s continuous occupation, well beyond most other Maya sites, until at least 1,650 AD.
Set in tropical forest, and providing spectacular views from several of its large temples, Lamanai provides a unique experience into the culture of the Maya and the biological diversity of the tropical forest.
Lamanai features the second largest Pre-Classic structure in the Maya world and unlike other ruins, much of Lamanai was built in layers where successive populations built upon the temples of their ancestors, instead of destroying them.
Although hundreds of ruins are said to remain unexcavated in the nearby jungle, three of the most impressive temples have been renovated: the Jaguar Temple, named for its boxy jaguar decoration; the Mask Temple, adorned by a 13-foot stone mask of an ancient Maya king; and the High Temple, offering visitors a panoramic view from its summit.
What remains of two 16th century Catholic missions are also nearby. Maya natives rebelled and burned the churches to the ground as part of a regional uprising. A make-shift Maya stelae, standing in front of what remains of one church, is widely interpreted as renouncing all allegiance to Christianity.
The site’s protected status provides for an abundance of wildlife inside the park. There are a growing number off howler monkeys that make Lamanai their home and you will most likely see them peering down through the branches as you wander the trails. In addition, the marshlands around the lagoon supports many species of water birds and wildlife, including crocodiles.
NYtimes article on travelers seeking bespoke itineraries, “There is a surge of people looking for the meaningful experience..” Be sure to check out our meaningful experiences and how you can participate here .
Reviewed August 31, 2012 by Linda O from Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania
When we arrived at Ka’ana for our five night stay, we were greeted with friendly welcomes, smiles and a wonderful ginger and lime drink. (Onil, I would like the recipe!) Once refreshed from our travel, one of the concierges, Iera, met with us in the wine cellar. We conversed about everything from in town dining and shopping to tours. Once decided, she arranged our tours with a local tour company they use; awesome! Ka’ana staff took us to San Ignacio, then promptly picked us up with a local restaurant phone call to the resort. Our Balam room was always clean and every evening, our bed would be turned down, candles lit and yummy pastry was waiting for us! It was a wonderfully relaxing atmosphere. The grounds were well kept and inviting. Special thanks to Onil, Iera, Melvin and all the Ka’ana staff! Thank you all for making our vacation un-Belize-able! We will remember you, always. Ka’ana is the place to stay if you want relaxation or adventure. You will love it and never forget it! It was beautiful!
Ka'ana was created for those who appreciate the elegant luxuries of a world class resort, yet yearn to experience new frontiers. Perfectly located in the midst of everything a Central American vacation could possibly offer, Ka'ana is a haven of understated luxury with a considered design style, distinguished culinary experiences and an extensive wine cellar, adjacent to pristine jungle. Experience a true luxury vacation, just steps from the many ancient Mayan ruins of Belize's jungle.