February 20th, 2013
Wilbert has been with Ka’ana from the onset of the company in 2007, but has been a specialized tour guide even longer than that. He is an outgoing people-person who loves nature and the great outdoors (to say the least)! I caught up with him and shot off a few questions just before he headed off to his newest adventure of the day.
What’s the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is showing off my beautiful country and sharing some of its secrets with guests the way I would with my own family. Knowing that many of them have never been in a jungle environment before makes me even more eager to teach them as well as learn a bit about the world they come from. Its a win-win situation.
What are some of the popular spots most people like and why?
ATM caves, Tikal, Xunantunich & Cave tubing are the most popular tours. People love it because they are having fun as well as learning even while they are immersing themselves in the Maya culture.
I’ve heard many guests comment that you are a walking encyclopedia. Where do you get your knowledge/inspiration?
(Laughing heartily) I believe my own grandfather is the real walking encyclopedia, I’ve learned so much from him while growing up right here in the heart of Maya country – and I am an actual Maya descendant! I add to my knowledge by reading history, watching documentaries on TV and believe it or not, also from my guests. I still truly believe that I learn something new everyday and my biggest inspiration – the love of my country, the land and my family.
I live by my own motto – “I do what I love, and I love what I do!”
February 13th, 2013
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December 3rd, 2012
Commune with the Maya
Be one of a small handful of people able to spend a night on a Mayan ruin by booking a stay at Ka’ana in Belize. After a few days at their luxe spot in San Ignacio, you’ll helicopter into the jungles of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve and camp out among the ruins of Caracol, the largest Maya city in Belize, with a tour by the country’s Director of Archaeology. Pass the time sampling hearty Mayan fare or take on a torchlit visit to a cave known for human sacrifices—just in case.
Check out other ways to tackle the apocalypse here.
November 29th, 2012
We asked Ronan (Half the dynamic Duo of the Hannan brothers – ahem – owners.) about his experience diving Belize’s famous Blue Hole!
What was your first thought when you saw the Blue Hole?
First sight of the Blue Hole – way bigger than it looks in photos. Everyone has seen photos of it from the air but when you get there it is pretty incredible since it is such a perfect circle even with such a large diameter – boating from one side to another takes a while! Overall one of the greatest things about going to the Blue Hole is actually “going” to the Blue Hole. It does takes a couple of hours to get there, but as you stop to snorkel or dive, viewing the spectacular colors of the reefs and marine life along the way, you can’t help but be amazed with its awesomeness.
Was this your first time scuba diving?
No. I learned to dive on Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia. I’ve dived the Great Barrier Reef, as well as in the Maldives and numerous other warm water destinations. I have to admit I have never dived in cold water!
How does the Blue Hole experience compare with other scuba diving excursions?
The Blue Hole is a very different diving experience due to its size, and obviously fish need to feed, so away from the walls there isn’t much sea-life. In the center it can get quite confusing as to which way is up and which way is down! It’s like an abyss! But over by the wall there are multiple stalactites and innumerable small cave systems. This is where the sharks hang out so its certainly interesting from that perspective. It is one of those dives that any diver absolutely has to do in their lifetime!
November 26th, 2012
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.
November 16th, 2012
Swim with Whale Sharks 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!