What’s it like in Belize? What are the best things to do when visiting?
Watch this video from Innovation & Tech Today to see a selection of the best adventures in Belize, like jumping off waterfalls in the jungle and snorkeling with sharks and rays. And Mariposa Jungle Lodge is featured! Earlier this year we hosted the magazine’s operations director for several days of fun and adventures – and Kelsey put together this amazing video showing off her favorite Belize sights and activities:
Belize is not just about tourism. Sometimes people want to give back. At Mariposa Jungle Lodge, we advocate the aspect of eco-tourism that concerns contributions to the indigenous community. We are so grateful when our like-minded guests share in our goals.
This week we were blessed by a visit from a three-generation family of 17 who chose us as the site for a family reunion of members from Israel, New York, New Jersey and North Carolina. They wanted to do more than typical tourist activities. They wanted to contribute a half day of labor and asked us to find a feasible community project. Our General Manager, Nelmarie Bol, investigated options and learned that local volunteers were working on tear-down, clean-up and renovation of the San Antonio R.C. School cafeteria. The principal eagerly accepted the assistance of our volunteers.
Another great day in Belize with guests of Mariposa Jungle Lodge. We were hosting a 3-generation family for a week who wanted to focus on jungle adventures and Maya culture. But some members couldn’t resist a day of snorkelling. So, with four adults and 5 children ranging from 4-12, we embarked on a drive to Belize City where we took a water taxi to San Pedro. After a picnic lunch on the beach, we enjoyed a private snorkelling tour of Hol Chan Park and Shark Ray Alley, where we had a glorious experience, thanks to Seaduced by Belize, a popular and well respected marine tour operator. The weather was perfect, the water was calm, clear and warm, the nurse sharks were out in abundance. We saw a giant eel, numerous schools of large fish, and a huge, graceful stingray, among other things.
We returned to the mainland on a late afternoon water taxi, followed by the drive home to Mariposa. It was a 12.5 hour day but all agreed it was worth it to experience the beauty of the Belize reef.
Mariposa Jungle Lodge recently inaugurated “La Selva Trail”, our new 1600 meter onsite hiking trail. The trail circumvents the perimeter of our property and offers a moderate degree of difficulty. The trail is well-defined and periodic signage confirms the remaining distance, but only the individual hiker can assess the degree of difficulty based on his or her comfort zone in hiking. As the owner of this awesome piece of paradise, I decided it was incumbent on me to hike each of new trails, despite my limitations as a senior-citizen desk jockey who spends her days at the computer.
Our loving and patient General Manager and Chef accepted the challenge of escorting me on the trail. I started out vigorously, impressed by the great job our staff had done with clearing the trail. I was predictably challenged by an occasion uphill or downhill incline. I was more challenged when the inclines had to be navigated by sidestepping protruding rocks. For some strange reason, my companions were unchallenged as I stumbled along, but one was always alert to assist me if I was in danger of losing my always precarious balance. The hike was awesome. I saw pieces of our 40-acre site that I’d never had time to see before. Ongoing beautiful jungle escape. And then, a special reward. Three toucans flitting among the trees, thinking they were enjoying their usual privacy. Later, a few butterflies of an unfamiliar species. After more than an hour of hiking, I was ready for a hot shower, alcohol rub on my likely-to-be-charley-horsed legs, and reflection on the awesome encounter I had just enjoyed with nature. On reflection and based on comments from guests in better hiking condition than I, it’s a great trail with a few challenging areas. So, I’m proud that we’ve added a significant hiking option to experienced hikers who want to do more than walk. La Selva Trail is now another complimentary feature of a visit to Mariposa Jungle Lodge.
Belize has a very interesting and diverse vegetation. With over 4,000 flowering plants,250 species of orchids and 700 different trees, it is a paradise for nature lovers.
Among my favourite natural phenomena are the numerous species of epiphytes such as tropical orchids and bromeliads that are found and observed on site at Mariposa Jungle Lodge. Epiphytes are also referred to as “AEROPHYTES” or “AIR PLANTS” because the seeds of their creation travels by air to land on a lucky “HOST” that shall then become its new home. The good news is most epiphytes are none parasitic. Rather, they live symbiotically with their host, each enhancing the other’s natural beauty.