Last year during a trip to Belize, we opted not to head out to the gorgeous coastline in lieu of exploring the inner rainforest.
Our home base for the trip was Black Rock Lodge, an eco-lodge on the Macal River in the Mayan Mountains. It is a 2.5 hour drive from Belize City, well away from any civilization and a starting point for a variety of adventures.
The lodge is rustic with amazing staff and the unique feature of communal dinners with other guests in the main dining area. It’s a great opportunity to get inspiration and ideas for daily activities. While we were in Belize for adventure, many of the other lodge guests were there to see the over 200 species of birds on the property. Just a few of our explorations included:
-Crossing the Belize/Guatemala border to the largest Mayan Ruin in Guatemala, Tikal. First discovered in 1848, the ruined city is stunning and gives insight into the Mayan culture.
-Caving in Actun Tunichil Muknal, essentially Mayan burial chambers with calcified remains and reached via an hour-long jungle trek. Note that you must visit with guides who have permission from the Belize Department of Archeology to take visitors into the cave.
-River tubing the Caves Branch River with only a headlamp for light. You float past underground stalactites and stalagmites, and a waterfall giving way to the “Crystal Cathedral”.
-Canoeing through Barton Creek Cave which is reached via lesser-travelled roads through the orange orchard filled Mennonite Community of Barton. This cave is always filled with water and it’s one to two miles must be explored by canoe.
-Canoeing down the Macal River and hiking the various Canyon trails, accessible right from the lodge.
If you can tolerate (read: enjoy!) the 6km pot-hole filled drive to the lodge, it’s a peaceful and serene hideaway.