Northwood University

The Northwood University Study Abroad Blog

 

Archive for November, 2009

Today is our last full day in the island of San Pedro, Belize. We initiated the day with snorkeling activities that lasted until noon. As we snorkeled we observed various types of marine animals. Our snorkel guide pointed out an octopus, stingray, crab, and other types of fish. It was an awesome experience, especially to those who had never snorkeled before. We all took as many pictures as we could with our water-proof cameras. We then boarded the speed boat and headed towards a different site where we could snorkel with sharks! Swimming with the sharks was an unforgettable experience for every single person in our group. After the snorkeling activities ended, we had the rest of the day free to ourselves. We all choose various activities to relax since the departure date would soon arrive. It was our last evening to enjoy La Isla Bonita

Day 4

On our way to Belize City we stopped at the Belize zoo, where we were able to observe native animals of Belize. We saw vultures, eagles, birds, and wild cats. My personal favorite was the jaguar. Today we arrived at the island of San Pedro via a water taxi that departed from Belize City. The water taxi ride was a fun and unique experience. It was approximately an hour long. We were all anxious to see how the island looked. San Pedro exceeded our expectations! Everything was great, the people, the beach, and the climate. Our rented golf carts provided an unbeliezable method of transportation. We were able to tour the island with much flexibility. After dinner at a great restaurant, we went for walk along the beach.

Day 4

Day 3

Today we visited the Xunantunich Maya temples and a rainforest medicine trail. The Xunantinich Maya temples are filled with Mayan artifacts that lead to many mysteries. Our tour guide gave us a very detailed illustration of the Mayan life and also discussed several theories related to their emergence. He discussed the three stages of the Mayans, the pre-classic, classic, and post-classic periods. Many unsolved mysteries remain and therefore several theories were discussed in detail. The pyramids provided a fascinating and unbelievable view. We climbed two of the tallest pyramids of Xunantunich, which gave us an amazing panoramic view of both Belize and Guatemala. The pictures speak for themselves. El Castillo was the tallest temple that we climbed. Its height allowed us to see parts of Guatemala! We then went to visit a rainforest medicine trail. This activity was conducted by the creator of the trail whom politely greeted us and discussed the process of utilizing medicinal herbs. He was a very knowledgeable and experienced man. As we walked through the forest, he pointed out different types of plants, trees, and herbs that are utilized to cure many different types of illnesses. He provided a very detailed explanation for each plant, herb, or tree.

Day 2

Today’s main activities consisted of cave tubing and zip-lining through the forest. We started the day with breakfast at the hotel and afterwards we went on a drive to Caves Branch Outpost, where both activities took place. The zip-lining was a unique experience for everyone, especially for those of us who had never zip-lined before. The zip-lining activity consisted of a series of ten zip-lines throughout the forest. Some were extremely fast and others were very long; therefore, providing a different sensation each time. We definitely enjoyed zip-lining trough the Mayan rainforest. This was a truly exotic experience. After we went through every series of the zip line course, we went cave tubing. We wore special gear which included a life vest and a helmet with an integrated flashlight. We initiated our second activity with a 45 minute hike in the jungle, where we observed different types of trees and animal species. The real fun began when we saw the entrance to the cave. It was a truly gorgeous site! We floated through the caves with our headlamps and observed everything inside. We turned off our headlamps after exiting the last cave. Fortunately this was not all; we floated for an additional 30 minutes observing the natural beauty that surrounded us. We had lunch at the restaurant inside the Caves Branch Outpost. We were really lucky and were able to meet and speak with the founder of the Caves Branch Outpost. He provided a lot of information concerning environmental sustainability and other projects that he is currently working on. This conversation gave us valuable information from a very valuable and credible source. This was an opportunity that other tourist usually do not have.

Day 2

Day 1

Today was our first full day in Belize. We had an exciting boat ride in the New River where we were able to observe many different types of animals. We saw vultures, baby crocodiles, monkeys, and Jacanas (Birds that walk on lily pads giving the impression that they are walking on water). We observed nature in the most exotic manner. The Mayan ruins in Lamani were very impressive, providing a realistic view of an ancient intelligent civilization. The sight of the impressive temples left us speechless. Our tour guide gave us so many facts throughout the day that we all felt very knowledgeable after today’s tour. We look forward to our next adventures.