After my birthday (which seems like ages ago now) and while Mandy was still in town (which was over two weeks ago lol) Mandy finally got to go skydiving! Rocky has been trying to get her to jump since he first got into the sport- over a decade ago, but she has resisted up until Belize. Mandy is just as afraid of heights as I am (I hate heights!) and thus her hesitation at jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. But whilst in San Pedro (one of the most beautiful places to jump) she figured she should finally take the plunge!
Rich gearing Mandy up for her first ever skydive!
She loved it, as Rocky knew she would, and she didn’t know why she hadn’t jumped sooner! It was so much fun being at the landing area when she came down and being able to see her huge smile! I loved it!
Later in the week Rocky, Mandy, and I hopped on the water taxi and headed to the mainland. We decided to take the “chicken bus” (the Belize public buses) across the country over to San Ignacio in the Cayo district. I love making the trek over to San Ignacio- you literally cross the entire country of Belize and it’s such a gorgeous drive! This was our first time making it by bus though and it took considerably longer then it does by car, but it was nice to just sit back and take in the drive.
Us on the bus to San Ignacio
Once we got to San Ignacio we booked a trip for the next day to visit Belize’s most famous cave Actun Tunichil Muknal, which is supposed to be one of the most epic things to do in Belize! Afterwards we hiked up to one of the oldest Mayan temples in Belize- Cahal Pech. We got there just before sunset and were the only ones there. The site was pretty large and we had fun walking around and exploring whilst discussing how awesome it was to be walking in a place that people lived thousands of years ago! It was fun imagining what different rooms were used for what life must have been like then.
After exploring for a couple hours we went to dinner at our favorite restaurant in San Ignacio- Ko-Ox Han Nah (which is Mayan for “let’s go eat”). It’s an adorable place in the center of town that has local specialties and features mainly Belizean cuisine as well as Indian. We enjoyed amazing pina colada’s, Mandy had a wonderful curry and Rocky and I split a tasty lamb burger and chicken quesadilla! Mandy fell in love with the place and proclaimed it her favorite restaurant of her trip!
Enjoying our yummy beverages at Ko-Ox Han Nah
The next morning we headed out early for ATM (Actun Tunichil Muknal). The tour company we went with- Mayawalk Tours– bused us out to the cave location which was about an hour away from town. On the walk through the jungle to the cave we crossed two rivers- it was so refreshing to get in the water and out of the heat and humidity! Our guide Hu was awesome! He told us all about the Mayan civilization and history, and answered all our questions in great detail. Cameras are not allowed in the cave due to some past incidences, but the company had photos from before the ban that were shared with us after the tour was over.
On the way to ATM
Rocky and I have done some pretty fun and awesome things while we have been in Belize, but ATM definitely took the cake! It was such an epic adventure! To enter the cave we had to jump into the chilly cave water and swim into the mouth of the cave, but after being in the water for a couple minutes it felt amazing and very refreshing. We climbed up and down and twisted through the caverns, from tiny squeezes to large caverns to points where as I swam my feet couldn’t touch the cave floor. It was amazing being able to climb around a cave without any ladders, ropes, or guide rails, just free spelunking. We saw loads of different sacrificial pots and vases and many bones including a few skulls and skeletons. It was by far one of the coolest things I’ve ever done and I would recommend it to anyone visiting Belize!
Mandy and I got back from the tour around 4pm (Rocky had to catch a bus back to Belize City so he could catch the next mornings first water taxi back to San Pedro for work) and we were pooped from all the climbing in the cave. We grabbed some drinks and wandered around town for a bit and then caught a taxi out to my and Rocky’s favorite place to stay in the Cayo district: The Parrot’s Nest in Bullet Tree Falls.
We spent a lovely and relaxing evening just talking, watching the firefly’s, and drinking beers- it is so peaceful out there in the jungle, I love it. We got to stay in the tallest tree house- which has a lovely view of the surrounding jungle and had time the next morning to sit and enjoy our coffee whilst lazing around.
Fat cat Mimi and the beautiful Parrot’s Nest
Later that morning we checked out and caught a bus back across the country to Belize City. The time had come for Mandy’s Belize adventure to end and for her to head back home to cold Colorado. We said goodbye (I was sad for her to leave- I’d have to go back to regular island life instead of being on vacation lol) and I walked over to the water taxi terminal to head back to San Pedro.
Taking it easy at Parrot’s Nest
It was an unbelizeable ten days, the best 30th birthday I could have asked for! Thanks again Mandy for coming down and sharing part of our Belizean adventure!
The Belize jungle in the Cayo district