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Western Caribbean
By Mike Thiel

The Best of Belize

Belize is so compact—about the size of Massachusetts—that it?s easy to keep both water sports enthusiasts and landlubbers happy. You can spend a few days exploring the interior, taking in the astonishing array of wildlife in the dense jungles. You can visit the awe-inspiring Mayan ruins, remains of a dynamic civilization that peaked while Europe was dwelling in the Dark Ages. And then you can head to the cayes to take in their ocean-based delights. Most of our members, however, choose to base themselves on the cayes and explore the mainland on day trips.

From Belize City, we took a 15-mile ride up the Belize River, which alone was worth the trip to Belize. The scenery was simply breathtaking. A jungle of royal palms, mahogany, bamboo thickets, flowering trees, vines, and shrubs lined both sides of the wide, meandering river. Except for the occasional village or a native paddling a dugout canoe, we shared the river only with parrots and colorful, noisy birds. Every so often, the wilderness reverberated with the spine-tingling roar of black howler monkeys and we?d catch sight of a troop of them feeding in the tall trees. At one point we spotted a baby crocodile.

Fall 2001

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