Moonrise at Jaguar Reef Resort
We spent three nights at the Jaguar Reef Resort near Hopkins Village. From here we had the option of SCUBA diving or snorkeling offshore. The main attraction this time of year is searching for the enormous whale sharks who feed on snapper spawn that are released when the moon is full. Denise Mattia was the only diver in our group. She spotted a whale shark on her last dive the first day out. On our second day, some of us hiked at Coxscomb Basin Wildlife Preserve while others went snorkeling or diving. At the resort we also had time to enjoy kayaking, swimming in the pools or ocean, restaurant and the swim-up bar.

Coxscomb Basin Wildlife Preserve
We hiked a few of the 128,000-acre preserve’s trails while our guide,
Charlton Castillo, pointed out birds, plants and wildlife found there. We heard howler monkeys in the far distance while eating lunch near the visitor’s center. After lunch
we walked to a waterfall for a refreshing dip. Charlton is from the Garfuna
(also called Garinagu) village of Hopkins. Besides being an expert bird watcher
and guide he shared his knowledge of Belize cultural and history.

This beautiful fungi was spotted along a trail at Coxscomb Basin Preserve.

This striking waterfall and swimming hole provided a lovely spot
to cool off after a sweat-inducing climb to its soothing waters.

Guide Charlton Castillo and Tom Buhl on the hike in the Coxscomb Basin Preserve.

The end of the pier at The Inn at Robert’s Grove was a pleasant
place to read, nap or relax after a day’s activities.

We enjoyed a lunch at the Rum Point Inn on the Placentia Pennisula. Our host, Coral Bevier created Rum Point with her family back in 1971 after a life of much travel. Her and her husband were involved in the formation of Coxscomb Basin Preserve. She is proud of their dive operation and has enjoyed meeting visitors from all over the world.

The Moorings offers island cruising adventures all over the world.
We took their 47-foot catamaran, Eva Louise IV, 18 miles offshore to snorkel
and explore the Queen Cayes (known by locals as the Seal Cayes) and then over
to Laughingbird National Sanctuary. Our skipper, Jimmy and his assistant, Malu,
provided an outstanding experience while we spent the entire day basking
in the glory of these waters and the Caribbean sun.

Tom aboard The Moorings, Eva Louise IV, enroute from
Queen Cayes over to Laughingbird Sanctuary.

Skipper Jimmy moored off the Queen Cayes while our snorkelers swam
ashore or to swim around the lagoon. A dingy was also available for
those wanting to explore the tiny island or to swim closer to shore.

On the middle Queen Caye we met some people who were camping out while
kayaking between various islands. Tour companies use motor boats to carry gear
and provide cooks and all food preparations. This sounds like a perfect vacation to me.

At Laughingbird we talked to the caretaker and had a short swim in the waters
around the island before heading back to the Inn at Robert’s Grove. This was our
last full day in Belize and was a perfect way to spend time together while
discovering more of Belize’s main attraction — the ocean and all it offers.

As we returned to shore we encountered dolphins which is always a special treat.

On our first evening in Belize we had dinner and enjoyed a cabaret show at Old Belize.

Santorini Greece island
Capri Italy architectural detail
Santorini Greece hillside
Acropolis Athens Greece
Pompeii Italy ruins
Trevi Fountain Rome Italy
Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas atrium
Brilliance of the Seas ship’s bridge
Island of Capri Italy shop
Acropolis Athens Greece
Acropolis Athens Greece
Pompeii Italy mural
Spanish Steps Rome Italy
Brilliance of the Seas details
  Santorini, Greece with Royal Caribbean Cruises  


Use this link for more photos taken on this trip to Belize. The photos are organized to fit the .Mac photo album limits. At the top of each page are links to the various collections.

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