We spent the first part of the trip at Caves Branch. First, let me just say that the rooms, food, grounds and staff were beyond exceptional! Our room was in the trees overlooking a river. While it was very well appointed it was also completely immersed in nature. It was the best of all worlds! Dinner every night was amazing. Not only was the food delicious but you sat with different guests each each night and left with lots of new friends!
Every night at Caves Branch the guides came around during dinner to help you select your adventure for the next day.
One day we went cave tubing. So much fun! You tubed along a beautiful river that entered a cave and then tubed along some more. We got out a few times to hike up to a few sacred Mayan areas and then floated for a while in the pitch dark. Oh and there was a picnic inside the cave. And then jumped off a huge cliff into the river at the end.
The next day we explored the Mayan ruins of Xunantinich and Cahal Pech. At Xunantinich we got to climb to the very top of the temple which was step, high and without railings! But what a view! And Cahal Pech was really quiet and magical with tons of little rooms to wander into.
A dip in the Blue Hole after a hot day!
Horseback riding at Banana Bank Lodge could not have been better! A beautiful ride through the rainforest folloed by lunch at the lodge.
Our craziest adventure was hiking through the rainforest and then through a cave for a an hour or so with water up to our knees or sometimes crawling under rock formations. Eventually we had to leave our packs and put on life vests because the water got higher and we had to swim under a few rock formations. Then we climbed up 7 subterranean waterfalls! Amazing! And then, well, we had to get back down. By jumping! I was bruised and battered and exhilarated by days end!
On our last day we went zip lining at Angel Falls. The kids and the guides had to keep me from chickening out! One zip line was 800 feet in the air and the other was 2500 feet long! Breathtaking!
Then we headed to a small island off the coast to stay at Yok Ha Resort. Yok Ha has only 5 cabins! And they are all right on the sand! Our own private island! We went snorkeling one day and got to see a whole family of eagle rays! We also got to kayak around our island, swim right out to the reef surrounding us and had a barbecue on the beach with a Garifuna band.
On the way to the airport we stopped at the zoo. And I got to pet a tapir! Cross one off my bucket list! You would think the zoo would have been a bit of a letdown but it was a really special place where you got to get up close to the animals. I could easily have had my fingers bitten off by a jaguar!
Sad to have had to leave! But we will be back for sure!
In case you want to go, we did a whole unit study on the rainforest and the Mayans before we left!