|Talking of Toucans|
Belize was formerly known as British Honduras. It is a charming and beautiful small country with sparkling seas and precious jungle. Everyone speaks English and the locals are warm and hospitable.
The best and cheapest way to get around on Belize are the colourful public buses. Just being on the bus is a bit of an adventure in Belize. It’s always a lively, friendly rather bumpy ride with an assortment of passengers who look like an advert for the United Colours of Benetton. People selling a variety of snacks are always getting on and off the bus too. It was a tricky manouver for the candy floss man.
|Get off that bus!|
Belize Zoo is not a regular type of Zoo, but more of a conservation project, rescuing mistreated and injured animals and educating people about the wildlife of Belize. I knew that if I didn’t go there, then I probably wasn’t going to see a Belizean Jaguar, so we went. The jaguar had the unlikely name of Buddy Junior. He looked unconcerned by our ogling, I guess he was used to it.
We peered into the foliage to try and see the black panther, Lucky Boy. Lucky Boy was rescued from a small cage in the grounds of a hotel. He was then a bag of mangy bones, hours from death. Well and sleek again now, he could probably see us hiding in his jungle enclosure, but we couldn’t quite see him.
Belize – stay at Parrot Nest Lodge
Parrot Nest Lodge is a lovely place to stay in this charming country. It is situated in jungle just outside the village of Bullet Tree Falls, along from the small town of San Ignacio. It’s a family run business and home to Theo and Marcus, and several animals.
|Tree house hideaway|
Theo, having been born in America, and lived in Majorca, settled here with her family years ago and is still in love with beautiful Belize. There are seven cosy cabins in the jungle and also two super cute tree houses. Hearty home cooked meals are served with the other guests in the charming rustic dining room, open to the wild green jungle. Tea coffee and fresh water are always available too.
|Theo and Amini|
Belize – the Belikin Beer calendar
Amini, the cook is a former miss West Belize, and has appeared on the famous Belikin beer calendar. She also makes a mean omelet breakfast! All the staff here are part of the same family and Theo sees them as an extension of her own. She pays to put the youngsters of her employees through high school, which is a luxury here and not free of charge.
|Home Sweet Home|
When we were here there was quite a bit of rain. It is one of my fondest memories of our trip lying in the cabin listening first to the sounds of the jungle. The tropical rain thundering onto the roof was music to the ears.
This idyllic tropical lodge is surrounded on three sides by the Mopan River, and wildlife are never far away. Belize has incredible bio diversity and there are hundreds of species of birds including some of the most colourful show offs of the bird world, Parrots and Toucans.
|Reading the Jungle Book at Parrot’s Nest Lodge|
Belize – animals galore
Other animals like Coatimundis, agouti (a bit like a very big rabbit), otters, and the giant green iguana are among the regular visitors to Parrot Nest. Indeed, there are so many iguanas here that they managed to thwart Theo’s recycling efforts. ‘The compost was just full of iguanas,’ she explained.
Theo’s family have long been involved as champions of eco tourism in Belize and her mother Katie Shea Stevens even wrote a fab book about bringing up a family here called PO Belize. Move over Gerald Durrell!
Belize – visiting Tikal across the border in Guatemala
Check out a great place to stay on the coast of Belize – the Hamanasi Eco Resort