Cathy and I were in West Palm Beach for the wedding of the son of dear university friends, and we decided to piggyback a 5 night cruise to Cozumel and Belize. This was a Carnival party boat so we were a bit skeptical, however it turned out to be a lot of fun and the evening audience participation entertainment was raucous. Our route took us from Fort Lauderdale to Key West, Cozumel and Belize, before returning to Fort Lauderdale.
We engaged a driver with a jeep to drive us around the island and see the sights. This was a good decision, as our driver did a great job at a fraction of the cost of an official tour from the ship. We had a much more personalized tour and access to remote places that the official tourist buses and vans could not go.
Belize (aka British Honduras) and the Mayan Ruins
Cathy and I arrived in the capital city Belmopan in a small speed boat that could cross the coral reef while our ship stayed a few kilometers off shore.
Right away we drove into the central highlands almost to the Guatemala border to visit the famous Lamanai Mayan ruins. This is a great site to explore, as we were able to climb around the portions that have been cleared of jungle vines. Two interesting facts that I remember. The arched stone doorways were built extra high in order to allow the priests to wear very tall and elaborate head-dresses. And the temples were designed to create the optical illusion of even greater height. Pretty amazing stuff for 1000 years ago. We discovered that Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, near our cottage on Stoney Lake, is doing archaeological research at this site. Once back in Toronto, I contacted the professor in charge as Cathy is a huge fan of archaeology, and he invited Cathy and me to join the next 5 week dig. Unfortunately the timing did not work out, however if you are interested, check out Belize Field School. With our COVID-19 global shutdown, the 2020 session is canceled, however I suspect that it will restart for 2021.