The earthy scent of the leaves, buzzing insects, and humid air enveloping me is both thrilling and calming. Today we will meander by tube on the cool waters of a dense cave or “actun” as the Mayans would call it with sleeping bats curled up above us. Sparkling mica-studded stalactites and stalagmites surround us as we pass an underground waterfall that leads into the ancient Mayan’s spiritual Crystal Cathedral. After liberally applying bug spray we will reenter the cave later at night with lights to explore the mysteries that lurk in the darkness of the echoing limestone. Tomorrow we will jump off of a twenty foot rock into the clean teal water below after a strenuous hike. When night pours onto the jungle, we will trudge up a mountain to the very top and admire the millions of specks of glitter that cover the cloudless sky.
My trip to Belize changed me and enhanced my appreciation for nature. Through all of the adventures we went on in the jungle, I could not arrest my fascination with the beauty of it all. Each trek into the jungle of Belize lead us to new discoveries of leaf cutter ants, a poisonous Red Coral snake, a majestic Toucan or Osprey, and even an intimidating hairy Tarantula that I almost stepped on! Whether it was zip lining through the flora via the Aerial Trek Zip Line, getting a guided tour of the rainforest or bird watching down the road from the Jaguar Paw Resort where we stayed, there was always a new discovery to be made. “Snuba-ing” through the luminescent waters of the Caribbean Sea opened our eyes to the world of underwater creatures and sharp coral that stings if you even happen to brush your foot across it. The silent cove showed us the calm areas filled with tadpoles and small fish as well as spiders that leave a pinch your foot as they creep up through the smooth rocks. Throughout my trip, I learned about the animals, plants, and culture behind this small country hidden on the Caribbean coast of Central America. Mother Nature’s creation is truly a live multicolored painting meant to be enjoyed by all who inhabit it.
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