Belize, Part I. / by Mialy DeFelice

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I don't think I posses the ability to describe in words how truly amazing Belize was.  It was just, wow.  We started our trip in Western Belize and our first full day saw us in Guatemala to visit Tikal National Park.  The Mayan temples were absolutely astounding, and thanks to our amazing guide we learned not only a ton about Mayan and Guatemalean culture, but did you know that a scene from Star Wars was filmed here?  It was absolutely amazing/nerve inducing to climb to the top of Temple 4, and see the tops of the other temples peaking out over the treeline.  Back in the time this area was inhabited, the trees were removed to make the entire area visible, crazy right?

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The next day we did a hike to the Actun Tunichil Muknal (A.T.M.) caves in Belize, and though I have no pictures from this day (cameras are not allowed because 2 years ago someone dropped their camera through a skull), you will have to trust this that this was the most amazing thing I have ever done in my life.  You basically hike through a watery cave system (swimming, wading, climbing...) to get to a series of Mayan sacrificial sites, that is intact (everything is exactly where it was found in the 80's).  I honestly had the most most amazing time and I recommend it to anyone who is physically capable (its a little intense, you have to be able to swim, and be okay with climbing up a bolder, and hoisting yourself up a ledge....then coming down that same way). But it's totally worth it!

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Our remaining time in San Ignacio was spent taking in the local food and sites.  There was a Mayan site (Cahal Pech) that was close to our Hotel, so we walked there and explored some.  Most of these sites are still under excavation so its really cool to just walk around and see what is being found.  The food in San Ignacio was absolutely amazing, gotta love rice and beans!  Also, who wouldn't want a fresh cup of watermelon juice with breakfast??

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All in all San Ignacio was the most amazing.  For all the planning I did, there was nothing that could have prepared me for how much fun this trip was!  

Anyway, I'm off, have a wonderful day!