Feb 16, 2019 - National Geographic Quest
We had an early departure to visit Cockscombe Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. This preserve encompasses more than 100,000 acres of rainforest and offers refuge to the diverse Belizean wildlife, including the king of the rainforest: the jaguar. The first group disembarked at 6:30 in the morning to make the most of the early hours to observe birds. The second wave arrived at the reserve two hours later. Walking across this incredibly lush forest, our expedition staff and local guides spotted a number of beautiful birds. We enjoyed impressive sights of native trees and experienced the way in which wildlife reverberates in this part of the world. We even came across fresh prints of jaguar and coati on the same trails that we hiked! After our visit to the sanctuary we stopped to appreciate crafts at the Maya Women’s Center and enjoyed some Belizean chocolate.
Upon our return to National Geographic Quest, we had lunch and readied ourselves to explore the mangrove areas surrounding the town of Placencia. Local guides shared with us their knowledge about the role of mangroves in this unique and fragile ecosystem, their relationship with the reef, and the fundamental role they play in keeping the delicate balance of life. We were very excited to encounter manatees and dolphins in the area.
Our day had a perfect ending with a show by The Garifuna Collective. By the end of their performance we were all dancing in the lounge to the rhythm of their traditional drums and percussions. What a treat of Belizean culture!
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