submitted by - Brian & Mary Jo Engelking - client's of Bursch Travel St. Cloud
Our trip to Belize was incredible. Both Lamanai Lodge and Cha Creek were just what I had dreamed. Lamania Lodge was somewhat rustic and really isolated in the wetlands. We had to take a boat 38 miles up the New River to get there. The staff were the friendliest people I have ever encountered. After 4 days I felt like they should all be added to my Christmas list and we got hugs from everyone when we left. Lamania Ruins were beautiful and everything we did we had personal guides, who were outstanding. We went on a crocodile encounter and actually captured a 6' crocodile! We helped get stats on him, held him for pictures and released him again. He already had a chip so at some time had been caught once before. We went birding in the morning, nature walking in the afternoon and did spotlight sarfari at night. (You go in a boat down the river and they shine spotlights on animals, birds and crocs that are close to shore so you get to see them close up.
Cha Creek was very elegant. Our only problem was that we needed at least one more day there to get in all the included day trips! We did do Tikal one day which was very interesting, we also tubed through some caves and canoed though Barton Creek Caves, we canoed UPSTREAM to the Belize Botonical Gardens at Duplooy. They told us it wasn't too difficult only later to find out that most of the staff wouldn't attempt it. We did make it, and the gardens were lovely but no orchids blooming now. Here too we did the bird watching in the morning and took walks at night with headlamps on to see the wildlife...spider eyes were shining back at us all over, even found a big tarantula. We went to two butterfly houses, the one at Cha Creek is all blue Morpho butterflies. I was in heaven.
You were right about Ambergris Caye. It wasn't exactly us. Blue Tang Resort was nice but somewhat run down. From the outside it was lovely but the rooms hadn't been kept up so mold on the bathroom walls and showers. We got to snorkel once which was an exciting adventure. We got to hold stingrays and sharks and saw fish everywhere. It was somewhat cool and quite windy so most days we couldn't go out. Everyone drives a golf cart or a bike so it gets rather dangerous trying to walk down the streets. We did try various eating places and discovered a spot that sold fruit sorbets so we had to go there multiple times. All in all in was a great trip. I have never had so much personal attention and private guides. It is really a beautiful country!