Mahatma Gandhi must have had Belize in mind when he said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Here in Belize, that’s especially true, notes Jamal Andrewin-Bohn, Director of Education at the Belize Zoo. He and other conservationists pride themselves on making sure that “the Central Belize Wildlife Corridor maintains its integrity, supporting the conservation of…plants and animals who call this landscape, home sweet home.”
Travelers and residents are the recipients of this largesse, especially off the Placencia peninsula where marine wildlife are protected and manatee watching is elevated to an art. In fact, the Turneffe Atoll is home to the Oceanic Society Field Station where experts keep tabs on endangered Antillean manatees.
Want to get up close to these gentle giants? Book a stay at Laru Beya Resort, where tropical luxury abounds within beautifully appointed accommodations. Once you check in, book the resort’s exclusive Monkey River Manatee Tour to spot these magnificent creatures as well as the animals with whom they share a jungle.
But before you head for your tour boat, get the lay of the land at this picturesque resort. Spot the freshwater infinity pool and the beach that’s just steps from rustic lodgings. Reserve equipment if you love to cycle, kayak or you’ve always wanted to pilot a Hobie Cat. Visit the Quarterdeck Restaurant and Bar to prepare your taste buds for meals that come with the resort’s all-inclusive packages and arrange for personal, in-room spa services.
Ready for your tour? Bring your curiosity, a camera, and sunscreen. Wear proper boots to trek the jungle and set off for your adventure. You will be welcomed by Howler Monkeys who live up to their species name. Cruise upstream accompanied by trained guides, checking out iguanas, birds, and the occasional crocodile. Roam a jungle trail and grab a refreshing swim.
The manatees hang out in the Placencia Lagoon, and while they’re pretty shy, you could spot one if you look hard, so bring along a little patience and you’ll be rewarded. What’s the perfect way to complete this amazing day? A yummy Belizean meal catered by folks at a family-run restaurant eager to welcome visitors and talk manatee.
Sound like a blast? It is–and we’re not just referring to those loud-mouth Howler Monkeys. For reservations and information, visit our website and let our manatee-loving staff take care of your booking.