Rx for those end-of-summer Blues
Put away the leaf blower and try some of Belize’s healthy autumn activities to prepare for winter with a new outlook on life.
The summer holidays are all but over, kids are going back to school, life is settling into those shorter autumn days and the air is getting cooler.
What better time to think about a Belizean sojourn to chase those end-of-summer blues, prepare for the months ahead and perhaps even hone or pick up a new interest like horseback riding, canoeing, bird watching, brushing up on Spanish (bi-lingual western Belize being perfect for it) or channelling your inner Indiana Jones with ancient Maya temple and sacred cave exploration.
There’s something about the autumn crisp weather that translates into energy, and we suggest putting it to good use by taking some time out for personal growth and exploration while indulging in a healthy holiday, on your own of with that special someone or group you’d like to share with.
With this in mind, we’d like to share our checklist for chasing the end-of-summer-blues.
Get out and do something different!
All too often we fall into the trap of thinking that summer’s over and there’s nothing else to do but hunker down at home, get some new books, check out what’s new on television. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But Belize, being an easy, affordable hop from the many major North American airports, beckons.
Make the decision to do something different and exciting this autumn, and watch your spirits soar!
Whether you’re new to bird watching or an experienced birder, the coming months are an avian observers’ paradise in Belize. With over 600 species of resident and migratory birds inhabiting and visiting Belize’s incredibly diverse ecosystems, the autumn months offer a veritable smorgasbord of possible sightings. Bring along guidebooks for North American Birds and the Birds Of Mexico and Central America, binoculars, camera bag, sunscreen and insect repellent, sturdy shoes and prepare to be amazed with sighting of
• Belize’s national bird, the Keel Billed toucan
• the Jabiru stork (the largest bird in the western hemisphere)
• Orange breasted falcons
• Crested eagles,
• an assortment of parrots
• a personal favourite, the Blue crowned Motmot and;
• many, many more.
Chaa Creek, having sponsored avian research for years, including the ambitious Birds Without Borders program, conducts early morning guided birding walks, and the eco-resort’s trained, dedicated birding guides are always on hand to help you make the most of your birding experience. If you are a novice, they’ll communicate their enthusiasm and experience. If you’re experienced, they’ll speak your language and tell you where to go to find the species of your dreams and tick them off your list.
Explore Maya Ceremonial Caves
Having grown in popularity in recent years, especially after the opening of the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave to visitors, caving in Belize is immensely rewarding, especially when combined with discovering Maya culture. The ATM cave, housing sacrificial altars where blood letting and other ceremonies to appease the Maya deities were held is littered with pottery, artefacts such a jade axe heads, and is home the most famous inhabitant of all, the Crystal Maiden – the intact skeleton of a young female sacrificial victim that years of calcium carbonate deposits have given a glittering, mystical patina. Wading and swimming through the entrance and then climbing the level of this fascinating cave will be an adventure that will stay with you forever.
Other caves, such as Barton Creek, Rio Frio and others provide enough variety and excitement that you’ll never look at a hole in the ground the same way again.
Tropical River Canoeing
A new slant on an old favourite, canoeing is an easy and very enjoyable way to see a part of Belize not many tourists experience – the rich riverine environment. Sometimes cutting through otherwise inaccessible pristine jungle or skirting charming villages, Belize’s rivers have carried ancient Maya traders, early settlers and timber cutters, pirates, missionaries, farmers, adventurers and many others. In fact, the Macal River was the main way to come and go when Chaa Creek was first established, and was quite busy each Saturday as people came to and from the San Ignacio markets.
Today, canoes give hours of pleasure and a unique view into Belize’s wildlife as throngs of animals and birds come down to drink, bath and feed. Large iguanas fall from trees with mighty splashes, kingfishers swoop in search of food, monkeys chatter in the trees and even the odd jaguar, ocelot, tapir of other animal can be seen along the banks.
Chaa Creek maintains a fleet of quality canoes and our licensed naturalist guides will get even the greenest of novices comfortable with paddles. Start with a leisurely downstream paddle to San Ignacio town and you’ll quickly see how meandering river, warm weather, stunning views and an abundance of birds and wildlife add up to an experience you’ll never forget.
These are just three of some of our favourite autumn activities, and we’ll post more in the coming weeks. The point is, autumn doesn’t need to be the same-old-same old spent doing the same old things. Just as students prepare for the new semester full of enthusiasm to learn new things, the autumn months can be the start of your own healthy learning adventure – contact Chaa Creek today and take the first steps in enrolling in the school of nature.
You’ll be so glad you did…