After a short flight we landed in Belize City and headed to our rental. It was said to be in the posh part of town and was definitely upscale. Its interior was mahogany - the tree of Belize, granite and lovely furnishings. The owner built it for his wife, who wanted a home on the mainland. Because we had a bit of a drive to get into town, we rented cars, a nice change from the golf carts. After getting groceries we went down town for food and to the see the sights. Belize city is large and urban in a 3rd world kind of way. This was not tourist season, but 2 or 3 cruise ships still stop in the city each week.
We all wanted to go see the Mayan ruins at Lamanai so we arranged for a guide to pick us up and show us around. We were picked up at 8AM to meet a boat for the trip to the ruins. The boat ride was fun. We sped down the New River, through a rain forest toward Lamanai. Along the way, we stopped to see a friendly spider monkey, iguana and fruit bats.
Most of the site's excavation was done during the mid 1970s. Archeologists focused on the larger structures and the central meeting place. It was occupied from 1200 BC to 1600 AD, much longer than other known sites. It is thought that being able to use the river for water and transportation may well have been a factor.
We spent our last day in Belize, lounging, playing cards and sharing photos. The next day, John and I left at 5:30AM for a long day of travel that would end in Tucson, AZ.