Day 5 at Chaa Creek

Day 5 was really just the morning since we had to leave for the two hour drive to the airport pretty early. Ezra and Finn got in their last snuggle time with Jamma.


And we tried to take a family photo.


Finn was uncooperative. Ezra, on the other hand, was happy to oblige.


We had our last meal at the restaurant. The boys knew they would miss the special hot chocolate they got every morning. We were truly spoiled at Chaa Creek.


There are more pictures here and here.

Day 4 at Chaa Creek

On Day 4 we took a trip to Xunantanich to see the Mayan ruins. Bruce, Ezra and I had been there before, but it was new to Finn and Jamma. Because we were already so close, it was super easy and fast to get there this time. After a short ride (with our trusty guide Ricky in our trusty Chaa Creek van), we arrived at the new and improved but still hand-cranked ferry.

The ferry to Lamanai

We crossed the river …

Crossing the river

… and were soon on our way to the site.


El Castillo is tall, but the route to the top is stable and not too hard.


We all made it to the top. Here are some pictures along the way and views from the top.






I leaned over the edge for this one — or rather, stuck my arm out over the edge.


I don’t know what’s going on here, but this shot cracked me up.


We also got to see a bunch of howler monkeys in the trees.



And then our otherwise reasonable guide gave us some hoo-ha about the Mayans choosing their locations because of the energy, and tried to get us all to feel the energy through this stick. You can guess who was skeptical.



And who wasn’t.


And then Bruce got crowned the new King of the Mayans.


After heading back to the lodge and having a great lunch, we decided to take our complimentary horseback ride. Jamma, smartly, sat this one out.


I don’t have many pictures because it’s hard to hold a camera steady and ride a horse at the same time. But we took a long ride around the grounds — here are a few samples of the terrain. The boys are up front next to the guide and Bruce and I were the last two after a couple from Burbank on their honeymoon.




At what turned out to be the half-way point, the skies opened up and we got caught in a torrential downpour. We were soaked to the bone and had an interesting ride back on slippery slopes. But we survived and had a good laugh when it was over. And some Advil.

Day 3 at Chaa Creek

On Day 3 we decided to go on a canoeing expedition to Barton Creek Cave, a Mayan ceremonial cave. We headed out fairly early with our Chaa Creek guide, Ricky. We took perhaps the bumpiest dirt road on the planet for what seemed like a very long time. Somehow, Finn managed to fall asleep.

Sleepy Finn

Our destination was well worth the kidney-jarring ride. Even before we got to the actual cave, the surrounding area was lush and beautiful.

Lovely setting

Here’s our ride, one of the trusty Chaa Creek vans.

Our van

We geared up — head lamps, life vests, paddles — and headed to the canoes.

Finn's ready

The boys wanted to ride with Bruce (surprise) so I went with Ricky and got to take all kinds of pictures from the front of the canoe.

Boys in a canoe

Boys (and Ricky)

Sadly, my photos from inside the cave don’t do it justice. The stalactite and stalagmite formations were amazing.


In the caves

There were lots of bats and a couple of skulls and Mayan artifacts. At one point, we turned off all our lights and experienced the total darkness, which was really eerie. And then we turned around and headed back out.


The boys’ highlight came next — a rope swing over the river which they played on for at least an hour. Ezra had it down to a science.

Finn … not so much at first.

But he got better the more he tried.

Bruce got into the act, too. But the water was so shallow that he kept hitting his bum.

I think we did something else that afternoon, but I can’t remember what it was. I know Jamma came that day, and we probably went to the pool. This is what happens when I wait nearly two months to do a blog post.

Day 2 at Chaa Creek

On Day 2 we took advantage of some of the activities available at Chaa Creek — namely the canoes.

Say "canoooooooo"

There are basically two options: arrange for someone from the lodge to pick us up in town after we paddle down river or paddle up river and then back down to the lodge. We chose the second option because we just wanted to explore a bit. The scenery was beautiful.

Scenery from the canoe

Bruce did a lot of paddling.

On the river

So did I.

Finn's photography

We ran into several areas of “rapids” which I put in quotes because they looked harmless. But wow, were they difficult to pass! After a while we got tired of fighting them and turned around for home. I think next time I’d take option a.

After canoeing, we hit the lounge where the boys played a little chess.

In the lounge

I checked out the makeshift (and unofficial) Little Free Library book exchange and I think Bruce checked in with work. Later we went out on another trail for some further exploring.


Boys head out

We saw lots of these big guys around.


In the afternoon we went up to the Blue Morpho butterfly preserve they have there and got a tour of the area where they breed and study them.

Blue Morpho Life Cycle

Ezra tried his hand at catching some.

E, butterfly catcher

But our guide was an expert at it.

Butterfly expert

We also hit the pool that afternoon. I don’t have any pictures but they have a beautiful infinity pool that we took full advantage of!

That evening we had another lovely dinner here.


Restaurant with pool in the background

The boys were mesmerized because the staff was setting up for a private dinner for two over by the pool.

Private dinner set up

Not too long later, boys were fast asleep in their loft.

Sleepy Ezra

Sleepy Finn

And I was not far behind them.

Welcome to Chaa Creek

We quickly discovered that the Lodge at Chaa Creek is as the kids [probably don’t] say [anymore], “Off the hook.” Incredibly beautiful grounds, the nicest staff ever, and a gorgeous bungalow greeted us complete with these towel animals that the boys thought were the coolest things they’d ever seen.

Animal towels

Animal towels

Here are some other pictures of our home for the next five nights.

Our bungalow

Our bungalow

B&C's bed


Staircase to the boys’ loft bedrooms upstairs.

Cool staircase to the loft

The front porch area / living room area.

The entry/living room

Coffee and flowers

Ezra liked the decorative animals.


View from the loft.

View from the loft

View from the front porch.

View from the porch

There was no air conditioning and no need for it because the air circulation was perfect. The wifi didn’t work in the room either, which was a much-welcomed respite from always being connected.

That first afternoon we took things kind of slow and just went for a little walk down by the river.

Walking the river trail

The kids loved the giant bamboo.


And we got a sneak peek at the canoes we would take for a spin the next day.

Canoes waiting

I was particularly taken with the mango trees full of fruit.

Mango Tree!

That night we went for our first dinner in the restaurant and knew we were in for a super foodie good time!