Monday, August 31, 2015

Lamanai Landings; Crocs, Crops, other words...

Lamanai Orange Walk Hotels Lamanai Jungle Mayan
View from my was a rough few days ;)
Let's start today with a little lesson in Mayan language arts.  Thousands travel to Lamanai annually to explore this amazing ruin site - however next to no one knows where they are.  "Lamb-in-eye" as everyone says it means 'city of much insects' in the Mayan language.  But they didn't name the city after insects (side note - not one bite that day!) they instead named it after crocodiles...submerged crocodiles to be more accurate - "La-mon-eye-een" is the city of submerged crocodiles.

Its great to get away.  Everyone needs a few days every now and again to get a bit of a recharge in the system, and even if you do have to work a bit each day - the change of scenery and a few new experiences makes a world of difference.

Balcony = Croc spotting station
My most recent trip to the "center of hell" (according to our Accounting Manager) turned out to be so lovely that 2 night easily became 4 nights.  Lamanai Landings was a great little unexpected bit of paradise in the middle of what I thought was going to be a buggy, sweltering, suck fest.  To be completely fair I found the entire area district of Orange Walk (that I saw) to be really very nice.  The hotel is 3 miles outside of town, and situated on their private lagoon.  All the rooms have patios over the water, so you get a wonderful cooling breeze.  Best part is the crocs in the lagoon!  Killed a lot of time staring at crocs.

Lamanai Landings Mermaid Restaurant Orange Walk Belize
Being a family business guy, and general supporter of most things Ecological, Lamanai Landings had many practices that I really appreciated.  One being they grew the blackberries that were in my blackberry Mojito, The other being their dedication to the village they are in and supporting the residents of that village. Tower Hill Village is comprised of about 165 residents - and somewhere between 30-40 of them work in some capacity on the Lamanai Landings project; be it in construction, cleaning, guest service, etc.  Every Thursday is kids movie night too; all the village kids are invited to come in and enjoy a nice AC filled room with movies playing; great opportunity for local fellowship., Claudia, and that other girl
perched atop the tallest temple. Sorry "other
girl"...I'm sure you have a name.
We of course went up to Lamanai and did that tour - it was fun - but Lamanai Landings has many unique tours and offerings that make it a special place and separate it from the pack.  Since the hotel just opened in July many tours are still being tweaked and brought together to create the best experiences, and given the personal attention from Blanca and Enrique you're sure to enjoy them.  Perhaps the most unique (so unique that most Orange Walk residents don't even know it's there) is the cenote tour.  It's a private cenote - so you've gotta go with LL.  They offer many variations of the tour; you can get a quick dip, or relax on a private floating dock (being constructed now); nothing like enjoying a private lunch in your private cenote, listening to only birds and monkeys and things.  Then perhaps getting a massage from their massage therapist as the water calmly laps beside you.  Good day. scaling her
way down to the cenote
Lamanai Landings private cenote
Other fun stuff includes exploring the lagoons - soon to be opened up in a bird watchers parades (another LL exclusive to the area), tours of the rum distilleries, enjoying Orange Walk town and their amazing tacos.  Croc spotting while on a night river safari was super fun...I did get to wrestle a mighty croc, and I won.  Course he was only like 3 feet long, so he didn't stand much of a chance.  FYI - before you spam me for being insensitive to creatures you should know this - I'M JOKING.  I wrestled zero crocs.

I wasn't going to mention being scared out of my mind - but I suppose I should.  I rode in a real car, on a real road for the first time in nearly a year on this trip...scared me to death.  Seriously.  I can only wonder how I handle driving in traffic and such again some day.  I jumped at the chance to ride in the back of the truck one day - I handled life much better back there.  Also rode a bike with gears for the first time in forever - I'm out of shape.

A few more random pics:

Llamanai Landings Hotel, Marina, and Smokey Mermaid
Spider Monkey Belize Lamanai jungle river
Spider Monkey

Llamanai Landings Hotel, Marina, and Smokey Mermaid
Llamanai Landings Hotel, Marina, and Smokey Mermaid

Sunset Orange Walk Belize Horse Village Western Country
Sunset - Town Hill Village; Orange Walk, Belize

We were so lost till we found this sign

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