The Monkey River Tour is a Wildlife Paradise in Belize

Marta's Adventures in Belize - Part 19

As I told you before it’s very difficult to see wildlife and most mammals in the Rainforest. You cannot imagine how happy and excited Duarte and I were when we enjoyed such a complete and fun tour, with so many amazing experiences in just one day. Some of these adventures include fantastic episodes with the most awesome creatures that you can find in Belize. We loved Monkey River Tour!

Everything started during our stay at the wonderful Jaguar Reef Lodge, Rafael the Manager of the Adventure Desk offered us that tour. We didn’t have any idea about what it was about but we were full of anticipation to discover a new area of Belize!

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After a pleasant trip by van of just one hour to Placencia, a lively and beautiful little village at the south of the country, we took a boat to start our trip. It was a short boat ride down the southern coast that took us through the Monkey River. But first we felt the speed of the boat and we had the chance to enjoy the feeling to go into the mangroves that surround the southern coast. The wind on your face, the views of the coast and the horizon with the massive ocean was amazing!

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Finally we arrived to the entrance of the famous Monkey River. Right at the river mouth you will find Monkey River Village, where we had lunch after the river tour. This village has no more than 150 residents and they are mostly fishermen. There are no cars in that town, they don’t need it, they only use boats to move around.

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While we were going up to the Monkey River we had the feeling that we were going into the deepest of the Belizean Rainforest and little by little the wildlife started to appear. First of all we saw plenty of different species of birds, some gigantic iguanas sleeping on the treetops, some baby crocodiles having a sunbath at the river shores and even a family of cute and tiny bats sleeping under a branch. After this great ride going up the river we stopped to go into the jungle looking for the Howler Monkeys. Now you get why it is called Monkey River!

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That hike through the Rainforest was spectacular and I discovered the extremely high diversity of flora that this environment has. I will never forget the huge bamboo forest that we had to go across while we were looking for the howler monkeys. The massive bamboo branches formed a colossal dome right on top of us! Just unbelievable!

And after some minutes walking through the jungle we started to hear the distinct sound of the Howler Monkeys. We felt like we were in Jurassic Park! We never heard anything similar! You cannot imagine that that noise comes from such a small animal. It is a unique experience! We were following a family of monkeys with two babies. They were jumping, eating and having fun at the treetops! When we were coming back to the boat we were still making photos and videos of baby monkeys, and we had our first “award” of the day. One of the babies that was just one meter above of us, almost pee on us! We recorded it! Don’t disturb the monkeys or you will have a fabulous souvenir… monkey pee!

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But the most unique and extraordinary experience that we had that day and one of the most wonderful ones that we had during our stay in Belize was our encounter with two manatees. When we were going back to Placencia, we stopped in a lagoon, which is a spot where if you are lucky you can have the chance to see manatees. You can imagine how difficult it’s to see a manatee since they stay most the time of their lives under the water eating seaweed and they only come up to the surface a few seconds every 2 minutes. But that day was our lucky day! We spotted a calf with its mother and for some reason they approached our boat! It was amazing how curious they were with us and mostly with me. The baby just wanted to be in front of me and look at me! We felt in love immediately with each other! At least I did! I just couldn’t believe it! I will keep that incredible experience forever! I feel like there’s always something new and special to discover everyday in Belize. Can’t wait for what tomorrow might bring!

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