Outreach through Naturalist Activities
In addition to our major projects, we host a variety of naturalist activities to provide education and outreach to visitors of the Lamanai area. Check out the video and list below to get a taste of what Lamanai has to offer.
As the jungle awakens, a naturalist guide teaches visitors about the intricacies of a habitat that is home to a wide range of creatures including the jaguar, black howler monkey, keel-billed toucan and the blue morpho butterfly.
Maya Ruins Tour
Step back in time to when the ancient Mayas ruled the times and made Lamanai a ceremonial center. Towering temples reclaimed by the jungle have been unearthed to share the magnificence of the Maya civilization. An expert guide will take through the Lamanai Archaeological Site and you will leave having uncovered a little something of a long-lost secret world.
Spotlight Nature Safari
Just as exciting as it sounds, the spotlight safari is one of the best ways to see wildlife…either on the prowl for their next meal or deep in slumber up in a tree. The gentle rumble of the riverboat allows you to get up close to animals not usually visible by day, such as the a pair of kinkajoos clambering about for new fruits, giant iguanas asleep on the branch, or the Northern Potoo that is moonlighting as a twig tonight. Spot the flamboyant provision flower in full bloom and smell its heady fragrance before it closes up with the oncoming heat. The incredible eyes of the expert guides will amaze you at what abounds on the water’s edge.
Maya Medicine Trail & Local Cultural Walk
Walk the forest to learn the ancient healing properties of plants, herbs and roots used by the Mayas as healing remedies in their daily lives. Much of what is known has been passed down through the generations and is still practiced today. This is your opportunity to find out where painkillers, antibiotics and even birth control originated. Take a stroll into “town” at the nearby village of Indian church and see how present-day Mestizo live, and learn the importance of masa for making corn tortillas.
Spend some time with a Mennonite family in nearby Indian Creek to learn the culture of the conservative but hard-working Mennonites. German and Spanish are generally spoken amongst the 40 families but a few members do speak English. Mennonites produce the bulk of Belize’s dairy and poultry and are involved in large-scale agricultural practices, a great deal of which is done by horse-drawn buggies. Mennonites are very self-sufficient and have their own churches, schools and grocery stores.
Sunrise Canoe Ride
You quietly paddle out into the early-morning mist up to Dawson’s Creek as dawn breaks over the water and nature comes awake, a great opportunity to spot manatees in the sea-grass beds. Here blend a mix of a serene, scenic experience with a little exercise.
The seeming quiet of the marsh is interspersed with birdsong as herons and grebes start the hunt for crabs and fish and snail kites soar above to spy a snail or a mate to visit with. Tall reeds and grasses poke out around sinkholes and calabash trees dot the open landscape as you see the impact that the rains have on this habitat.
Belize is a birder’s paradise with over 600 resident, migrant and over-wintering species and the Lamanai area boasts nearly 400 species that include the national bird, the keel-billed toucan, the blue-crowned motmot, Montezuma’s oropendula, and the olive-sided euphonia, to name a few. A nearby walk is the perfect opportunity to survey the avifauna and significantly fill in your lifetime bird spotting checklist. Bird surveys can also be done in the evening but you are guaranteed greater sightings in the morning.
No reels and rods here, just local, cultural expertise to catch freshwater fish. From butterfish to big mouth bass, a quiet spot on the lagoon with a local fisherman is sure to garner peace as well as catching local fish.
An opportunistic walk around the area is dedicated to observing local butterflies, orchids, and a wide variety of assorted wildlife.
A low-impact walk in the surrounding area to explore how the night is alive with activity, from shy, nocturnal animals such as frogs and bats to night-blooming orchids and the magnified sounds of nature in the dark.