If you ever find yourself paying a visit to the Lamanai Mayan ruins in the Central American country of Belize, it’s quite likely that the trip to and from the site, via speedboat on the country’s New River, will end up being the highlight of the outing. It was for me.

New River Boating

Motor boating on the New River en route from the Lamanai Mayan ruins, Central Belize. May 11th 2013.

Motor boating on the New River en route from the Lamanai Mayan ruins, Central Belize. Of course I was unable to sit in the boat – as it sped, twisted & turned its way through the narrow New River tributaries overgrown with vegetation – without putting my camera in harms way. It got splashed more than a few times and almost went under altogether. New River, central Belize. May 11th 2013.

The trip on the New River was very wildlife heavy. I saw a few crocodiles, albeit from afar (probably for the best). However, the monkeys, infinitely less dangerous & infinitely more curious, got a bit closer.

A monkey hangs from overhanging vegetation on the New River, Central Belize. May 11th 2013.

A monkey hangs from overhanging vegetation on the New River, Central Belize. May 11th 2013.

Lamanai Mayan Ruins

There’s a fair amount of truth in the saying that once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. I’ve seen quite a few of late but still the temples at the Mayan ruins of Lamanai didn’t disappoint, no doubt helped by their awesome so-deep-in-the-jungle-and-you-need-a-boat-to-get-here setting.

Scaling the aptly named Mask Temple at the Lamanai Mayan ruins, Central Belize. May 11th 2013.

Scaling the aptly named Mask Temple at the Lamanai Mayan ruins (map-pointer-icon), Central Belize. May 11th 2013.

Video || High Temple Vista, Lamani

The view of the surrounding jungle canopy from atop the High Temple of the Lamanai Mayan Ruins, Central Belize.

A Mennonite family on the Jaguar Temple at the Lamanai Mayan ruins in Central Belize. May 11th 2013.

A Mennonite family on the Jaguar Temple at the Lamanai Mayan ruins in Central Belize. Belize has a large contingent of Mennonites, members of an Anabaptist movement noted for, among other things, their simplicity of life & Huckleberry Finn dress sense. I noticed them on the streets of Orange Walk (talk about looking out of place) and upon seeing them here I asked our tour guide a question I’d imagine any curious foreigner would be wondering – why are they, the Mennonites, here? Two reasons, as it turns out. 1) Because the Belizean government tolerates ‘all sorts’ (the guide’s exact words), & 2) because Belize is the only country in Central America where land is available for purchase to foreigners. Lamanai Mayan Ruins, Belize, Central America. May 11th 2013.

Ascending the steps of the Jaguar Temple at the Lamanai Mayan ruins in Central Belize. May 11th 2013.

Ascending the steps of the Jaguar Temple at the Lamanai Mayan ruins in Central Belize. May 11th 2013.

A Mennonite boy descends the steps of the Jaguar Temple at the Lamanai Mayan ruins in Central Belize. May 11th 2013.

A Mennonite boy descends the steps of the Jaguar Temple at the Lamanai Mayan ruins in Central Belize. May 11th 2013.

T-shirts for sale at the Lamanai Mayan Ruins, Central Belize. May 11th 2013

T-shirts for sale at the Lamanai Mayan Ruins, Central Belize. May 11th 2013

Welcome to Belize. Lamanai Mayan Ruins, Central Belize. May 11th 2013.

Welcome to Belize. Lamanai Mayan Ruins, Central Belize. May 11th 2013 (iPod).

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