Guatemala & Belize Adventures travel blog

Santa Maria cabana

Cabana interior

Collared Aracari

Group of aracaris

Scorpion spotted on jungle walk

Green iguana along the river

Canoeing the Macal River

Vine snake along the river (about 5 ft long)

Tarantula in restaurant

Crimson-collared tanager


About 1.5 hours drive and we were at the Belizian border. We settled in the town of San Ignacio close to the border for a fairly uneventful but noisy New Years Eve. After spending a couple of days in town, we ventured out to stay in a beautiful jungle lodge on the Macal River, Mystic River Lodge.

We spent almost a full week in Mystic River Lodge, taking in the sights and sounds of the jungle. Walking through jungle trails, tubing leasurely down the Macal River, or canoeing down the river were all great ways to spot wildlife. All along the river we saw green iguanas sunning themselves in the tree canopies.

The birds are amazing here - blue-crowned motmot, crimson-collared tanager, the green breasted mango hummingbird were just a few of the species we spotted and identified while eating meals in the jungle surrounded restaurant. Groups of 7 or 8 aracaris would feed on fruit each day in a tree about 15 feet away. The aracari is similar to a toucan but a bit smaller and with different colouring. The toucan is more elusive, but we did spot a couple here from a distance. You can't miss the huge yellow beak!

One of our more exhilarating sitings was a massive tarantula, about the size of my palm, walking across the floor of our restaurant, only about 3 feet away from us!! Hairy and very ominous looking, but also very gentle - so we are told. Jasper and Kari kept their distance anyway, but Kylan and Shawn got right up close!

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