Jungle Sunset in Belize


Shot early in February by hotel guest Toby Clarkson


Video: Documentary Filmed in Belize at Lower Dover, Cahal Pech, and Caracol about Maya Equinox Celebration

Last September we went to the Maya city of Caracol for the Fall Equinox celebration that was being preformed by a Maya Itza Leader from Peten Guatemala. It was a very special event that we were extremely fortunate to witness and document on film. Hopefully the Belize Film Festival will accept the picture so we have an excuse to visit Belize City for the party.

The Maya leaders told us we must stay up all night if we were to experience the ritual the proper way.  Pretty plainly this was the most trying part of the trip because we were not planning on staying up, but camping and waking up before dawn for the fire ceremony. Special thanks to the park ranger Mike for sharing his coffee and making it possible.

Also we would like to thank John Chuc of Kin Winik Tours, Dr. Jamie Awe from Belize Archaeology, Maria Garcia from San Antonio Village, and especially the Marimba players from Succotz who got up at 3:30am to start jamming until the ceremony was finished after sunrise and the fire was out. Finally our condolences to the family and friends of Don Beto Cocom who was supposed to be there holding hands with us.

Outside of the trip to Caracol, the documentary contains some interviews with our family and a bit of archaeology talk about the possible correlation between Lower Dover and the Maya city of Cahal Pech located in San Ignacio.


Nohoch Che’en Cave Tubing Adventure Photos of Belize

Getting our tubes ready for the cave

Cave tubing is a very popular day trip for Belize cruise ship passengers. For guests of Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge wanting to go cave tubing, the trip is best if you miss this midday gringo herd. Early morning or late afternoon trips are best. Don’t worry about getting a guide at the highway, ask for Deion at the park entrance 7 miles in. He will give you a great tour for $35 USD each. It’s not possible to do this trip by bus so guests must have a taxi lined up or provide their own transportation. We recommend guests of Lower Dover to stop at the Belize Zoo or Cave Tubing on the way to our jungle lodge form the airport if they are being picked up by taxi.

Caves Branch River Cave Tubing Cruise Ship "cattle pen"

It is a 30 minute scenic jungle hike to the cave entrance, requiring walking up steps and carrying your tube. Guests with physical limitations should be cautioned. Although this is a much easier trip physically than ATM Cave, it’s still fun, especially for a family with kids. However, there are better adventures in Belize for thrill seekers, so plan accordingly based on budget, time, and desire. Also, zip line tours are optional here, but it is not worth it. We have better options locally at Calico Jack’s if you are interested.

Nohoch Che'en NICH Belize Reserve Entrance Sign

Even after agreeing with a guide for $35 USD, a $5 USD park entrance fee is still necessary.

One of the limestone outcroppings along the walk to the cave

The river you cross on the jungle hike is also the one cave tubed.

The river you cross on the jungle hike is also the one cave tubed.

It's about a 30 minute, slightly difficult, jungle hike to reach the cave.

Along the way you will see some dry caves

Another dry cave on the cave tubing hike, headlamps provided.

River entrance to cave tubing adventure in Belize

Cave entrance - cave tubing day tour in Belize

Looking back at the last bit of natural light when entering the cave adventure

Dad's tube sizes available. (Dad - Fat abbreviation)

The lights provided are not great, but they still give off enough light to avoid crashing into walls

There is an awesome cave waterfall that provides a nice photo opportunity

Cave waterfall at alternative cave exploring entrance - Belize day tours

People ask, won't your camera get wet?? Well not with Deion safely guiding our cave tubing trip!

Leaving the waterfall while cave tubing in Belize

Only about 30 minutes total in the cave until you exit! It goes by quick!

If you are not on a cruise ship there is time to relax as you continue floating down the river.

Leaving the cave while tubing in Belize

A rough 7 mile trip to the western highway awaits your trip back to Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge

Contest: Name the Sheep at Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge

One of our first stories was about our failings as sheep farmers in the jungle.

It seems as if lady luck has finally joined our side here at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge and the sheep are taking nicely to their new pen. The baby ewe is almost fully grown now, although it still does not have a name. Perhaps some help naming her from our followers?

We also picked up 3 new sheep, one being a young ram that is also nameless. In fact, all our sheep have no names except B.B. the oldest ewe. From my limited experience living on a farm, it is much harder to eat animals that you name, and being more vegetarian in 2012 was one of our resolutions. Therefore, Lower Dover Jungle Lodge is having an official naming contest for our four new sheep in hopes of them surviving to see the party on December 21, 2012 in Belize.

•    2 First prize winners: 1 for ram’s name, 1 for ewe’s name
•    Second prize: most original name
•    Third prize: female name
•    Runner-up: best remaining name

the Baby, two females, and the ram.

Each first prize winner will receive 3 free nights stay at Lower Dover Jungle Lodge in the Aqua, Red, or Newlywed Suite for winner and a guest anytime before November 1, 2012 space permitting. They will also get their pictures taken as “God parents” with the sheep during their stay in Belize. Food, drink, and tours not included.

Second prize winner will get the brand new Lower Dover Field Station & Jungle Lodge 2012 T-shirt with a map of the on site Maya ruins recently identified as “Lower Dover” printed on the back.

Third prize gets a case of Belikin beer or a bottle of Belize rum on us upon checking in for their stay in Western Belize’s best hotel to experience real Belize living, in the jungle, surrounded by wildlife.

Runner up gets the piece of mind knowing he or she helped save a sheep’s life by doing their one kind deed of the day and posting a comment on our blog!

In order to win…

  • Entries must be received no later than February 21, either by posting a comment with 1 Male or Female name to either our Facebook fan page or our blog below.
  • Only one name per sex can be posted to the blog or the Facebook page. One of each can be posted at both locations for the maximum amount of entries (2).
  • To qualify, all winners must either be a Facebook fan, or follow our blog at the time of the drawing, through the period of travel, bonus points for those who do both.

I'm a ram, but some people think I'm a goat, even though I'm marked like a cow!

We will post the winners of the contest on our blog February 22. Happy naming and commenting, good luck! Feel free to share this contest with your friends! And thanks for the help!