A few weeks ago, I visited the town of Orange Walk in Northern Belize for 3 nights. I ate the tacos, attempted a visit to the local rum factory, got a good feel for the town but there is one main reason that tourists overnight in the OW (although I think it has lots more to offer)…Lamanai. One of the most spectacular ruins in Belize and as I described in a post earlier in the year, a beautiful river tour, a visit with monkeys and lots more.
The trip from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye is a longer day and a more expensive trip. You take a 6:30am boat to the mainland, then a bus to the New River and then you get on your river tour. You can read about that in the post above (or below), here is how you do it if you spend the night in Orange Walk.
My tour van arrived at the Hotel De La Fuente in down town Orange Walk at 9am. The tours to Lamanai go out every day and cost about $50US. Just a few minutes outside of town, we pulled up to the McAfee residence. Yes THAT McAfee. John McAfee, the creator of the computer anti-virus company, who fled Belize (in a way that made him look totally CUCKOO) when wanted for questioning in last year’s murder of his neighbor. He owned a property on North Ambergris Caye and a supposed jungle compound in Orange Walk. One he allegedly used as a bath salt drug lab and harem for under aged Belizean women.
Jungle compound is a bit of a stretch. The ex-residence is right on the main road in a well cleared and filled area. If it helps, I can lie to you and say that hair stood up on my arms and that the ground was littered with condoms and testosterone syringes…but really there was one waggy dog and not much else.
Since there had been so much rain in November and December and this riverfront land was above water, McAfee’s dock was being used to launch our boat.
We took the short ride up the river to visit the spider monkeys…
Here it is in March (when it rarely rains.)
The jaguar masks are so beautiful to me.
We stopped at the ball court. A game where the winners were sacrificed…
The money shot…my group from California.
Always a very cool tour no matter how many people are there. We loaded back into the boat and took the river tour back. I was at my hotel by 3pm.
The big differences going from Orange Walk and from Ambergris Caye are the length of the trip and the cost.
From Orange Walk, the trip is generally about $50US and the lasts from 9am to 3pm.
From San Pedro, the trip is generally $150US to $175 and lasts from 6:30am to 5:30pm. It also includes plenty of beer and rum punch on the way back. Something to keep in mind…
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