Friday, February 8, 2008

Belize - February 8, 2008

Day 8 began with us waking up both excited for the opportunity to hike in the rainforest and sad because our flight home left right after lunch. So, we heading out at first light. Before lunch we hit as many trails as we could. A low mist had settled in near the bridge:
Chan Chich Bridge

But the birds didn't seem to mind, including this Rufous Tailed Hummingbird:
Rufous Tailed Hummingbird

And this Green Heron:
Green Heron

We also saw a very interesting exchange between the Spider Monkeys and Howler Monkeys. The Howler Monkeys were very subdued our entire trip (unlike the ones we have seen before in Costa Rica) while the Spider Monkeys were more agressive. Well, on this day, the Spider Monkeys decided to go after some of the Howler Monkeys. There was lots of hooting and howlering, but thank goodness no blood was shed. The Spider Monkeys would swing quickly over to the Howlers, shake a bunch of branches and retreat. Obviously, some sort of territorial display. Here you can see a moving Spider Monkey displaying in front of two Howler Monkeys:


We had one final visit with our friend the crocodile before lunch:

And, one final glimpse of the great Purple Crowned Fairy:
Purple Crowned Fairy

After a few scenary shots, we said our goodbyes and headed out of the rainforest and back to the lodge.

On the Sac Be trail:
River Reflection

Jungle Foliage:
Jungle Plant

And with that, our trip was over. But, what a great trip. It far exceded our expectations and we want to thank everyone at Chan Chich for their great hospitality. This jungle lodge is highly recommended. If you are looking for luxury in the jungle with ample wildlife, it doesn't get any better than this.

When we got home, we tallied up our list of sightings which included:
- Over 100 different species of birds (Chan Chich boasts 300 species so we need to go back and look harder)
- Over a dozen species of reptiles and amphibians including crocodiles, anoles, Geckos, Basilisk lizards, toads and frogs big and small
- More insects that we could count but we were never bothered by biting insects. (Probably because we used deet).
- And best of all, we saw 11 kinds of mammals including Spider Monkeys, Howler Monkeys, Deppe's Squirrels, Collared Peccarys, Agouti, Gray Fox, White Tailed Deer, a Coati, Jaguarundi and our unforgettable time with the two Ocelots and the Northern Tamandua.

An awesome trip to an incredible place. But, we left and couldn't help thinking that we had some unfinished business at Chan Chich. Both the Puma and Jaguar eluded us. Just two of dozens of reasons to go back some day.

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