Travel Belize: WAVEJourney Explores Lamanai Outpost Lodge!

Travel Belize: WAVEJourney Explores Lamanai Outpost Lodge!

Lamanai Maya Ruins

Lamanai Maya Ruins

Day 1: Houston to Belize –
Talk about us being beyond excited for our first visit to the central American country of Belize! We couldn’t wait to get there. So, after spending a short night’s stay enroute, at the very convenient and comfortable Houston Airport Marriott Hotel (the only hotel actually at the airport), we were back at the airport and through security by 7:30 AM.

Marriott Houston Airport Hotel

Marriott Houston Airport Hotel

Luckily for us, the airport and security were not very busy, so we were at our gate within an hour of waking up. Now, that’s convenient!

Our 9:15 AM United Airlines flight to Belize International Airport was delayed by about 35 minutes, due to a big storm over the Houston area and the Gulf of Mexico. Once airborne, the Captain told us to keep our seat belts on and expect a pretty bumpy ride – which we did experience for the first 45 minutes of the flight.

Arriving in Belize – Flight time from Houston to Belize was a short and pleasant 3 hours and 5 minutes. Once landed we disembarked on the tarmac and walked the short distance to the terminal. Viv got told off by security for taking photos of the plane and terminal. Oops! Upon entering the terminal we went through a rather quick and painless entry procedure (where we handed over the 2 forms we had been given on the flight to complete – Welcome to Belize arrival record, and customs declaration). No questions were asked and within minutes, we were stepping outside into the 85 degree F temperature to look for our pre-arranged transfer van to Lamanai Outpost Lodge.

Lamanai Mini-Bus Transfer

Lamanai Mini-Bus Transfer

Transfer – Outside the terminal there was no sign of anyone from Lamanai Outpost Lodge. So, we waited about 15 minutes before Jill walked over to their office – about 3 minutes from the airport. As it happened, we needed to walk over to their office with our bags and wait for other guests to arrive so that we could all take the mini-bus together. Our driver was Ruben, a friendly and funny Belizian fellow who drove us on the 50-minute journey to a boat where we would then transfer along the New River to the lodge.

What were our first impressions of the area we drove through from the airport heading north towards the boat dock? Well, it reminded Viv a lot of her time in Fiji back in the mid-80s. There was obvious poverty, and lots of trash to be seen along the road, but the countryside was green and lush, and the locals with their happy smiling faces waved as we drove by.

New River Boat Transfer

New River Boat Transfer

Boat Transfer – Next we enjoyed a thrilling one hour boat ride along the New River, with periodic stops to point out the abundant wildlife and fauna. Ruben continued to be our guide and also drove the boat with us and 8 other guests – 2 from England, 4 from France, 2 from Belgium.

Lamanai Outpost Lodge

Lamanai Outpost Lodge

Lamanai Outpost Lodge – We arrived at the lodge at 2:30 PM, and were met by Sonia (Ruben’s wife), who gave us our cabana assignments, and directed us to the dining room so we could go straight to lunch. Our first meal in Belize was delicious! We enjoyed hibiscus juice, an appetizer of spinach dip with tortilla points, a main course of chicken stew with egg, fresh and warm corn tortillas, and a corn and pepper salad. Dessert was carrot bread.

Lunch - Chicken Stew

Lunch – Chicken Stew

Activities – During lunch Sonia gave us a form to schedule activities during our stay. Two activities per night’s stay are included in the all-inclusive rate, and we also scheduled the optional crocodile encounter. We could pick from a variety of activity options, including: jungle nature walks; sunrise canoeing; evening cocktail cruises; Lamanai Maya ruin tours; expeditions on the New River; Lamanai Village tours.

Lamanai Outpost Lodge - Jungle Cabana

Lamanai Outpost Lodge – Jungle Cabana

Cabana – After lunch we were shown to our hut in the jungle. Only 2 units have air conditioning and ours was one of them. Because it is set back in the thick of the jungle there is no breeze coming off the river to cool it down. There were bug screens on the windows, but we found it best to keep the slats closed to keep the heat out. The interior lighting was very dim, but we did have a small flatscreen TV (the only cabana with one). The room was of ample size, with a very comfy queen bed and a pullout couch (with a very lumpy mattress). A mini-fridge with 2 bottles of water was available for our use, and Sonia instructed us to take them back to the dining room for refills so as to save on recycling of bottles.

Cabana Porch

Cabana Porch

Outside, there was a covered porch with a hammock. And, our cabana was about a 2-3 minute walk from the dining room and main reception area.

Lamanai Village - Beer Run

Lamanai Village – Beer Run

Beer Run – Once we had settled ourselves, we decided to take a stroll into Lamanai village which only took about 7 minutes. Not being used to the humidity and heat, we were soon in search of beer for our mini-fridge. We were told to locate the building with the Orange Fanta sign, and that is where we would find a woman selling cold beer. We were surprised with the price of a local Belizian beer (Belikin Beer) – BZE$3.25 for each 10 oz bottle including a deposit. That’s US$3.25! Jill bargained with the lady at the shop, and got her down to US$10 for 7 bottles of beer and assured her we’d bring back the empties.

Belikin Beer

Belikin Beer

After wandering back to our cabana with our beer haul, we decided to head down to the dock and enjoy a sundowner (cocktail) by the lagoon. What a great way to wrap up a busy day and relax for a while in the sun before getting ready for dinner!

Being close to the equator, it was already dark outside (Belize enjoys about 12 hours of daylight year round) when we ventured out of our cabana at 6:30 PM and made our way to the dining room.

Dinner at Lamanai Outpost Lodge is served between 6-7:30 PM everyday and our first evening’s meal was quite lovely. We started with a vegetable consommé with warm bread rolls and butter. Our main course was fish with a lemon garlic butter sauce, served with spaghetti Alfredo, and sauteed carrots and zucchini. The delectable dessert was a yummy coconut cream pie.

Dinner - Fish with Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce

Dinner – Fish with Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce

It wasn’t until we had finished dinner and were conversing with fellow guests that we heard about a 5′ poisonous snake (fer-de-lance) being found just at foot of steps to dining room right before we had arrived. We were glad we had missed that bit of excitement!

We made our way back to our room around 8 PM, armed with flashlights and headlights to make sure we didn’t encounter any jungle critters. We were tuckered! Our first day in Belize had been fun and we were certainly enjoying this new adventure.

Notes – At Lamanai Outpost Lodge: WIFI was available, as was use of a communal laptop, but it was super slow. WJ recommends booking a cabana that overlooks the lagoon – they have great views and enjoy the benefit of the afternoon breezes.

Exchange rate: 1 BZE dollar = 1 US dollar

Click here to read Day 2 at Lamanai Outpost Lodge

If you go:

Houston Airport Marriott

Lamanai Outpost Lodge

Belize Tourism

View WJs Lamanai Outpost Lodge Photos

Note: WJ thanks the following for their assistance with this trip – Belize Tourism, Lamanai Outpost Lodge, and Houston Airport Marriott Hotel.
Full Disclosure Statement.

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