Introducing Amigos Jungle Tours
Saturday, August 10th, 2013
Since 1987 Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop has been providing premier dive and snorkeling services to the discerning traveler. What started as a small family venture soon grew to be the largest dive shop in Belize. Their knowledgeable and well trained tour guides, mostly born and raised in San Pedro, and all Belizeans, aim to give the best experience Belize has to offer. Whether it is snorkeling at Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley or diving the Great Blue Hole, fun is guaranteed. But recently the company has expanded an added a new section that will offer an addition to their aquatic tours.
Owner Jose “Changa” Paz, always wanted to show more of Belize than just its coastal beauty, and that’s how Amigos Jungle Tours came to existence. Amigos Jungle Tours is a unique experience that takes you on trips away from the sea and into the lush Belizean forest, where secrets lay hidden and ready to be uncovered. From the aquamarine waters and reef systems to the ancient Maya Ruins and rainforest panorama, you can have a fun filled day without hassle, and you never lose the comfort of the modern world.
Amigos Jungle Tours offers a wide range of activities on the mainland, including Cave Tubing, Zip Lining, Xunantunich Tour, The Belize Zoo, Lamanai Tour, Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Caves, Crystal Cave Tubing, and ATV Tours. They even offer an international tour to neighboring Guatemala as a Tikal Temple Tour. The tours can be one day trips that have you back to Ambergris Caye on the same day, or overnight trips where you can experience a whole new world at night time.
Tours start a bit early, at the break of dawn in fact. The boat leaves from the Amigos Del Mar dock to Belize City where a comfortable air conditioned van awaits to take travelers to their jungle destination. Leading the tour is one of Amigos’ finest, Edgar Munguia. Edgar ensures that the tour runs smoothly and that you not only have fun but learn as much as you can on your adventure.
A couple of the most popular tours are Cave Tubing and the Tikal Temple Tour, and The San Pedro Sun was invited to enjoy both. The Cave Tubing tour takes you to Jaguar Paw Reserve, where you are geared up to trek to the clear waters of the Cave Branch River System. With tubes on hand, you make your way into the cold waters that over centuries have shaped and designed the caves you are about to peacefully float in. With nothing but the fading light of the sun and a head lamp, the waters of this ancient river transport you to a hidden world full of Maya secrets and spectacular limestone formations. The quiet rush of the cool water guides you through glittering rock formations and centuries of history.
Another exciting trip by Amigos Jungle Tour is the Tikal Temple Tour. Tikal is situated in Peten, Guatemala, (Belize’s Western neighbor) about 50 miles northwest of the Belizean border. The tour takes you across scenic views of the Cayo District and across the Santa Elena Border. From there, Samuel Elias, a Guatemalan tour guide, guides you through the entire trip to Tikal, sharing pieces of the rich history of the Maya from the region, pointing out major landmarks such as Lake Peten Itza, the second largest lake in Guatemala.
Once at Tikal, the immensity of the Archeological Site is fully revealed. Boasting hundreds of structures, Tikal is the largest site in the region. Tikal was discovered in 1848 by Coronels Modesto Mendez and Ambrosio Tut. It has six large temples and several plazas where sacrificial offerings were made. The Grand Plaza was once the epicenter of this world. Brave men used to play a sacred ball game, Pok-a-Tok, at the Grand Plaza where the captain of the winning team was sacrificed as an offering. Our guide Samuel, who is a descendant of the Maya’s that once inhabited the ancient temples, carefully explained the history of Tikal and its bloody past when his people had to face the Spanish arrival. The experience is truly unique, and after climbing altitudes of up to 200 feet, you are transported to an ancient world, a world of great architectural design and astronomy, a world of rich cultural history.
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