Belize is also a major zone of Mayan civilization. Actually, 12% of the population is pure Mayan. At one time, the ruins around the southwest part of Belize supported a population exceeding a million people. Now the entire population of Belize is about 350,000. There are quite a few theories regarding the demise of the great Mayan civilization, and I’d suggest you investigate them. There is a lot to be learned from them. The ruins of Xunantunich, pictured here, are a must visit for anyone traveling to Belize. They are some of the few remaining ruins you can still climb and explore. I made a few photos while visiting them, but I thought this one did the best job of taking us into the adventure. What do you think?
After you’ve passed through the Mayan mountains, you find yourself surrounded by the beautiful rolling fields of western Belize. You also find ancient and sacred Saba trees. To this day, Mayans believe these trees are maps that will guide your soul to the heavens. Obviously this farmer is either Mayan or just loves a beautiful tree because they left it standing tall right in the middle of their pasture. Tomorrow we will be visiting some of the largest Mayan ruins in Central America.
As you know by now, I’m working on my next Photographer’s Guide. This one will be about Belize, specifically southern Belize. It will outline an adventure that will take you from the turquoise coastal waters to the ancient mountains via the breathtaking Hummingbird Highway. This week I’ve shared the places to stay during that adventure. The Hummingbird Highway traverses the heart of the scenic Mayan Mountains. If you’d like to stay in the heart of these mountains and photograph beautiful landscapes and rare wildlife, there are only two places. A place I will share with your tomorrow and this place, the majestic Sleeping Giant Lodge. The Lodge offers an experience like no other.
Site Note - See those categories listed below? Did you know I categories every post I make by the camera, lens, tripod (is any) and software I used to make each image? I do that so you can easily navigate around the site and discover images in places, gear or software that you are interested in. Yep, just click ‘Belize’ and you can find all the images I have made from Belize. It’s that easy!
Last night I imported a little over a thousand photos I shot while visiting Belize last week. I will processing them and prepping them for my next Photographer’s Guide. You guessed it, the ‘Photographer’s Guide To Belize’. The guide will be free, like all of them, and plot out a photography adventure that will take you from the coast to the ancient Mayan ruins in the west via the world famous Hummingbird Highway. I’ll let you know when it’s done. The adventure begin on the easter coast of Belize in the sleepy little town of Hopkins. The Almond Beach Resort, pictured here, is great place to stay while you’re visiting Hopkins. I highly recommend it.
Photographer’s Note – This is a single image processed in Lightroom 4 and stylized with Nik CEP 4. I shot it with a Nikon D700 and Nikon 14-24mm. I love that lens, it is sharp and wide!
My Spanish is limited. I can do my best to navigate the market and get us to dive sites, but I don’t have much left after that. I do know how to say, “I’d like to take your photograph”. I found an interesting trend in the countries I travel to. Outside of the US, people are excited to have their photograph taken. Inside the US, or US citizens in other countries, rarely like to have their photo taken. The kind lady here makes tamales for the taxi drivers in Cozumel. You can see a few of them in the background. She has a little stand set up in the center of town. When I asked if I could take her picture, she offered a quick smile then went about making her tamales. The drivers laughed and said she charges $25 for her photo. I offered to pay her, but she politely refused and offered me one of her tamales instead. This is why we travel and open ourselves to new experiences. To meet people, smile at one another and eat some amazing tamales!