Day 24 – Jungle Gym

Saturday is market day in San Ignacio, so we head downtown.  There isn’t a lot of artisan works at the market.  It’s mostly food, produce, and clothing, so we don’t spend much time there.

Our next stop is to the San Ignacio Hotel & Casino, not to gamble, but to see their Iguana Hatchery.  In Belize the Green Iguana is endangered because of hunting.  The female iguanas are valued for their meat (called “Bamboo Chicken”), and since only 1 male is needed for 20 females, decimating the female population has had drastic results.  Also, the Green Iguana is vegetarian, and is actually preyed upon by the larger Grey Iguana.  This facility breeds and releases Green Iguanas back into the jungle.

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A big male eyes us

You certainly get more than you bargained for on the tour.  We’re given food for the Iguanas, and soon find ourselves covered with them.  They’re quite gentle, but their nails are like a cat’s.

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The stare-down. I lost.

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Feeding time at the Iguana Zoo

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This summer’s fashion trend is Green Iguana Hats

Next we swing over to the Belize Botanical Gardens.  By this point in the day its almost 38 degrees before the Humidex, and we’re both struggling.  We grab a light lunch at the gardens, and a quick tour around.  We don’t see the whole of the gardens, and as a plant collection it’s quite extensive, but not the most manicured or well displayed garden.  I think the heat really diminished my enthusiasm.

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Cat Whiskers at Belize Botanical Gardens

But the night ends with a swim, some drinks, and massages.  All in all, a wonderful way to spend a day in the jungle!

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