Beautiful Belize

BootsnAll Travel writer David W. Kingsley experienced the ancient beauty of Belize while learning about the political state of the country on his recent visit. His article Pyramids and Political Strife: A Day in the Belize River Valley details the creatures and the structures that make Belize a country not to be missed on a world tour, and the controversies over the future of energy and finances in the Central American country.

“We saw massive Ceiba trees with root structures taller than my head and red-blossomed branches that stretched out like a tarantula hairy legs. According to Mayan legend the Ceiba’s roots reach into the underworld and its trunk reaches into the heavens, uniting the universe.

The park as a whole was more charming than the Tikal ruins I had seen the previous day in Guatemala, in part because there was almost no one there. Caracol is thought to have been at the top of the Mayan hierarchy in the Belize Valley for much of history.

The final two plazas were magnificent. When we stepped out in front of the Sky Palace I was speechless. The temple is the highest man-made point in Belize. I raced to what I thought was the top only to find more staircases that were hidden by the angle of the base. When I eventually panted my way to the apex the people below were toys and the jungle stretched out everywhere in a dizzying panorama.

I entered it there and then onto a mental list, along with the Giza pyramids and the Duomo in Florence, as one of the most amazingly gorgeous human constructions I had ever seen, and contemplated commonalities between the three while I caught my breath. I think perhaps that their sheer size causes one to step back and contemplate the whole from a vantage point where the imperfections of their components are no longer discernible. They become almost Platonic forms, a bridge between reality and ideal, the physical world and the one behind our eyes, like a portal to the metaphysical.”