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The name Lamanai stands for submerged crocodile. To reach Lamanai, one must travel up the New River for a 26 mile scenic boat ride through dense jungle. Along the New River one can see a variety of wildlife including exotic birds, crocodiles, and howler monkeys. You can also see native people on makeshift canoes swimming and fishing along the New River. As you travel further down the river you pass many Menonite villages that have been there since the 1700's. In fact young Menonite children greet you as you arrive at Lamanai selling peanuts and homemade cookies. It is hard to turn down the barefoot innocence of these young entrepenuers.

The ancient ruins of Lamanai are not completely uncovered yet. As you walk around you see many temples that are uncovered and many hills that upon closer observation are temples yet to be excavated. Wildlife is abudant around Lamanai. You see and hear howler monkeys and it has been known that jaguars are nearby. This is reflected in the stories of the local as well as the architecture.

As for the temples you do see they are amazing. The temples rise from the jungle floor to a spectacular view abover the jungle canopy. The temples have many carvings into them of the jaguars and crocodiles that inhabit the New River Lagoon.In fact on one of the temples, "El Castillo", you have the ability to climb to the top at your own risk. There is a rope and very narrow, tall, steep steps leading to the view of jungle. It is approximately 100 feet to the top resulting in a breathtaking view.