Escape the large buses and the crowds that come on them on the Altun-Ha and Belize City Overview tour. As you drive for approximately 1 hour through the countryside to reach the site, your guide will tell you of the mysterious and mystical Mayans.
The Altun-Ha (Mayan for stone water) area was first populated in 1000 B.C. and the city was expanded in A.D. 700. It is believed to have had a population of 3,000. Many high-status items, including jade recovered at the site, indicate the city was home to many wealthy citizens. Structure B4 revealed a richly furnished tomb of one of Altun-Ha's rulers, and among its contents is the largest jadeite sculpture yet found. It represents Kinich Ahau, the Mayan sun god. Weighing in at almost nine pounds, this has been Belize's most valuable find to date. Other tombs contained jadeite objects as well.
Excavations indicate that this center was part of a trade network that reached from the Caribbean coast to the central lowlands of Guatemala. The site covers an area of about five square miles. The central square mile of the site has remains of around 500 structures, the largest of which, the Temple of the Masonry Altars, is 54 feet high.
After your tour of Altun-Ha, you will travel back to Belize City where you will see historical sites such as St. John's Cathedral, where Kings from the Mosquito Coast were crowned, and the colonial mansion once occupied by British governors. This Belize port tour concludes at the Belize Tourism Village.
In Belize, we went to the Altun Ha ruins. Our guide was Joice and she was great. On the way to the ruins, she talked about life in Belize, her kids, the local kid she and 3 other ladies are trying to get into college because no one is at home to care. Her love of the Altun Ha ruins and her city were very evident. Mom uses a walker so we knew this might be challenging but Joice was very accommodating. These ruins were very manageable for mom. When mom walked into the ruins area she teared up and said she never thought she would be able to get to an actual Mayan ruins. That made the entire trip worth it.
First of all, if people tell you it's too dangerous to go into Belize, don't listen to them. The dangerous area is about 5 hours away from anywhere where you'll be. Second, this was the most amazing tour the wife and I had during our cruise through central America. The people in Belize are wonderful and very nice. Our tour guide was amazing and she was full of knowledge. The ruins area was interesting and you can climb them! The only thing that sucks a bit is that the drive is a tad long. However, it was worth it plus you get to see the local area as well!
Enjoyed the tour. Especially the Mayan Temples & other structures were breathtaking. A lot of history. Our tour guide gave us alot of information about the Mayan people, they culture, religion, hierarchy etc . He was well informed in relation to what he spoke.
Reviewer: Nick Ewanchuk
Good tour giving an overview of Belize.
Reviewer: Peggy Robichaud
The tour of the city and the ruins was excellent. She gave us a lot of information. When asked a question, she always knew the answer. From talks with other passengers, I found the Cruises.com excursions to be better. There is a warning about getting on the first few tenders. We didn't have a problem at all. We got in line and were put on the first tender. Then we had to wait 2 hours for the tour. The tenders are big and even the second tender would have gotten us there in plenty of time. However, we were on a ship with only 2000. It might be more difficult with a larger ship. The only issue with the non-ship excursions is you have to get yourself to the meeting point. If you pay attention and get good directions ahead of time, there isn't a problem. We found people to be very friendly and helpful in finding the meeting place.