Lamanai Eco Adventure
Lamanai is one of the largest Mayan sites in Belize, and one of the most interesting. This eco-adventure Belize excursion will surely bring out the Indiana Jones in you.
After tendering to the pier, you will be met by a representative and escorted to the office for check in. Your Belize excursion begins as you drive to Tower Hill, near the town of Orange Walk, approximately one hour from Belize City.
Board the motorized riverboat for your scenic 26-mile (one-hour) high-speed boat ride up the New River through the Belize rainforest. As you travel through miles of river fauna, you will view majestic trees with overhanging air plants and colorful orchids. The boat has limited shade from a Bimini Top, so hats with straps or scarves are recommended for guests extra-sensitive to the sun. On your Belize tour, the upriver ride is also a wonderful opportunity for wildlife spotting. Along the way, see crocodiles, turtles, hawks, kites and falcons, as well as rare and unusual bird sightings such as the "Jesus Christ" bird that can walk on water.
Where the New River becomes a lagoon, you will begin to see the ruins rise into view on the western bluff. Lamanai means "submerged crocodile," a name befitting a city watching all that passes from the edge of a lagoon. Several thatched buildings near the water serve as the gateway to a site where more than 700 buildings have already been identified across its 950 acres. Many of the structures are still buried, some with massive trees and vines growing from them.
Lamanai was occupied continuously for more than 3,000 years, from around 1500 B.C., to at least 1,650 A.D., well beyond most other Mayan sites. It also features the second-largest Pre-Classic structure in the Mayan world.
Although hundreds of ruins remain unexcavated in the nearby jungle, three of the most impressive temples will be visited, including the Jaguar Temple, named for its jaguar decoration; the Mask Temple, home to a 13-foot stone mask of a Mayan king; and the High Temple, which offers a panoramic view from its summit for those wishing to climb.
Setting out with your guide, you will follow well-kept paths though the ancient jungle filled with monuments and temples. As you make your way through the jungle you will hear the chatter of the birdlife and the call of the howler monkeys.
During your visit to the site, you will have a local lunch of authentic Belize specialties, which might include stewed chicken, rice and beans, salad, papaya and fried plantains. Your return to Belize will be via the same route.
Please Note: This tour requires a minimum of four guests to operate. Due to your cruise line's time in port, and the time required for transportation to and from the site, you will see the highlights of the Lamanai site, but it will not be an all inclusive in-depth exploration.
Reviewer: Mrs Law
Vans have a/c, tour guides are helpful and friendly, smaller groups, explains local customs and culture, A+++. They will get you back in time for the ship. We got to see howler monkeys, learn about the ruins, and go for an amazing speedboat ride where -wow- those drivers know what they're doing. Bring the sunblock, they'll feed you lunch and give you a lot of water.
Reviewer: Renee Harpole
We had the best time going down the river and seeing all the wildlife. There were bats birds and crocodiles. We also saw small farms on the river. When we got to Lamanai it was very interesting to hear about the history and about the temples and where the families actually lived also where they played ball and we heard about the plants and what healing things they have. Our guides also fed us the food was really good I will say the temple is very tall that we climbed and we did talk about one of the plants helping with diarrhea and constipation they have in the forest. Lol
Reviewer: T Law
The buses had a/c, the tour guides both on the bus and the river were knowledgeable and friendly. The history was beautiful and the food was plentiful and delicious. They also made sure everyone had plenty of fluids the entire time. I would highly recommend and would do this again.
This was a long ride but well worth it! Junior drove the boat through the jungle and was such a great guide! He knew that jungle like the back of his hand. On the 26 mile ride on the boat he stopped several times to point things out to us. We saw the Jesus Bird, bats, crocodiles and much more. Once we were on land the tour continued Junior explained the Mayan's way of life. Everyone on the tour was engaged it was very interesting. At the end Junior had fixed us all a homemade meal of chicken & rice which was delicious. I would take this trip 10 times over we enjoyed it so much!
Reviewer: George E Waite
Although we did not realize it when we signed up, we experience the same tour 16 years ago. Not much has changed except is is now shorter due to using a speed boad in the river instead of a shower one. The site has changed some and is better maintained and we experience the lunch at the site rather than back at the launching dock. Quantity of food was ok but could have had more.