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“Worth seeing” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Altun Ha Ruins

Altun Ha Ruins
45 km (28 mi) north of Belize City, Belize
625-6976
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Type: Ancient Ruins
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Attraction Details
Owner description: This collection of temples and other buildings is one of the most well-known Mayan ruins in Belize.
Austin
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Worth seeing”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

A small complex of well-preserved Mayan ruins about 30miles away from Belize City. If you are visiting Belize and want to feel its history, you cannot miss visiting one of these temple sites and this one is nearby. I got a very interesting narration about the Maya and this site history from the lady in a souvenir shop there. The trip there is an adventure nevertheless since I have never seen so many and so deep potholes on any other road in my life :-)

Visited November 2012
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Arroyo Grande
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“a humbling experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

After leaving Caye Caulker via water taxi and meeting our charismatic guide once in Belize City, we shared a minivan with another couple and set out for Altun Ha. The driver was excellent at the game of chicken, as he challenged every vehicle headed the opposite direction and thankfully came out victorious. Once we arrived at the site, we were greeted by Willy, a young man from the local village who was happy to show us around and who knowledgeably answered every question we had. Because we had entered the site early, we were not yet surrounded by the cruise ship passengers and school children that the site is typically known to host throughout the day. Willy informed us that each of the craftspeople whose creations were on display just outside of the entrance to the ruins were his family, neighbors and friends from the nearby village that we had passed on our way in. After lengthy discussions on the existence of the Maya and their cultural significance, we were given a chance to climb to the top of a temple and take in the surroundings. It was tranquil, spiritual and humbling.
I wish we could have spent more time there; hours, days even, because it was one of the oldest places I have ever visited and all the information was hard to take in at once.
I'd recommend wearing socks and good shoes, and bringing some water and bug spray. The earlier (or later) the better. .. on our way out, we saw the hoards of people making their way in, which I can easily imagine would take away some of the serenity of the experience.
If you want to buy some souvenirs, do so from these local people and skip the shops at the airport. Supporting their trades is supporting their livelihood. Ask Willy, he'll explain.

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Papillion, Nebraska
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Altun Ha and Old Belize River”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

My wife and I were in Belize on a port call with the Norwegian Dawn. We took the Altun Ha and Old Belize River shore excursion and loved it. The ruins were fantastic and Elmer, our guide explained many aspects of the Mayan culture. After the ruins, we had a meal at the Olde Belize River tavern and then we rode down the Old Belize River in a boat. We saw many types of wildlife, including fresh-water crocodiles, herons, monkeys, bats, iguanas, and even a manatee. Very enjoyable for all.

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Petersburg, Florida
1 review
“Altun Ha Mayan ruins”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 15, 2012

We took a tour of the ruins with Experience Belize Tours and they were fantastic. The guide, Allen, is a native of Belize and very knowledgeable about the native flora and natural cures used by the people of Belize. We didn't realize that tour guides must be licensed and pass a test on Belizean flora, fauna, history and Mayan culture to get their licenses. He was patient when our cruise ship was delayed and, therefore, we were delayed arriving for the tour. He was also super friendly and accommodating about taking pictures of us after we'd climbed to the top of the ruins. Very nice man and very conscientious about getting us back to the cruise ship on time. Highly recommended!

Visited November 2012
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New York / New Jersey
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
33 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Great ruins - great experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

We stayed at the Maruba Spa and booked the Altun Ha trip as an extra. We went at 3:30pm and it was the best time to go! We still had great sunlight and we literallly had the place to ourselves! It takes approx 30 minutes to get there and there are many souvenier shops to purchase some beautiful crafts etc. Four of the shops stayed open and waited for us to finish our tour with our guide from the Spa (who was excellent by the way!). You really get to learn about the temple and living spaces and the history. This is the Mayan ruin where the largest jade head sculpture was found (I don't know what museum it's in now). There are other ruins and packages offered by the Maruba Spa but this one was the most convenient if you don't want an entire day trip. Wear comfortable hiking shoes and plenty of bug spray! Also, there is a $5Belize entry fee as of this writing.

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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