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“Delightful and Educational!” 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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Top Rated
$75*
and up
Altun Ha and Belize City Half-Day Tour
Type: Ancient Ruins, Cultural
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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.
Orlando, Florida
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Delightful and Educational!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2013

We visited Altun Ha ruins as part of a Royal Caribbean cruise excursion. It is a long drive from Belize City to the ruins, but the busses were very comfortable and air conditioned. Our guide kept up a running commentary on the sights and fun facts about Belize as we passed through the city and on into the back roads to get to the ruins.

Once there, we all received a free bottled water to keep us hydrated. Another guide oriented us to the site and provided interesting history and background. We were then given some time to wander around on our own. This is a much smaller ruin site than others we’ve experienced, but well maintained and you are allowed to climb to the top of the pyramids. The site is in the middle of the rain forest and we were warned not to go too far off the beaten track. (I don’t know if there really were wild animals lurking around but regardless, the dense brush did not look inviting.)

There are a few souvenir stands and snack options. I recommend trying the "ghetto pringles" .(banana chips) - I usually don't like banana flavored anything but these were awesome!! I wish we'd bought more than one bag.

I would recommend this trip to get a flavor of Belize and its history, but I have enjoyed and learned more from other sites I’ve visited in Mexico.

Visited February 2013
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Bere Regis, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Fairly decent ruins but not worth making your own way there!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

We travelled to Altun Ha independently in our four wheel drive car. The road is not too bad for Belize but, because the site is close to the port, it is on the agenda for the cruise ships. Coach after coach speed along the single track and if you don't get off the road they will hit you! We have heard stories of the incidents and the locals say it is too dangerous to travel on. With hind sight we would agree with them.

The site itself is interesting and has some good areas to explore. But definately not worth endangering life for. We have awarded the site 3 stars because it is quite good and should not be marked down because of the detrimental effect of the cruise ships.

There is a cafe just outside of the site to purchase food and drink.

Visited January 2013
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Kent Coast
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Altun Ha plus river trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

I booked this all-day, two part excursion on the cruise ship, travelling as a single. Although I'd already visited Chichen Itza, I also enjoyed this much smaller site. Trees provided much welcome shade as we listened to our guide, and there was the opportunity (which no longer exists at Chichen Itza) to climb to the top of a pyramid. No problems getting up (I'm well into my 60's!) but coming down I wished I'd worn more grippy shoes! Lovely views from the top and no Elf and Safety nonsense!
The staff at the restaurant by the river seemed a bit overwhelmed by our party, and the food was a bit school dins, but the souvenir stalls were selling the most beautiful beadwork!
I was as usual a bit sceptical about any trip that promised sightings of wildlife, but the boat trip certainly didn't disappoint. Excellent views from all parts of the boat, a guide and 2 spotters ensured that we spotted monkeys, iguanas, crocodiles, plus several species of bird, dolphins and manatees. A wonderful day out!

Visited October 2012
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Katy, Texas
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Worth Every Penny”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

We visited the ruins as part of an last minute excursion. We had an awesome tour guide who gave us a tour of the city and stopped at several places so that we could sample the local beer, fruit and wine.

It was obvious that our tour guide and the local places he stopped were giving each other kickbacks, but we dint care - It added to the depth of the tour.

It was a 45 minute bus ride to the ruins from the docs. Along the way, our tour guide explained the neighborhoods and the business districts, along with a string of other facts about Belize that tourist wouldn't ordinary know. When we arrived at the ruins, there were they typical gift shops and tourist bars. The local brews were around $3 and worth trying. Once the tour got started, we were overwhelmed (in a good way) about ruin facts. Our Tour guide was extremely knowledgeable on the ruins and indiginouse plants. He even stopped at particular trees to explain there medicinal uses - very fascinating.

We were given about 20 minutes to climb a few of the ruins for photo ops and to take a closer look before continuing the tour. He spent a lot of time discussing the local plants and trees and the ancient uses of them. He went as far as to picking leaves and crushing them to allow us to smell/taste what he was talking about. Afterwords, we were given another 20 minutes to climb the ruins again or head to the ancient lake for photos.

Afterwords, we were given a half hour to shop and get refreshments before heading back. On the way back, he took us by the airport and the colorful part of Belize city before taking us back to the docs.

There were about 10 of us in the bus and everyone was extremely pleased with the ruin tour.

Note: We did not book this excursion as part of the cruise. We went with one of the many people on the docs selling excursions. We paid about $40 per person. Total excursion time was around 5 hours.

Enjoy!

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Kendra and Curtis”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

We booked the River Wallace and Altun Ha excursion through our cruise ship. We chose it because of the river experience as well as the Mayan ruin tour. The bus ride to the ruins was initially over paved roads and then went to pave/unpaved? roads full of potholes. Not a good experience for someone who suffers from motion sickness! The ruins themselves were small but interesting. Our guides Kendra and Curtis seemed knowledgeable and presented the history in an entertaining manner. We were able to climb the sacrificial temple steps up to the top. I wouldn't recommend that for an older or out-of-shape person in the summer with both heat and humidity! I was not disappointed in the experience. Thoroughly enjoyed the boat ride back to Belize City. We saw many sightings of alligators, or is it crocodiles!, howler monkeys, orange and green iguanas, egrets, and even a few manatees when we got closer to the cruise ship.

Visited January 2013
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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