I came to Belize on a cruise, and wanted to make the most out of my day. I had been to the zoo before, and because it was so awesome, I wanted to go back. But I also wanted to see something new, and was particularly interested in seeing some of the amazing Mayan ruins in Belize. I chose Altun Ha because I heard it was relatively accessible, and I do have some mobility issues. I'm so glad I did this trip, and had Kingsley from UpClose Belize as my guide! We got in earlier than expected, because ship time and local time were off by two hours. We called and Kingsley came and met us immediately, even though the other passenger in our group wasn't expected for over an hour. Kingsley took us for a delicious breakfast at a local restaurant and kept us entertained until we were ready to start. After picking up our other passenger, we headed towards Altun Ha. At our request, Kingsley stopped by a little store and helped us by some drinks and snacks for the day. Once at Altun Ha we began our tour of the ruins. The ruins were beautiful and very complete. Kingsley was very knowledgeable about the ruins and the culture, as well as the history of the region. He told us all about the ruins, and took lots of great pictures of us in front of them. Altun Ha is pretty accessible (I walk with a cane and have back issues) so it was easy to get around. My friend and the other passenger were able to climb to the top of the ruins for some amazing views, while Kingsley found me a nice place to sit in the shade, with great views of the temples. Everyone got to see what they wanted and learn a lot, then off to the zoo!
The Belize Zoo is AMAZING. It is basically carved right our of the jungle. All the animals are local to Belize, and are rescued animals; some were former pets, some injured by hunters or poachers, some orphaned. The animals are literally in their natural habitat. The paths wind through dense foliage, and the wire fences allow you to get really close to the animals, if they choose to come out of their hiding place! Kingsley showed us all around the zoo, telling us about the animals, even telling us their names and individual history. He was really good at spotting the animals, which are pretty well camoflauged! I got to pet a tapir and get up close to many cool animals. Just as we were ending, it started POURING rain. It was a welcome relief from the heat (it was really, really hot) and we were able to get into the visitor center. Kingsley had ordered us lunch, and we ate a delicious traditional Belizean meal of chicken, rice, beans and potato salad. He got us back in time for us to get back to the boat without stress. It was a fabulous day, and our guide was awesome. He always made sure we were comfortable, that we saw everything, that we got great pictures, and were happy! I would definitely use this company again, and ask for Kingsley!