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ATM with 2 boys, 10 and 13

Marblehead...
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ATM with 2 boys, 10 and 13

Please don't think me ignorant or shallow... We are going to Belize (first trip) in Feb and staying at Caves Branch. Each day we choose an adventure. My kids will love the zip lining and cave tubing but I am worried that the ruins will be lost on them. I am not sure they (or I, quite honestly) will appreciate them. Do you have to have a keen interest in history to really appreciate the age and I'm sure, grandeur if them? I'm afraid my kids will see them and feel like .... Seen one ruin you've seen 'em all. What makes ATM so enrapturing?

The Dalles, Oregon
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for Guatemala, Belize
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1. Re: ATM with 2 boys, 10 and 13

ATM isn't a Maya ruin, it's a cave with a creek flowing through it; you swim to enter, then scramble up the rocks and boulders upstream until you climb to a dry section which has 1000 year old pottery, bones, and skulls, plus a complete crystallized skeleton of a young female sacrifice victim. What's not to love? My photos start here and end with a photo of the hike out:

flickr.com/photos/…set-72157622234749818

Lots of kids love Maya sites, too, because you can climb and see forever over the top of the jungle.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: ATM with 2 boys, 10 and 13

If kids learn and read and have their curiosity piqued before a trip, it will help them appreciate what they are experiencing. But, if you aren't interested in the history of these monuments, chances are they won't be either.

The Dalles, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Guatemala, Belize
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11,148 posts
327 reviews
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3. Re: ATM with 2 boys, 10 and 13

Consider these:

amazon.com/Play-Belize-Mesa-Somer/…0615198546

rainforestpublications.com/belizeFieldGuides…

San Francisco...
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4. Re: ATM with 2 boys, 10 and 13

How do you (and they) feel when you read about and look at photos? If it doesn't excite you, that's ok. I think it's amazing that the ancient ruins are accessible to the public. Maybe you can rent a video on the Mayan people to gauge your (and their) interest.

Edited: 7:41 pm, November 17, 2012
Merida, Yucatan
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5. Re: ATM with 2 boys, 10 and 13

Here's a link for the Mayan site you were probably referring to. Mayan culture seems to be everywhere in 2012 due to their prophesies. I'd be surprised if your boys' interest wasn't piqued by a visit.

http://www.belizex.com/xunantunich.htm

Portland, Oregon
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6. Re: ATM with 2 boys, 10 and 13

ATM is only one part of the experience and your kids might well love walking the ruins even in the "minor" sites. We really enjoyed exploring Cahal Pech and felt like archeologists discovering the next chamber and the maze of entrances into the rooms. There was so much great information and knowledgable people around, probably due to the 12/21/12 mania, and that made it even more enjoyable. One of my daughter's faves was spending time with a local slate carver who made a jaguar Mayan calendar and took the time to explain how and why it worked. And having hotels with pools was a brilliant move so that all of us relaxed at the end of the day.

San Diego...
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7. Re: ATM with 2 boys, 10 and 13

We went to Belize when our son was 13. He hates to be lectured by adults (tunes right out) and loves to be in charge. With that in mind, we had an organized tour in Tikal, but gave him the job of spotting wildlife. He found animals the guide didn't, and ended up loving the trip. He also had more energy than us, so he climbed more ruins and took pics for us from the top. Later in our trip, we went to Xunantanich. We let him be our guide. He could make stuff up if he wanted to, we didn't care. We just wanted him to engage. It worked beautifully. Know your kids and adjust your plans to fit their desires. Have a blast!

8. Re: ATM with 2 boys, 10 and 13

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