Are there any ruins on the Ambergris Caye or do you have to go to the mainland??
There is a very small Mayan site on Ambergris. I'm glad to see people are working on it, but, it is not an impressive site.
I love the day trip to the Mayan site of Lamanai from Ambergris. Long day, but, lots of fun. The past two trips, we've seen manatees on the way. Also, lots of birds, crocodiles. On site, more birds and howler monkeys. The site itself is really neat, also, lots of shade, which is certainly appreciated.
Thank you for your info. We are trying to keep our costs low. Could you take the day tour and go to the mainland by ferry for the day or would that not coordinate with times and locations??
You could take the water taxi to Belize City and arrange a tour from there. It's a long ways to Lamanai. From Ambergris, it's an hour to the mainland, another 45 minutes by bus/van, then 26 miles up the river on another boat.
If you're looking to save money, Altun Ha is much closer, although a small site. Lots of tour companies would take you from Belize City, but, I don't know any details.
We did Altun Ha once by finding a cab driver we liked in Belize city and having him take 4 of us there and do a lunch stop on the way home and a mini tour of Belize city by cab. I do not remember what he charged but it was a fun way to do the tour.
Altun Ha tour cost us $60 each. The guide was pleasant but misinformed. It's a very long ride (1 hour and 15 minutes) to go look at a bunch of Rocks for a couple hours. Wife took pictures and I swatted biting flies. She left with pics, and coconut water and I took back a bunch of bug bites. Scratching gave me something to do on the 75 minute ride back to Belize City. Unless you enjoy history and ancient cultures you should probably skip the ruins. The ruins at Tulum in Mexico are spectacular. Belize not so much.
There are also other Maya sites on the mainland. Lamanai is relatively far since you would need to travel to Belize City (1hr to 1.5 hours boat ride), then to Orange walk (1.5 hours bus ride), then a 2 hr boat ride through the new river and that is not including waiting time at the terminals. If you would have the time and money, Lamanai is surely worth a visit.
But if you are on budget in terms of time and money, then Altun Ha is pretty good as well. You would need to travel to Belize City (1hr to 1.5 hours boat ride) and get a guide to take you to the site (which is about 25 miles of highway and 15 miles of a small curvy road)
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