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Ruin-ing my trip? (too many ruins for 9-10 days?)

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Ruin-ing my trip? (too many ruins for 9-10 days?)

We're thinking of spending approx 4-5 nights in San Ignacio, including 1 night in Tikal, and approx 4 nights in Ambergris Caye.

Each ruin sounds unique and interesting in its own way so I'm having a hard time keeping the list small. Would it be too much to fit in:

- Xunantunich (1/2 day tour, w/ second half as Barton Creek Caves)

- Caracol (full day tour as I understand it)

- Yaxha+Tikal (overnight trip)

- Lamanai tour (full day from Ambergris Caye)

- Cahal Pech (our hotel will probably be fairly close to there anyway)

Should I take anything off the list? Which ones should we get guides for and which could we do by ourselves? I'm not sure if we'll have a rental car or not, so we may still have to find transportation one way or another.

Just FYI, Our other activities may include: San Ignacio markets 1 morning, ATM cave tour (or is Barton too similar?), Belize Zoo on the way from SI to AC, Snorkeling. Are there any good spots to go casual canoeing on Ambergris Caye?

Davie, Florida
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1. Re: Ruin-ing my trip? (too many ruins for 9-10 days?)

you need to spend some time on gmaps looking the place over. no canoeing on AC but you can kayak. look at the ruins on gmaps and you tube.

Edited: 9:14 pm, December 30, 2011
The Dalles, Oregon
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2. Re: Ruin-ing my trip? (too many ruins for 9-10 days?)

I think that's too much, or would be for most folks. If you're a real ruins junky and that's your main priority you could fit them all in. Here's 1 way to look at it:

5 nights = 4 full days, likely 2 of which you'll be spending visiting Tikal/Yaxha. That leaves 2 full days from San Ignacio plus the day you head out. Using one day to see the market and local ruins would work (I'd do that before Tikal, though), then I'd spend the other doing the ATM cave trip which imo is not to be missed:

http://pacztours.net/actun-tunichil-muknal/

If you want to use a day to visit Caracol you'll have to cut something else out.

We enjoyed Lamanai but didn't visit there our 1st trip. You know you're going to want to come back, right? Once you get to the island I would just snorkel and relax instead of leaving again for another hot, long travel day.

That's my 2 cent's worth (4 Belize cents)...

Davie, Florida
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3. Re: Ruin-ing my trip? (too many ruins for 9-10 days?)

i enjoyed the trip to lamanai from AC, got to see some countryside and the river trip portion was also interesting

Placencia, Belize
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4. Re: Ruin-ing my trip? (too many ruins for 9-10 days?)

Re guides, yes, a guide will help you get a LOT ore out of your visit. Essential really. Also read up beforehand, the sites (we try not to call them ruins) will make a lot more sense to you.

Davie, Florida
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5. Re: Ruin-ing my trip? (too many ruins for 9-10 days?)

one interesting thing i learned is the maya didnt have the broom which ultimately led to their downfall as the cities got covered up by jungle debris.

US
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6. Re: Ruin-ing my trip? (too many ruins for 9-10 days?)

thanks for the comments! I think I'm leaning towards eliminating Caracol and Lamanai from the list. My wife didn't like the idea of a 2 hr bumpy ride to and from Caracol taking up the full day. And if we are in AC for the last portion of our trip, I don't think Lamanai would impress us after seeing Tikal - and it sounds like another tiring travel day as well.

If it makes any difference, I do think this will be our one and only visit to Belize - we have a lot of other places on our "to do" list and definitely don't have the money for repeats unfortunately. We recently went to Costa Rica and got to experience some of the rain forest, zip lining, waterfall rappelling, etc so that's why we're focusing on snorkeling, caves, and Mayan sites.

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7. Re: Ruin-ing my trip? (too many ruins for 9-10 days?)

I just read a post from ~May 2011 talking about some violence and drug cartel activities near/on the way to Tikal. Does anyone know what the safety has been like over the last few months? Is it still OK to do the overnight trip?

The Dalles, Oregon
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8. Re: Ruin-ing my trip? (too many ruins for 9-10 days?)

Folks have continued to visit and I haven't heard of any bad experiences for a long time - I'd go if I was you. Consider contacting archaeologist/naturalist Roxy Ortiz for your Tikal/Yaxha time - she's amazingly knowledgeable and great company. Happy trails!

www.tikalroxy.blogspot.com

9. Re: Ruin-ing my trip? (too many ruins for 9-10 days?)

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