I was really looking forward to our trip to Lamanai. I love ruins! Our condotel office guy arranged the trip for us, and I had heard good things about Searious here on Trip Advisor so I was not worried.
Unfortunately things started to go downhill rather quickly. It started off with a nice boat ride to the mainland (pick up 7amish, 60min ride). When you reach the mainland you start a short cruise up a river. At this point they serve you breakfast. Here is where things started to go wrong. One of the tour leaders says "I am putting the food at the front of the boat come and get it". No organization or further direction to a boat holding 25 people. Needless to say it was total chaos, and being a polite person I got the shaft! No breakfast for me or the other 5 polite people on the boat!
Next you stop at a dock to get a ride to your various destinations (3 tours share the mainland boat ride then split off at this point). One of the guides directs us to our rides. I watch as he points out a nice comfy air conditioned van (it is 90+ and HUMID) to group 1, a nice comfy air conditioned van to group 2, and a crappy old school bus to you guessed it my group! "Ok, ok it is an adventure" I'm thinking at this point, "It won't be that bad just a short ride to our next stop". We get on the bus and my husband asks "How long is the bus ride?" Our answer 60 minutes. Ok what the? 60 minutes on a run down school bus with no AC? I suck it up and put on a smile we are going to see some ruins soon.
Next stop is another boat ride. Before I state the next tragedy, I will say I am not sure Searious runs this boat ride. I think they contract it out to a local company. That being said, it is Searious' responsibility to make sure they are contracting out to a company that will provide quality service if they want to maintain their reputation. Ok final 60 minute boat ride to the Lamani ruins. We are cruising along when it starts to rain, not their fault BUT considering it is the rainy season you think they would be prepared with enough rain jackets to accommodate everyone on the boat. NOPE!! So again being considerate and patient fellow travelers my husband and I get the shaft and spend the next hour contorting our bodies to fit under a shared jacket. I wouldn't have bothered except that we are flying down the river and the rain feels like shards of glass when it hits your skin.
Finally we arrive at Lamanai. At this point my patience has worn thin and I am tired of getting screwed so when lunch is served I sprint to the front of the line and serve myself (I was still considerate and only took my fair share!) Finally some good news to report! The food was excellent! Our tour guide was really knowledgeable and passionate about the ruins, although he did kind of sprint through the tour. I think there was pressure to meet back up with the other two tour groups.
The ride back was just as horrible. Again with the shared rain coat on the boat. The crappy school bus with no AC, which was worse this time because it was raining and all the windows had to be closed! The final boat ride wasn't much better because it continued to rain and this time all we had was a giant tarp that had to be draped over everyone!
In conclusion, I had an excellent time at the ruins, but the trip there and back was totally awful. Considering that it was 6 hours of our day (3 hours there, 3 hours back) I don't know what the heck I paid for!! They could have made the ride much more comfortable with a few simple considerations, and I would have been 100% satisfied with what I paid. There are many tour operators going to Lamanai from San Pedro. Do your research and get a detailed description of what is going to happen straight from the horses mouth before you book. Our condotel office guy felt really bad about what happened I think he will be thinking twice before recommending Searious Adventures again.
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