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Xunantunich Mayan Site and Belize Botanic Gardens Tour
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 25, 2013

We went to the Xunantunich Mayan site 2/2013. We drove there by private auto. Prior to crossing the small ferry there are a group of souvenir sellers and we were told to ask for a guide who sells there named Albert Panti. He was available and for a small fee offered to give us a tour of the ruins. Each person in our group also had to pay a nominal fee to enter the ruin site. Albert was absolutely fabulous, the ruins were magnificent and I feel if we had not had him as a guide it would almost have been a wasted day. He has an incredible knowledge base and also has a great sense of humor!
We spent an hour or so touring and it was plenty of time to listen to him, take pictures and ask our many questions.
The climb to the top of the tallest structure is not for the weak of heart, it takes a bit of energy and is very high. I will say, my husband who is uncomfortable with heights made it with no difficulties.
After we walked back down we visited the few gift shops that are on site. There are also restrooms you can use there.
Leave time to see the shops at the water crossing if you like trinket buying.
We went with 4 adults and one 12yr old all of which rated it as a wonderful day.

Thank Cindy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"hand cranked ferry"
in 14 reviews
"el castillo"
in 10 reviews
"mopan river"
in 5 reviews
"tallest structure"
in 5 reviews
"main pyramid"
in 4 reviews
"small hand"
in 3 reviews
"hour bus ride"
in 8 reviews
"visitor center"
in 5 reviews
"decent shape"
in 4 reviews
"take your breath away"
in 2 reviews
"impressive site"
in 2 reviews
"breathtaking views"
in 4 reviews
"tour guide"
in 13 reviews
"beautiful place to visit"
in 2 reviews
"take your time"
in 4 reviews
"up hill"
in 3 reviews
"howler monkeys"
in 10 reviews

138 - 142 of 166 reviews

Reviewed February 25, 2013

Xunantunich is a partially excavated Mayan settlement in the jungle of western Belize. It is amazing to see the temples, the plaza, and the ball court and realize they are 1400 years old. We climbed the temple, which has beautiful, well preserved carvings across the top. From the top of the temple we could see for miles, even into Guatemala. very cool!

Thank Jane J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2013

We did this tour through Carnival when we sailed to Belize on the Dream in October 2012. The ride out and back is long (around 2 hours), but the guides did an excellent job in making the time go by quickly on the way there. They were full of knowledge about the country and any surrounding areas we might have passed. They were interactive, funny, and friendly.

When we got to the site they gave everyone a bottle of water and made sure they counted everybody before getting on the hand cranked ferry to go across the river. After that, air conditioned buses came to take us to the entryway of the ruins, where people stopped to use the restrooms before we continued. Once our group was ready we began a 5-7 minute walk up a hill where we got to check out the surrounding trees (one with a huge termite nest!) and see some of the ruins that were half uncovered. After getting to the top of the hill the first views of the smaller ruins came into view - wow! They were spectacular. We went to three smaller ruins first before heading over to the large one. Each time, our guides spoke about the history, which was quite fascinating. The climb to the top wasn't bad, especially because they had us stop at certain levels to catch our breath and take pictures. The view from the top cannot be described. We heard howler monkeys (crazy!) and could see to Guatemala.

On the way back to the ship we stopped at a local place for lunch. Other tours stopped at this place as well, but we got our food immediately and it was delicious. We were there for maybe 45 minutes before heading back to port.

The bus ride back was rather quiet because everyone was beat from the long day in the humid, hot sun. They got us back to port within an hour of departure. We made sure to tip them on our way off of the bus.

The history is so deep and rich here and it's something you may never see again. Don't hesitate to book this!

1  Thank Jen O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2013

Xunantunich was wonderful. There were tons of different ruins sites within the facility with more to be uncovered. The begining of the site has a bathroom. We had to take a small hand crank ferry to get to the road that leads to the site. Need to be fairly decent shape to get to the top. Very slippery (was some percipitaiton when we went) The view is incredible. Belezian guards guard teh site to help keep tourists safe. Stopped at a local restaurant for lunch. Food was incredible. Wish I was able to see more of the area.

Thank smittenkitten_20
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 28, 2013

The site was really amazing and the guides were very great. We took this tour as part of a Carnival Cruise and it means a long day. The bus ride from the port is 2 hours each way but it is really worth the time. You need to be in fairly decent shape to climb to the top and yes you can climb to the top. It is incredible! If you can't climb to the top you will still enjoy seeing the site and learning the history.

1  Thank LarryG77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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