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“Altun Ha Mayan site Belize City” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Altun Ha Ruins

Altun Ha Ruins
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$125.00*
and up
Private Altun Ha And Cave Tubing from Belize City
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This collection of temples and other buildings is one of the most well-known Mayan ruins in Belize.
mesa az
Level Contributor
323 reviews
80 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
“Altun Ha Mayan site Belize City”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 25, 2013

There are Mayan sites in Belize, Roatan and Cozumel, but Altan
Ha is the most accessible and the easiest terrain for walking around. Note: this is not a sacrificial site you see in movies. This
was one of the largest trade sites in the Mayan world...a large mall
where all kinds of goods were bought and sold. There are also
about a dozen small shops selling native goods and snacks at
the entrance to the site.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank mesatraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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629 reviews from our community

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Cibolo, Texas
Level Contributor
43 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Worth the trip”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2013

Visited the site on a cruise ship tour and enjoyed my trip. Our guide was well informed and the bus trip to the ruins went well. The story of their discovery while quarrying rocks was interesting. unfortunately some of the ruins were destroyed before the discovery was made. I was a little disappointed at first that they had done so much reconstruction, but when it was pointed out that a different type of rock was used so as to make it obvious which part was the reconstruction, I understood a little better as to why they had rebuilt. They were not quite as good as Tulum, but well worth the trip.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank Patsy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Escondido, California, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“March visit of historic ruins”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2013

The ruins are amazing, and the day we went was fairly mild in comparison with other days in Belize. I took an umbrella just in case the sun got too intense, and I was glad that I did...even though we were in the sun just sporadically. Some of the ruins are blocked off from closer examination...which is why I gave this 4 stars. I have some difficulty walking, but managed the majority of the site, although I don't know how a wheelchair would fair as the ground is often uneven with tree roots. We avoided the bus tour group and booked with a private company which I'm sure made all the difference in the world.
I know the arguments against booking tours that are not arranged through the cruise ship; believe me, I don't want to watch my ship sail off into the sunset while leaving me on the docks! The truth is, tours and reviews can be researched on the internet prior to departure, and are often much more intimate and informative...and much less expensive! And for a spontaneous excursion, there are always taxis available at the terminal, ready to take you to the best beach, the best restaurant, etc. I chose Belize Tours after researching the comments on Trip Advisor from their past customers, and Belize Tours did not disappoint. We had a wonderful glimpse into the history of Belize, its landmarks, cuisine and people...curtesy of Natalie, the sister of the company's owner, Nicoli.
I had emailed Nicoli with some concerns about the tour we were interested in taking, due to some limited mobility issues I have. He responded quickly with suggestions and alternatives, telling me exactly what to expect, including the temperature and humidity. Upon booking the excursion, I was surprised when no deposit was requested; they work on the honor system, and are paid in American dollars--simple!
Not accounting for the boat tendering to take about half-an-hour, we were nearly 25 minutes late arriving at the terminal, but Natalie was there as promised...holding a sign with our name on it. She graciously said she was concerned she may have missed us, then cheerfully led us to her air-conditioned Town and Country van, about a two-minute walk away along a level, cobblestone street. We were the only customers on this particular adventure, so we were invited to adjust it as we saw fit: A PRIVATE TOUR! This is more the norm for Belize Tours, and the personal touch was wonderful! I selfishly called "shotgun!"and got a great, front-seat view of everything: downtown Belize, the plant life of the area and the beautiful Belize River. We had a super-sweet trainee join us; also Natalie's mother, Elina, the G. M. of the company.
As stated, our destination was the Mayan ruins, a good distance away along a one-lane highway with two-way traffic! The locals know how to respect the roadway, but some of the non-local drivers were greedy about their space. Natalie says she has to drive for both herself and the "other guy". We arrived safe-and-sound, and were treated to an thorough history of the Mayan People. Natalie's knowledge of the trees and plants and how they were used for crafts and medicinal purposes was entertaining and impressive: She answered every question I lobbed her way! Natalie allowed us to proceed at our own pace and bypass the little shops with vendors just outside the park--something I noticed that the ship-arranged tours would not let you do. She invited us to sip coconut milk directly from the coconut, chew sugarcane, eat a "custard apple" and try freshly-made watermelon juice. We learned which tree-bark to chew if bitten by the deadly Tommy Gulf snake, and how to make our own sunscreen.
On our trip back to the docks Natalie noticed that Gil, the Snake Man, was talking with a young man by the side of the road, and she asked if we would like to stop and see his snake collection. I immediately said yes, and she pulled over (which is another thing the tour buses do not do). Gil had been bitten inside his mouth (don't ask) by the Tommy Goff snake and survived...after spending three days in a deep coma. He still loves his snakes though, and wanted to share his enthusiasm with us. As he handed me one of his "little darlings" I shrank back, but...not wanting to appear rude...steeled myself and gingerly took it, not really noticing that ALL my companions, including my husband, were distancing themselves from me. Gil seemed genuinely delighted, and brought out a couple more. Those two were very squirmy, and I was getting that way too. But when he pulled out the Boa Constrictors, my fear-factor kicked in and I was quite willing to let someone else do the honor of "cuddling" them. Again, no takers...and Gil insisted I'd be fine. My small hands just couldn't keep the snakes comfy, and from the way they were writhing, I don't think they felt very secure either! Happy to give them back to their protector, we hopped back into the van where Natalie liberally squirted disinfectant into my hands while exclaiming that I was her first tourist in three years to hold the snakes! That just shows how bright I am. Duh.
We'd had a pretty interesting day up to this point, then Natalie asked if we were hungry...she wanted to take us to a late lunch! Here we experienced the flavor of fried plantains, red beans and rice, and a mildly spiced roasted chicken. I was disappointed that Elida couldn't join us; she is a very energetic, bright and interesting woman who already seemed a friend. After a leisurely meal, Natalie brought us back to the terminal, giving us both a big hug.
On our next visit to Belize we want to do the zip line and cave tubing tour...one of Natalie's favorites. Top on her list of things to do, though, is snorkeling in the clear, turquoise-green waters! Bring your bug repellent (some of the flies have a big appetite) and sunscreen...and contact Belize Tours. Here's a link: www.discoverbelize.bz, and a phone number: 501-670-2545.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Donna B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
24 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Excellent, far better than Costa Maya”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 11, 2013

We were lucky enouh to have a superb guide in Junior who is doing a BA in Archaeology, but even if you are on your own these ruins are worth seeing. Lots of pyramids and temples, easily accessible as the grass between the structures is flat and well maintained. This is almost as interesting as Teotihuacan, only thing it does not have is an onsite museum.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank imb23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ohio
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Must see ruins”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2013

These ruins are very accessible with a driver who is familiar with the country. They are a must see.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank LBGtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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