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“Altun Ha and River Wallace tour”
Review of Altun Ha Ruins

Altun Ha Ruins
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Altun Ha and Belize City Tour
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Owner description: This collection of temples and other buildings is one of the most well-known Mayan ruins in Belize.
Reviewed March 8, 2010

My wife and I took this tour on Feb 25 and while we had a good time it was just OK. We booked the excursion from our cruise ship, the Carnival Glory out of convenience. First, my minor gripe - the bus ride out to Altun Ha would have been amazing (looking out the window at the sights) except the tour guide kept giving useless info (e.g., about the dates hotels were built, about empty lots, etc.), and so she kept talking the whole ride out which was annoying. Stupid childish jokes too.

Ok, that personal pet peeve aside, the key issue for us was that we spent little time at Altun Ha. We were given a walking tour - it moved along quite quickly and there wasn't any time to walk around and absorb the scene. There are local merchants at the site hocking crafts and cashew wine, etc, but the tour guide wouldn't give people time to browse explaining tight schedules in terms of meeting up with the tour taking the reverse direction so that we could use their boat and they could use our bus. But it was clear that the tour company has a kick-back deal to steer customers to this Black Orchid hotel where the tour is taken to buy lunch and where there are things for sale. In other words, they cut you short at Altun Ha so you spend your cash at the Black Orchid.

The boat ride was just ok. You get to see some wildlife (small crocs, birds, iguanas, manatees, etc), but the sightings were undramatic and the trip largely uneventful. If you want to see the ruins my advice is to find a tour company that will allow you the time to properly experience them. I'm sorry I didn't go cave tubing instead. If you're on a cruise that goes to Mexico there are Mayan ruin excursions with lots of historical info.

5  Thank robpink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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in 146 reviews
"altun ha"
in 41 reviews
"our tour guide"
in 57 reviews
"sun temple"
in 8 reviews
"sun god"
in 14 reviews
"small site"
in 9 reviews
"cruise ship"
in 50 reviews
"vendors selling"
in 8 reviews
"well worth the trip"
in 14 reviews
"river wallace"
in 14 reviews
"beautiful site"
in 9 reviews
"mayan site"
in 22 reviews
"black orchid resort"
in 8 reviews
"mayan culture"
in 24 reviews
"interesting history"
in 8 reviews
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in 7 reviews
"belikin beer"
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657 - 661 of 744 reviews

Reviewed January 20, 2010

We booked this excursion via the internet. I'd never done that before so I was a little nervous - but the trip was great. Our guide (Jenny) was wonderful; the lunch we were served was tasty (I cleaned my plate). The roads are pretty bumpy and narrow, so don't expect a smooth ride. Jenny made several stops when she noticed photo ops and she also knew about the medicinal uses for several plants in the area. We had 4 children (ages 9-15) and they enjoyed the tour very much. The place where we had lunch has some very pretty gardens, too. When they tell you to bring insect repellant they aren't kidding! LOTS of mosquitoes.

1  Thank Luvs2Cruze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2009

We visited the last week of December 2009, took a Carnival cruise ship shore excursion [Altun Ha & Belize City Tour—the guides wore bright yellow shirts] , overall a good trip, we had great guides on the bus, very knowledgeable and funny. We saw a most of the city in a short time. We didn’t get to stop and get out in town but knew this beforehand. Then about a 20 mile trip to the Mayan ruins. The ruins are not as quite as grand [or as modernly rebuilt] as many on the mainland. But just the same, very impressive and well worth the trip. The bus guides walked with us the entire way and gave a great deal of information. This site is similar in size to Tulum but not as ‘reconstructed’. A great view from on top of the great pyramid. Many flowers and clean bathrooms. My only complaint is I wish I had more time at the site [we had about 1 hour + there]. The only other complaint is that the relics dug up at the site have been put into the museum in Belize City—they have photos at the ruins –and there was no tour where we could go to the museum and the site. I don’t know why they haven’t thought of this ?? Take your camera, a fresh battery, and a big memory card.

HIGHLIGHT: we bought a couple of wood carvings at the edge of the parking lot and paid ½ the price of what they were trying to charge at the cruise ship docks.

Would I go back? Definitely

1  Thank gebarn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2009

Vitalino was a great tour guide. He was very knowledgeable. The ruins were amazing. I could have spent all day just sitting on the top, looking out over the area. Make sure you bring lots of DEET. The peddlers aren't too aggressive and there are some nice souvenirs available (although, most of them have very little to do with Mayan culture).

My one complaint would be that I wish there was more printed information. I didn't find any sort of welcome center where you could read up on the site. The tour guide was very helpful, but I wish there were more signs/placards with posted information.

If you're in the area, it's definitely worth an hour or two of your time.

Thank weber19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 20, 2009

My son & I stopped at Belize while on a cruise. We took a shore excursion thru Carnival (Legend) to Altun Ha & River Wallace. The tour runs in reverse depending on what you do first bus/boat. We got the boat tour down river wallace first. We had a great time. The weather was nice not too hot. We saw croc's,manatees,howler monkies,fruit bats & various birds. It took about 1 1/2 hours & then stopped at the Black Orchid Resort for a pitstop. We had lunch & walked around. It was clean & maintained. We then left on the bus to go to Altun Ha. Our guide for the whole trip was named Rudi. He was very knowledgeable & funny. It took 45 mins. to get to the ruins. I love history & felt like I got my $ worth. We walked around the sites & enjoyed the views. There are bathrooms present on site. Several children (6) were asking for gum when we stepped away to use the restroom. I gave them crackers/peanuts & $1 each. We left for the 1 hour 15 min. ride back to the city. It was good Friday so most places were closed. We didn't have time to shop at the port due to running behind on schedule. Didn't want to get left behind.

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

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