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“Amazing tour with Lamanai Belize Tours!”

Lamanai Belize Tours
Ranked #6 of 79 Tours in Belize City
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Best Tours to Lamanai Maya Ruins Archaeological Site in Belize. We cater to anyone including cruise liners. We offer a river adventure on the way to Lamanai, as you explore the mystic Maya world in an exciting way.
Lehi, Utah
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Amazing tour with Lamanai Belize Tours!”
Reviewed March 22, 2014

We came in on the Carnival Dream and were picked up immediately by Julian. He drove us for about an hour to the boat dock and then 45 min by speed boat to the site (FUN!). He was great at helping us feel comfortable and was very informative. They served us a great lunch and the price for the tour was very reasonable. The tour of Lamanai was so great! This is a must in Belize!

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Jeffrey M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Fort Collins, Colorado
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“LamanaiBelizeTours.com is awesome!”
Reviewed March 21, 2014

My wife, 6 year old daughter, and I took a tour with Elio and Ian to see the ruins. What a great day! We were staying on Ambergris Caye, so we got to Belize City on our own, where we were met at the dock by Elio. He drove us in his Honda CRV (air conditioned) to Orange Walk where we met 3 others for the boat ride with Ian piloting us upriver to Lamanai. Their mother's lunch of stew chicken, rice and beans, plantains, slaw, and habanero salsa was fantastic. Elio then craftily took us on the tour opposite the direction the large cruise ship groups were going and soon our group of 7 was alone in the forest and ruins. We climbed the Great Temple, saw howler monkeys, learned about many forest plants, and thoroughly enjoyed the sights. We were the last people to leave the site, and the silence and space was amazing. A quick stop in the little shops and some more water before riding back down the river through a brief rain burst and then clear dry skies... We saw a small crocodile and shared oranges with a spider monkey, and spotted more than a few snakes and fish in the river on the ride back.

Most important of all to us... at every point in the day Elio did a truly fantastic job of sharing his love and knowledge of his country with us - endless tidbits of local knowledge (plants, animals, climate, schools, jobs, history) and warm and engaged conversation that was without doubt the highlight of our entire trip to Belize. We really enjoyed the small, family feel of the tour we took with this team!

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Kevin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peoria, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Lamanai Belize Tours is the Best!! (lamanaibelizetours.com)”
Reviewed March 18, 2014

Just took a Western Caribbean Cruise on the Dawn. In Belize we booked Lamanai Belize Tours with Elio to see the Lamanai Mayan Ruins. We were picked up at the port and then headed north for a 1 hr informative van ride. Then we got on a speed boat with expert captain Jullian for a 26 mi ride down New River to the area of the Ruins. Upon arrival, a delicious picnic lunch prepared by Elio's mother was waiting, even including ice cold Coke!! After lunch we first visited the Lamanai Archaeological Museum. Our tour guide Andres, an archeologist, was former manager and very proud to show us around. From the museum we headed up the hill to the Ruins. Important tip!! This is not recommended for those with walking or stability issues. My husband should have stayed at the picnic area but we did not realize the level of difficulty. Once you start, there is no easy way to return before completing the Ruins loop. Also recommend you board the speedboat 2 hours before you want to return to your ship. Wear shoes you can hike in & bring bug spray. We did not notice any bugs when we were there but maybe it was because we did spray ourselves. It is a very interesting and educational tour! Highly recommend Lamanai Belize Tours, a nice family run business.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank mary o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carleton Place, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 115 helpful votes
“Lamanai Tour Through Norwegian Cruise line”
Reviewed March 15, 2014

We did Lamanai in January. We sailed on the Norweigen Jewel to Belize.
We opted to do the ship sponsored tour

There is always mention of how long the day is.
I would like to clear that up a bit.
Yes it is a 7.5 hour tour. However it is very well run, and is really like 3 tours in one.
I went to Chichen Itza in Mexico and THAT was a long drawn out miserable day.
Long bus ride, stops at tourist traps and unbelievable crowds.

Lamanai was the exact opposite.

The first part of the day is a panoramic bus tour of the city. You drive through the city from the port to get to the river. It is only about an hour ride which flies by as the guide is pointing out things of interest and explaining life and culture in Belize.

Then you arrive at the river and are treated to a very fun speedboat ride up the river.
The boats are fast and it's great fun to ride through the mangrove jungle. The drivers stop several times to point out interesting things along the river, including an old order Amish community and wild life.

We stopped to see a spider Monkey. I happened to have a banana in my bag so I offered it to see if we could entice the monkey to come closer. Which it did. Right up to the boat. Great picture ops and a lot of fun to watch a wild monkey in his natural habitat.

Depending on the time of year there will be more or less stops for wildlife, based on what is out and about on the day you take the trip.

The speed boat ride and tour of the river lasts about an hour.

Next you arrive at the Site of the ruins. This part of the day includes a hike through the jungle to get to the ruins. It is a lovely 1km hike on good walking paths. Anyone who does not have limited mobility will have no trouble at all. One gentleman in our group had a cane and he made it..a little slower but without difficulty.

On the hike the guide tells you about the area, and the trees and plants and how they affected Maya culture. Very interesting and lovely walk.

As if all that were not enough, you then arrive at the main attraction , the ruins. There are 2 or 3 ( I can't remember which) main sites and the guide will stop and talk about each in detail. Lots of time to take pictures

At one spot the guide will give some history and then allow free time so people can explore the area a bit on their own and those who want can climb the ruins. Something that is not allowed in Mexico.

Then it is time to head back to the boats for a very fast ride back down the river, and a bit of a race with the other boats.

Once you are back you are served lunch. Buffet style which was good...not fantastic, but you don't take this tour for the food :)
And then it is back on the bus for the drive back to port. Which is fairly quick and a great time to reflect on a wonderful day enjoying the nature and beauty of Belize.

This tour is excellent value for the money spent, is extremely well organized, and does not waste time at silly tourist traps like so many others do.
It is a full day of adventure but not a long drawn out day with too much down time.

A couple of tips to make the most of it.

Make sure you bring bug spray..and use it. You will be in the jungle..there are mosquitoes. We had no trouble with bugs because we had our spray.

Bring water! again it is the jungle it is humid and hot...more or less depending on time of year..but always hot and humid.

Throw a light jacket or sweater in your back pack. Some people found it chilly on the speedboat ride on the way back with the wind off the water.

Wear running or hiking shoes ..it is the jungle! You will be walking, hiking, and boating dress appropriately.
We saw people with sandals and flipflops and one lady in high heels....they were not comfortable..but that was their own fault, not the fault of the tour.

You may get wet from the splash of the speed boat...that is part of boating, dress appropriately and throw an extra t -shirt into your bag if you don't like to be wet so you can change or put on a weatherproof jacket.

This is an excellent tour that many people do over and over because it is a wonderful experience and really 3 tours in one.
Make the most of your day in Belize and enjoy all it has to offer.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
6 Thank cdngal44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gainesville, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“An UNBELIZEABLE day!!”
Reviewed March 6, 2014

My husband and I were in Belize for one day on a cruise ship and booked an excursion with Elio. Our Royal Carribean cruise ship offered the tour for $109 each where as Elio offered the same tour for $75 each. We were worried about having to wait for other people on our cruise ship so we ended up paying $100 each to have a car to ourselves.

We were met at the door of the cruise terminal by Elio's eager and happy brother, Julian. He whisked us away to his van and we were on our way. He pointed out things in the city and kept us occupied for the hour long drive. It was interesting to see the city and what Belize is really like. The drive wasn't bad at all - not bumpy and Julian drove very well.

Elio met us at the New River boat dock where we could use the bathroom. A boat with a French family of 4 and a German couple had already left on the New River when we arrived, so Elio said that he would drive us about 15 minutes to meet up with the boat further down the river which we happily agreed to. He drove us through sugar cane fields and told us that they have to burn the fields before harvest because Belize has 57 different types of snakes that lurk amongst the sugar cane. We were also drive through a Mennonite village and farm which was very interesting and Elio told us about the great relationship between the Mennonites and people of Belize (The Mennonites grow 70% of the food for Belize).

We were met at the boat dock by Elio's other brother, Javeer, and his nephew and we joined the 6 other tourists on the trip down the river. The boat ride was very beautiful and perfectly breezy on a hot day. We didn't really see any animals, but it was still a great time. When we arrived at Lamanai we had a delicious lunch of beans and rice (Belize's National dish), chicken, plaintains and potato salad made by Elio, Julian and Javeer's very own mother.

As we set off on our tour all of the cruise tours were leaving and we're so glad we didn't choose to go with the cruise, because there were about 200 people being herded around. We were taken on an incredible tour of the Lamanai ruins where we were able to climb a giant temple, see and hear howler monkeys and learn many things about the history and excavation of the sight (each brother seems to be a well of information). After the leisurely tour we had time to shop in the gift shops and then return to the boat. We went back down the river and had a blue heron fly beside the boat that my husband says he could have reached out and grabbed, it was that close. When we arrived at the Orange Walk dock Elio showed us a tiny humming bird nest with two baby birds nestled inside hanging in a bush.

Julian then whisked us away in his van and walked us all the way back to the terminal door. We never felt rushed and got back about 20 minutes before the last tender, so also had some time to shop at the port.

What I truly love about this company is that it is a family operation by people who grew up on the New River and deeply care about the conservation of Belize's beautiful landscape. They took every opportunity to show and tell us about their amazing culture and left us feeling like we had the "real" Belize experience. You will not regret booking with this company.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank EmilyRH66_86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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