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Mayan Ruins & Rain Forest Adventures

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Lamanai Ruins Jungle River Trip

Now, this one's a real adventure. The trip takes you across the Ambergris Caye lagoon and up the Norther Mangrove River to Bomba Village. From there it's a bumpy but fun ride in a generally non air-conditioned van or bus to the New River Junction. This is where the already interesting tour gets really good! The New River is a true jungle waterway through the heart of Belize. You'll have the chance to see crocodiles, herons, jabiru storks, ospreys, howler monkeys, spider monkeys, bats, raccoons, coatis and many other interesting animal and bird species on this magical watery highway.

The river widens into an inland lagoon as the boat approaches Lamanai Outpost Lodge, and from there it's a short hike with our experienced and expert guides through the muggy and beautiful rainforest to the ruins themselves. The animal life around this protected area of Belize is abundant, and you might get as close as 20 feet to the howler monkeys with care. You might need ear defenders, though...for their size there is no noisier animal on this earth! The bellow of a howler monkey has to be heard to be believed, and most of the time they seem to do it just for fun.

The ruins almost seem like they should be just a sideshow after all this animal activity, but in fact they are impressive in size and dominate the jungle around them. Your guide will tell you all about their history much better than this short introduction can ever hope to do.

Trips typically return to San Pedro around 5:30pm. Bring rainwear, bug repellent, snacks (if you like a mid-morning nibble), towel and sunscreen. Trip price includes soft drinks, water, rum punch. Lunch is also included.

Prices are usually around $125.00US per person. Departures 4 or 5 times weekly. Contact Maya Tours for more info.

Altun Ha Ruins & Jungle Spa

This wonderfully balanced day excursion departs at 8:30am 3 or 4 times a week and takes you across San Pedro Lagoon and up the Northern Mangrove River. Here you'll get the chance to see some of the exotic flora and fauna of Belize while cruising at walking pace along this incredibly peaceful and virgin waterway.

The boat docks at little Bomba Village where a definitely non-air-conditioned van or bus will take you to Altun-Ha Mayan Ruins to view some spectacularly hurricane-proof temples. This site was important as a trading center for the Mayan people, and even in today's skyscraper age the size and solidity of some of the temples you'll see are impressive. Your highly experienced guide will fill you in on the gory details of sacrifices and wars and random bloodlettings that the Mayans sometimes delighted in.

After that it's off to lunch at Maruba Jungle Spa Resort. Bring swimwear...there's a great little swimming pool with waterfall where you can cool down after all that temple climbing. You'll also have the chance to view and buy Belizean handicrafts.

The trip returns to San Pedro around 5:00pm. Bring rainwear, bug repellent, snacks (if you like a mid-morning nibble), lunch money, ruins fee ($5.00US), towel, sunscreen and swimwear . Trip price includes soft drinks, water, rum punch.

Price are around $60.00US per person.

Contact Maya Tours for more info.

Other Maya Sites:

Cahal Pech
Cahal Pech Ruin ( Place of the Ticks)
The Royal Mayan Ruin can be combined with a trip to the Belize Zoo or with a Cave Tubing excursion for a complete day of adventure.

Xunantunich ( Maiden of the rock)
Is the country's finest Mayan ruin and is situated 6 miles west of Cahal Pech Village. It is easily accessible and is reached by crossing a hand cranked ferry. It's main temple El Castillo looms 39m above the plaza level and gives a spectacular view of the surrounding jungle and the town of Melchor in Guatemala.

El Pilar
El Pilar remains unexcavated and lies in 50 acres of forest. It consists of 15 courtyards, a ball court and a number of temples and palaces. The tallest of these reaching 21m above the plaza. You will be amazed at what you learn. Horse back tours or vehicle hire is advised.

Cave Tubing
Float through spectacular caves viewing wondrous stalagmites and stalactites formations and grand crystal caverns 100 ft across. The Maya believed these caves were the entrace to the Underworld. Come and see why.

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