In Belize we took the Altun Ha ruins and Wallace River ride offered by Carnival. This was an excellent choice. We more than got our money’s worth. I am thrifty and was concerned but couldn’t recommend it more. Our guides were very informative. They made the bus ride fun and educational. My husband and I could not decide if it was the 2 hours we had been told it would be or not because it went by so fast. The ruins are climbable (some are not) and the history, geography and company were great. To climb the ruins you need to be somewhat in shape. I surprised myself but was told my face was a bit flushed when I finished. I have to admit the stairs are high and unforgiving. Lunch was served at a local resort which in keeping with Belize had grass covered huts and amazing scenery and gardens. Some howler monkeys joined us in the trees of the garden and ate lunch while looking at us funny. Great pics. The river ride was so fun that when we landed at the dock we were all cheering for more … literally... people were looking at us funny when we pulled in. We saw wildlife of every kind. We even came upon Tapir, the national animal of Belize, locally it is known as the Mountain Cow. The guide said they are seldom ever seen. The photo ops are wonderful but wear rain gear if you are to sit in the back of the boat. The monologue during every phase was so informative. The one reason I would only take this excursion offered by the cruise company is that it is a full day and should anything detain you the boat
We had predetermined our destination as an old mission we wanted to see. I had heard there were local people with horse drawn carriages available. We did not want the 1 or 2 hour city tour, just a ride to and from the church. Although a cab may have been cheaper the older gentleman with his carriage seemed more right . The price everyone was yelling was 45 American each but because we only wanted a short ride with one stop we got it for 45 for the two of us and we tipped 5 dollars. The ride was sweet and gave us a good look at the neighborhoods. Afterward I took advantage of the free wifi at three Amigos on the dock. If you buy food or drink they give you the password. I sat and sent pictures home. When being aggressively approached by local retailers remember this is their key source of income. They are very willing to bargain for prices that are reasonable.
Check the http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/alertswarnings/honduras-travel-warning.html state security level . Be warned and decide for yourself.Excluded due to weather although we had planned not to leave the ship anyway due to government warnings and personal stories we heard of violence against cruisers and cruise staff.
We went off the beaten path here. I booked an excursion with a local group called Native Choice. It was the right choice for us. It was a guided tour of the Chacchoben ruins and an opportunity to explore the local culture at the Mayan community villages inland. The first thing we were told is that the Mayans are not extinct. The culture was altered by invasions of other cultures but the Mayan people are alive and well and living in Belize. They are making every effort to resurrect as many of the old traditions as possible and keep them alive for future generations. What we saw and learned was presented by the community itself and offered an inside look that is rare and very special for just a one day journey. Our guide Joel gave us so much to think about and feel when showing us the ruins. They were very extensive and exposed a view of the realities of Mayan life historically. The drive into the countryside to the villages laid out the contemporary lifestyle the Mayan people are living. You can’t get that from a short drive around a city. The lunch and quick lesson in cooking local cuisine was fun and our hosts were so kind. The kitchen was old traditional woodstove and gave great flavor to the food. The level of cleanliness and care was impeccable. I wish my kitchen were always that clean and organized. I also wish Carnival would give back by hiring this company for their excursions, they did a great job. I wanted this to last longer. This port deserved much more time than Carnival gave it. We were feeling rushed and there was no need as the trip back to Florida left us with much time to spare.