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Belize City Lamanai Mayan Ruins Excursion Reviews

Belize City Lamanai Mayan Ruins cruise excursion
Overall Rating
Lamanai is the site of one of the more interesting and picturesque Mayan ruins. Most of the area was not excavated until the mid-1970s, but investigation and restoration efforts were concentrated on the Mask Temple, pictured here.
Member Image comcox
6 reviews
Jan 2016
In Belize City I signed up for the Lamanai Ruins and River Safari as I figured that would be the best chance to see birds. Our tour was the third one out on the tenders and then we were directed to a bus that was a bit late picking us up. I loved the river boat ride even with the light showers and we did pause to see some birds on the way to the ruins 25 miles upstream. Our ruin tour was a bit brief, but we did see what we came to see and then it was back in the boat and a fast and wet ride back to the restaurant for lunch--a very fast 20 minute lunch as we were running late by this point. We arrived back at the dock 5 minutes before the last tender was scheduled to leave and had to run. This was disappointing as many of us wanted to visit the chocolate shop or do other shopping and we thought the tour would be back earlier.
Read comcox's full Norwegian Jade cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image Jeep146
1 review
Nov 2015
Expect a long bus trip and boat ride to the site. Our guide was very good, explaining the culture and history of the country. We made several stops on the water when any animals were seen. The Mayan ruins were interesting with plenty of photo op's. We had lunch which was good. This excursion is not good if you want something fast paced. It's rather a educational excursion, if you want to learn about the Mayan culture.
Read Jeep146's full Norwegian Jade cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image ldedier
1 review
Sep 2015
This was a very nice trip, we enjoyed the day. The biggest thing was they knowledge of the guide was simply outstanding. It was one of those places I can say I have been too.
Read ldedier's full Carnival Dream cruise review
Provider: Eco Tours
Member Image texhusky
1 review
Sep 2015
About 2 1/4 hours travel by bus and boat to get to Lamanai but worth the experience.
Read texhusky's full Navigator of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Island Marketing
Member Image courtneyk1221
1 review
Jul 2015
Lamanai and New River Safari- LOVED IT! Be sure you are prepared for a 1.5 hour(ish) bus ride, and 1.5 hr boat trip to the ruins. The boat trip back is only about 45 minutes. This was really great tour! The tour guide was very informative all the way through Belize and provided a lot of insight into the city. The boat ride was amazing! Saw a few animals, spider monkey, iguanas, etc. Once you arrive at Lamanai, be prepared for a bit of a walk. This excursion was pretty physical actually, but that is probably because we decided to climb the ruins. WHICH WERE AMAZING! This was my husband's birthday and he absolutely LOVED IT! Great excursion, great guides, great food!
Read courtneyk1221's full Navigator of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image tommyrk
1 review
May 2015
long ride, short time at the ruins but still worth the trip.
Read tommyrk's full Navigator of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image mironosica
1 review
Apr 2015
Bus was not too conditioned. Tendering boat was crowded. But finally it was OK. Roads in Belize are too dusty. There were not too much comfort in the bus. We drove one hour and a half , and when we arrived I was too tired.
Read mironosica's full Norwegian Sun cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image snafyensid
6 reviews
Apr 2015
Allen, with Explore Belize Tours, was incredible. This was definitely the highlight of our cruise. The Mayan ruins were spectacular and his knowledge and skill in explaining them was outstanding.
Read snafyensid's full Navigator of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image DMH15
2 reviews
Apr 2015
We did the ruins and riverboat ride that was seven hours. As I mentioned in the main part of my review the only frustrating thing was getting back much later than we anticipated. That cause some anxiety. However, the excursion itself was wonderful. I always marvel at seeing ruins that give a glimpse into a civilization. The riverboat ride was really fun too. Again, the staff and guides were all top-notch.
Read DMH15's full Norwegian Jewel cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image scottmeredith
1 review
Apr 2015
The tour begins with an hour long bus ride with narration from the guide. The narration was very informative, made the time go by quickly, and added value to the excursion. Once you arrive at the restaurant/ boat location, you load the boats and head for an hour ride down the river...nothing too spectacular here as most of the ride is at about 30 miles an hour. The ruins themselves are worth seeing if you like history. I would recommend visiting. We then reversed the process. loaded the boats, drove for an hour to the restaurant. Ate a tasty local lunch and boarded the bus for an hour trip back to the port. 7 hour excursion..so be prepared
Read scottmeredith's full Norwegian Jewel cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image deetrvl
1 review
Mar 2015
If the bus air conditioning had worked on the return I probably would have given this a 5. It is a long tour but you know that when you book. I do think that the tour part of the boat ride could be skipped so you have more time to explore the ruins. I enjoyed it, and our guide Beans, very much.
Read deetrvl's full Norwegian Sun cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image kirkbays13
1 review
Mar 2015
It's a long way to Lamanai. It starts with an hour bus ride, which is hard to make great. Along the way we learned a lot about Belize from the tour guide though. Then there is an hour boat ride - this was a lot of fun. The river is beautiful, there is wildlife (a monkey ate out of our hands, though it almost seemed trained), and the boat goes quite fast, which is fun. Then there was a lunch (delicious) and the Mayan ruins themselves. The site is huge (800 temples) but you can only visit 3 temples (the rest are still unexcavated). Those 3 temples are well worth it though, and includes the biggest temple at the site, which is enormous and you can climb to the top off. Then the same boat and bus back. We got back in time to shop for 30 minutes and then make the last tender. A long excursion, but worth it.
Read kirkbays13's full Norwegian Jewel cruise review
Provider: lamanaibelizetours.com
Member Image sue_sd
1 review
Mar 2015
Fabulous tour of the ruins! And they accommodated a vegetarian for lunch! The tour guides were the best, providing a lot of information during the bus rides, and stopping along the river to point out the various wildlife (mostly birds) and plants. One of the best shore excursions!
Read sue_sd's full Riviera cruise review
Provider: Oceania Cruises
Member Image Straightlinespeed
1 review
Feb 2015
Had a long 1 hour bus ride to a nice little stop where we got lunch and then jumped on a boat for another 1 hour ride. The boat traveled at high speed as you went down the river. Taking the corners was so much fun! Once we got to the Mayan ruins we had a local give us the history of what they know of the Mayans. It was so neat to see buildings and structures so old! We also got to climb to the top of a 125 tall temple. It is not for someone afraid of heights. The steps are tall and steep. I would had rated it excellent but our guide only talked on the way to the temple about her country. On the way back she didnt say anything and it was a very long ride back.
Read Straightlinespeed's full Celebrity Equinox cruise review
Provider: Celebrity Cruises
Member Image Lu Bear
1 review
Feb 2015

Personal Private tour by superior tour guide (David is incoming president of national tour guide association). Just about perfect. Respectable pricing anytime but exceptional for private tour.

Read Lu Bear's full Liberty of the Seas cruise review
Provider: FantaSea Belize
Member Image rosa@rose
1 review
Feb 2015

Fantastic. What a great excursion. Excellent guides. It starts with a boat ride to the ruins, than the visit and climing of the the mayan temple.
Of all the cruises we have taken this is one of the top excursions we have enjoyed.
The highlight of the cruise.

Read rosa@rose's full Vision of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image jph2003
1 review
Jan 2015

King David of AlTournative tours was amazing. Enjoyed the hour long ride in a new a/c 6 passenger van, then hour long boat ride, the Lamanai ruins are in a gorgeous jungle park like setting (see my review on Trip Advisor). (take a poncho for you and bag for camera...it is the rain forest and if it rains you will get wet). After the boat ride back, we had a wonderful home cooked Belizean lunch of rice, chicken, platains, soda and beer. Long walk from ship to shore, but tip-only transport available.

Read jph2003's full Norwegian Dawn cruise review
Provider: AlTournative Tours
Member Image lsoto
1 review
Not Rated
Jan 2015

Wonderful Adventure right out of an Indiana Jones Movie! This is a long day (8 hours) that is full of climbing on and off various types of transportation and an exhilarating, fast open air boat ride through the Rain Forest. Leaving the cruise ship is an adventure in itself as there is no Dock and all activities require that you "tender" into the port of Belize City. Once in Belize City, you are quickly placed on a Bus for a 1 hour ride through Belize City itself and onto the North Highway. Very interesting look at daily life as you gaze out of the bus window. Once at the "Old Belize River Landing" you disembark and load onto the open air boats that whisk you through the Rain Forest at break-neck speed for a 1 hr 15 min. ride to the Ruins. The tour at the ruins is fast-paced over uneven walkways/tree roots/stone outcroppings and some loose pebble/gravel walkways. This tour is not for those that are not sure-footed and need assistance walking at a brisk pace. After a quick visit it is back to the river for a shorter (45 minute) speed boat ride back to the base camp at the Landing where a Chicken/Rice/Bean lunch is served for approximately 30 minutes. After your meal is complete, the bus ride back to Belize City is even more interesting because you see the locals awake and the school children returning from a day of lessons. The town itself is bustling when you return just in time to run through a few souvenir stalls and then "tender" back to the cruise ship. All in all this was the absolute best adventure that we took on this cruise and is highly recommended to everyone. Remember to pack water bottles and insect repellent as none of this available at the Ruins site. The insects are large and bite so come prepared!

Read lsoto's full Norwegian Dawn cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image katewake
1 review
Jan 2015

My husband and I decided to do this excursion because I have always wanted to see Mayan ruins. I was also excited to do the river safari and see some wildlife. The day started with an hour long bus ride to the New River. Our tour guide was good at making the time go by quickly by telling us all about Belize. When we arrived at the river, we were allowed a 10 minute break to use the facilities and apply bug spray if needed. We then got in the boat and started looking for wildlife. After finding a monkey, we started on our journey to Lamanai. Royal Caribbean’s excursion page explains the river tour: “Enjoy a splendid 90-minute riverboat cruise encountering exotic wildlife, mangroves and orchids along the way.” The boat ride is an hour each way, and while the boat slows to look at a few animals on route to Lamanai, you’re going top speed for 90% of it. On the way back, we didn’t stop once. So, I think calling it a ‘safari’ is a bit of a misnomer. You will encounter exotic wildlife, but not too much. Although the description of the excursion explains that it’s a 7hour tour, it really is a long day. The ruins are only about 1 hour of the day, but the tour guides are fantastic and getting to climb the ancient temples is amazing! The way back is two hours of silence as the drivers (boat and bus) drive as fast as they can to get you back to the ship. One exceptional highlight is the Belizean lunch served before the bus ride back to port. It was so delicious! All in all, it was a good trip with great tour guides. Just be prepared for a very long day.

Read katewake's full Liberty of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image khazadum
2 reviews
Dec 2014
Lamanai is amazing. You can feel the history there. Additionally, being in a legitimate rain forest was awesome. Howler Monkeys make terrifying noises, hummingbirds flitter about, etc. All said, very enjoyable excursion. A few notes: - This starts with an hour or so bus ride from Belize City. They drive like maniacs in Belize, and the road is one lane. You WILL have some close calls as people scramble to get out of the single lane road to allow the bus to pass, and vice versa. - Following the bus ride, there is an hour or so of a scenic river boat ride. This was awesome, and we saw tons of cool local flora and fauna. I grabbed a beer from the dock before we set off, which helped make the ride easier. - The main temple at Lamanai is a surprisingly hefty climb, and getting to the very top is precarious. Be careful, and know before you go.
Read khazadum's full Liberty of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image GradUT
6 reviews
Dec 2014

Our tour of the Lamanai Ruins was very good, but the other aspects of this tour cause me to give the excursion an average rating. I would not have chosen to do this tour as a ship's excursion but for the fact that Belize is a tender port and we were only in port until 4:30 pm. With so little time on shore, we would have risked missing the boat had we done this tour with a private company. The tour included 1 hour on a bus to the boat which would take us to Lamanai. Then there was a 45-minute ride on the boat. The tour of Lamanai lasted about 90 minutes and we visited the 3 main temples and were able to climb the High Temple. After our tour of the ruins, we again did the 45-minute boat ride and the 1 hour bus ride. Added to this time were several overly long stops for bathroom breaks and just waiting around for the guides. The lunch that was served was small in size and not good. The meal consisted of two small pieces of chicken (you were explicitly told not to take more than 2 pieces), rice and coleslaw. Dessert, if you wanted it, was a couple small pieces of cooked plantains. This is probably the worst meal I've ever had on an excursion.

Read GradUT's full Emerald Princess cruise review
Provider: Princess Cruises
Member Image WallabyGal
1 review
Not Rated
Dec 2014

We were lucky to have the fabulous Lion (Leon?) brothers as our tour guides, among the best we've ever had (& we travel extensively). Their knowledge about and enthusiastic love of their country was infectious & made us want to return again to get to know the country better. Amazing ruins, but that's only part of the excursion. Other reviewers have complained about the long bus ride & long boat ride, but the Lions kept us entertained with information about what we we'd see - including amazing wildlife that they were on the lookout for (crocodiles, howler monkeys, amazing birds, etc.). A terrific tour, well worth it!

Read WallabyGal's full Norwegian Sun cruise review
Provider: Norwegian Cruise Line
Member Image candy03
1 review
Not Rated
Nov 2014

Do not buy they shore excursions from the cruise line. They charged about $130 and we only payed $40 once we were at port. We learned alot about the city and culture and even got to climb to the top of a Mayan Ruin. Not sure of the operating company but the tour guide, Jungle Joe, was fantastic!

Read candy03's full Liberty of the Seas cruise review
Provider: Royal Caribbean International
Member Image Herbs Mom
3 reviews
Nov 2014

We were late getting going because it was stormy and the seas were rough. It took about 2 hours to get the ship situated to get the tenders out. After a rough ride in the tender we got to shore and got on our busses. After an hour drive, we got on speed boats to take us up the New River to Lamanai. It was a wonderful place and I'd like to go back. Because we were so late starting, we didn't have time to see much and walked quickly thru everything. I wish there were guides there to tell us what we were seeing and time to explore more. Because of the time problems, we were really rushed - no one's fault - just the situation of the day.

Read Herbs Mom's full Norwegian Sun cruise review
Provider: Belize Eco-Tours
Member Image misterkevin
2 reviews
Not Rated
Nov 2014

As the Belize port is tendered, I’m very happy I had purchased Faster To The Fun. I reserved with outside of Carnival with 20% down through Belize Cruise Excursions through X-Stream Tours/Island Marketing to visit the Lamanai Ruins in the jungles of Belize. The Belize City port is run down and filled with lots of touristy shops. The tour operator had emailed me specific instructions on how to walk through the port to find them. We did quite effortlessly, paid the remaining 80% cash at $60 per person for the tour and waited about 30 minutes for the tour to start. This excursion began with a 1 hour van ride through Belize outside of the city to a location on the inner Belize river. Lead by Wintworth, we were in good hands. He talked a lot about the city and the country and was a fantastic guide. The van ride got a bit boring, but we finally made it to the landing where there were bathrooms and a light lunch of Belizean cuisine: a spicy chicken dish with rice beans, plantains salad and fruit. Refreshment consisted of sodas sweetened with the cane sugar native to Belize.

Then the 8 of us plus the Wintworth and the boat captain took the speedboat up the river. This part of the tour was completely out of Heart of Darkness or the Mosquito Coast. We zipped by mile after mile of indistinguishable jungle up paths I wondered how the captain knew so well. Unfortunately, we saw no fauna along the route. Eventually the river opened up into a very wide area where we saw other boats coming from other ships to dock.

The Lamanai Mayan ruins were spectacular. Wintworth guided us through three pyramids, including the tallest at 110 feet which we got to scale ourselves for an incredible view of the land. The other two, a Jaguar temple and a Mask Temple were also very cool! Just past the tall pyramid I saw a ball court which I wanted to visit. Trekking over there I stepped into a patch of quicksand where my feet disappeared really fast. I pulled out quick and had legs of mud for the rest of the journey. Our timing in Belize had to have us back to the lines for the boat by 3:15. With the boat ride back and the necessary van ride, we were going to be cutting it close.

Wintworth was a star and cut through the slow, dense traffic of Belize City like a champ. He even made sure to drop us off at Terminal 1, where he said security was very lax. We made it in time to get in a long queue back to the tenders. Time enough for a Belikin. At $1 a piece on the pier, they were a steal!

Read misterkevin's full Carnival Magic cruise review
Provider: Belize Cruise Excursions X-Stream Tours/Island Mar

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