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Self Guided tour to Xunantunich

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Boston...
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Self Guided tour to Xunantunich

Can anyone recommend how to get to Xunantunich? We're trying to do a self guided tour (adventure people, adventure!) and want to know if it's possible to do it without a tour guide and how to get there.

Also, we're renting a vehicle and they don't want it on anything but paved roads. Whats the closest paved point road that we could park before starting the trek toward Xunantunich?

Thanks!

Davie, Florida
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1. Re: Self Guided tour to Xunantunich

A guide will know the history and be able to answer your questions and tell you about stuff.

Belize
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2. Re: Self Guided tour to Xunantunich

You take the Western Highway all the way out past San Ignacio to San Jose Succotz, then cross it on a hand cranked ferry (no charge), and can drive it right up to the Xunantunich Ruins parking lot. No need to leave pavement for this trip. From there, you pay your entrance fee and can totally do the ruins on your own, although hiring a guide at the site can be very affordable and worth the knowledge that they can share. Hope this helps!

Utah
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3. Re: Self Guided tour to Xunantunich

We did the ruins without a guide and really wished we had one! You have to hire a guide BEFORE the hand cranked ferry. We thought we could hire a guide up at the ruins but that was not the case at all and we felt like we missed out on all the history of the ruins!

San Ignacio, Belize
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4. Re: Self Guided tour to Xunantunich

You won't have to leave the pavement at all... I must ask why would a rental company here in Belize ask that it not leave the pavement??? You should rent from somewhere else, that way you could see Mountain Pine Ridge. Better yet, rent from Cayo and save a lot of money since they are cheaper here.

You don't need a tour guide at Xuanantunich. If you hit a bigger ruin, like Tikal, I'd recommend it though.

Have a great trip!

Davie, Florida
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5. Re: Self Guided tour to Xunantunich

the not leaving the pavement thing is also standard here in the US. unpaved roads tend to be hard on cars as they by nature are bumpier?

Utah
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6. Re: Self Guided tour to Xunantunich

Your right, you don't NEED a tour guide but we thought it would of been more informative if we had hired one. But then again, we made the mistake of walking up the hill instead of driving, lol.

Don't miss the visitors center because you will get a lot of information about the ruins there.

With a rental car, if you can't go off paved roads you will sure miss a lot of the wonderful country side in Belize. If you wanted, you could not even go to ATM because the road is more gravel, dirt and pot holes then pavement. I would check with Crystal Rental Cars for a rental or someone in SI if it were me. Just my humble opinion.

Utah
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7. Re: Self Guided tour to Xunantunich

BTW, we did fine without a tour guide but if I were to do it again I would hire one.

Boston...
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8. Re: Self Guided tour to Xunantunich

Thanks for the advice everyone! Still not sure what to do in regards to the car rental. Is it terrible to take a bus from Belize City to San Ignacio?

Placencia, Belize
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9. Re: Self Guided tour to Xunantunich

The buses are not at all terrible. If you like adventure, and seeing a place as it really is, then they are a good cheap option.

Most people in Belize do not have a car, so even quite well off people regularly travel by bus. I have a vehicle, but occasionally travel by bus myself.

Check out this excellent source of bus info.

guidetobelize.info/en/travel/belize-bus-time…

If you are restricted to just paved roads, then you will miss out on a lot of places. Essentially, there are four paved roads in Belize - the Western, Northern, Southern and Hummingbird Highways. The bigger towns have paved roads - mainly. You would not even be able to go to parts of Belize City if you stuck to the rules. Nor Placencia, Monkey River, most if not all of the ruins - no, that isn't going to work!

Utah
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10. Re: Self Guided tour to Xunantunich

We took the bus around Belize but not from the airport to SI and we loved the bus.

If you have a lot of luggage then you might want to get a transfer driver. If you want the names of the two we used then just let me know. Maybe see if someone else on a message board is arriving at the same time and wants to share a transport, just an idea as they are about $90 USD one way.

I was going to get a rental car but at the last minute decided not to and we were fine with tours, transfers and buses.