My sister and I were based in Caye Caulker, but wanted to venture to Altun Ha before our trip was over. We booked a trip with Tsunami Adventures for a half-day trip to the Mayan site the last day of our vacation. We were told that the trip was only a half-day and we would be back for the 1:00 pm ferry to the island. This was perfect for us, as we wanted to be back to enjoy our last afternoon swimming and soaking up the sun. When we booked ($102 US) we were told that there was another couple that had signed up for the cave-tubing trip; and that we would all meet at Belize City, but go separate ways once we got there. When we arrived at the dock at Belize City we were greeted by "Major Tom". He introduced us to the couple doing the cave-tubing and asked us if was okay if we all went to Altun Ha together and then while they went cave-tubing, we accompany them and eat our lunch while they did it. We agreed, said it sounded like fun; all the while thinking we would still be back for the 1:00 pm ferry. We made 4 stops on our way to Altun Ha; one to the grocery store to get water and juice, one to pick up his son, "Minor Tom", one to get gas, and one more stop for food for themselves. At the time we didn't think much of it, but as the day progressed we realized how much time was wasted and how all those things should have been done prior to picking us up. We finally made it Altun Ha where Major Tom gave a very knowledgeable and insightful tour of the site. However, he only gave us less than 30 minutes there! We were quickly shuffled back to the van. As we headed out, they stopped and picked up lunch at a roadside cafe. We ate lunch in the van while they drove (we were under the impression we would be eating while the other couple did the cave tubing). The farther along we drove, my sister and I began to realize that cave-tubing was not at all close to Altun Ha, and we would not be making it back to the 1:00 pm ferry. We saw the road split east to Belize City and west to the Western Highway. As soon as realized this we asked and were told we would be back for the last ferry at 4:30 pm. It also then made sense why we were rushed at Altun Ha - to get to the main event - cave-tubing; the activity we specifically did not sign up for so that we could be back on the island by early afternoon. At an extra cost we were pressured (and when I say pressured, I mean it; we were asked at least half a dozen times and told how we would regret it) to do the cave-tubing since we were stuck there anyways. Since we did not sign up for it, we were not prepared for it at all - no bathing suits, etc, nor did we have the funds to do it anyways. We declined, but they brought equipment for us just in case. We think they were convinced we would just spend the money and do it; clothes and all. Once we arrived at the site, folks took their time getting ready - wasting more precious time. My sister and I spent the entire time (over 1.5 hours) by the riverbank waiting while they got to leisurely enjoy their adventure. Once they were finished we loaded up and headed back to the ferry - another 1+ hour drive. Thankfully we made it for the 4:30 ferry, which was questionable at one point. All in all, my sister and I spent over $100 US for approximately 20 minutes at the site we had paid to tour. We believe in an effort to make their lives easier, Major Tom and Minor Tom combined tours; however at our expense. Had we known about their plans before, we would not have taken the tour. We specifically wanted to be back on the island early to enjoy our last afternoon there. Instead, we got back to the island just in time for the sun to go down. We were heartbroken at having missed our entire last day on the island so we could spend only 30 minutes at Altun Ha and then spend the rest of the time hurriedly driving around so that the other couple could enjoy their day and we could make our ferry back. The couple that was with us said they got a bonus b/c they weren't expecting to go to Altun Ha; we, however, got the short end of the stick b/c (1) we didn't get back when we said we would, (2) we didn't get to spend much time at all enjoying Altun Ha, and (3) we had to literally sit there while they did the cave-tubing. We were so upset when we got back to the island we wanted to complain to Tsunami about it, but as the day was quickly dwindling we just wanted to get back to our hotel and enjoy what little time we had left there. As disappointing as it was to have spent all that money (just to reiterate: $102 US for Altun Ha, 20-30 minutes there, 10-hr day, total), we were mostly upset at having lost our entire last day - we felt incredibly robbed of that. Major and Minor Tom's were nice and knowledgeable, but after it was all said and done we definitely felt like our trip suffered so they could make their lives easier. Hindsight is always 20/20 and we now realized there were things we should have done differently (e.g., when he stopped for lunch, we should have asked to be brought to Belize City - or found another way to get there). But when you are in an unfamiliar country and you are at the whims of a tour company, you put all your trust and assurance in them. We wish Major Tom had been more forthcoming in the beginning - had they said it would end up being all day, my sister and I would have just turned around and took the ferry back and asked for a refund. We now feel like we were mislead. I hate to say, "the customer is always right" but we definitely didn't get what we paid for, and most importantly we were robbed of our last day on the island. Folks were nice when we booked the trip, but $100+ for this trip was overpriced (the ferry round-trip is $17US, the admission ticket to Altun Ha is $5 US, then of course there is gas and lunch; but certainly doesn't add up to $100/per person; plus we didn't get to spend much time there). The folks at Tsunami were nice and helpful, but if you decide to book a tour with them just make sure you get what you pay for.
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