We booked this tour through Carnival Cruise and had an excellent experience. Before we even boarded the bus, our tour guide Elvis got us pumped up and excited to go. From the moment the bus began moving, Elvis talked about where we were, things we were passing by, history of the island, and other interesting tidbits. He even brought his own photos and memorabilia to share with the group. I learned so much about this beautiful country!
The bus ride lasts a little over an hour. At the destination, you rent lockers for your bags (nothing allowed on the tube except you and a waterproof camera), get a life vest, helmet, miner's light and tube. Once outfitted, the group crosses the river and takes a 20-25 minute "rainforest jungle walk". This is how you get yourself and your tube to the launch spot. Don't expect parrots in the trees and monkeys swinging from the branches. Still, it's an interesting walk through native trees.
Once at the launch spot, tubers are connected arm to foot to keep the group together. The guide points out different geologic features and formations and talks about the Mayan history with caves. It's a relaxing 30 minute float to the extraction point.
After tubing, be sure to visit the gift shop and restaurant. The food tastes fresh and good, and the gift shop has some items you won't find back at the pier. Then it's back on the bus for the ride back.
Summer 2014: locker rental = $6, water shoe rental = $5, chicken and rice lunch = $8, tacos = $2, nachos = $4.
Tip: Buy lunch directly at the restaurant, not with the tour. It's $2 cheaper per person this way. Also, bring closed toe shoes. They're required.
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