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“Carnival Cruises excursion Altun Ha and Wallace River ride”

Altun Ha & The Olde Belize River
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Altun Ha Half-Day Tour
Ranked #2 of 68 things to do in Belize City
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 19 June 2014

: 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 will wait if it is their excursion. If you go with other companies they are not obligated. We heard from others that once this trip was held up over an hour and the boat waited.

8  Thank R_Choiniere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 June 2014 via mobile

These were my first Mayan ruin experience. I really enjoyed walking up the ancient steps and the spectacular views. Especially from the sun god tower. If you are ever in Belize City please check it out. Admission is cheap 10 belize dollars (5 American) great photo ops and some stair work out! Lovely trinkets sold on the way out and I grabbed a coconut on the way which a guy machete chopped and I had the best coconut milk I ever had! Please go check this site out you will be glad you did!

4  Thank Melissa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 June 2014

My husband and I took this shore excursion while travelling with Carnival.

We started with the river portion of the tour. Our tour boat carried about fifteen people and was well maintained, but I would highly recommend bringing something comfortable to sit on. The seats are hard plastic and do get uncomfortable fairly quickly.

Our tour guide was wonderful and he shared a lot of knowledge with us about the history of the area as well as answering all the questions asked of him. We were very lucky as we got to see an abundance of wildlife during the river portion. We saw manatees, iguana, crocodiles, bats, storks, dolphins and monkeys. Our tour guide even slowed the boat so that we could take photo's of everything we saw.

It got quite warm and there were a few bugs out, but a little bug spray, a hat and a water bottle were all that was needed to be comfortable. They do provide little pouches of cold water but I would still recommend bringing your own water bottle.

We arrived at Black Orchid Resort for lunch and I was very impressed with the food. We had beans and rice, seasoned chicken and plantains. The food is simple but very tasty. I have two complaints about the food. The first is that you can't go back for seconds and the second is that the food is very expensive ($20 per plate). There are cheeseburgers and fries for those who don't want to try the local cuisine.

Unless you really want the full experience, it might be an idea to share a plate with a friend and bring your own food/snacks to supplement the food or to replace it all together. There are some local artisans (as well as cheap souvenirs) set up outside the eating area they are worth a browse. My husband and I did pick up a beautiful hand carved bowl for $30. Not cheap, but the artisan himself was there and signed our piece for us.

The bus ride to the ruins is long and a little bumpy but the bus is comfortable and air-conditioned and was the perfect time to take a nap. The tour guide will keep you entertained during the trip and will answer all of your questions.

Once you arrive at the ruins you will get a 30 minute talk on the ruins, their history and the restoration they are going through, and then you will have about 30 minutes to walk the ruins yourself and explore. The ruins are beautiful and 30 minutes really isn't enough to see all that you want to see. We managed to tour the two largest and get some very nice photo's but an hour to explore on your own would be better.

Once your 30 minutes is up you head back to your bus for the trip back to the tenders. On the trip back you could either nap (my husband did) or you can take part in the Q&A with the tour guide. When we arrived at the tenders there was no time to shop/browse as we were the last to arrive and the lines for the tenders were very long.

I rated this tour as very good because it was well organized, the staff were very friendly and knowledgeable, we learned a lot about the history of the area and the animals that inhabit the area and the food was wonderful.

What stopped me from giving 5 stars was the price of the food, the short time at the ruins and the fact that we couldn't browse or shop the port when we got back to the tenders. I do recommend this tour to others, all in all it was one of our best experiences.

4  Thank AusTaryn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2014

This tour is well organized, the tour staff are friendly, knowledgable and outgoing. The river tour portion of the trip is relaxing as you see occasional glimpses of local wildlife from crocodiles to giant iguanas to birds and other creatures. The lunch stop is fine, but hey, you're in the middle of nowhere and you won't get fine cuisine or a grand bar. But for those who have visited other Mayan sites in Mexico, Altun Ha is a bit of a let down. This is simply a smaller site than some of the far more grand centers elsewhere in Central America. Still, most people will enjoy it.

The overall quality of the tour was quite good and it was interesting to see how those in rural (and mostly self-subsistence) Belize people live during the long bus ride--they are not well off, but everyone now has cable access!

1  Thank 75Terry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 May 2014

We loved the Altun Ha site. Small, few tourists. The views were amazing. We were there in January and had no problems with bugs like we were warned about. The river was perfect. We saw lots of wildlife and the boat operators were quick to turn around the boat to get us closer for pictures. Loved going in the area where the Manatees were, that was so cool. I would definitely recommend going on a tour. I felt very safe on the tour, where I did NOT feel safe in the port. Stay with a large group and you will be fine.

2  Thank lindseybet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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