Mayan Ruins Belize City
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!