Adventure Series: River and Ruins in BelizeBy Kalena Langford on 27 Feb 2019
We went on a Carnival cruise in April 2015 to Mexico, Belize, and Honduras. The excursion we booked in Belize was a combined jungle river cruise on River Wallace then bus ride to see the Ancient Ruins of Altun Ha. The river cruise departed basically right from the port, so it was a rather simple thing to find and get on.
From what I remember, loading onto the boat and everything went smoothly (English is the primary language in Belize, so the potential for misunderstandings were at a minimum, which was nice). The boat was not covered, so hats and sunscreen were necessary as it was very, very hot and sunny. There’s a possibility of seeing numerous animals on the ride, but the ones we saw were manatees, massive iguanas, termites (sounds weird, but the nests were pretty fascinating), bats, monkeys, and I’m pretty sure a crocodile kind of in the distance.
The boat ride ends at a very local place where we were able to grab lunch (burgers), use the bathroom, and quickly look at a few vendors selling handcrafted items. From there, we loaded onto a bus to head to the Ancient Ruins of Altun Ha. These Mayan Ruins were really interesting. We were given a brief history and then allowed to wander and climb (some of) the ruins before we loaded the bus again to head back to the port.
What I thought about it:
Ultimately, I was pleased with the excursion. It was really cool to see the animals on the river cruise and also briefly dive into some of the history of Belize at the Mayan Ruins. The main thing I would change about it would be shortening the boat ride. With the heat, down time between seeing interesting things, and the super annoying family on our particular cruise that day, hitting the 2 hour mark was just too long. Everything else felt a little more rushed, and I think it would’ve been nice to slow down some everywhere else (lunch, exploring the ruins, and having time to shop at the port if we had wanted).
Although it was a lot in a little amount of time, I feel like we got to see a bunch of Belize. And every local we encountered was very nice, so I kind of expect that to be the norm there. I’d love to go back and try a different type of adventure (or two or three) and explore the country a little more.
On this cruise, we also spent some time in Honduras.