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Ruins in Belize with Kids - Help


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Any information on Lamani, the Mayan Palaces of Cahal Pech or the Mayan Ruins of Xunantunich would be greatly appreciated. My husband, 12 year old daughter, 4 year old son and I will be traveling to Belize in June. I really want to see the ruins and we are travelling on Royal Carribbean. I've read many threads that say you should book through the cruise line so you don't get left, but tours booked through independant companies look much less expensive. Any help would be great!!!:eek:

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I would book Lamanai through the cruiseline. The trip to Lamanai is mostly by boat, so there should be plenty to look at to keep the kids entertained. Generally I prefer to book independent tours, but since getting to either of these ruins is a long trip and complicated (both bus and boat each way), especially with kids I think you are safer to stick with the cruiseline- hopping a flight to your next port with just adults would be stressful, but doing it with kids would be much more difficult I would think.

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to keep yourself from worrying about making it back, in time for the last tender, use the ship's excursions (especially with kids). there have been reports of boats breaking down, bus breaking down...with the cruiseline's excursions you won't have to have a panic attack about it.

also, people who book through the ship get 1st come on the tenders, another worry for most. otherwise you have to get a tender ticket and wait in the crowds trying to push their way off the ship.

lamanai is great...but a very LONG day...we got back 15 mins before the last tender. the bus is 45 mins to an hour, rest stop for restrooms and water, then another hour (on speed boat) to lamanai. stops for wildlife..but a lot of ZOOM, ZOOM, ZOOM to keep on time.

howler monkeys and many birds at lamanai, tours are kept together..no wandering on your own. restrooms are OK, think very old, out in no-where national park ( they do flush, no TP, no hot water, walls 7 ft high..then open to ceiling).

you are walking through a jungle, to see the site..lots of plant life, just a path to follow. very indiana jones!

take extra water and bug spray..it can get hot..we didn't have any bugs, but others have.

our bus did have air conditioning, but the restroom was a little iffy. the tour gruide and bus driver were outstanding, the boat ride was great and the ruins were more then what i could hope for.

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We were at Lamanai w/ NCL last week w/ 4 boys - 5, 11, 13, 16. The boat ride & scenery kept them occupied. The walking was very easy for them & they were always up at the front of the line walking through the forest. They loved climbing the ruins! The 2 younger ones were a bit bored on the boat ride back but rolling their water bottles on their seat kept them busy & so tyey didn't really complain. We ALL slept on the bus ride back to port.


I would strongly recommend going thru your ship if going to Lamanai. Belize took longer than usual clearing our ship at customs so tendering started about 45 minutes late. Our bus was the last bus back to port ... we got back about 10 minutes after the last tender was supposed to leave for the ship but, of course, I had no worries since we were w/ NCL. I was willing to pay the extra $ for this tour so I wouldn't be stressed out all day.

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Xunantunich is a two hour bus ride from the port which may well be too long for young children. The ruins there are excellent but trying to ascend and descend the main temple with a four year old would be very very difficult. I agree that, wherever you go, booking through the ship would be your best option given the age of the children

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We just went to Xunantunich and had a 12 year old with us. Once there it was a very flat area and we saw many smaller children running and climbing. The nice thing about the RCL tour is the lunch after. It's a wonderful little place and they have great play equipment for children (swings, slides, etc.) The bus trip is long but since you leave so early in the morning chances are the kids are going to sleep on the bus anyway.

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