Altun Ha Ruins and River Rafting Adventure
Belize City, Belize
- Altun Ha: Discover the pyramid ruins of a 2,000-year-old Mayan trading hub and its five square miles of ceremonial plazas, as guides tell you all about the ancient Mayan lifestyle.
- River rafting: Expert guides will regale you with stories of the jungle, its people, and its history, all while pointing out the colorful wildlife along the river.
- Rainforest River Camp: End your adventure with a freshly prepared snack at a local riverside farming village in the heart of the dense rainforest.
About This Belize City Tour
There's nothing quite like the thrill of discovering a lost city – especially when that city was a critical commercial settlement and ceremonial burial ground for kings and priests.
At its peak Altun Ha was an important center of commerce and agriculture that linked Mayan settlements in South and Central America, making its population of around 10,000 fairly wealthy – that is, until their civilization collapsed around 900 A.D.
The terraced stone pyramids colored by moss and weathering are surprisingly well-preserved, especially when you consider that Altun Ha was discovered in 1963, over a thousand years after it was abandoned. The dense Belizean rainforest surrounding these ruins is probably one reason it was found so late – archaeologists didn't realize an ancient Mayan settlement was here until an amateur historian spotted it while flying overhead.
Evidence points to a long and catastrophic drought as the cause of their demise. But Mayan culture, and Altun Ha itself, are still an important influence in Belize – you'll find an Altun Ha temple you've seen on beer labels and Belize banknotes. So buy yourself a cold one back in town and raise your glass to a great and mysterious civilization.
Anything to make it rain
One thing you'll learn at Altun Ha is that the Maya were big-time practitioners of blood sacrifice. It wasn't necessarily fatal; they would often just collect blood and offer it to the gods in a complex ritual. But in times of extreme crisis, like drought, death was the only option. The modern ancestors of the Maya still practice blood sacrifice, but get it from chickens, not people.
Cruise ship travelers: Please proceed pier side to meet your GoBe Rep. Look for our displayed logo sign. Staying at a hotel? Be sure you specify the name at check out so we can meet you in the lobby.
Take extra precautions to avoid too much exposure to the sun. Even on cloudy days, the UV is stronger than you may think.
This tour involves a minimal amount of walking and ability to enter/exit raft without assistance. It is not wheelchair accessible. Guides will be paddling the rafts.
Private Tour, Scenic, Family Friendly, Adventure, Wilderness/Wildlife
English, Spanish, German
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated moderate. Full participation may require extended periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces, steep terrain and/or water activity in a slight current. There may be steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and extended periods of standing. Participants with physical limitations should take this into account.
Suitable for travelers 10 years of age and older.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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