Altun Ha Ruins and Zip-lining Adventure
Belize City, Belize
- Altun Ha: The terraced temples amid grassy rainforest clearings in this 2,000-year-old Mayan trade center were once filled with jade carvings of Mayan gods.
- Rainforest River farm tour: Enjoy a freshly made snack and learn about the agriculture of Belize firsthand as you tour a riverside farm in the jungle.
- Zip-lining: Fly from tree to tree through the dense canopy as howler monkeys and tropical birds screech. You will, too – you’ll be about 10 stories above the jungle floor.
About This Belize City Tour
For the Mayans, death wasn't a release from suffering or a happy union with God. It was the beginning of a grueling journey.
They believed that everyone who died traveled to Xibalba, a hellish underworld in perpetual darkness ruled by malevolent demons. The soul then began a trek through nine levels of the underworld before – assuming no detours – the ascent to Tamoanchan, a paradise of the gods.
That considered, it's no surprise that the Mayans wanted to honor the departed and help them reach everlasting happiness. That was the thinking behind Altun Ha's six-story stone Temple of the Masonry Altars, built to honor a deceased priest or king.
In 1968, archaeologists discovered a crypt underneath the temple's crumbling, mossy steps with human remains surrounded by dozens of jade artifacts. The most famous of these is the Kinich Ahau, or "jade head," a 10-pound block of jade carved into the shape of a head that now appears on Belize's currency.
It's believed that the jade carvings signified the dead's high status, helping them progress through layers of the underworld. The stone temples you'll explore here in the jungles of north Belize weren't just built to honor the gods: They were elaborate burial sites to help Mayan souls reach paradise.
In the crossed eyes of the beholder
The ancient Maya had some strange beauty standards. Flat foreheads were signs of upper class status, so parents would press wooden boards to their babies' foreheads to achieve a flat forehead look. They also favored crossed eyes, so they'd dangle things in front of their babies' eyes until their eyes were completely and permanently crossed.
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.
Participants must fit into the safety harness, that can accommodate maximum waist measurement of 44-inches, and be able to walk Altun Ha's flat trails.
Private Tour, Scenic, Family Friendly, Adventure
English, Spanish, German
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated strenuous. Travelers must consider their physical fitness level and medical history when determining whether this tour is appropriate. Travelers with pre-existing neck, back, knee and/or shoulder injuries, cardiac conditions, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, other heart or respiratory conditions or any other medical condition must take particular caution when selecting a tour categorized as "strenuous". If you have concerns, you must consult with your personal physician before engaging in any activity that may be too strenuous for you.
Travelers must be 10 years of age or older to participate in this tour.
Special Medical Restriction
Participants must be able to fit into the safety harness. Waist measurement cannot exceed 44 inches.
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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