Central America

Belize: 5 of the Best Mayan Ruins Tours

by Oliver Stallwood  |  Published May 1, 2024

Get to know the ancient culture of Belize in Central America with a Mayan Ruins Tour. Here are five of the best. 

(Photo: Getyourguide.com)

Belize may be a fairly small and relatively unknown country to a lot of people but it is not to be missed. This Caribbean country is located on the Central American mainland and is an exciting and vibrant destination that mixes the hectic everyday of Belize City with the seclusion and wilderness of the jungle. Then there is the turquoise Caribbean Sea and a host of islands to explore. But perhaps the biggest draw of Belize is the Maya ruins, with many pre-Columbian Maya archaeological sites dating back thousands of years. Here are five of the best Mayan ruins tours.

Belize: Mayan Ruins and Inland Blue Hole Tour

This tour takes budding explorers to the second largest Mayan Temple in Belize. Xunantunich Mayan Ruins are situated on a ridge above the Mopan River, around 100kms wets of Belize City. To paraphrase many guidebooks, the journey is almost as good as the destination, travelling along the scenic Hummingbird Highway and passing the western villages of Belize. Lunch is an authentic Belizean spread near the ruins and on the way back there is a chance to swim at the Blue Hole cenote, a sapphire-colored pool which was formed by the collapse of an underground limestone cave. It’s a nice balance – even if you don’t swim it’s a really nice place to reflect on the history that you witness at the ruins. From €185.

Book at Getyourguide.com

Belize City: Mayan Temple Exploration, Cave-Tube, & Zipline

(Photo: Getyourguide.com)

Mayan temple exploration and a very modern zipline experience may not be something you often hear in the same sentence, but this tour aims to provide two of Belize’s more popular day’s out into one five-hour excursion. The first stop is the historic Mayan Temple of Altun Ha, where you can journey back into a thousand years of history, before heading into the jungle and getting kitted out with a life-jacket and a lime-green tube to float through some of Belize’s cave systems. To finish off this action-packed day there will be a chance to zipline through the jungle too. From €169.12.

Book at Getyourguide.com

Belize City: Half-Day Altun Ha Temple & Belize City Tour

If you fancy something a little less energetic and with a bit more of a slant towards Belize past and present, this tour is an excellent choice. Your destination is the temple Altun Ha – Mayan for ‘Rockstone Pond’ – some 50km north of Belize City, and covering around eight square kilometres. Before you get there however there is a tour of the landmarks and buildings of Belize City, taking in the light house, the Belize sign, the wealthy portions of the city called the Kings Park zone, the school district, the hospital, the central Bank of Belize, and the prime minister’s home. Entrance fees at Altun Ha are included and everything is explained by a local English-speaking guide – the tour is four hours in total. From €80.80.

Book at Getyourguide.com

Belize City: Lamanai Mayan Site Tour and Jungle Boat Ride

(Photo: Getyourguide.com)

You’ll take a boat through the jungle to get to the Lamanai site, with ruins dating back two thousands years. It’s all very Indiana Jones, with the chance to see monkeys and crocodiles as you navigate the waters on the way to the temple. There is a bit of jungle hiking involved too, with around an hour and a half at the site and an expert guide to explain the history around this ancient civilisation. Lunch and refreshments are then served (all included) before heading back on the boat, and finally an A/C van (not so Indiana Jones) to Belize City. From €126.84.

Book at Getyourguide.com

Private Xunantunich Maya Shore Excursion Adventure Tour Belize

This tour is a great option if you are looking for something a little more bespoke that also just focuses on the Maya ruins and history of this ancient civilisation. This is a private tour so will be just you and your friends or family, which means that you won’t get lost in that big group experience. You can also ask the guide to explain what you would like to know on the way – the guides are all locals, have a vast knowledge of Xunantunich, a late Classic Maya city in Belize, and are happy to explain all about the modern Belize too. Included in this five-and-a-half hour tour is transportation, entrance fee, tour guide and driver. From €114.51.

Book at Viator.com