When your cruise stops in Belize, you can learn more about the ancient Mayan culture at the ruins of Altun Ha. You'll also have a chance to see the Mayan underworld as you float through the caves of Nohoch Che'en. A typical Belizean lunch is included to top off the day!
You'll meet your local shore excursion guide outside your Belize cruise tender terminal and after check-in, will be off in air-conditioned comfort to the caves of Nohoch Che' en and the Mayan ruins of Altun Ha (in Rockstone Pond Village). The order may be switched depending on the time and weather conditions.
As you pass through Belize City you'll learn about its history and culture. In the countryside, you will enjoy scenic sightseeing some of the highlights along the way! The drive to the caves is about 40 minutes through lush rain forests and swampy plains and several rural communities. You'll then arrive at the caves at Nohoch Che'en Archaeological Park. Here you'll participate in the most popular activity in Belize, cave tubing. You'll be joining a highly qualified operation and, after using the facilities, the guides will go over the safety instructions and information and give you your headlamp.
Your shore excursion guide will then lead you on a 25-minute walk to the cave entrance. These caves were considered to be the entrances to the underworld by the ancient Mayans. You'll be able to see the amazing crystal formations that are over 5,000,000 years old. These caves are untouched and of great significance to the Mayans. You'll float past mica-studded stalactites (icicle-like formations on the ceilings made by water seeping down), and stalagmites (inverted icicle-like formations growing up from the ground made by minerals being deposited from dripping water). Float along the underground river through 3 caves and breaks in the ceiling that allows the light to filter through from the jungle above. Feel the awe of the Mayans in this sacred place.
After your cave adventure, you'll be treated to a typical Belizean lunch of rice and beans cooked in coconut milk, stewed chicken, fried plantains, and coleslaw with a beverage of water (either sit down or to go depending on time). Then it is off to Altun Ha, you can relax for about 40 minutes while you get to this amazing Mayan site. Upon arrival, you'll have some free time to use the facilities before walking to the ancient city.
The Mayan ceremonial and trading center of Altun Ha sits in the lush green jungle in the northern part of Belize. This city housed a culture rich in social rituals, mathematics, and astrology and was ruled by royal priests for many centuries. The site is about 25 square miles in size and has over 500 structures. It dates back to 250 BC but was only recently discovered in 1963 by the amateur archaeologist Hal Ball as he flew over the area.
Some years later, as Dr. David Pendergast of the Royal Ontario Museum and his team were excavating, a tomb of a priest in the Temple of the Masonry Altars was discovered. In it was a nine-and-three-quarter pound jade carving of the Sun God, Kinich Ahau. This is the largest piece of jade sculpture ever discovered and the find is so important it's now housed in the Central Bank of Belize and only brought to the museum for special events. If the weather cooperates you can still climb to the top of the main temples for spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding jungles. Let your imagination take you back to ancient times in this magical place.
Bring your camera to capture your memories of this safe and awe-inspiring excursion. At the end of your Belize shore excursion, your transportation will get you back to your Belize cruise ship tender dock in Belize City (about an hour away) in plenty of time to catch your tender back to the ship.
A fun Belize cruise shore excursion combo of Altun Ha Mayan Ruins and Cave Tubing at Nohoch Che'en. You'll go home with a greater understanding of Belize. This Mayan ruins and cave tubing excursion also includes some scenic sightseeing. Don't forget your camera, and just have fun!