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#116407 - 01/27/06 04:09 PM Day trips (Tikal & Lamanai) from AC
ourhome Offline
My husband and I are traveling to Ambergris Caye this March. It is our first trip to Belize and we are quite excited about it.

We will be staying for 8 days on the island, and would like to take a few day tours to see some Mayan ruins. In particular, we would like to visit Tikal & Lamanai. (I know Tikal would be better as an overnight, but that is not an option this time...) I am looking for opinions/feedback on the quality of other's experiences of day tours from Ambergris Caye, to those two places.

Is there any 'free time' to wander on our own? Is the amount of time actually at the site worth the time getting there? (although it sounds like, for Lamanai, getting there by river is half the adventure....) Any tour operators in particular better than others?

We got burnt on a recent trip to Italy, we took some day bus trips from Rome to various places, and they were so disappointing. Literally 20 minutes on our own to visit the restrooms, get lunch and explore Assisi!! & no time on Capri, just bus to boat to minivan to boat and back to bus. I realize that sacrifices are made when you give up independance for an organized tour, I just want to go into our next trip with a little more knowledge of how much we will be sacrificing...

Thank you very much.

#116408 - 01/27/06 04:33 PM Re: Day trips (Tikal & Lamanai) from AC
Belikin Bill Offline
We made a trip from AC to Lamanai recently. It was a great trip. Plenty of time. For me the highlight of the trip was the local guide from the New river to Lamanai. He had grown up around Lamanai and had even donated some of the artifacts that we saw there. He was just so proud and knowledgeable about the area.

We went with Seaduced, but you might notice on this board that many have there best or favorite. Thats a good thing because it means there is more than one good operator. Everyone we talked to while it AC that went to Lamanai loved it. The lunch was outstanding also as was breakfast.

#116409 - 01/27/06 06:10 PM Re: Day trips (Tikal & Lamanai) from AC
Belikin Bill Offline
It might have been Searious, not Seduced my wife tells me. We used both while there to do some things. I get them mixed up. Some other people talked about Daniel from tanisha tours or something like that. Anyway we stopped in a little place called Bomba to get on the magic school bus. Its a great place to buy wood carvings If your interested, check out the prices in AC before going and you will get some good deals. My favorite part of Bomba was this old Volvo in the yard.

#116410 - 01/27/06 06:31 PM Re: Day trips (Tikal & Lamanai) from AC
njmichael Offline
I made the day trip, obviously an overnight would have been better but I too didn't have the option. It was an amazing experience, I'd highly recommend it.

Holiday Hotel booked our trip through Tropic Air, we flew to Flores (with a stop in BC) and were met there by a guide who drove us to the site. Of course you can't see all there is to see in a day, but you do have plenty of time to wander around and take in some of the highlights.

#116411 - 01/27/06 09:07 PM Re: Day trips (Tikal & Lamanai) from AC
ourhome Offline
Hi all!
Thanks for your replies so far! This was my first time posting to a travel forum, everyone is so helpful, I really appreciate it!

#116412 - 01/27/06 09:21 PM Re: Day trips (Tikal & Lamanai) from AC
Kra-Z-K Offline
I highly recommend going directly to Guatemala from San Ignacio and spending a night in Flores, very close to Tikal. It is an excellent experience and cute town. Could you do Tikal another trip? I highly recommend staying there a night on your own, not the overnight trip.

#116413 - 01/27/06 10:00 PM Re: Day trips (Tikal & Lamanai) from AC
JeanH Offline
We went to Lamanai with Tanisha Tours. Long day, left the dock at 7am, didn't return until 6pm. For us, the trip was half the fun. We saw lots of wildlife, including dolphins on the ride back. The ruins themselves were awesome. I can't think of any good reason to need time on your own, without a guide, they really aren't nearly as interesting. All in all, a trip I"d definitely recommend.

#116414 - 01/27/06 10:11 PM Re: Day trips (Tikal & Lamanai) from AC
belizelaw Offline
You could also, I was told by our guide, fly over to Orange Walk (which would cut out a few hours round trip of boating), and then you're right at the New River for the best parts of the river/Lamanai tour.

#116415 - 01/27/06 10:28 PM Re: Day trips (Tikal & Lamanai) from AC
TCandCC Offline
We are also thinking about a day trip to the ruins while we are staying at AC. Do you need the bug spray on these trips and should we wear long pants and shirts?

#116416 - 01/27/06 10:49 PM Re: Day trips (Tikal & Lamanai) from AC
gailtor Offline
I highly recommend the Tropic Air trip as well. If you do the overnite trip, you get to visit the quaint town of Flores and have more time at the Tikal ruins.
I have been to Tikal twice and will go again. Last time, we stayed right at the ruins. I was blown away by the sounds of the jungle at nite! Quiet it is not, especially since we had howler monkeys right at the lodge.
Tikal is so big and the history so amazing, you might want to consider doing some research before you get there.
Whatever option you decide, you will not regret it.

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