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#38301 - 05/01/01 01:41 AM Lamanai vs Altun Ha
Boston Lobster Offline
I have been to Chichen Itza and Tikal. I realize that these are more impressive ruins than those in Belize. Nevertheless I would like to visit either Lamanai or Altun Ha. Anybody been to both that prefers one to the other?

#38302 - 05/01/01 02:37 AM Re: Lamanai vs Altun Ha
Denny Shane Offline
Well, Lamanai is a bit more adventurous to get to and much bigger site. Altun Ha is a very small site. I always recommended ALtun Ha to people that didn't want to travel a lot in either direction... I'd opt for Lamanai I think...

#38303 - 05/01/01 04:15 AM Re: Lamanai vs Altun Ha
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Lamanai has a more beautiful setting, on a lagoon. It is larger. You can see more wildlife, namely howler monkeys and perhaps a spider monkey. The trip there is more interesting, up the New river and lagoon. I'd says definitely Lamanai.

Tikal and Chichen Itza are great, but far more touristy than any Maya site in Belize.

--Lan Sluder
Belize First Magazine http://www.turq.com/belizefirst/
Lan Sluder/Belize First

#38304 - 05/01/01 01:03 PM Re: Lamanai vs Altun Ha
Boston Lobster Offline
If what you mean Lan, is that there are more tourists at these sites, I have no comment. But I learned an incredible amount of information about the Mayans at Chichen Itza and there was much more to actually see and visit in Chichen Itza than Tikal including the sacrificial chamber that is inside the pyramid near the top, the posts where those sacrificed had their backs broken so they wouldn't resist having their hearts removed while they were alive and the courts where the winner had his head severed. This plus the influence of numbers on their culture and the heiroglyphc language they had and the revealing images on their walls were fascinating to me, if not horrifying at the same time. The trip to Tikal could not compare in terms of being visually impressive as it is much less excavated and therefore has much less ability to convey information in a dramatic and memorable way. I ususally associate touristy as frivolous. I would not associate that thought with either of these sites. As an aside, I felt very uncomfortable in Guatemala and was happy to leave without being shot or imprisoned. There wer a lot of guys walking around with machine guns slung over their shoulders which I found threatening.

#38305 - 05/01/01 03:35 PM Re: Lamanai vs Altun Ha
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Yes, I mean in part that both Chichen Itza and Tikal have far more tourists than any site in Belize. The number of tourists at a site has an impact on one's experience there. In my opinion it is more difficult to appreciate the Maya culture and achievement when surrounded by hundreds or even thousands of day-trippers from the high rises of Cancun, and even Tikal, remote as it is, gets many hundreds of times more visitors than the busiest site in Belize. I've been there when it looked like Disney World. By contrast, I have been to Lamanai a number of times when I was the only visitor there. Just me and a couple of troops of baboons, plus the caretaker and his wife. Altun Ha is a little busier, but usually there are just a handful of people walking around. Caracol, in its remote setting in the Chiquibul Wilderness, also gets few visitors. The Caracol site is larger than Tikal, though not as far along in excavation.

--Lan Sluder
Lan Sluder/Belize First

#38306 - 05/01/01 05:47 PM Re: Lamanai vs Altun Ha
munichchick Offline
I think all these Mayan Sites are a wonderful
experience touristy or not and worth while a visit. Coba is another great Mayan Site and when we where there during the rainy season we where alone. We felt like Indiana Jones
being the only 2 people on top of the tall Mayan Pyramid overlooking the jungle with a lightning storm in the distance made us truly feel the Magic. We just love exploring them all and always learn something new about the Mayan civilization.

#38307 - 05/07/01 09:45 PM Re: Lamanai vs Altun Ha
ivyjade Offline
Can anyone suggest what's good to wear to the ruins? I'll be there in late May/early June - my main concerns are mosquitos and sun. I'll bring sun screen and bug spray of course..but do I have to wear long sleeved shirts/pants? I'll probably visit Tikal and Altun Ha.

#38308 - 05/07/01 09:57 PM Re: Lamanai vs Altun Ha
Punta Rebel Girl Offline
Ivyjade, I was there in April and went to Altun Ha. I just wore shorts and a tank and had my bathing suit on underneath. No problem at all with bugs, don't think I even saw a fly while I was there, but this may be different in May or June. Sunscreen I would highly recommend and not just 2 or 4 or even 8 if you are the slightest bit fair skinned, go for 15 or higher. The sun is hot and strong, no point in ruining a perfectly wonderful trip because of sunburn.
Hope this helps.
Punta Rebel Girl
Debbie, the Punta Girl

#38309 - 05/07/01 11:55 PM Re: Lamanai vs Altun Ha
jCalise Offline
We went to Altun Ha and enjoyed this small ruin. The trip included a side trip to Maruba Jungle Spa for lunch on your own and it was the best!!, use of their tropical pool, horseback riding--not too exciting. Could have gotten a massage, etc, but it was too hot in my opinion. The spa is worth the trip. Altun Ha is cheaper, andshorter. Some people we talked to thought the trip to Lamani was too hot and way to long. I guessit you are really into ruins big time go to Lamini, but Altun Ha was just right for us. Gotta see Maruba Jungle Spa, though.

#38310 - 05/10/01 05:33 AM Re: Lamanai vs Altun Ha
ivyjade Offline
Great, thanks very much both of you..I really appreciate the information..this is a great board..taking care of all of my questions :-)

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