Insider's Guide to Ambergris Caye

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Tour code: 4110SPRDEB3
Journey into the realm of the ancient Maya on this full-day air excursion to the Lamanai ruins, departing from Ambergris Caye. Be on the lookout for exotic wildlife as you cruise along the New River to reach the impressive ruins, which rise out of the jungle near a tropical lagoon. Your expert guide will lead you on an exploration of the majestic temples and palaces of this famed archaeological site. A traditional Belizean lunch and round-trip airfare are included. 


  • Full-day New River cruise and tour of Lamanai Mayan temple
  • See the sights from above as you take a round-trip flight from Ambergris Caye to Belize City
  • Relax on a riverboat ride along the scenic New River and lagoon and see exotic animals
  • Visit the temple ruins, ball court and ceremonial sites of Lamanai
  • See archeological artifacts of the Mayans and learn about their colonial history
  • Enjoy a delicious Belizean lunch and beverage at the Smoky Mermaid II, a local restaurant

What You Can Expect

Belize New River Cruise and Lamanai Mayan Ruins Day Trip by Air from Ambergris Caye

River Cruise in Belize

Start this full-day air tour with a short 15-minute flight from the San Pedro Ambergris Caye Airstrip to Belize City. Relax on a scenic and informative 1-hour ride along the Northern Highway as you make your way to your first stop. When you arrive with your guide at Lamanai Landings, enjoy light refreshments before boarding a riverboat for your sightseeing cruise on Belize’s New River (Rio Nuevo).

As you pass small creeks and tributaries, keep an eye out for raptors such as great black hawks, kite birds and falcons, as well as herons, Jabiru storks and jacanas – dainty tropical birds that stride across the lily pads. Your guide may point out the spider monkeys that inhabit the broadleaf forest overhead, as well as crocodiles basking on sunny riverbanks.

From the entrance to the New River Lagoon, the largest body of fresh water in Belize, catch a breathtaking sight of the majestic temple ruins of Lamanai (Maya for ‘Submerged Crocodile’), nestled into 2 square miles (3.2 square kilometers) of the surrounding forest. Then, hop off your boat and gather at the museum to see original artifacts and learn more about this ancient Mayan city – the largest and oldest in Belize.

As you walk around the Mayan ruins, you’ll encounter plazas and temples like Mask Temple, which dates back to 450 AD and is the smallest of three excavated main temples. Here, two 13-foot (4-meter) stone faces adorn each side. At the Stela Temple you’ll also see a stone monument depicting the Mayan ruler Lord Smoking Shell in ceremonial dress.

Next, visit the Jaguar Temple, where a jade mask and jewelry were excavated, and pass the ceremonial ball court before ascending the High Temple, which rises 100 feet (33 meters) with spectacular panoramic views from its top. Listen to birdsong and the hooting of howler monkeys echoing among the strangler figs and vines.

On your way back to the New River Lagoon, your guide will point out medicinal flora such as the copal and ramon trees used by the Mayans. After returning by riverboat to Lamanai Landings, relax for a Belizean lunch at the Smoky Mermaid II, a restaurant located along the banks of the New River in Orange Walk. Afterward, return to Belize City by coach for your flight back to Ambergris Caye.

Customer Reviews


5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

Except for not getting information on pick up time from Viator... all else was above expectations. Someone escorted us every step of the way. VEL AND Andy went above and beyond and where full of interesting facts. The Mayan ruins took my breath away and we're so mystical.would HIGHLY recommend

Lyn P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2014

This is amazing tour, hearing the history about the site. The boat ride was enjoyable, don't forget the bug spray for hike thru the jungle. An agent met us at the airport in San Pedro to make sure we were on the flight and another agent met us at Belize international airport. Our guide "Vel" is knowledgeable and entertaining, I would definitely recommend this to see.

Virginia C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2013

Fabulous tour and well worth money! Guide was friendly and knowledgeable.

From USD $ 291.60

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