Insider's Guide to Belize City

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5 star rating: Highly Recommended 28 Reviews

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  • Location:Belize City, Belize
  • Duration:9 hours (approx.)

Lamanai and the New River Safari in Belize

Explore the ancient Mayan ruins of Lamanai, one of the top sights in Belize. Cruise along the New River, spotting exotic wildlife as you make your way toward the awe-inspiring archaeological site. A short jungle hike will lead you to impressive temples, plazas, and stone carvings buried deep in Belize’s rainforest. Round-trip hotel transport and lunch by a tropical lagoon are included in this full-day tour.


  • Full-day excursion to the Lamanai Mayan ruins
  • Wildlife-spotting cruise along the New River
  • Short jungle hike to the Lamanai Mayan site
  • Lunch by the lagoon
  • Free time for rainforest sightseeing
  • Pickup and drop off from most Belize City hotels

What You Can Expect

Lamanai and the New River Safari in Belize

Mask Temple, Lamanai

Discover one of the most important and impressive Mayan sites in Belize with this full-day guided tour of Lamanai, which means “submerged crocodile” in Maya. After pickup from your Belize City hotel, you’ll pass through local villages on the 45-minute drive along the Northern Highway. At Tower Hill, you’ll hop on a boat for a cruise along the scenic creeks and lagoons of the New River.

Keep an eye out for many native bird species, including falcons, hawks, kites, and elegant jacanas treading on lily pads. Tropical orchids, bromeliads, and hardwood line the riverbanks, making for a beautiful journey toward the New River Lagoon. Here, you’ll get your first glimpse of the impressive stone ruins of Lamanai rising out of the jungle. After stepping back on to land, tour the site museum for some background on the ancient Maya and view artifacts found at the ruins. 

From here, a 1.5-mile (2.5km) hike will take you deeper into the jungle to the heart of the ancient city. A cluster of ceremonial structures appear through the lush rainforest, while the call of birds and howler monkeys provides a soundtrack for the mystical scene. You’ll see the Jaguar Temple, the well-preserved mask of the Mayan Sun God Kinich Ahau, carved stone stelae, the Mask Temple, and the imposing High Temple, which rises above the treetops.  

After touring the ruins with your guide, enjoy lunch on the side of the nearby lagoon. You’ll then have some time to explore the site on your own before making the journey back to your hotel.  

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2015

Our guide,Vel, was fun, knowlegeable, and interesting. He informed us about wildlife as well as Mayan culture and history. The river cruise was very pleasant, and the bus transportation and boat were both comfortable. We would do it again!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2014

This was absolutely amazing!! It was by far one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Every bit of it was incredible, from the boat trip over, the animals we saw (a monkey took a banana from me!), the tour itself, and those amazing buildings. Andy and I will always remember that view from the top of the temple for the rest of our lives. Our guide, Val, knew so much about the Maya and he was so entertaining and kind. We have recommended this experience to everyone who is talking about visiting Belize. WELL WORTH it!!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2014

Great tour! Lot's to see and learn!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2014

We were the only ones at the site on a friday morning. It was a beautiful boat ride and fascinating ruins.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended March 2014

An excellent tour! Had a great guide, learned a lot, and got to climb two of the ruins. Even heard a howler monkey in the trees at lamanai. During the river safari portion on the way to the site, saw a crocodile and many birds, and got to feed a spider monkey. One of my best days in Belize for sure!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2014

We absolutely loved our Lamanai tour. Our guide, Vel, was enthusiastic, pleasant and proud to show us what his country had to offer. He took time to show us wildlife along the boat ride and educated us about the locals that lived in the area. The trail to the ruins was easy and accommodating to ALL types of individuals. The howler monkeys made it a little more entertaining along the way. Once at the ruins, you are free to roam around and climb them if you choose. The view at the top were absolutely breathtaking.
We would have preferred to have more time to explore the ruin and, at times, we felt rushed. Other than that, everything was great!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2014

Very nice tour on the river and amazing Maya "town" in the jungle. Very friendly guide "Lev" but maybe somewhat overambitious trying to convince us how great the Mayans were. Trying to explain math to some in the group with higher education in math. But they gave up and let him go on, especially on "infinity". Some medicine facts were also false like that we get C vitamins from the sun... Other than that it was a fantastic tour.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2014

Great tour, interesting country! Thank you!!!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2013

Excellent trip, good combination of nature and culture, nice, good english speaking guide

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2013

It was great. Our guide Vel was funny, knowledgable and has a great eye for spotting crocodiles on the river banks. The riverboat ride and the ruins were beautiful- I highly recommend this.

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Tour code: 4110DEB3


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