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Lamanai and the New River Safari in Belize

star-4.571 Reviews
Belize City, Belize
Lamanai and the New River Safari in Belize

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon9 hours  (approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 1 more


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
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Hotel pickup and drop off from select Belize City hotels
Local taxes
Fuel surcharge for hotels located north of San Pedro.

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7:30 AM
We pick up from all hotels and Air B&Bs in Belize City.
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 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.
Stop At:  
Lamanai Archaeological Reserve
Guest get to explore an ancient Maya city. Your expert guide will fill in the history and stories connected with the temples, ball courts, stellae and onsite museum.
Duration: 2 hours 
Admission Ticket Included
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Cruise port pickup and drop off not available
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 200 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Discovery Belize
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Lamanai and the New River Safari in Belize?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
See all safety measures taken by Lamanai and the New River Safari in Belize.
What is the policy on sanitization during Lamanai and the New River Safari in Belize?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Lamanai and the New River Safari in Belize.
What is the social distancing policy during Lamanai and the New River Safari in Belize?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Lamanai and the New River Safari in Belize.
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Lamanai and the New River Safari in Belize?
A:The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
See all safety measures taken by Lamanai and the New River Safari in Belize.

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71 Reviews
2 stars

Reviews by Viator travelers

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Showing 1-10 of 71 reviews
No notification of cancellation - very poor communication - EXPECT A FULL REFUND
, Jul 2022
The trip was cancelled, we weren't notified. We had to pursue them to find out. We expect a full refund. We had to figure out on our own how to do a tour. Fortunately, we were able to do so. Very disappointed that no one called us to let us know what was going on. Thanks to some very nice Belizean people, they helped us to have a great experience.
Our guide was great! He...
, Apr 2022
Our guide was great! He was very knowledgeable regarding history and plants and animals. He was kind and courtesy as well.
icon Response from Host , Apr 2022
Thank you for sharing and so glad you enjoyed your tour
Worth It.
, Dec 2021
The trip started with an hour boat ride to the ruins. We saw wildlife and other villagers during our travel. Once we arrived at the ruins, we were able to receive background information on the temples and climb them. That was a great exercise.
icon Response from Host , Dec 2021
So glad you enjoyed your tour, thanks for sharing.
Joe M
, Jan 2020
Excellent. Temple superb, walk thru jungle excellent. Staff knowledgeable about history, animals, fun.
icon Response from Host , Jan 2020
Thanks for the review. Sounds like you had a great time.
Special experience- overpriced
, Mar 2019
Beautiful experience we booked in advance of travel to Belize. Would advise all travelers to book upon artival: tour operators are many and many good ones plus a lot you can arrange on your own. Nearly $250pp for this outing was too much. Find a river transportation and learn about Lamanai by reading and park rangers.
2 travelers found this review helpful
River safari
Diane M
, Jul 2018
Our guide for the Mayan ruins walking tour was extremely pleasant and knowledgeable. The boat captain on the river was as well. Very worthwhile tour!!!
Our first adventure did not...
Paul S
, Mar 2018
Our first adventure did not disappoint. The river trip guide was very informative and stopped along the way to point out a variety of animal life including crocs, bats, and birds. The Lamanai temples are pretty amazing but due to the growth surrounding them it was hard to imagine how the whole complex functioned and fit together. We were expecting lunch close to the ruins so were quite hungry when we finally completed the trip and returned to the starting point restaurant for lunch, so bring snacks!
1 traveler found this review helpful
Highly recommended - an adventure...
Mel R
, Dec 2017
Highly recommended - an adventure. The van to pick us up was on time and comfortable for the trip to the boat landing. The trip up the river was on a smaller boat which provided the ability to stop and get close to the shore to view birds and iguanas. We saw one small crocodile. At Lamanai we heard a very loud troop of howler monkeys - then later had a troop of a dozen or so spider monkeys cross over the path between pyramids. The lunch was homemade food and was very good. Would go again.
the day was interesting and enjoyable...
Anthony F
, Nov 2017
the day was interesting and enjoyable completed with a grand meal by the new belize river
Traveling as a group of four and...
Philip B
, May 2017
Traveling as a group of four and staying in Belize City, we were excited to tour the Mayan ruins at Lamanai. We booked our tour online with Viator before traveling to Belize. The trip was very well organized. Our particular tour operator was Discovery Expeditions and our tour guide/driver to the New River was Vel. Two others in our group booked their trip while in Belize through another company. So it seems to be random which tour operator you are assigned. Vel picked us up in a van at our hotel and drove us to the New River about an hour and a half ride where we joined several other groups and different tour operators on the boat to Lamanai. The boat was very crowded with the various guides and different groups. The boat operator was outstanding. He stopped to point out crocs and birds during the 1 1/2 hour ride to Lamanai. Once at the ruins, our group was led by Vel who gave us an informative and well guided tour of the ruins. His presentation was fun and he was very knowledgeable. We hiked to four or five different temples and ruins and were allowed to climb them if we wished. I opted to climb several of the temples that had regularly built staircases. But I truly appreciated the beauty of the sites and the wonderful explanation that Vel gave about each of them. After we had toured the sites, the boat operator set out a traditional Belizean lunch for all who had been on the boat. The food was delicious and abundant. It was a nice surprise to get such a great lunch -- it exceeded our expectations. The boat ride back was shorter -- 45 minutes. And then Vel drove us back to our hotel in Belize City. We really enjoyed our trip. It would have been 5 star except I think the boat was a little overcrowded which made it tight to sit for a long period of time and after lunch, we were only given about 15 minutes to tour the gift shops and the museum and use the facilities. It seemed somewhat rushed at the end of the day. I would definitely recommend the trip to those wishing to see Mayan ruins.
What a great experience! Make sure...
Ronald N
, Mar 2017
What a great experience! Make sure to take your camera. You'll want to record the wildlife and the history. A beautiful country with wonderful people. We had the time of our lives.
Great trip! Loved all of the...
Verne C
, Jan 2016
Great trip! Loved all of the aspects of the tour with one exception. The boat ride back can be quite windy as you are at full tilt on the jet boat. Loved Lamanai and all of the wild life we saw. Our tour guide Vel was great.
The trip was great! The river ride...
Jacob R
, Jan 2016
The trip was great! The river ride was a lot of fun, and Lamanai was amazing. The guide, Vel, was ery enthusiastic, and a lot of fun. The only thing that could have been better is he could have told us more about the Mayans and what we were seeing instead of getting off on crazy tangents that didn't make much sense. All in all, a great trip, and I highly recommend it.
Vel - our tour guide, was friendly and...
Deborah P
, Dec 2015
Vel - our tour guide, was friendly and very informative with the history. Great tour.
Our guide,Vel, was fun...
, Jan 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!
I was not informed when I scheduled...
John S
, Sep 2014
I was not informed when I scheduled the tour that the reservation was only a TENTATIVE reservation dependent on whether enough other people signed up for the tour. When I called after arriving in Belize to schedule a pick-up point I was informed that the tour would not occur because no one else had signed up. I had to scramble to find someone who would schedule a CONFIRMED reservation since I had left a day empty on my schedule for for this tour. It is a total lack of courtesy on your part accept payment and fail to inform the person making the reservation that the reservation is tentative, not confirmed . I am not happy with Viator in any way.
1 traveler found this review helpful
This was absolutely amazing!! It...
Joy C
, Aug 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!!
I booked this trip from Toronto and...
Nina B
, Jun 2014
I booked this trip from Toronto and we received everything we expected. Before I tried to find Lamanai Tour on different websites, but Viator was the best and the most reliable. Thank you!
We were the only ones at the site on...
laura H
, May 2014
We were the only ones at the site on a friday morning. It was a beautiful boat ride and fascinating ruins.
An excellent tour! Had a great...
, Mar 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!

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