This is everything you need to know about the Lamanai Ruins in Belize. Follow along as I explore the 3 temples and share my best tips for a great experience. From a packing list, whether or not to hire a guide, and the wildlife you can see… this is Lamanai Ruins!
How to get there
Fly into BZE, in Belize City. You can arrange for a ride from the airport if you decide to use a guide. I booked a guide from the Lamanai Outpost Lodge, the closest accommodations to the ruins. It takes 1 hour in a van and 1 hour in a boat ride (see my full blog post and video about the boat ride!)
Where to Stay
- Lamanai Outpost Lodge is one of the very best eco-lodges in Belize and the only one with access to the Lamanai Mayan Ruins. (This is where I stayed. See, my full blogpost about the Lodge!)
When to Go
Late November to mid April is the country’s dry season. Don’t go later than July. I went the first week of August and I had some rain showers every day.
- How active do you have to be? Athletic enough to climb up the towers. The high Temple is 108’ high, and worth the hike!
- Do you need a guide? I recommend you do. I hired a guide from the Lamanai Outpost Lodge who was a local and educated about the ruins.
- How do these Ruins compare to others you’ve seen in the world? There are only a few temples, the Jaguar, Mask & High Temple, and they are very spread out through the jungle along the lagoon. The huge pro is that there are very few tourists. Bottom line: it’s worth going and having the place to yourself.
- Favorite Temple? High Temple! At 108 feet tall, you can see to Mexico & Guatemala!
- What to wear? Tropic clothing, shorts, Chacos or hiking shoes, and a hat.
- What should you pack? Bring bug-spray, water, sunscreen and maybe a towel to wipe off the sweat from the humidity.
About the Ruins
One of the benefits of staying at the Lamanai Outpost Lodge was having direct access to the Lamanai Ruins during my entire stay. I went twice and was able to climb all 3 temples.
There is a small museum that has the history of the ruins. It takes about 45min to read all the placards, but you can get a good feel in about 15 minutes. If you hire a local guide, they should be able to tell you everything you want to know.
While wandering from temple to temple, take the time to look around. There are tarantulas everywhere at the Ruins along with many types of birds including Toucans and Egrets. We even saw a croc as we pulled into the dock that morning!
Checklist to Have the Best Time!
- Climb all 3 temples
- Take a selfie on top of each temple.
- Bring some cash to by handmade items from locals
- Watch your step – the stairs are very steep!
- Definitely see the High Temple – this has the best views
- Apply sunscreen often! There are shaded areas but lots of sunny parts, too.
- Put your camera or phone away and breathe in the fresh air at the top
- Bring some snacks or a lunch
Book a Room Near the Ruins
Book a room at the Lamanai Outpost Lodge here!
Lamanai Landing – 5 stars on Trip Advisor.
Lamanai Riverside Retreat – 4 stars on Trip Advisor.
This video is not sponsored and all my reviews and opinions are based on my own experience, which may not be the same for everyone. This contains affiliate links which will help support this blog! If you choose to use them, thank you for your support 🙂