Day-trips from San Pedro to the ruins of Altun Ha (US$75–90) or Lamanai (US$135–160) are becoming increasingly popular, but can be done more cheaply from other parts of the country. However, with a good guide this is an excellent way to spot wildlife, including crocodiles and manatees, and the riverbank trees are often adorned with orchids. It’s also possible to visit some of the local ancient Maya sites on the northwest coast of Ambergris, many of which are just in the process of being excavated. On San Juan beach you’ll be scrunching over literally thousands of pieces of Maya pottery, but perhaps the most appealing site is Chac Balam, a ceremonial and administrative centre with deep burial chambers.

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