Posted: Thursday, April 1, 2021. 1:35 pm CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Institute of Archaeology, National Institute of Culture and History (IA/NICH) published the new guidelines for tour visits to the archaeological sites in Belize.
IA/NICH said these guidelines go into effect today, Thursday, April 1.
The IA/NICH said it is “working closely with the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all employees and visitors on the archaeological reserves.”
According to the IA/NICH, when visitors arrive at any archaeological reserve, visiting tour groups should follow the instructions of the tour guide with guidance provided by the archaeological reserves staff.
It advises tour guides and operators that tickets should be purchased at approved NICH ticketing locations before traveling to the site and that all ticketing transactions at the archaeological sites should be conducted by the tour guides.
IA/NICH also said that “tour guides and guests are required to have minimal interaction with park rangers.”
It added that to avoid visitors congregating in restricted spaces, the visitors’ centers at the archaeological sites will remain closed and that climbing will be monitored on certain temples.
Tour guides will not be allowed to hang out at the archaeological reserves. The exception is Nohoch Che’en Archaeological Reserve at Caves Branch where a maximum of ten freelance tour guides will be allowed at any given time.
The guests to guide ratio at the archaeological reserves remains at ten guests to one guide with the exception of Actun Tunichil Muknal, popularly known as the ATM Caves, Nohoch Che’en and Barton Creek, all in the Cayo District.
At the ATM Caves the new guest to guide ratio is now 6:1. Plus, there has to be a five-minute interval between groups of guests within trails and cave.
The guests to guide ratio at Nohoch Che’en remains at 8:1.
At Barton Creek canoes entering the cave will be allowed to enter at five-minute intervals and canoes have to maintain a distance of six feet from each other.
For more information, you may contact the Institute of Archaeology at email@example.com.
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