TRIP ADVISOR on the internet is currently complaining on behalf of a tourist couple that got ripped off by MAYA WALK TOURS. The story copied below is posted here. Our own experience and that of many other tourists and many other people in Cayo West area, is that this MAYA WALK operation think they are MAFIA and also get the support of local police officers, due to ( the gossip says ) giving them a free beer once in a while. There have been MANY local complaints against MAYA WALK TOURS, it is not only tourists. Tales of alleged slashed tires of competition vehicle tires. Threats and intimidation, physical assaults, unwarranted police collusion. Numerous court cases. The complaints go on, year after year.
Unfortunately our low quality of police makes them susceptible to bribes. The justice system corrupt. The police come very cheap if the gossip is true, on the offshore barrier reef tourist islands, the police are noted for shaking down and extorting tourists? The government has since hired tourist police to watch and control the national police. Who watches the TOURIST POLICE?
At any rate, local TOURIST PLACES should warn their guests about MAYA WALK TOURS and if at all possible use the best service in Western Belize that many small lodges, and hotels use - PACZ TOURS! It is located across the street facing Maya Walk Tours.
----- Forwarded Message -----
To: "Alberto August"
Sent: Monday, February 1, 2010 6:37:55 PM GMT -06:00 Central America
Subject: Problems with Mayawalk
This is a condensed paraphrased version of what happened, but am waiting for e-mails from the complaining tourists to get a more complete version. The complaints against Mr. Juan of Maya Walk Tours are so many, over many years, you could write a book about them. Both from locals and foreign visitors. Seems everybody in business has a loony story of threats, intimidation and attacks? Locals wonder the man is still alive and has not been assassinated yet?
Good day. I was wondering if I could give out your email, or email you some letters pertaining to a couple of incidents that have happened between Mayawalk Tours and some tourists. I'm a teacher here at SHJC, but at the same time maintain the Best of Cayo site, and am a destination expert for Cayo on Tripadvisor.com. I've quoted your issue #148 quite a few times on the web, and just did again due to a very unfortunate circumstance.
A couple that stayed at the Parrot Nest last week asked us to pick them up from their hotel in town extra early, and they were very distressed when we did. Apparently, they had been double charged on their credit card, and had given Mayawalk all of their cash for 2 tours. They didn't get one of the tours that they really wanted, and instead got a lesser tour. When they got back from the tour, they asked for one of the charges to be charged back, and they also wanted their money back since they needed it to pay for their hotel. After getting the runaround for 4 or so hours, and seeing that Mayawalk was about to close, they called the police. When the policeman got there, they claimed that it was obvious that he was a good friend of Mr. Juan.
After stating their case, and Mr. Juan trying to take their cash voucher away from them, and them not letting him get it, the officer said he was going to arrest them! Needless to say, the female tourist burst into tears, and the male was highly distressed. It ended with them finally getting a charge back, but they weren't given there money back. The officer also hassled them more, and got all of their personal information. They also claim that Mr. Juan threatened them. They were actually too scared to walk back along the street to their hotel, and instead went through Eva's to get there. I've corroborated the story with at least a dozen people that were at either Eva's or close by.
This is about the worst publicity that Cayo could ever get. They are planning on sending letters to the BTB, the BTIA national, the BTIA Cayo, the BNTOA, the Tour Guide Association, and the U.S. Embassy. I've also had another tourist ask for some of the same emails in order to file a complaint against Mayawalk. Not that I want to be a part of this, but between TA and the fact that they stayed with us, I guess I'm kind of damned if I do, damned if I don't, so. If you don't mind, please let me know.
Have a great February,