Embark on a fabulous adventure to see some of the finest Maya Ruins in Belize. The drive through the western villages of Belize is a cultural experience with first hand views of colorful homes, schools and market-places. Learn some of Belize’s history as you ride to your first visit which is Xunantunich Mayan temples (Mayan for “Maiden of the Rock”). Ride across the Mopan River on one of the country’s last of two- hand cranked river ferries. Across the river, the tallest of the ruins stand at approximately 130 feet high, the second tallest Mayan ruin in Belize-offering a panoramic view of San Ignacio and nearby towns in Guatemala and the River below- from the top of the pyramid. This site has been largely excavated and has a well-appointed educational museum (Information Center).
Latest News on Xunantunich Maya Ruins: In July of 2016, archaeologists who continue to work at Xunantunich Maya Ruins came across an ancient tomb situated under one of the smaller ruins- containing the skeletal remains of what is believed to have been a Mayan leader- based on the construction of the tomb itself. The figure has the features of a young man, thought to be in his 20’s or 30’s and laid to rest along with a number of other interesting items or value and importance including what experts believe may even be either a Jaguar or a deer. This new discovery exposes one of the largest burial sites in the area and adds significant historical value and importance to one of Belize’s most popular Mayan Cities.
Experience an authentic Belizean lunch in the immediate area of the ruins. Here is your chance to taste delicious Belizean food in a local restaurant away from the lodge before heading off to the second stop on this Maya history tour- the ruins of Cahal Pech, meaning “Place of the Ticks”.
Cahal Pech Maya Ruin is located just minutes from downtown San Ignacio. The information that this site provides allows us to create a mental picture of the early settlement and living habitats of the people who created these ruins.
Although the Cahal Pech ruins are smaller in size than any of the other popular ruins in Belize, their religious significance is vital to the story of the ancient Maya. Among the fascinating objects discovered, archaeologists found carvings made from Conch shells, moulded female figurines, pottery made with jade and obsidian thought to be imported from Guatemala and other items used for sacrificial purposes.
Also of interest are the two Ball Courts at Cahal Pech- which according to the writings of the Popol Vuh (sacred “bible” of the Maya), the game is believed to have been a ritual where victims to sacrificed were first “defeated” by their captors. While some archaeologists argue that this game may have been played for entertainment where players gained both honor and prestige- the courts are visual portions of the ruins of what was once a thriving culture filled with architecture and mysterious rituals and provide us with a glimpse of Belize’s rich past. This adventure can be part of your Belize all inclusive vacation tour selections.
Guest Testimonial of Xunantunich and Cahal Pech Maya Ruins Tour:
Our last trip (at Caves Branch) was to “Xunantunich”- a local Mayan ruin. Our generous guide, donated his time and also took us to Cahal Pech …The two Belize ruins were very different from each other, and interesting in different ways. If you plan on buying souvenirs while in Belize, make sure to shop at Xunantunich!”