This adventure was created to offer you a unique and ultimate visit to two of the most popular ancient Maya Temples of western Belize.
Xunantunich is located approximately 80 miles west of Belize City and is situated at the point of a ridge above the Mopan River, within sight of the Guatemala Border. Its name means “Stone Maiden” in the Maya language. In order to get to the ruins site, all visitors must first cross the Mopan River by means of one of the last remaining hand cranked ferries in Belize. Once on site, you will see the majestic “El Castillo” pyramid surrounded by lush rainforest, as well as three adjoining plazas and some 20 additional structures. “El Castillo” is the site’s largest and highest –rising some 133 feet above the plaza and it is also the second tallest in all of Belize. This main temple is visible from some areas of the Belize River Valley below. On its east side there are well preserved remains of a stucco frieze containing a number of sun god masks. This decoration at one time extended around the entire temple. At the end, you will get a chance to enter the Museum.
Lunch will be enjoyed at one of the local restaurants in the area, which offers the most popular Belizean specialty- rice & beans, stewed chicken, fried ripe plantain & cole slaw with a glass of fresh orange juice to finish off the scrumptious meal!
After Lunch we head to Cahal Pech our last Maya Temple, Archaeological investigations from 1988 to 2002 indicate that Cahal Pech was first settled sometime around 1200 B.C. and abandoned around 800 -900 A.D. The site is particularly important for the information it has provided on the earliest Maya settlers of western Belize. Early cultural remains, for example, suggest that the site’s first inhabitants were relatively sophisticated. They built large circular platforms that were used for ceremonial purposes, they carved many Mesoamerican or Olmec-like symbols on their pottery, imported jade and obsidian from Guatemala, modelled many figurines in the form of female individuals, and produced decorative beads that were made from Conch shells brought from the Caribbean coast.
RECOMMENDED AGE: No age restriction
TIME: Approx. 7 hours total
WHAT TO BRING/WEAR:
- sturdy shoes
- bug spray