Mayan sites, Belize
Xunantunich is a great little-known Mayan site near the western border of Belize near Guatemala. Built from 200-900AD, it showcases unusual stucco facades. The facades are different from other Mayan sites so even if you have visited other sites, this on is worth seeing.
Lamanai is an impressive Mayan archaeological site set deep in the Belizean jungle. A two hour boat ride from Orange Town (northern Belize) is required to get there. The beauty is that not many people have heard about it so tourists are very minimal. I hooked up with three brothers that took me to the site on their little speedboat (I had spent the evening prior lounging with them outside their restaurant as they recalled local crocodile horror stories....quite something!). One had studied Mayan history extensively in a few American universities and basically rattled off info during the tour that was beyond me. Not only was the archaeological site impressive, but the two hour boat ride through the jungle had me in awe. My personal guides would slow the boat and pull up beside a tree and point out what looked like bark to me....a few seconds later 4 baby bats would fly off! We spotted lounging crocs, egrets, etc. I could go on....amazing trip!
Lamanai, which is located on the New River (keep your eyes open for crocodiles and manatees, as well as the local troop of black howler monkeys and the more than 350 bird species recorded here
It is a long boat trip to the Mayan ruins at Lamanai. The day we went it was pouring down rain and we got soaked.
Buy a waterprouf poncho before you go, not afterwards like we did.
Don't miss a chance to visit Altun Ha, even if it does require renting a car or taxi for the day, although not as impressive as the other Mayan ruin near the Guatamala border "Xunantunich", as one of the Classic Mayan cities, it was a very important center and well worth a visit.
Picture yourself in 40 degree jungle heat rappelling down a rock face. Not just any rock face... but one that has small caverness openings in it containing sacrificial pottery from the Maya.
Very cool views and a nice place to 'hang' out!
When trying to see an impressive Mayan Ruin in Belize, most tour companies will take you to Guatemala. We didn't want to travel there because we were here to see Belize.so Carlos shared with us Caracol. The road to get there was dirt and had tons of holes, it was a roller coaster ride! It is anarchaelogical site that is presently being worked on and will continue to be worked on for at least the next 50 years. Every hill you come across is a pyramid from the ancient city. being an art teacher I love the fact some of the paint from long ago remains on a few of the structures.
Go find Mayan Temples, they are all over the place, here's Altun Ha, easily accessible from the cayes via boat to Bomba, and then a quick hours bus ride to Altun Ha. Stop and pick up some wood carvings on this trip. If your lucky you might get bananna bread on the way.