Belize Xunantunich Maya Temple
Discover the world of the Maya civilization with a visit to Xunantunich Maiden of the Rock.
This ancient city lies close to the western town of San Ignacio, located in the popular Cayo District, so your tour will take you through the scenic countryside of Belize, where your guide will delight you with history and fun facts of the country and its people.
Once you arrive, the Xunantunich Maya temples can only be accessed by a 19th century old hand-cranked ferry, which crosses the Mopan River. Xunantunich flourished during the Classic-period and appears to have survived the Maya collapse and remained an important population center until around AD 1000.
Once a major ceremonial center, it is composed of five main plazas, surrounded by more than 25 temples and palaces, three of which have been extensively excavated. Located on a natural limestone ridge, the site provides panoramic views of the hilly Cayo District and is situated just two miles from the Guatemala border.
The site boasts one of the most impressive structures in Belize: El Castillo a 130ft pyramid that dominates the landscape. A steep, but short climb to the top is recommended as this vantage point provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the surrounding Mopan and Belize River valleys, dense jungles as far as the eyes can see and Belizes Maya Mountains.
After your visit at Xunantunich, you will have an opportunity to explore the bustling town of San Ignacio and visit local shops as you stop in for a traditional Belizean lunch. A local market takes place each Saturday morning where you will see local farmers and Mennonites selling their produce; making it an opportune time to purchase local goods such as honey, jams or habanero sauces.
- What to wear and bring
Camera, Cash for Souvenirs, Insect Repellent, Light Clothing, Comfortable Walking Shoes, Hat, Sunglasses, and Sunblock.
Not wheelchair accessible. Climbing the ruins is not allowed during or after rain for safety reasons.