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Belize Mayan Ruins

Mayan Ruin Tours

Caracol

Departure: 7:30 am - Drive time: 2 - 2.5 hours

Hike to the top of giant temples that overlook the bountiful protected Chiquibul forest. Caracol is the largest Mayan site in Belize situated on the Vaca Plateau of the Cayo District. The name Caracol is Spanish for "snail shell" and was given because of the inordinate numbers of snail shells found there.
During the tour will you observe the earliest dated carved stelae (dating back to 400 A.D) to be found in Belize, and the massive structure called Caana or "Sky Place", believed to have been completed around 800 A.D. It is the tallest and largest human made structure in Belize.


The visitor’s center displays photographs, diagrams and artifacts from the site.
Things to bring: sunscreen, insect repellent, and comfortable footwear; sneakers recommended.

Xunantunich

Departure: anytime between 8:00 am and 2:30 pm - Drive time: 30 minutes

Xunantunich is a great introduction to the temples of the Maya. The ruins of Xunantunich are located on a natural limestone ridge approximately eight miles west of San Ignacio at San Jose Succotz Village in the Cayo District. The name is a Maya word meaning "stone lady" and is derived from a local legend.
The adventure begins before you even get to the ruin as it is only accessible by crossing the Mopan River on a hand-cranked ferry. Xunantunich consists of three ceremonial plazas enclosed by house mounds, pyramids, and palaces. The hilltop location provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the surrounding country and is ideal for bird watching. The most prominent structure is the pyramid "El Castillo" (The Castle) which rises 130 feet above the plaza.


The site also has a visitor's center, bathrooms, picnic areas and hiking trails.
Things to bring: sunscreen, insect repellent, and comfortable footwear; sneakers recommended.

Cahal Pech

Departure: anytime between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm - Drive time: 20 minutes

Just on the outskirts of San Ignacio, Cahal Pech sits on the west bank of the Macal River with a panoramic view of San Ignacio town and the Belize River Valley. The name of the site is a combination of Yucatec and Mopan Maya meaning "Place of Ticks", a name given to the site in the 1950s when the area around it was used for pasture.


Although work at Cahal Pech is still at a preliminary stage, visitors can experience the full range of archaeological investigations including 7 courtyards, temple pyramids and several long-range, residential-type buildings. The site is also within a beautiful jungle-type environment which is the home for many colorful birds and exotic plants. This dramatic contrast between the town and the jungle, which are in such close proximity, makes Cahal Pech a unique place to visit.


You can combine this tour with Xunantunich or El Pilar Mayan ruin tours or Canoe trip to San Ignacio or Tropical Wings butterfly farm tours.
Things to bring: sunscreen, insect repellent, and comfortable footwear; sneakers recommended.

Tikal

Departure: 7:00 am - Drive time: 2 - 2.5 hours

This full day tour takes you to Guatemala to visit Tikal- once one of the greatest Maya cities in the world. In its heyday it was the capital of a vast Mayan empire. Today, the site is one of Guatemala's premier tourist attractions. Its unspoiled jungle setting makes it special for discerning travelers, particularly naturalists and bird watchers. Tikal is a really spectacular site and the best Central American ruin there is. There are lots of temples to climb with amazing views of the nature reserve around.


On this tour you will see countless courts, palaces, temples and sites of unknown functions that exist within the park. The immensity of this hidden city in the jungle will impress and inspire those who visit, and certainly excite curiosity as to the civilization which built it. The ruins are so astounding that Director George Lucas used Tikal to represent the hidden rebel base in the classic film, Star Wars.
Things to bring: sunscreen, insect repellent, and comfortable footwear; sneakers recommended.

El Pilar

Departure: anytime between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm - Drive time: 45 minutes

Our El Pilar tour is special for nature, archaeology and ethno-botany lovers as it gives a glimpse of how Mayan ruins looked before excavation. Located right outside Bullet Tree village, El Pilar is not very excavated, but is one of Belize's largest Classic Maya centers.


The center of El Pilar consists of temples, palaces and elite structures, the tallest structure standing 70ft above the Plaza. At least one ball court has already been located. One of the most interesting features of the site is a 3 to 5ft wall which runs westward from the site and into Guatemala. It is not yet known what the purpose of this wall was, nor has the end of it yet been found.


There are picnic facilities in the center of the site as well as beautiful photographic vistas of both Guatemala and Belize. Several rest stops have been constructed along the trails and the reserve also has bathroom facilities. One of the longer trails (1½ miles) ends at a wonderful small waterfall with pools which make a refreshing stop after a hike. El Pilar is also considered by many as one of the finest bird-watching sites in Western Belize.


Things to bring: sunscreen, insect repellent, and comfortable footwear; sneakers recommended.

Xunantunich & Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins Combination

Departure: 9:00 am - Drive time: 30 minutes

You head to San Jose Succotz Village where you will cross the river by hand-cranked ferry. Just a little further on is the well known site of Xunantunich. You will have lunch here then go on to explore the beautiful site of Cahal Pech.


These two ruins can also be combined with a third, the El Pilar Mayan Site just a few miles away from the resort. This tour includes round trip transportation with pick up and drop off at the resort, lunch, entrance fee and an excellent guided tour.


Things to bring: sunscreen, insect repellent, and comfortable footwear; sneakers recommended.

Contact us today to learn more about our Belize Mayan Ruins