The Xunantunich Mayan ruins are, in all honesty, a magnificent sight to behold. Some 80 miles on paved highway east of Belize City (among the northern foothills of the Maya Mountain Range), is one of the fabled kingdoms of the ancient Maya, called XUNANTUNICH (Shoo-nan-too-niche), meaning “Maiden of the Rock”.
Your air-conditioned tour van will be rolling along the Western Highway, the flat terrain of the coastal plain of Belize, and then take you gradually through rolling, hilly countryside, past the new capital city of Belmopan, along Creole and Meztiso Villages, passing the Mennonite community of Spanish Lookout with their beautifully kept farmlands, past one of the three large cattle ranches of Belize (Running ‘W’ Ranch), through San Ignacio/Santa Elena, twin towns of the Cayo District and across the Macal River, and finally to the southern banks of the Mopan River; then you will cross over by hand operated ferry, and move to Xunantunich a mile uphill, where there are lush tropical rainforests on either side of the road and at the site.
Take a guided tour across grassy plazas, marvel at the perfect architecture of El Castillo, one of the three largest Maya temples of Belize (and the largest structure on this site, standing 130 ft. above plaza level), with its reconstructed East and West friezes representing Gods of the Maya and several inner chambers. Continue moving through other temples and courtyards where kings, queens, and their elite once carried out special ceremonies honoring a pantheon of gods of a fantastic cosmological religion which reigned supreme in Mesoamerica for thousands of years. There is an excellent display center at the site, and you’ll have a chance to climb the “stairway to heaven” on El Castillo. From the top you will be able to see as far away as the Melchor de Mencos border town of nearby Guatemala; as well as being able to spot Benque Viejo del Carmen and San Jose Succotz, a town and village of western Belize.
There’s no doubt that this was the top of the world for the Maya!
Lunch is served at a Belizean restaurant back on the highway, along with some more shopping; then move leisurely back in your tour van to Belize City where you will be transported back to Ambergris Caye. Our guests always rave about our Belize Mayan ruins tours—now you can come and see for yourself.
Schedule: Available daily (with minimum 6 registered participants)
Belize City to Xunantunich : 2 hours (with bathroom and shopping stop)
Site tour and lunch: About 3 hours
Return to Belize City: 2 hours (again bathroom stop if necessary)
Cost: USD $220 per person
We suggest you bring : Sunblock, hat or cap, camera, bottled water (ask your guide to provide a cooler for iced bottled water). Bring along a small packet of wipes, keep in cooler on ice, and you’ll have cold, refreshing wipes at the tour’s end.
Contact the Captain Morgan’s Retreat Tour Desk to learn more!