ALTUN HA MAYAN RUINS
Your journey takes you to the Belize mainland where you will visit the Altun Ha Mayan Ruins. This tour is typically coupled with another half day tour, making this mainland activity a full-day tour.
Altun Ha is located about 31 miles (1/2 hour) north of Belize City on the Old Norther Highway (just past Sandhill Village). You follow the Old Northern Highway about 14 miles, and then on your left is Rockstone Pond Road. You follow this for another two-miles. This dirt road connects the main road to the site.
The most significant find ny archeologists to-date, is the Maya Jade Head. It is believed that his jade head represents the Mayan Sun God, Kinich Ahua. It is the largest object of carved jade discovered in the Maya civilization thus far, and is considered one of the crown jewels of Belize.
Why visit Altun Ha? Because it helps you to understand the history of they Mayan World. In its day, Altun Ha was an important trading, agricultural and ceremonial center to the Mayan people. The temple here focuses on the worship of the sun, and is dedicated to the Mayan Sun God. One of the artifacts excavated at this site, is a spectacular round jade carved replica, believed to be the head of Kinich Aha, the Mayan Sun God.
Archeologists estimate that Altun Ha was occupied from 350 BC to about 95 AD. For bird lovers, this is a great site to do a little bird watching. The area around the Altun Ha is rich in wildlife including armadillos, bats, squirrels, agouti, paca, foxes, raccoons, coati, tyra, tapir and the white-tailed deer. Two hundred species of birds have been recorded and there are large crocodiles that inhabit the Maya-made water reservoir. Altun Ha, a major ceremonial and vital trade center during the Classic Period, has two principal plazas.