XUNANTUNICH MAYAN RUINS
Your journey takes you to the Belize mainland where you will visit the Xuantunich Mayan Ruins. This tour is typically coupled with another half day tour, making this mainland activity a full-day tour.
Take the Western highway for approximately 70 miles, until you reach Santa Elena town. Take the road that leads to Succotz village which is just before reaching Benque Viejo del Carmen. At this point you should see a ferry on the right hand side of the road and a sign for the Maya temple. You cross the ferry free of charge and Xunantunich is a three minute drive from there. Check out our full article devoted to Xunantunich Mayan Ruins.
Xunantunich means “maiden of the rock” or “stone woman” in Maya, and is situated on the Western Highway across the river from the village of San Jose Succotz. It can be reached by ferry daily between 8 am and 5 pm.
This site is less than one mile from some lovely rapids of the Mopan River and provides an impressive view of the entire river valley. Xunantunich is a Classic Period ceremonial center. The site core occupies only 300 square meters but the periphery covers several square kilometers On the main palace building is an astronomical carved frieze.
El Castillo tops off the peak at XunantunichThe highest ruin is 133 feet tall, the second tallest temple in all of Belize. Well-preserved sun god masks decorate one side of the structure. Six major plazas, more than 25 temples and palaces and a new museum are just some of the reasons why Xunantunich is one of the most visited sites.
The Belize Tourism Development Project has invested over half a million dollars to fully excavate the site and make it more visitor-friendly.