XUNANTUNICH RUINS

You can ask to work the hand-cranked ferry yourself as your ride across the Mopan River near the village of San Jose Succotz toward the archeological site of Xunantunich (pronounced “shoo-nan-too-NEECH”).

Meaning “Stone Maiden” in Maya, this site from the Classic Period is relatively small and very easy to move around.  El Castillo, the massive 120-foot-high main temple, was built on a leveled hilltop and has a spectacular 360-degree panorama of the Mopan River Valley looking across Belize’s Cayo District and into Guatemala.  On the eastern wall of El Castillo is a reproduction of one of the finest Mayan carvings in Belize—a frieze decorated with jaguar heads, human faces, and abstract geometric patterns telling the story of the Moon’s affair with Morning Light.

Drive Time from Table Rock: 25 minutes

Adventure Level: Easy.  This adventure has a short drive via paved highway.  The ruins are built on a flat area and encompass only a small area, so it’s easy to get around the entire site.  To increase the Adventure Level of this trip, try climbing to the top of El Castillo.

This trip is available as a Half-Day tour, or as a Full Day package with either Cahal Pech Ruins, Barton Creek Cave Canoeing, Chechem Ha Cave, Ziplining, Rio On Pools & Falls, or Big Rock Falls.

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