The Ruins of Xunantunich
The Ruins of Xunantunich
Slip on your walking shoes and step back in time with these marvelous Mayan ruins for this tour in Belize. The Xunantunich ruins are a wonderful example of the Classic Mayan period and were abandoned around 900 A.D., presumably due to a large earthquake in the area.
Your tour will begin in Belize with a scenic 90 minute ride from Belize City. Hop on a hand-cranked ferry to cross the Mopan River, then step into the ancient archeological site of Xunantunich. Located on a natural limestone ridge, this site was the first Mayan ruin opened to the public. Wind through 6 plazas and dozens of temples as your knowledgeable guide shares interesting facts about ancient Mayan life.
Xunantunich is the modern name of the area and is Mayan for Stone Woman. Legend has it that the ghost of a woman routinely appears in front of the El Castillo pyramid structure, ascends the steps and literally disappears into a stone wall.
Rising about 130 feet tall, El Castillo is the second highest structure in Belize and dominates the site. Follow in the Stone Woman's steps by taking a short, steep climb to the top and be rewarded with an impressive panoramic view of the Mopan, Macal and Belize River valleys and the nearby Peten District of Guatamala. While at El Castillo take a moment to admire the stucco friezes depicting various gods and the tree of life. Finish your time in Xunantunich relaxing at a local restaurant while you enjoy a traditional Belizean lunch before heading back to Belize City.
Reserve your spot now and get ready to discover the amazing ruins at Xunantunich.
Reviewer: Tracy Williams
We enjoyed our excursion to the Mayan Ruins at Xunantunich. We were fortunate to have a small group on the tour so it really felt personalized. Our guide, Gareth, was very knowledgeable, pleasant and kept us right on time. Everyone in the group liked the lunch that was provided from a local restaurant on our way back. It was truly tasty. The ruins were fascinating and climbing to the top is not for the faint of heart. I highly recommend this tour!
Reviewer: Laura Williams
We were fortunate to have a small tour group (6 people) and Garreth for our guide. He was quite knowledgeable about all things Belize. He was pleasant and kept us on track for our timeline. The ruins were amazing. If you are in the slightest bit afraid of heights, I can't recommend the climb to the top. If you do go, the view is astounding and I couldn't help imagining the people who built and used it. The lunch we were served was delicious. Garreth had us back to our cruise ship right on time. I can definitely recommend this tour.
Reviewer: Sara Bond
Made for a wonderful day trip and a great way to see more of the area! Guide was very knowledgeable and lunch was delicious local cuisine! Would definitely recommend
Reviewer: E. Ellis
Wonderful experience. Great guide and driver. Only criticism is the long drive there and back. Included meal was good as well. We learned a lot.
Reviewer: Edith George
Trip was interesting and pyramid was fantastic. My only complaint was the driver/guide needed audio system as in the back we could not hear a lot of what he was saying. Other than that it was a great excursion