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 1.5 hour 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.
This standard tour is 6 hours long and includes soft drinks and lunch; alcoholic beverages may be purchased separately. Wheelchair access not available.
Please Note: The El Castillo climb is recommended only to those who can safely navigate the 130 foot structure.
Reserve your spot now and get ready to discover the amazing ruins at Xunantunich.
Reviewer: Cheryl Horvath
We could not go to the original place because of flooding, so the guide brought us to another. The trip was so very enlightening! We traveled across Belize for 70 miles. We had a chance to see the houses and people.Our driver(guide) told us of the local people and customs. He was very knowledgable as he grew up there. He knew the history of the ruins also. The ruins we went to were amazing! Afterwards we were brought to a local restaurant and were served the local dish. Absolutely fantastic experience. I highly recommend it.
Reviewer: Belinda Bernal
This tour did not disappoint!! The tour driver's knowledge of Belize and sights was impressive! We rode in comfort, NEW mini-van, small group made it intimate. The ruins were amazing and the driver was so accommodating, anticipated our needs! Did not make us walk more than we had to!! Lunch was superb, excellent example of local cuisine! Would highly recommend this tour to any first time visitors to Belize!!