Marco Gonzalez Maya Site

Category
Attraction
Type of Attraction
Archaeological Site
District/Region
Ambergris Caye
Description
Highlights
  • Maya History
  • Marshland & Mangroves
  • Ancient Artifacts

About Location
The Marco Gonzales Maya Site is located at the southern tip of Ambergris Caye. It is the first national reserve on an island in Belize. On April 1, 2011, the National Institute of Culture and History and the Belize Institute of Archaeology have also signed the final paperwork with the Belizean Government in order to make Marco Gonzalez the first Maya Site National Park on Ambergris Caye. While the site is still under reconstruction and development, visitors are able to tour the site, view artifacts and go on eco-tours offered within the site.
 
Learn More
Events
Marco Gonzalez Spring Equinox Come out and experience the Mayan culture like never before! The Marco Gonzalez Archaeological Reserve was occupied from 100BC to approximately late 1400AC. ... moreWhat was thought to be a free standing island those thousands of years ago is now surrounded by mangrove marsh and has lost some of its mass due to sea rise of over 2.5 feet. Marco is one of over 20 Maya sites on Ambergris Caye, the home to the Coastal Maya Traders. Marco has been found to be the biggest of these sites. It sits in a forested environment with a trove of artifacts everywhere you look. Of course during the 500 years of abandonment, these items are in fragments, but a brief review at the office before your tour will help to identify items such as shells for jewelry, chert (stone) pieces still sharp for cutting, pottery shards (pieces) of jars and plates and much more. A self-guided tour is done by following the blue ribbons along the 7.5 acres of the reserve. Look, take pictures, hold them – LEAVE all behind. There are NO temples on Ambergris Caye or Marco; however, archaeologists have identified 50 mounds of former home sites – many are identified with our informational signs. Along the trails you may encounter some of the critters and birds which inhabit the site. The hermit crabs are particularly fun. And you may get a threatening stare from the many black stripped iguana. They’re scurry off soon enough.
2019 Marco Gonzalez Spring Equinox The Spring Equinox Event will be held on Sunday, March 24, 2019, at 10:00 a.m., where guests can enjoy a day of celebration of the start of all things new. This is also the only fundraising event held by the Belizean Non-Profit Organization, which manages the site. Cost of admission is $20BZ/$10US.

Activities will include the return of K’iche Maya Elder Martin Choc, 89 years old, to officiate the Blessing. He is joined by his grandson Jose who is Grandfather’s interpreter because Mr. Choc only speaks his native language and Spanish! Anyone who is celebrating a birthday, wedding, anniversary or special occasion is invited to the inner circle as the ceremony takes place. 

The ceremony is followed by the Masaewal Maya dancers from Yo Creek in their native costumes. You will be able to enjoy a table of artifacts on display from the San Pedro House of Culture as well as stop by Belize Chocolate Co.’s table for a demonstration of how Cacao goes from pod to bean to product. Maya music will be in the background while you enjoy food, beer and soft drinks or shop Maya items brought from the Toledo village of San Marcos. On hand will be representatives from Belize Institute of Archaeology to give tours of the site and answer your question of Maya occupation of the island.
Why should you attend the 2019 Marco Gonzalex Spring Equinox? This is a great opportunity to learn about the great Maya Civilization that once occupied the island of Ambergris Caye. There will be booths selling food and drinks and also booths from the San Pedro House of Culture and Belize Chocolate Co. to demonstrate the chocolate-making process. If you are planning on attending, please note the following: The site is 5 ½ miles from downtown San Pedro. The road may be bumpy due to late rains; allow 45 minutes to drive to the southern end of the island. After paying your entrance fee, the site is located ¼ mile – a 10/15 minute walk – inland via a boardwalk. After reaching the “high ground” of the site there is another 6 minute walk to the Main Plaza for the venue. The site is in the mangrove marsh; we control the mosquitoes as much as possible, but bring bug repellent and dress appropriately. Usually Spring is very comfortable on site. Admission, food and beverages require money; bring cash. No electricity for credit cards! Also note, very young children may get too curious with our critters! Under 5 years old not recommended.

Come enjoy a Maya immersion without leaving Ambergris Caye!
Entrance Fee:
$10 USD
Venue:
Marco Gonzalez Maya Site
Address:
San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye
Start Date:
Monday, 23 Mar, 2020Annually
District:
Island
Blogs
Forty-five minutes south of San Pedro Town, lies an area where Mayas built their community and established a different way of life on the island of Ambergris Caye. Not knowing what ... moreto expect, the Marco Gonzalez Spring Equinox was truly enlightening. We enjoyed ourselves from our tour of the site with Tony from the Institute of Archaeology (NICH) to having a taste of delicious pork tacos with fresh beans and pico de gallo.
Title:
Our day at the Marco Gonzalez Spring Equinox
Category:
Belizing Adventures
Author Name:
Angela Wu
Added Date:
Friday, 23 Mar, 2018
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