Xunantunich Archaeological Site

Category
Attraction
Type of Attraction
Archaeological Site, Landmark
District/Region
Cayo
Description
Highlights
  • Hiking
  • Ferry
  • Largest Tomb in Belize
  • Scenic Views

About Location
Xunantunich, roughly translated as "Maiden of the Rock" or "Stone Woman" from the Yucatec Maya language, is an astonishing temple constructed by the ancient Mayas. It was an important ceremonial centre built around AD 600 near the end of the Maya Late Classic Period. Located in western Belize on the George Price Highway, eager visitors must first travel on a ferry across the river to view the amazing structure.
 
Features:
Phone Service, Parking
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Available Listings
$
225
/ Person
Departs From:
Placencia
A must-visit, even when on the shortest stays in our beautiful country. Xunantunich is a national treasure that fills its visitors with a sense of time travel. If that isn’t appealing ... moreenough, how about saddling up a horse and riding into the shadow of this Mayan temple. You’ll depart from you Placencia accommodation for a three-hour drive to the stable site in San Ignacio. Once here, you’ll be given a basic safety and orientation briefing. Our horses are well trained, and our guide will lead the way as you ride the well-maintained trails and the winding path along the Mopan River that that runs through the village of San Jose Succotz. You're hit with how green and lush everything is. Some visitors might get to see a group of women doing laundry in the river while their children swim nearby.

Local souvenirs, hammocks, and blankets are available from the many vendors waiting alongside the River where you board the hand-cranked ferry that has carried many thousands to and from the calm beauty of this Maya Temple. Here, you’ll dismount your horse and the journey to Xunantunich begins on the other bank of the river.

Xunantunich is very well kept and offers many opportunities for amazing selfies and group photos. The views from atop the castle are stupendous and go on for miles. Its wide-open spaces have provided a lovely backdrop for proposals and weddings and have served as a location for a few films and telenovelas. The temples are nestled in between lush rainforest whose trees may bloom vibrant red, yellow, orange, or pink in season. Bring along a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, along with an open heart to experience simplicity and visiting another world for a few hours.

Gratuity is not included in the price.
$
100
/ Person
$
280
/ Group
Departs From:
Hopkins
Xunantunich Mayan ruin, also known as the "Maiden of the Rock” is the second tallest Mayan ruin in Belize. Xunantunich is located across from Benque Viejo Road near the village of ... moreSan Jose Succotz just a few miles from Belize’s western border with Guatemala. From there a hand-cranked ferry will take you across the Mopan River. From the other side of the river, it's a mile uphill to the site, which can be accessed on foot or in a vehicle.

The Blue Hole is a cool and refreshing place for an afternoon swim. It was formed by the collapse of an underground limestone cave. In this case, the river running through the original cavern still flows through the cave system and forms a sapphire-colored pool at the bottom of the sinkhole. The depression measures about 100 feet deep and 300 feet in diameter, with the actual blue hole at the depression’s base having a depth of about 25 feet.
$
85
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Provider:
Xunantunich, which means “Stone Lady” in the Mayan language, is one of the many impressive ancient Mayan sites in Belize. To reach these ruins, you will travel with your guide in a ... morehand-cranked ferry across the Mopan River. Xunantunich sits atop a stunning green hilltop with views of a nearby border town, Benque Viejo del Carmen, and Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala. Enjoy a half-day climbing the pyramids, some of which were recently excavated. Learn more about Mayan history in the museum, including how the name of the ruins changed over time. If you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the howler monkeys that live in the forest canopies at the site, or a wish willy (black iguana) that can be spotted trying to blend into the rock of the pyramids. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the site, or travel back across the river to try some yummy local cuisine. A must-see in Belize!
$
250
/ Person
Departs From:
Hopkins
Xunantunich means the “Stone Maiden” in the Maya language. Since 1892, numerous people have claimed to have seen a ghost here, dressed completely in white with red glowing ... moreeyes. Ongoing excavations have revealed that the Xunantunich Mayan ruins in Belize probably played an important role in the political power struggle of the Classical period. It seems likely that it joined in an alliance with Caracol & Calakmul in Mexico to bring down Tikal in Guatemala. Xunantunich stands on a flattened hilltop, overlooking the Mopan River in Belize. There are 5 plazas on site, which were once part of this Maya civic ceremonial center. However they are completely overshadowed by the towering El Castillo or The Castle – it’s what makes the Xunantunich Mayan ruins in San Ignacio one of the top destinations in Belize.
$
185
/ Person
Departs From:
Belize City
Start your day Experiencing chocolate making in the most natural and hands-on way. Roasted cacao beans will be grinded into a paste using the traditional tools: mano and matate, then ... moremade into a beverage with added cinnamon, chili, honey, and spice. Sample freshly harvested beans and Belizean made dark chocolate, then take home a paste of your own to create your own recipe. This unique experience is followed by a Visit to the Mayan city of Xunantunich where you get to Climb the second largest Mayan temple in Belize “El Castillo” standing at 137ft off the ground and take in the exciting view off all the other temples that sits below it. Let your guide explain the meaning of the stacco decoration displaying the Sun God flanked by signs of the moon, venus and different days located on the side of El Castillo. Your guide will them take you to enjoy a hot Belizean lunch and a drive through one of the most beautiful parts of the country as you make your way to the cave tubing site. A small hike through the rainforest leads you to a beautiful lazy river where your relaxing cave tubing adventure will begin. Relax as your guide takes through a sacred cave system then on to an open river where the kiss of the sun will simply complete your day as it comes to an end.
$
145
/ Person
Departs From:
Belize City
Climb the second largest Mayan temple in Belize “El Castillo” standing at 137ft off the ground and take in the exciting view of all the other temples that sits below it. Let your guide ... moreexplain the significance of the stacco decoration displaying the Sun God flanked by signs of the moon, venus and different days located on the side of El Castillo. Enjoy a lovely Belizean lunch, but be sure they left space for what’s coming next! Experience chocolate making in the most natural and hands-on way. Roasted cacao beans will be grinded into a paste using the traditional tools: mano and matate, then made into a beverage with added cinnamon, chili, honey, and spice. Sample freshly harvested beans and Belizean made dark chocolate, then take home a paste of your own to create your own recipe.
$
130
/ Person
Departs From:
Placencia
Provider:
As we embark on this 100-mile drive through the hills of the country, you’ll encounter a breathtaking view of the mountains as we make our way to the Western Highway. We’ll pass Maya ... moreand Mestizo communities with their beautifully maintained farmlands and cattle farms.

Once we come to the banks of the Mopan River, we will cross on a hand-operated ferry before arriving across grassy plazas, where you will marvel at the architecture of El Castillo, one of the largest Maya Temples of Belize, and the largest structure at Xunantunich. El Castillo stands 130 feet above plaza level, with its reconstructed East and West friezes representing Gods of the Maya and several inner chambers. We’ll also move through other temples and courtyards where kings, queens and their elite carried out special ceremonies. Xunantunich has an excellent display center at the site, and you will have a chance to climb the “stairway to heaven” on El Castillo. This vantage point provides a breathtaking panoramic view of surrounding rivers and towns as well as Guatemala. After the tour, we enjoy a nice meal at a local restaurant in the town of San Ignacio. We make a stop on the way back on the Hummingbird Highway at St Herman Blue Hole for its natural turquoise pool surrounding by mosses and lush vegetation the perfect spot for an afternoon swim.
$
225
/ Person
Departs From:
Placencia
Provider:
As we embark on this 100-mile drive through the hills of the country, you’ll encounter a breathtaking view of the mountains as we make our way to the Western Highway. Once we come ... moreto the banks of the Mopan River, we will cross on a hand-operated ferry before arriving across grassy plazas, where you explore the architecture of Xunantunich, at its highest point (130ft) it provides a breathtaking panoramic view of surrounding rivers and towns as well as Guatemala. After exploring the ruins we drive to Franks Eddie where we will immediately have lunch, next we gear up and hike 20 minutes (1 WAY ONLY) through the lush rain forest with running streams rich tropical plants and wild diverse wildlife. Arriving, you then descend down below the surface of the earth to Xibalba – the sacred world of caves. There you will begin to explore the mystery of caves and the Maya ritual ceremonies on floating tubes and meander through the cool waters of these Maya caverns with hidden pottery, glittering rim stone dams, waterfall all at your suspense.
$
175
/ Person
Departs From:
Placencia
Provider:
This is Belize’s two most popular attraction combined in ONE fantastic package. Enjoy a full day of hiking, floating, and being immersed in Mayan history.... more

We will visit one of the most impressive Mayan Ruins in Belize, Xunantunich! After your guided excursion of The Ruins, enjoy A local lunch before gearing and head for a 10-25 minutes hike to the caves for a tube ride that will awaken your sense of excitement. Float through mysterious limestone archways beckoning you into the mouths of centuries-old caves, holding untold stories of Maya rituals. Explore the many breathtaking formations designed by only nature and learn about the ancient rituals and ceremonies that are a part of their mystique and magic.
$
185
/ Person
Departs From:
Belize City
Start your fun-filled day climbing the second largest Mayan temple in Belize “El Castillo” standing at 137ft off the ground and take in the exciting view off all the other ... moretemples that sits below it. Let your guide explain the meaning of the stacco decoration displaying the Sun God flanked by signs of the moon, venus and different days located on the side of El Castillo. This adventure is followed by a hot Belizean lunch and a drive through one of the most beautiful parts of the country as you make your way to the cave tubing and zip line site. Make your way through the lush green forest to the platform where you will be safely strapped into a seating harness and fasten to the transverse lines. 6 Lines extending from 400ft to as long as 1,000ft through the rainforest and across open rivers will definitely leave your mind blown. A small hike through the rainforest will take you to a beautiful lazy river where your relaxing cave tubing adventure will begin. Relax as your guide takes through a sacred cave system then on to an open river where the kiss of the sun will simply complete your day as it comes to an end.

There is a Minimum Requirement of 40 inches in order to do the Cave Tubing
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