Xunantunich Archaeological Site

Category
Attraction
Type of Attraction
Archaeological Site, Landmark
District/Region
Cayo
Share

Description
Highlights
  • Hiking
  • Ferry
  • Largest Tomb in Belize
  • Scenic Views
Podcast
St. Leonard's Tours
Learn about the horseback riding experience to the magnificent Xunantunich Maya temples in western Belize.

About Location
Xunantunich, roughly translated as "Maiden of the Rock" or "Stone Woman" from the Yucatec Maya language. The temple was built around AD 600 near the end of the Maya Late Classic Period. It is 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.

Xunantunich is a large complex that includes several temples, palaces, and other structures. The most impressive structure is the El Castillo temple, which is 135 feet tall. The temple is decorated with elaborate carvings, including images of the Maya rain god Chaac.

Xunantunich was an important ceremonial center for the Maya. The temple complex was used for religious rituals, astronomical observations, and political gatherings. The site was abandoned around AD 900, but it was rediscovered by Europeans in the 19th century.

Today, Xunantunich is a popular tourist destination. Visitors can climb the El Castillo temple for stunning views of the surrounding area. The site also offers a number of other activities, such as hiking, birdwatching, and exploring the ruins.

If you are interested in ancient Maya culture, Xunantunich is a must-visit destination. The temple complex is a fascinating glimpse into the past, and it is sure to leave you in awe.
 
Features:
Phone Service, Parking
Whats Nearby
Recommended Hotels
 (2)
Conveniently located a short walk from downtown San Ignacio, Rolson Hotel offers comfortable accommodations and free WiFi access.... more

The hotel is a 15-minute drive from the western border, a 10-minute drive from the Xunantunich Maya Site and a 10-minute walk from the Cahal Pech Archaeology Site. The Princess Casino and the Green Iguana Conservation Project are a few minutes' walk away.

The rooms offer a mini-fridge, cable TV, alarm clock and a safety deposit box. They also include coffee and a coffee maker, 2 water bottles and ironing facilities. The private bathroom has a shower and hairdryer.

The on-site Mexican restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with a variety of local dishes. It also has a fully equipped bar with top shelf liquor, cocktails and beers.

Staff at Rolson Hotel's front desk can assist with massage services, laundry and tours. Transfers from and to the airports are available for an additional charge. There is free parking.
Phone Number:
+501 824-2730
Gold Certified:
Yes
Area:
San Ignacio
Region:
Western Belize
 (2)
Recommended
Established in 1976, San Ignacio Resort Hotel is a Belizean and family-owned boutique Hotel located in the Cayo District, Western Belize. The Resort is centrally situated on a 17-acre ... moreprivate estate, 5-minutes away of Cahal Pech Maya temple and the popular San Ignacio Town—an area that features a variety of cultural, adventurous, and culinary experiences. This characteristic has dubbed the Resort as “the only jungle in town”.

The 27-room Resort is renowned for its hospitality services and features the award-winning Running W Restaurant (which showcases meats from the family’s ranch), an on-site tour company (Cayo Gial Tours), in-room wellness treatments, an outdoor swimming pool and tennis court area, the largest event facilities in the District, and the #1 Activity in San Ignacio, the Green Iguana Conservation Project.
Gold Certified:
Yes
Area:
San Ignacio
Region:
Western Belize
Learn More
Tours & Shuttles
$
150
-
$
210
/ Person
Departs From:
Hopkins
Embark on an ultimate adventure in Belize with a combination tour of Xunantunich Mayan Ruins and Cave Tubing at Jaguar Paw. The tour takes you on a journey back in time as you explore ... morethe impressive Xunantunich Mayan Ruins, climb to the top of El Castillo, the towering pyramid, and marvel at intricate carvings and glyphs that provide insights into Mayan culture. Then, get ready for an adrenaline-pumping cave tubing experience at Jaguar Paw, where you'll float along underground rivers, surrounded by awe-inspiring limestone caves while discovering stunning formations and hidden wonders. This epic combination tour will leave you with unforgettable memories, a deeper understanding of Mayan history, and a newfound appreciation for the natural beauty of Belize. Don't miss out on this adventure!
$
100
-
$
170
/ Person
Departs From:
Hopkins
Embark on a thrilling day trip from Hopkins Village to explore the breathtaking beauty of the inland Blue Hole and the historic Xuantunaich Mayan Ruins in the Cayo District of Belize. ... moreImmerse yourself in the rich cultural experience of sightseeing tours, offering first-hand views of the picturesque countryside, Mayan Mountains, farms, colorful homes, and the lively San Ignacio farmers market. Watch in awe as you discover the pre-Columbian Xunantunich Mayan Ruins, renowned as some of the finest in Belize, and indulge in an authentic Belizean lunch amidst the picturesque surroundings.

On the way back, relish in a refreshing stop at the Blue Hole National Park cenote on the Hummingbird Highway. Bask in the beauty of the sapphire-hued pool that was formed by the collapse of an underground limestone cave, with the river still running through the original cavern and into the cave system. The depression spans 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. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature and capture memorable moments through photography or swimming.
$
125
/ Adult
Departs From:
Belize City
A tour of the Mayan site of Xunantunich is a must-do activity when visiting the country of Belize. This magnificent Mayan ruin located in the western part of the country pride itself ... moreon having the second tallest Mayan temple in Belize 'El Castillo', located approximately a mile from the border with Guatemala. From Belize City, your driver/guide will drive you the entire length of the western highway for about 1 1/2 hours to get to the site. Along the way, you will be presented with interesting information about the country as you view the beautiful mountainous landscape. You will be crossing the Mopan River by way of a hand-crank ferry to get to the site itself. This ferry has always been the mode of transportation to access Xunantunich. Once on the site, you will be guided through the museum as you start your tour. You then get to walk through several plazas and then get to climb up El Castillo and view both the east and west stucco frieze. These are huge hieroglyphic writings and symbols on the wall of this gigantic building. From on top of this ancient building, you will be amazed by the beauty of the landscape of western Belize and you also get to see a portion of Guatemala our neighboring country in the west. This is a tour that could be enjoyed by the entire family
$
175
/ Person
Departs From:
Belize City
 (1)
Start your day climbing the second largest Mayan temple in Belize “El Castillo” and take in the exciting view of all the other temples that sit below it., where you can take pictures. ... moreThis adventure is followed by a Belicioius Belizean lunch, as we continue our way to the cave tubing and zip line site. Make your way through the rainforest. 6 Lines extending from 400ft to as long as 1,000ft through the rainforest and across open rivers will definitely leave your mind blown. Where you will also zip across Caves Branch River. 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 you through a sacred cave system then onto 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
$
125
/ Person
Departs From:
Belize City
 (3)
Climb the second largest Mayan temple in Belize “El Castillo” and take in the exciting view of all the other temples that sit below it. Let your guide explain the meaning of the stucco ... moredecoration displaying the Sun God flanked by signs of the moon, Venus, and different days located on the side of El Castillo, having a delicious Belizean lunch Followed by a cave tubing tour. A small hike through the rainforest will take you to a beautiful lazy river where your cave tubing tour will begin. Relax as your guide takes you through a sacred cave system and then onto an open river. You just need to relax on our fancy yellow tube with a headrest.
$
175
/ Adult
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
It’s going to be an eventful day so be sure to wear comfortable clothing and shoes. This tour will start within a few miles of San Ignacio in air-conditioned transport to Xunantunich. ... moreXunantunich is a national treasure that fills its visitors with a sense of time travel. It sits close to Belize’s western border and is a must-visit. Local souvenirs, hammocks, and blankets are available from the many vendors waiting alongside the river at the entrance to the hand-cranked ferry that has carried many thousands to and from the calm beauty of this Maya Temple.

The panoramic views of the Cayo District and nearby Guatemala from atop ‘El Castillo’ are stupendous! Come with an open heart to experience simplicity and visit another world for a few hours before heading off to Jaguar Paw for cave tubing & zip lining.

When you’ve arrived at the outpost, you will meet your tour guides who will issue inflatable tubes, headlamps, and life vests. You’ll be given a basic orientation and safety briefing before heading off on a 30-minute hike which includes wading through a few knee-deep water streams.

Once at the cave system's entrance, it’s time for your ancient Maya underworld adventure. You’ll see intricate crystalline formations that line the cave with a majestic rise and fall of stalagmites and stalactites that add to the serene richness and grandiose of Xibalba as it’s known. After exiting the cave, you’ll emerge into the sunlight and free float downstream, ushered by the gentle current and little rapids, to the harmony of birds and natural wildlife which routes back to where the tour started.
$
173
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Provider:
Belize is known for its rich natural resources and its many attractions. So spend the day doing the three best things in Belize. The first attraction will be the cave that is in this ... morenew adventure park called Cave World Adventures. Then we’ll go to visit the famous Xunantunich Mayan ruin and then end the tour by heading to the waterfalls.

What to bring:
-packed breakfast and/or lunch
-bottled water and/or snacks

What to wear:
-comfortable clothing and hiking/running shoes
$
110
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Provider:
Spend the day visiting three of Belize’s famous Mayan ruins Benque Ruins Xunantunich Cahal Pech
Provider:
CEREMONIAL WEDDING - XUNANTUNICH This is a spectacular Wedding that is held at Xunantunich. Here you will experience what it was like to get married in the Mayan Culture.... more
You can also spice up your wedding by adding Traditional music, Champaign, Photography or Wedding Cake for an additional price.

Here is a list of the Adds On:

Mayan Music: 

Cleansing: 

Mayan wedding Plaque: 

Champagne: 

Photography: 

Wedding Cake:
$
15
-
$
25
/ Person
Type of Vehicle:
Full Size Van
 (1)
Xunantunich (Mayan pronunciation: [ʃunanˈtunitʃ]) is an Ancient Maya archaeological site in western Belize, about 70 miles (110 km) west of Belize City, in the Cayo District. Xunantunich ... moreis located atop a ridge above the Mopan River, well within sight of the Guatemala border – which is a mere 1 kilometer (0.62 mi) to the west. It served as a Maya civic ceremonial center in the Late and Terminal Classic periods to the Belize Valley region.
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Maya ruins
It was an amazing experience. Our tour guide, Marlin did a fantastic job
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