Lamanai is the Maya word for "submerged crocodile." The site's name - "Lamanay" or "Lamayna" was
recorded by Franciscan missionaries in the seventeenth century.
It is one of the only sites retaining its original name and is among one of Belize's largest
The site itself is spectacular it was situated on an ancient major trade route. Lamanai is one of
the longest occupied Mayan cities and was inhabited for over two millenia.
Lamanai has more than 719 mapped structures, including two 16th century Christian churches as well
as an intact 19th century sugar mill. Due to the extraordinary length of time that Lamanai was occupied, one
is able to explore several periods of Maya construction techniques, from the Classic Period to the Post
Classic Period. Lamanai was the Maya Temple featured in the 7th episode of ABC's The Bachelor in February
Lamanai is on the banks of the New River Lagoon and the most interesting way to travel to the site
is by means of water taxi up the river. This “jungle cruise” by river is a nature-lover's heaven giving the
visitor an excellent chance to see not only numerous species of water birds that live along this rich and
diverse waterway, but exotic plants and crocodiles as well.
You may even be lucky enough to view iguanas and crocodiles as they sun bathe on the river banks.
There are also many species of flora and fauna to be seen at the Lamanai reserve.
Another route to Lamanai is via the all-weather dirt road. Driving north, from Orange Walk Town for
approximately 28 miles, this route will go through several villages including San Felipe and the Mennonite
town of Shipyard, all in the Orange Walk District.
The site Lamanai Maya Ruins are located in the village of Indian Church. ~ Anthony Benjamin