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belize maya ruins xunantunich


xunantunich maya ruins belize


In the Maya language Xunantunich means “maiden of the rock” or “stone woman.” This site is less than one mile from some lovely rapids of the Mopan River and provides an impressive view of the entire river valley.

Xunantunich is a Classic Period ceremonial center. The site core occupies only 300 square meters but the periphery covers several square kilometers.

The highest ruin is 133 feet tall, the second tallest ruin in all of Belize. Well-preserved sun god masks decorate one side of the structure. On the main palace building is an astronomical carved frieze. Six major plazas, more than 25 temples and palaces and a new museum are just some of the reasons why Xunantunich is one of the most visited sites in Belize.

The Belize Tourism Development Project has invested over half a million dollars to fully excavate the site and make it more visitor-friendly.

Xunantunich is a must see for a day trip or anyone with limited time.

Xunantunich is located about 70 miles from Belize City, on the Western Highway. Travel until you reach Santa Elena town. Take the road that leads to San Jose Succotz village which is just before you get to Benque Viejo del Carmen.

You should now be looking for a ferry on your right along with a sign indicating a Maya temple. The ferry crossing the Mopan River is free and operates between 8 am and 5 pm. Once off the ferry Xunantunich is about a three minute drive.  ~ Anthony Benjamin


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