CAYO MAYAN RUINS

     Cross the Mopan River on a hand cranked ferry and take a short drive to Xunantunich. You will have the opportunity to climb to the top of ‘El Castillo’. At 130 feet, it is still one of the tallest manmade structures in Belize with panoramic views of Belize and Guatemala. It served as a civic ceremonial centre in the Late and Terminal Classic periods to the Belize Valley region. The core of the city occupies about one square mile, consisting of a series of six plazas surrounded by more than 26 temples and palaces, but recent studies indicate that the site may be even more extensive than previously thought.

     After enjoying a traditional lunch in a restaurant of the area we head on to Cahal Pech. The site was a palatial, hilltop home for a ruling elite Maya family, who lived here during the Classic period. The site consists of seven plazas and over 30 structures including temples, residential buildings, ball courts, an altar and a sweat-house, all situated on just 2 acres. Cahal Pech is well noted for is unique, distinctive architecture and engineering. Significant finds include a royal burial chamber in one of the structures with an abundance of accoutrements. Shell and bone ornaments, pottery vessels, obsidian blades and the most impressive being a jade and shell mosaic mask.

Route

  1. Hopkins
  2. Xunantunich Mayan Ruins
  3. Chahal Pech Mayan Ruins
  4. Hopkins