Nim Li Punit Ruins, Belize
The Mayan site of Nim Li Punit is easily accessible from the Southern Highway and sits on a ridge 220 feet (67 m) above sea level. On a clear day, the Caribbean Sea is visible from the site. A series of plazas and platforms are built into the hillside.
Occupants of this site grew a variety of crops including cacao and corn, and the site’s convenient location between the sea and mountains allowed the city dwellers to trade with a large number of other communities—ceramics, shells, jadeite, and obsidian found at the site are evidence of this. The site also contains the Plaza of the Royal Tombs, which served as a residential area and burial ground for the Nim Li Punit royal family. Remains of nearly a dozen people have been discovered at the tomb.
Nim Li Punit is most famous for the Plaza of the Stelae, an area where 26 large stone monuments were found, including a 30-foot (9-m) tall carved stelae, which is the largest carved stelae in Belize. The carvings on the stelae tell a story about the history of Nim Li Punit, revealing details about the social and political structure of the community. Today several well-preserved stelae are displayed in the museum at the ruin’s entrance.
Nim Lu Punit is located in the Toledo District of Belize and is 25 miles (40 km) northeast of Punta Gorda.