Xunantunich and Inland Blue Hole
This tour is an active exploration of the terrain once controlled by the Maya. You’ll get to hike, climb, and swim as you make your way through the jungle of western Belize, on your way to see the staggering sights of Xunantunich and the swimming hole nestled in St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park. Along the way, your guide can help paint a picture of what life was like for the Mayans who called this world their home.
up to 3 years in advance
- Duration: 9 hrs
- Available Days: Every day
- Schedule: 7:45 AM
- Hotel Transport Included
- Free cancellation up to 3 years prior
- Mobile Ticket Included
- Offered in English, Spanish
This tour starts with a few hours of road trip, bringing you from the coast to western Belize. Next, you’ll hop on a hand-cranked ferry and make your way down the river to reach the stony ruins of Xunantunich, where you’ll see a complex that may have served as a burial site for the elite. You’ll get to see these structures from quite close up – visitors get to climb the site’s tallest building, El Castillo, and survey the jungle canopy from a lofty, 135-foot (41 m) perch. Archeologists have determined that the Maya probably abandoned this site around 1000 AD because of a natural disaster.
Next, you’ll dive back into the jungle for an easy hike through St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park. (You’ve probably heard of the Belize Blue Hole, but that may refer to the one in the Caribbean – this blue hole is a much more shallow formation.) Bring your swimsuit, because you’ll definitely want to take a refreshing dip in the bright blue, crystal-clear waters of this inland pool.
Attractions VisitedBlue Hole National Park
The Blue Hole is undoubtedly Belize’s most recognizable attraction. Located at the center of the Lighthouse Reef Atoll, this incredible sinkhole measures 1,000 feet (300 m) across and sits in the center of a small circular reef.
Home to the second largest Mayan pyramid in Belize, Xunantunich is one of the most impressive Mayan sites in Belize. The site is composed of three major ceremonial plazas surrounded by numerous temples, palaces, and house mounds. Xunantunich is located 8 miles (13 km) southwest of San Ignacio on the Western Highway.
What to Bring
Comfortable walking shoes, comfortable clothes, change of clothes, swim suit, towel, camera, bottled water, and money for personal expenses.
Transportation and guide.
Many of our tours and activities offer transportation pick up & drop off options from several locations and destinations. Options vary by tour, see “More Time and Rates” for full details.
Our private tour of Xunantunich with Adolpho Suntecun that was set up by the Laru Beya resort was engaging and entertaining and he was a built in photographer who seemed to enjoy that part of the process. He also understood the history of the location and was able to answer all kinds of questions.
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This tour to Nim Li Punit takes an interesting look at the natural world of the Maya, in addition to an educational archeological site. After touring this ruin near the foothills of the Maya Mountains, you’ll visit a botanical farm to see a selection of plants that the Maya used. You’ll also get to know a wide variety of plants and spices that only grow in the tropics. This is an all-day tour that leaves at 8 AM and returns at 5 PM, and includes a break for a homemade lunch.
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This tour will bring you to the top of a Maya temple, and then to the entrance of the Maya underworld. The temple is inside the Maya city of Xunantunich, which is located near the border of Guatemala. Its name translates to “Maiden of the Rock.” After you ascend the walls of its temple, you’ll continue the tour to the Cave Branch River, where you’ll follow the river into a series of caves that had intense spiritual significance for the Maya.
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