This tour takes you to one of Belize’s most well-known and thoroughly studied Maya sites in Belize, before continuing to a cave tubing adventure – splashing around in an inner tube is a great way to cool off after exploring a fascinating site. First, you’ll spend 3 to 4 hours exploring the site of Xunantunich. In the afternoon, you’ll leave on a 5-hour tubing trip down the swift moving water that passes through Jaguar Paw Cave.
- 10 hrs
- Available Days:
- Every day
- 8:00 AM
- Hotel Transport Included
- Mobile Ticket Included
- Offered in English, Spanish
Xunantunich features a couple of imposing temples, with massive hieroglyphs that stare down from the facades. Archeologists believe this site was occupied from 650 to 1000 AD. It covers 6 plazas, 25 temples, and an abundance of residential buildings. El Castillo is one of the most talked-about temples, with its impressive height of 135 feet (41 m). The name “Xunantunich” means “stone woman” in the local Maya dialect, and references the ghost of a woman with glowing red eyes who is supposed to wander the grounds around El Castillo. But don’t worry – you’re unlikely to see her during the day.
Before moving on to your cave tubing adventure, you'll stop for lunch at a nearby resort. Then, you'll have the rest of afternoon to explore an atmospheric cave and maybe do some swimming. You'll also get to see some interesting wildlife (especially bats) and learn about the significance of caves in Maya culture.
Make sure to wear sturdy shoes – you’re allowed to climb up some of the ruins to get a better view of the site. This aspect of the tour also means you’ll want to be prepared for some lightly challenging physical activity. Your guides will provide bottled water, but make sure to bring necessities like sunscreen and bug spray.
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
Bathing suit, towel, hiking shoes, water shoes, change of clothes, bug spray, sunscreen, snacks, and money for tips and personal expenses.
Transportation, water, guides, and equipment.
Many of our tours and activities offer transportation pick up & drop off options from several locations and destinations. Options vary by tour, see “BOOKING REQUEST” for full details.
Similar things to do
Located on a hilltop overlooking the beautiful town of San Ignacio is the Cahal Pech Maya site and the Visitor Center. This site is one of the oldest Maya ruins in Belize.
Caracol Mayan Temples was discovered in 1938 by loggers, located deep within the Chiquibul Forest Reserve now it is the most extensive Maya site in Belize and one of the biggest in the Maya World.
This tour takes you to two of Belize's top Maya sites - Xunantunich and Cahal Pech.