This site has one of the most interesting collection temples of any Maya ruins in Belize. There’s the 130-foot tall El Castillo temple, which is one of the tallest buildings in the country. Visitors can climb to the top of it stepped facade to check out the incredible surrounding landscape.
- 3 hrs
- Available Days:
- Every day
- 8:00 AM, 1:00 PM
- Hotel Transport Included
- Mobile Ticket Included
- Offered in English, Spanish
It’s an adventure to get there, one that takes youon a hand-cranked ferry down the Belize River. When you arrive at the bank near the site, it takes just a short walk to reach the ruin. Your guide can tell you what little is known about the history of the site, which dates back to 12,000 BC. When you climb the stairs that make up the sides of El Castillo, you’ll get a closer look at the elaborate carvings of gigantic hieroglyphs, which relate to the Maya’s complex astrological beliefs.
The grounds of the ruin are vibrantly green and nicely maintained. Howler monkeys and toucans live in the trees that surround the site – bring binoculars if you’d like to do some bird watching. There’s also a museum on site, where you can learn more about excavations. All together, your tour of Xunantunich will take around two to three hours.
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 shoes (i.e., hiking shoes, sneakers, keens, etc.), comfortable clothing, sunglasses, sunscreen, bug spray, water, camera, and binoculars for bird watching.
Tour guide, transportation, water, and entrance fees.
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.
Excellent guide, loved that tour was in the morning before crowds
Good guide, attention to detail and good information. We really enjoyed the visit.
Similar things to do
This full-day tour to Tikal National Park introduces you to the greatest city the Maya ever built. It dates back to 200 BC, and remained a flourishing capital until 900 AD. At its height, it is believed to have supported a population of around 90,000.
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.