"Xunantunich - Small but Beautiful Mayan Ruins" Top 5 Page for this destination Xunantunich by Bwana_Brown
Xunantunich Travel Guide: 43 reviews and 105 photos
About two weeks into our trip to Belize found us staying at a small back-packer paradise outside of San Ignacio and very close to the Guatemala border. One of the attractions that just happened to be within easy walking distance for us were the Mayan temple ruins at Xunantunich. We spent a morning there, exploring what was left of this site - first settled between 200-500 AD (depending on who you believe). The peak years of this small settlement, which is believed to have been an outpost of the larger Tikal empire centred 30-miles away in Guatemala, were between 700-900 AD. As with the rest of the Mayan cities in Central America, civilization seems to have crashed by 1000 AD.
Xunantunich was re-discovered by Europeans in 1894 but serious exploration of the site was not carried out until thirty years later, in 1924. Until the recent discovery of the Caracol ruins, the El Castillo pyramid at Xunantunich was the tallest structure in Belize (now in 2nd place by 1-foot!). This is a relatively small site as Mayan ones go, so it makes for a good half-day trip, one that we thoroughly enjoyed!
- Pros:Easily explored, beautiful and not really busy
- In a nutshell:A good Mayan 'starter' site!
After our morning walk to Xunantunich, we chilled out on the internet for a while and then had lunch. However, by 1 PM... more travel advice
It was a good run while we had it, but we noticed the first tour crowd arriving at Xunantunich while we were still... more travel advice
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