The Xunantunich archaeological zone has the second tallest pyramid in Belize. The views are spectacular, a place not to be missed.

In the beautiful Belizean district of Cayo, bordering Guatemala, we find some of the most emblematic Mayan ruins. Just 13 km from the City of San Ignacio, in the Cayo District, a Belizean region populated by many Guatemalans, this ancient Mayan city of Xunantunich.

From San Ignacio you have access to several ancient Mayan cities, both on the Belizean and the Guatemalan side. San Ignacio is an excellent base place to discover a very attractive area of ​​Belize. You have beautiful ancient Mayan cities nearby: Tikal, Cahal Pech, Yaxhá, Uaxactún, Caracol, to name the most notorious.

San Ignacio Belize
San Ignacio

How to get to Xunantunich

Xunantunich was the first Mayan archeological zone that was opened to the visitor in Belize, it happened on 1954. The Belizean Government has the deference of offering a great visitor center where it will be easy for us to approach this fascinating Mayan civilization. They could already take an example Dinosaurs of the INAH (National Institute of Anthropology and History) Mexican.

Before reaching Xunantunich (Stone Woman) you must cross the Mopán River in a ferry cable, free for cars and people. The adventure begins.

From the parking lot, the slight rise that leads you to one of the 6 squares that distinguish, already makes you feel the beauty of the place. Culturally it is not the most memorable ancient Mayan cities. One of the glyphs found here, made intuition to archaeologists that it was a satellite city of the emblematic Orange.

xunantunich archeological zone
xunantunich archeological zone

Archaeological site Xunantunich

Xunantunich It is from the ruins that visitors like. It is spacious, the structures look good, it has one of the most exquisite friezes of the Mayan world, a small ball game and the so-called Castle, which with a height of 39,62 meters offers magnificent panoramic views. It is the second highest rooftop in Belize, after the 42.6 meter Temple of the unmissable Mayan city of snail.

Xunantunich ruins
xunantunich archeological zone
Xunantunich ruins

El Castle of Xunantunich It was probably the home and administrative center of the elite that ruled the place. On one side of the castle you will see the wonderful frieze with elements engraved with astronomical symbols of Mayan cosmology such as the sun god, its great reference Venus and the moon. An authentic beauty of the Mayan world.

Xunantunich Belize Belize
xunantunich archeological zone
xunantunich archeological zone

Surely it will be one of those Mayan cities that you will remember, it is worth making a break here, you will enjoy Xunantunich and the magnificent surroundings of San Ignacio.

sandra salvado
Visit Xunantunich on the banks of the Mopán 1 river

Xunantunich, archaeological site

LOCATION: the archaeological zone of Xunantunich is located at 12,8 km from San Ignacio.

SCHEDULE AND SERVICES:Open from 8 to 17 daily hours. There are services at the entrance and a site museum. Inside they do not sell food. 10 BZD, about 5 US dollars.

HOW TO GET IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION?There are buses from San Ignacio that take you to the ferry. From the other side you will have to walk 1,5 km of ascent to the entrance of the archaeological site. The ferry for cars and people is free. Open 7: 30, rest on your lunch break.

WHAT TO BRING?Light and light clothes, hat well held by the air in the boat, insect repellent, sunscreen, closed shoes better to climb the pyramid and some water always goes well.

 Good way,

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Sandra Salvadó Training photographer, traveler by vocation and certified tourism guide by the Government of Mexico. We promote natural wonders and contemporary Mayan culture. Great fan of pre-Hispanic history. Author of the blog and co-founder of The Shortest Path Travel, agency that guides you through alternative paths in Mayan lands. Social and sustainable tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas.
I am at your disposal for whatever you need. Let's talk.

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