Eight Best Things to Do in Belize
Xunantunich is located very near the Guatemalan border. This ceremonial center is an excellent example of the Classic period of the Maya. From the top of the tallest pyramid – El Castillo – one is rewarded with a view of three river valleys. From research completed onsite we know that Xunantunich was occupied for only a few hundred years and abandoned after an earthquake!
Sample rates: one-half day tour from San Ignacio, $45/person
Altun Ha is about an hours’ drive from Belize City, so it’s a great half-day activity. Occupied for over 1200 years, Altun Ha’s population peaked at about 10,000; which is triple the current population within 20 miles of the site today. Trade was an major aspect of daily life, as this site is one of the closest to the sea. This theory has been reinforced by the discovery of artifacts from as far away as Panama.
Sample rates: one-half day tour from Belize City, $50/person
Caracol is the most remote of the major ruins in Belize, and is located on the Vaca Plateau south of San Ignacio in Cayo. Completely lost to rainforest cover for over 1000 years, Caracol is still being restored, and visitors can see the archaeologists at work. Caracol’s “Sky Place” pyramid is the tallest structure in the country of Belize. At its peak, Caracol was home to 150,000 people, twice the size of modern-day Belize City. Culinary water was supplied by man-made reservoirs, and explorers have discovered seven ancient roads leading to Caracol.
Sample rates: all day tour from San Ignacio, including a stop at Rio On Pools, $95/person
[photo credit at top of page: Patti Bleifuss]