The Xunantunich Archaeological Reserve will be closed from December 12 to 26, 2012 in order to prepare for the launch of an International Musical Event which will raise funds for the conservation of Belize’s cultural heritage and its archaeological parks. Rumor has it the event is timed to coincide with the Mayan Calendar “ending” on December 21, which some believe will usher in an apocalypse.

Below is a video from Youtube of a typical visitor moment atop the pyramid at Xunantunich. We offer group tours to the site.

Of the many fun and interesting things to do in Belize, either before or after one of our tours, perhaps the most accessible is a visit to the Museum of Belize.

Located at Gabourel and Hutson streets, the Museum of Belize is a beautiful, old brick building that was built as a colonial prison in the 1800’s, and operated as a prison until 1993; one cell has been restored. Originally built to hold one man, each cell held 6-8 prisoners at the time of the prison’s closing.

Many other aspects of Belize prison life are covered in the permanent exhibits. This museum also focuses on the Maya and colonial history of Belize. Highlights include a new exhibit entitled ““The People Who Carved Jades and Their Descendants” which opened in April to celebrate the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012.

About the exhibit, Adventure Traveler Online says it provides “a deeply enchanting and personal look at the Mayas’ work in creating famous Belizean jade masterpieces, “The People Who Carved Jades and Their Descendants” is an exhibit that was revealed in April in order to provide visitors with a deeper connection with Belize’s Maya culture, as people look to uncover the truth about the end of the 2012 calendar. As the first of many celebrations planned for when the world starts anew on December 21, 2012, this exhibit serves as a bridge between ancient times and the future, and sets the tone for a full line-up of Maya-related events, tours, activities and festivals in Belize, scheduled throughout 2011 and 2012.”