Maya Ruins in Belize
Belize has more ancient Maya sites than any other country on the planet, which is why every visitor to Belize should definitely visit one of these architectural wonders.
If you’re coming to Belize to visit ancient Maya ruins, here are five sites you should definitely visit:
Located just across the river from modern-day San Ignacio, Cahal Pech is the perfect introduction to ancient Maya architecture. This cliffside residence was built by the ancient Maya exclusively for members of noble families and the ruling elite and commands a wonderful view over the river valley below.
One of the largest ancient Maya cities ever built, the rulers of Xunantunich clashes with other powerful rivals in the area, including Tikal. In 2016, the largest Maya royal tomb ever discovered was excavated in Xunantunich, and the site remains an impressive display of pyramids, palaces, and other grandiose buildings.
Located just over the border in Guatemala, Tikal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and, perhaps, the most famous ancient Maya site in the world. Easily accessible from Belize, Tikal contains more than 3,000 structures, including the colossal temples featured in blockbuster movies such as Star Wars (Episode IV: A New Hope) and Moonraker.
Nim Li Punit
The Maya name for this site means “Big Hat” because it refers to the most iconic Maya sculptures in Belize. The ancient rulers of Nim Li Punit commissioned large sculptures of themselves, including one ruler with a large hat. Nim Li Punit is also home to the best-preserved ball courts of the ancient Maya world where teams would compete for religious honors.
Located in southern Belize, the site of Lubaantun has been generating controversy ever since it was re-discovered nearly a century ago. Supposedly the location where a crystal skull was found, Lubaantun is unique because hundreds of tiny ceramic objects were found at the site. Archeologists believe that these were used as either lucky charms by the ancient Maya or as special tools for religious ceremonies.
If you’d like to visit the above sites or any other ancient Maya wonders in Belize, book your tour with Untame Belize. Untame Belize specializes in a wide range of adventure tours, including off-road ATV tours of the jungle and trips to the reef.
Untame Belize also operates private ground transfers and shuttle services to and from any location in the country.