The Mayan ruin of Xunantunich is the oldest archaeological site in Belize and in antiquity would have been the largest ceremonial center in the Belize River Valley.
The site is made up of six main plazas, with more than twenty- five temples and palaces. The most prominent structure is the pyramid "El -Castillo" (The Castle), which is the second highest manmade structure in Belize.
Its name, a modern Mayan one rather than the original name of the site, means “Stone Woman” and refers to the ghost of a woman who is said to inhabit the site. She appears in front of El Castillo, walks up the stairs and disappears into the wall.
Trip to Xunantunich & Barton Creek Cave Tour
After your flight to Belize City, the adventure continues with a scenic drive up the Western Highway to the Cayo (pronounced Ky-o) District to Xunantunich, which sits just inside the Western border of Belize. Before reaching the entrance of this ancient city, your party will board a 19th century hand-cranked ferry which takes you across the Mopan River.
The ruins are actually located on one of the highest plateaus in the area and it is possible to climb to the top of “El Castillo”, the largest of the temples at this site. From this vantage point you have a panoramic view of the Cayo District and nearby Guatemala.
After enjoying a tasty local lunch, we continue to Barton Creek Cave in Amish territory.
Equipped with canoes/kayaks and high-powered lights we gently paddle into Xibalba (she-bal-ba), Maya for underworld. Stalactites and Stalagmites hang high overhead as we float past impressive calcite crystals. Our knowledgeable guides will discuss the use of this cave by the ancient Maya, while some artifacts can be seen high above the alcoves.
Special Note: Not recommended for non swimmers Cost: US $260.90 (includes tax- additional US $53.00 for flight transfer) Pick up time: 7:30 AM in Belize City – Clients should be booked on the 7:00am flight with return to the island at 5:30pm