Xunantunich & Cahal Pech Tour
Xunantunich pronunciation: “Shoo-nan-too-nitch”. The name means “Stone Woman” or “Maiden of the Rock”. The Maiden of the Rock is actually a ghost of Xunantunich, said to wonder about the Ancient ruins.
The history books explains; Xunantunich is a Classic Period ceremonial center located eight miles west of San Ignacio in the Cayo District.
At the village of San Jose Succotz, we cross over the Mopan River using a hand-cranked ferry. After a ten minute ride uphill, we will reach the visitors center and site museum.
The main temple is structure A-6; appropriately named ‘El Castillo’, which reaches 40 meters (130 feet) above plaza level and 180 meters (600 feet) above sea level.
Here you will have a Panoramic view of the surrounding rain-forest. Howler monkeys and Green iguanas of some of the animals you may encounter on your way to the top.
El Castillo is the second tallest man-made building in Belize and is comprised of three layers in the structure.
The core of Xunantunich occupies about one square mile.
Consisting of a series of six plazas surrounded by more than 26 temples and palaces.
Archaeologists state that the site at Xunantunich was abandoned sometime between 890 to 900 AD.
Date Of Discovery:
The site was discovered in 1881 by Alfred Maloney, later the site was known as Mount Maloney. In 1894 a British Doctor, Thomas Gann, visited the site.
In 1905 Teobart Mahler, an explorer and photographer of the museum of Harvard University, visited the site and took extensive pictures of the site at Xunantunich. In 1924 Thomas Gann returned to the site and started excavation works.
Xunantunich opening hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. The small hand-cranked ferry carries visitors across between 7:30 am and 4:00 pm.
Cahal Pech Archeological Site Description
Cahal Pech, meaning “Place of Ticks,” is a Maya site located in the Cayo district of Belize, just outside the town of San Ignacio.
Cahal Pech supported a substantial population from the Middle Pre-classic to the Late Classic period.
It is estimated that during the Late Classic between 10,000 – 15,000 people lived in the city and its’ immediate periphery.
The site is within the upper region of the Belize Valley, close to both the Macal and Mopan rivers and about 10 kilometers (approx. 6.2 miles) from the neighboring Maya site of Xunantunich and 6 kilometers (approx. 3.7 miles) from Bueno Vista.
These sites generally are made up of several plaza groups surrounded by large non-domestic structures, at least one ball court, and multiple monuments.
This ancient Mayan site features a museum and several dozen surviving structures. This small area of ruins just on the edge of town.
These ruins are not as grand and “famous” as others in the area but are still a quite nice place to explore for an hour or so.
WHAT TO BRING
WHAT IS INCLUDED
all tours include transportation
guided tours and lunch