The Magic of Xunantunich Maya City in western Belize

Belize-Xunantunich-maya-City-fascinates-visitors

Mayan for “Stone maiden” Xunantunich is definitely one of Belize’s prettiest Maya archaeological sites, renowned for exquisite architecture, beautiful frescos and stelae, as well as its park-like atmosphere and stunning views from the top of El Castillo, the iconic pyramid temple. Xunantunich was an important ceremonial centre built around AD 600 near the end of the Maya Late Classic Period, boasting a population of some 10,000 people at its peak, and apparently continued to thrive while other Maya centres such as Tikal and Caracol were in decline. However by around 1000 AD Xunantunich was abandoned.

Belize, a cross between “Survivor” and National Geographic

audubon nature institute in Belize

I just returned from an amazing educational adventure in Belize. It was a cross between “Survivor” and National Geographic. I went as a part of my Master’s in Conservation program that combines summer field experiences with collaborative projects. I climbed Maya temples, explored caves, snorkeled the coral reef, hiked through rainforests, chased howler monkeys and much more. I also attended lectures from conservationists, did daily inquiry projects and engaged with local communities.