Articles tagged with: Xunantunich
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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.
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As far as Central American countries go, Belize has not always been known as a “must-see” travel destination as compared to its more famous neighbors, Mexico and Guatemala. But over the last 10 years, Belize has built a reputation founded on its determination to protect the rainforests and farms of its land. With the rise in the popularity of ecotourism, Belize has positioned itself as a leader in the field, with the government protecting 40% of the land for conservation purposes.
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Xunantunich was amazing. Joe knew the history of everything we saw, and told us all about the mythology, rituals, habits, politics, and even showed us their ball court. As we moved through, we came to a clearing. As we came into the clearing, it opened up to our left, showing us a massive palace, El Castillo, and several small temples. They looked incredible. A dozen pictures later, Joe took us closer. We looked up at it from the bottom, and I snapped away on the camera.
Visiting Belize can be a lot of fun. Some of the most interesting and beautiful caves in the world are located there. Like most of Central America, Belize once had a large Mayan population. Remnants of their social and spiritual lives can still be found intact inside magnificent caves with underground waterfalls and fantastic mineral growths. Cavers and intrepid tourists need only hire an experienced, licensed guide to show them an underground world they will never forget. The combination of mythology, geology and artistry are unmatched anywhere in the world.
As we bumped along a stretch of road through a savannah that was once a shallow sea, Miguel pointed to Spanish Lookout in the distance. There, he told us, was a Mennonite farming community, in its 50th year of providing Belizeans with beans, corn, chicken and eggs. This morsel of information was the first in a series of surprises Belize had in store for us.
It’s not just Hugh – the caliber of Chaa Creek’s guides is amazing – we were also treated to a great horseback ride by Robert, who also turned out to be an archeology student. We were impressed and inspired by the passion and dedication to education by all the guides.
They were definitely the highlight of our stay.
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Did you know that Xunanutunich Maya Temples are just thirty minutes from The Lodge at Chaa Creek?
Check out the following video that was created by a Chaa Creek Guest:
Wikipedia has the following to say about Xunantunich Maya Ruins:
Xunantunich (shoo-NAHN-too-nich) is a Maya archaeological site in western Belize, about 80 miles (130 km) west of Belize City (Latitude : 17.083 , Longitude : -89.133), in the Cayo District. Xunantunich is located atop a ridge above the Mopan River, within sight of the Guatemala …
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Today, we’re sharing a great slide show of some Mayan sites. The slide show covers some visitors that went to Caracol, Xunantunich and Tikal. They walked away with some amazing pictures.