Xunantunich’s name means “Stone Woman” in the Maya language. Distinguished as the first Maya Site to be opened and proclaimed archaeologically and historically significant in Belize, a tour of the ancient monuments of Xunantunich should not be missed.
Located atop a high limestone ridge and covering approximately 2,700 square feet, Xunantunich is believed to have been an important Ceremonial Center in the Classic Period.
The tallest structure on site is the famous “El Castillo”, towering 130 feet into the sky, ranking as one of the tallest buildings in the entire country. The two towers atop “El Castillo” have become an identifying feature of Belize. The climb to the top of “El Castillo” is an unforgettable experience. Manoeuvring your way up the small ‘Mayan’ steps through ancient vaults and stone passageways, sparks excitement and great anticipation of what lies above.
At the top, you will find a breathtaking panorama spreading before your eyes. Green forests of Belize and part of Guatemala, stretching as far as the eyes can see; the entire Cayo District including the lazy currents of the Mopan River, and a clear map of the Ceremonial City of Xunantunich, spread out below. With only the distant sound of birds singing in the forests below and the whispering wind gently blowing over “El Castillo”, one can easily experience a calm and peaceful state of mind, sitting 130 feet above the ancient Mayan City.