Mayan Ruins - Archeological Sites in Belize & Guatemala

From duPlooy's you can visit nearby Xunantunich & Cahal Pech; Drive through the Mountain Pine Ridge on the way to Caracol, the largest site in Belize. Tikal & Yaxhá are both located a short ways into Guatemala, less than 2 hours by road
and El Pilar is a must see destination for Birders.

Mayan Civilization

Tikal artifactThe ancient Maya created one of the world’s great civilizations, constructing monumental astronomically-aligned ceremonial spaces within which rituals and political theater were performed.  The knowledge and skills of the Maya were primarily to be found among the higher echelons of society, including the priests, nobles and the well-to-do. The peasantry lived simply on the land and did not share in the lifestyle of the city.

Archeologists have been able to discern a pattern from these sites, which helps us reconstruct the history of the highly creative but warlike Mayan people. For example, it is suggested Cahal Pech, located above San Ignacio Town, rose to preeminence during the Pre-Classic period, before eventually surrendering its dominion during the Classic period to Xunantunich. Additionally, a recent discovery of glyphs at Caracol, apparently portraying a military victory over Tikal, suggests to archeologists that this centre was supreme in the region.

The Maya were never united politically, existing in an almost perpetual state of warring independent cities. Belizean archaeologists liken this to the warring local fiefdoms of medieval Europe. In spite of this, they produced a complex system of hieroglyphs and accumulated an impressive library of scientific information and historical records.

The population of Belize was thought to be considerably larger during the Maya period than it is today and the abundance of Maya sites in Belize and in particular the Cayo District, is testimony to this. 

Maya Ruin Tours


Xunantunich

Xunantunich

Xunantunich: "shoo-nahn-too-nitch" or "shah-nahn-tuhn-itch", depending on your accent. Even if you can't pronounce it, the 'X-ruin' is a great site to visit. There is a nice museum, temples to climb with ...

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Tikal

Tikal

Tikal is a really spectacular site and about the best Central American ruin there is. There are lots of temples to climb with inspiring views of the nature reserve around. You walk on jungle trails so you are shaded ...

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Caracol

Caracol

Caracol is the largest known Maya center in Belize. There are massive temples to climb from which to admire miles of protected Chiquibul forest. As a bonus you can often see archaeologists at work here ...

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Cahal Pech

Cahal Pech

As an introductory ruin you can't go wrong with Cahal Pech. The on-site archaeology museum is very informative, offering a number of displays of artifacts taken from the site. Located on the highest hill ...

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Yaxhá

Yaxhá

Yaxhá, which translates to "Blue Green Waters", sits between two beautiful lakes. The climb up many of it's Temples, yields breath taking views of the area, including both the lakes and the Rio Azul which feeds ...

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El Pilar

El Pilar

Located outside of Bullet Tree village, a few miles from San Ignacio, El Pilar is not a ruin for the typical visitor. It is not extensively excavated, focusing instead on vegetative areas that would have served ...

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