Xunatunich Maya Tour
- Price from:
- 115 USD /person
- ++ (501) 670-8687
- Payment Types:
- Credit Card
- Travellers cheque
- Wire Transfer
- Location Start:
- Location Finish:
- Start time:
- 06.30 am
- End time:
- 05.00 pm
- We Speak:
- Spanish, English, Mopan Maya, German
Last updated: 08/16/2006
To some the jungle may seem inhospitable or even hostile, but the Maya transformed the elements of this environment into one of the worlds great civilizations...
To some the jungle may seem inhospitable or even hostile, but the Maya transformed the elements of this environment into one of the world's great civilizations..From around 300 BC at a time when Persian armies were fleeing before Alexander the Great, the Maya world was ruled by a handful of immensely powerful kings regarded as living gods by their subjects. Pyramids were erected by peasant farmers and slaves without the aid of beasts or burden or the wheel. The ruling family, the nobility, priesthood and warriors, inhabited the cities they built, while the masses lived in agricultural villages in the hinterland. Their temples, pyramids and palaces were painted in the sacred colors of the Maya: red, blue, yellow and green. The species-rich tropical forest supplied fruit, construction materials, game and medicines. Good soils for cultivation yielded corn, beans, squash and cotton. The river systems provided fish for food and transportation for trade. Extensive limestone formations supplied building blocks along with flint for stone tools. This was the environment that the Maya adapted to their needs and way of life for a span of nearly 20 centuries, during which they developed a rich cosmology, an arithmetic system that included the concept of zero, a complex calendar system based on a solid understanding of astronomy, and a system of writing which included both hieroglyphic and phonetic representation. It was here in the "central lowlands" of western Belize and the Guatemalan Peten that the ancient Maya flourished during the Classic Period from 300 to 900 AD. Archaeologists now estimate that 2,000,000 Maya once lived in what is now Belize (current population 250,000) with a resulting population density approaching that of eastern China (today). The Mayan Golden Age ended abruptly around 900 AD. Eventually, the crumbling cities were engulfed by the jungle and forgotten. It wasn't until the 18th century that intrepid explorers began to discover them. Modern-day archaeologists following in their footsteps have unearthed thousands of sites throughout the Maya World and satellite photos indicate that there are many more to be discovered.The day is long and the ride is on three major highways in Belize, the scenery is breathtaking and picture taking. The Hummingbird Highway being the most scenic of all. Lots of birds to be seen and chances of seeing Belize's National Bird the Toucan. We depart Placencia at 6:00am with about 2 hours and 45 minutes ride to the site of Xunantunich. Overlooking the Mopan River, the ancient Mayan City of Xunantunich is located approximately eight miles west of San Ignacio Town at San Jose Succotz Village in the Cayo District. We do our first leg of our tour here with a local tour guide. Xunantunich was a major ceremonial center during the Classic Period. The site is composed of six major plazas, surrounded by more than twenty-five temples and palaces. The most prominent structure located at the south end of the site is the pyramid "El Castillo"(The Castle) which is 130 feet high above the plaza. This was the tallest man-made structure in all of Belize, until the discovery of "Caana" at Caracol. The most notable feature on "El Castillo" is the reconstructed frieze on the east side of the lower temple is known for its frieze, a banded stucco decoration which at one time extended around the entire pyramid. After the tour we go over across the ferry to have lunch at a jungle restaurant. After lunch we head back to Blue Hole National Park for a refreshing swim in the sapphire waters of the Blue Hole. After the swim we then continue the journey to the Placencia arriving at around 6:00pm just in time for dinner.
- Inclusions -
- Extras -
- What to bring: Camera, Insect Repellent, Sun Block, Extra Cash for Entrance Fee.
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Email the tour operator - Xunatunich Maya Tour
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