Xunantunich Maya Ruins Tour
Xunantunich is a boom-and-bust city in the Belize River valley. This Maya ruin has the second tallest building in Belize known as the El Castillo measuring 130 feet above the plaza floor. El Castillo has a stucco frieze that wraps around the building now we can only see the west and east friezes
It has the only ball court in the central lowlands (Belize) that has a hoop showing influence from Chichen Itza indicating to archeologists that it traded relations with the great city after the classic collapse of 900AD. This magnificent site is the only site that has columns in the Belize River valley.
Xunantunich Maya Ruin Tips and Advisory
The name Xunantunich comes from the Yucatec Maya language which means “Stone Woman". The Core of the city contains a series of six plazas surrounded by more than 26 temples and palaces. One of its main pyramids is known as “El Castillo”, which is the second tallest structure in Belize measuring 130 ft from the plaza floor.
From the top of the pyramid, you can enjoy spectacular views overlooking miles of jungle and farmland with the towns of San Jose Succotz and Benque Viejo Del Carmen on the Belize side and Melchor de Mencos across the Guatemalan border. Of El Castillo’s two stucco friezes, the western side had most of the stucco destroyed, but the eastern frieze is more complete, clearly displaying various motifs and symbols of Maya astronomy and cosmology. The vaulted rooms at the top of El Castillo provide shade and are a welcome place to relax after the steep walk up and take in the views.
Xunantunich Maya Ruins Experience with Luis
Kawiil Tours is an inbound tour operator for Belize and is owned and operated by Luis Zaiden. Luis grew up in San Ignacio Town, Cayo district in the beautiful foothills of the Maya mountain. From a young age, Luis had a passion for history and nature. He spent most of his childhood with his friends playing in the river and also playing hide and seek in what is now Cahal Pech Archeological site. He never knew at the time that he would end up running his very own Tour Company. Nevertheless, that came to an end when he went to high school and eventually started working in Belize City.
KaWiil Tours offers the best of Western Belize. Luis and his licensed tour guides are well-trained and highly educated in Maya History. Travelers refer to Luis as having an "Encyclopedic Memory" of nature and history.