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 Mayan Ruins Tours are usually combined with Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins tour or Barton Creek Cave tour.

Join us and experience this amazing site with the second tallest building in Maya Building in Belize! This tour is an open plaza with little to no shade.

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.

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    Here’s what people have to say about us

    KaWiil Tours
    4.9
    Based on 18 reviews
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    Zach Sarnoff
    Zach Sarnoff
    16:17 25 Nov 21
    I went with Luis to ATM caves and it was awesome!!
    Olivia Pulsipher
    Olivia Pulsipher
    02:07 11 Aug 21
    We did the ATM tour, Luis was exceptionally knowledgeable... about not only this tour but many other sites in the area. We spent several hours inside the cave learning about the history. Highlight of my trip.read more
    Christine Scheer
    Christine Scheer
    02:14 30 May 21
    Incredible experience! So very happy we chose KaWiil. We... really wanted to do the cave tubing, but I was nervous since we booked so late. To my surprise, KaWiil Tours actually called me back to say that John was available to be our guide. John was on time bright and early the next morning, he even found us wandering around outside our hotel before he swept us off to the Nohoch Che'en cave. As an experienced cave explorer, super friendly dude, a natural resource management professional, and native Belizean (naturally!) we were so impressed with the way he showed us the lizards, plants, trees, birds, insects, fish and flowering plants along the trail. He took us through the caves; it was like we had the place all to ourselves! John introduced us to the bats, the swallows, kingfishers, ancient Mayan traditions, cave formations and river flow... so awesome. I was blown away. Afterwards, he bought us lunch at a cool tiki bar and filled us in on Belize history; so super. We had the BEST time. Thank you, John! You really made our visit to San Ignacio special!read more
    Doss Ramsey
    Doss Ramsey
    22:21 25 Mar 21
    We had an excellent tour of the ATM cave with Luis who... managed to get two young fellas in their 20s and an old timer a few months short of 80 through without a hitch!I was pleasantly surprised by how informed Luis was regarding the cave and its history, as well as his knowledge of local plants and wildlife, other attractions, and the energy that he brought to the tour.This tour with Kawiil Tours was the highlight of our time in Belize and I'll be recommending it to anyone I know heading to San Ignacio! 10/10read more
    Emma Hignett
    Emma Hignett
    22:54 28 Oct 19
    What an incredible experience! A must if you are in Belize.... Luis, our tour guide was excellent. Very knowledgeable about the local area and the caves. Luis mainly has smaller groups, so whilst other groups had 8 people per tour guide, my partner and I were the only ones in our group. Highly recommended.read more
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