On a recent list created by renowned travel site Tripadvisor, our ruins Xunantunich, Altun Ha, and Caracol took three spots! The list recognized the 'Top 10 Landmarks in Central America' that not only portray beauty and incredible views but also, an insight of culture.
The Maya Ruins are a source of interest and fascination that are found all over Belize. These were built hundreds of years ago by the Maya civilizations and today, they are leftover archaeological sites of former Maya cities that encompass an important part of the ancient world.
Based on their knowledge of architecture, mathematical systems, language, and astronomy, the Mayas constructed ceremonial spaces within which political endeavors and rituals were carried out.
So, which of our numerous Maya sites made Tripadvisor’s Top 10?
At number 4, we have the Caracol Maya Ruin located in the Cayo area. The Caracol Ruin was given its name because of the large amounts of snail shells that were found at the site. However, the original Maya name is translated into ‘Three Hill Water’. This Ruin was one of the largest in the Maya civilization and was the home to 150, 000 people.
Also located in the Cayo district, we have Xunantunich on number 7. This site is home to the 130-feet-tall temple, El Castillo, which offers incredible views of Mopan, Macal, and the Belize River Valleys and, surrounding temples. Xunantunich was a major ceremonial center as well as a residential and recreational area. It was also a common ground for the Maya Pok-A-Tok ball game.
And last but not least, we have our beautiful Altun Ha at number 8. This place is one of the most preserved Maya Ruins in Belize and the face our country-brewed Belikin beer. It was here that archaeologists found the extraordinarily carved ‘Jade Head’ in 1968 on the Temple of Masonry Altars. The Jade Head is a Maya representation of the Sun God, one of the most important deities at the time.