If you are constrained by time but agree that no trip to Belize would be complete without seeing at least one ancient Maya ruin, you could not choose a better one to visit than the majestic—albeit hard to pronounce—Xunantunich.
Xunantunich translates as Stone Woman, and despite being classified by archaeologists as a “relatively new” site that morphed from a small village to a major mecca between AD 700 and 1000, this 1800s discovery by a local who swore he saw the silhouette of a beautiful maiden illuminated by the sun’s rays led to its ultimate excavation.
Over time, archaeologists, plunderers, and curious travelers have made this one of the most often visited destinations in a nation that has no shortage of Maya ruins (an estimated 900). But Xunantunich is exceptional say archivists and anthropologists who have undertaken work at the site since 1990.
While artifacts left behind have disappeared over time, this destination remains a powerful reminder of a brilliant civilization and it’s easy to reach via the Western Highway. Additionally, Xunantunich is home to El Castillo, the tallest structure in Belize, but it’s the architectural features and size that make this ruin so impressive—even for folks with no interest in archaeology.
Sounds great, but is it a hassle to visit?
Not if you sojourn at the neighboring San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Travelers seeking a full Belize immersion that’s as authentic as it is breathtaking find this to be the ideal lodging for more reasons than proximity to Xunantunich. Guests are treated to Belize vacation packages that cover every aspect of a stay—lodgings, transport to and from the resort, fine dining, onsite attractions, and experiences only a small, boutique property can offer.
Among these curated packages, you’ll find an invitation to focus your attention on tours to Maya ruin sites that not only include Xunantunich but several other intriguing destinations that are easily accessible to guests at San Ignacio Resort Hotel since each is a portal-to-portal tour!
For tourists seeking to maximize their Maya experience, the Xunantunich/Cahal Pech combination tour is ideal, and you can even check out details of each to see how fit you need to be to visit these attractions.
The onsite resource that makes your tour effortless
Rather than offering guests a small menu of tour options, family owners of the San Ignacio Resort Hotel set out to surpass competitors by installing a full-service tour agency onsite, so guests don’t have to lift a finger to craft an itinerary. The resort’s Cayo Gial Tour desk stands ready to satisfy your interests, too.
When you’re not out and about, an eclectic mix of onsite experiences will delight you, so you won’t be the first guest to arrive with Maya ruins in mind, only to find yourself captivated by resort adventures. Bring a camera so you can post to your social media account throughout your stay and be prepared to get envy-packed notes from the folks who wish they could have come along!