Latin America Travel & Tour Information
Belize's Mayan Ruins Travel Information
The most ancient Mayan Ruins
Belize does not play an outstanding role in today's world order, but it did in the past when America was the cradle of great aboriginal civilizations like the Mayan. Now it is known that the first settlements related to this culture emerged here, as well as the core of the civilization's splendor.
The drawings and symbols (hieroglyphs) found in Mayan constructions and the Orange Walk excavations, allowed archeologists to establish a time frame going back 2000 years B.C. Within the time span between the years 250 and 900 A.D., Belize constituted the center of this advanced civilization that later began to decline close to extinction.
The Mayan Route consists of an array of derelict temples and palaces that still talk about the splendor of a time. Lamanai or submerged croc once stood on the shores of the New River lagoon, one of the most outstanding Mayan settlements. To the south, on the Mayan Mountains, the pyramids and the 3 oldest cities still exist in Cerro. Xunantunich (woman of stone), situated 15 km from San Ignacio, amazes the explorers with its Castle, 6 plazas and several temples.
The itinerary through these impressive archeological sites should also include: the ruins at Caracol, where the imposing 43-m high pyramid of Canaa stands out; Altun Ha (water from the rock) consists in a dozen temples, 2 plazas and the jade sculpture of Ahau's head, the God of the Sun.
Lubaantun, inside Punta Gorda jungle, earned fame not only for all the ceramic miniature artifacts and the buildings found in the site, but also for being the scenario of a story of mystery and deception. It was there where during the early 20th century, the British explorer Frederick Mitchell Hedges and his daughter Anna claimed to have discovered the 'Skull of Fate', a perfectly carved 5-kg quartz-made skull with moving jaw. The find was not announced publicly until some years later and then a legend was born, which turned the skull over 3.000 years old, gave it magic powers made it a part of a 13 skull collection that once together would foretell man's fate. The scientific community gave the matter little importance until some studies were conducted and concluded it was all a fraud.