San Ignacio Maya Day
Cahal Pech & Xunantunich
- Belize Maya Archaeology & Maya Ruins
- Belize Cultural Tour
Cahal Pech (“Place of the Ticks”) presents a different style of Maya architecture. Situated on the hills above San Ignacio, Cahal Pech was once the home of a royal Maya family. Its Late Pre-Classic temples consist of 34 structures and two separate ball courts displaying fine examples of Maya craftsmanship. The site, spread over two acres, was occupied as early as 1200 BC and abandoned around 800 AD. Its complex structures, winding tunnels and fine architecture, along with an excellent museum, make it a very interesting and informative site for a guided visit.
Xunantunich ("Stone Woman") was a major ceremonial center across the Mopan River in the Mayan village of San Jose Succotz. A hand-cranked ferry takes you across the Mopan River, followed by a mile drive up to the archaeological site. El Castillo, a pyramid standing at 130 feet above the main plaza floor, offers a spectacular view of the jungle landscape for miles around over the Mopan River Valley and into Guatemala. Sometimes howler monkeys entertain visitors who climb to the top. (If you don't enjoy climbing ruins, you can relax in the shade at a picnic table and take pictures of other people climbing.) El Castillo is known for its unique Eastern frieze, a banded stucco decoration which at one time extended around the entire structure.
Tour also includes optional stops at the Belize Botanical Garden, the San Ignacio Iguana Hatchery, and your choice of local restaurant for lunch on your own. This tour does NOT INCLUDE park fees for the optioned.
Departure: 8:00 am
Duration: Full day
Fitness Requirement: Moderate to good (guests can visit without climbing)
Food Provided: Lunch at local Maya restaurant
Admissions: US$5/pp/per site, US$9/Iguana Hatchery, US$15/Botanic Gardens
Dress: Lightweight shorts or long pants and sturdy footwear.
What To Bring
Sunscreen, insect repellent, camera, binoculars, raingear if needed. We provide water.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Mariposa Tours prices include transportation, guide, and lunch when specified. Prices do not include 12.5% General Sales Tax, park or admission fees, and discretionary gratuities to drivers or guides. For tipping guidelines, you may wish to see our FAQ.