Just fifteen minutes from Ka’ana, on a journey over the river and through the woods, lies another world. A world of ceremonial temples, ancient artisans and stunning rainforest views.
Perfectly situated on top of a natural limestone ridge, the views from the ruins at Xunantunich are unparalleled. From the top of the largest pyramid, El Castillo, you can take in a stunning 360-degree panorama of jungle-covered countryside and small villages, stretching all the way in to Guatemala.
Last inhabited over 1,000 years ago, Xunantunich (pronounced “Shoe-nan-too-nitch”) is one of the most impressive Mayan sites in Belize. The name means “Maiden of the Rock” or “Stone Woman”, after the ghostly Mayan woman who is rumored to have appeared to some local villagers over a hundred years ago. Keep an eye out for her!
This site is world famous not only for its views, but also for the intricately carved frieze which wraps around El Castillo, featuring some of the most exquisite Mayan carvings ever found. You could spend hours studying the beautiful details the artists created so many centuries ago.
One of our favorite parts of Xunantunich is getting there. It’s only a few miles from Ka’ana, but we don’t let that stop us from having fun along the way! The journey requires us to cross the Mopan River on a traditional hand-cranked chain ferry via car, foot, or – for the more adventurous – on horseback!
Arriving at these incredible temples on horseback is one of the most unique adventures in Central America, and a fantastic photo opportunity to boot!
Want to create an even deeper connection to this beautiful Mayan land? Opt for a yoga class overlooking the ruins, rainforest and all the way in to Guatemala! It’s a one-of-a-kind experience for any yoga enthusiast, from beginner to accomplished yogi.
And just in case you’re wondering about that earlier photo, yes you can get married here! If you’re planning a destination wedding in Belize, get in touch with us to talk about scheduling a photo shoot or your entire ceremony surrounded by the beautiful Xunantunich temples.