Maya Sites

Explore the ancient cities of the Maya

When in Belize exploring the ancient Maya is a must. Belize was once the heartland of the Maya. For nearly 3000 years the Maya civilization flourished in Belize with research suggesting over two million Maya once inhabited Belize.

Today, excavated sites, temples, and tombs remind us of their historical past. Belize is estimated to have over a thousand ancient Maya sites in Belize, which date back to 2500 BC and flourished until about 1200 AD. With plenty of Maya sites around, one is guaranteed to not be too far from reach.

Take a trip to one of the many Maya sites that have been uncovered. Climb to the top of these sacred sites and enjoy a 360 view of Belize’s jungle that surround these lost cities. To get the full experience and the scope of the Maya’s dominance, we can help book a guided tour for you. Getting the full run down of all the archeological facts makes a big difference.

Maya Ruins by District

Maya Sites in Orange Walk District


Known as Submerged Crocodile, Lamanai is hidden in Belize’s lush jungle near Belize’s New River. Best accessible by boat, you can take a 26 mile boat ride up the New River and spot wildlife before reaching this magnificent site. Comprised of over 700 Maya structures, this site is one of the more impressive in Belize

La Milpa

Known as Maya Farm, La Milpa is the third largest archeological site in the country. Located in the north in Orange Walk district in the Rio Bravo Conservation area, it has over 80 structures you can explore with continuous excavation taking place onsite. It was believed over 50,000 individuals once lived in this ancient city.

El Pilar

Known as Water Hole, El Pilar is one of the larger sites in the Belize River area covering roughly 100 acres. It was believed that over 20,000 individuals once lived in this ancient city during the Maya Classic Period. The site features 25 plazas with plenty of ancient structures waiting to be excavated and uncovered.

Maya Sites in Cayo District


Known as Maiden of the Rock, Xunantunich is one of the most popular sites in the Cayo district. To get there you travel across the Mopan River on a hand- cranked ferry. This magnificent site has 25 temples to explore. The most impressive being El Castillo Temple decorated with intricate hand-carved stelae. It rises 130 feet giving you a 360 degree view of the plaza and lush jungle.


Caracol known as Snail in Spanish is the tallest Maya Ruin in Belize. Located in the Cayo district in Belize’s Chiquibul National Forest Reserve, it covers roughly 75 square miles. Occupied in 1200 BC it was a bustling Maya city home to the tallest man made structure in Belize the CAANA. CAANA, meaning sky palace rises 143 feet high, and is made up of four palaces and three temples.

Cahal Pech

Known as the place of ticks, Cahal Pech is one of the oldest archeological sites in the Belize River Valley area. Roughly a mile south of San Ignacio, this ancient city has over 34 structures dating back to 1500 and 1000 BC. It was believed 10,000 to 200,000 people resided here. Different ornaments, pottery and jade have been found at this site.

Maya Sites in Belize District

Altun Ha

Altun Ha, known as Rockstone Pond in Mayan, is one of the most popular archeological sites visited being approximately 31 miles north of Belize City. It is believed Atlun Ha was once the hub for trade of special stones, specifically jade. The most famous discovery at this ancient ruin was the Jade Head of K’nich Ahau, the sun god. This beautiful carved stone weighs almost 10 pounds and can be viewed at the Museum of Belize.

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Maya Sites in Corozal District


Cerros known as Maya Hill, is located in the north of Belize in the Corozal District. It was once an important trading center of precious stones such as jade and obsidian. The ruin is made up of various plazas, and three main structures with the tallest being 72 feet high.

Santa Rita

Located in the north, Santa Rita was an important trading center. Exportation of cacao and honey took place here. Standing on the main temple you can enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of Corozal Town.

Maya Ruins in Toledo District

Nim Li Punit

Nim Li Punit, translated to Big Hat in Kekchi Maya, is located in the South in the Toledo district. Believed to be abandoned in 900AD, this ancient city was where the longest stela in Belize was discovered spanning 55 feet. It is made up of a long row of 26 carved stelae showcasing the former rulers of the city including the king with a large hat, giving this ancient city its name.


Lubaantun, known as the place of the fallen stones in Mayan is the largest Maya site in the South of Belize. This ceremonial center has unique architecture, with structures unlike others made up of limestone blocks with no doorways. Eleven structures, five plazas and three ball courts make up this lost city once populated in 730 AD.

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