Thursday, June 5, 2008


By Wendy

Xunantunich ruin site is on the mainland of Belize . This report may interest a different class of advertiser but, most importantly, Mary’s son and wife who plan on going to Belize soon. Travel blog offerings coming soon include: Cave Tubing, Snorkeling at Goff’s Caye and Misc. other fab finds in San Pedro.

When traveling in the country of Belize (formerly British Honduras ) there is no need to stay on the mainland to take a mainland tour. On a recent trip with my very best friends, we booked a tour from Ambergris Caye to the mainland to see the Maya ruin city of Xunantunich (Shoo-nan-too-neesh).

There are at least a dozen excavated and partially excavated ruin site in the small country of Belize . There are two airlines that fly between the Cayes (pronounced Keys) and the mainland. This is one of them. Maya Island Air with passengers: Wendy, Cindy and Betsy. Yes, we had our own flight.

The airplanes you have to take to the mainland are ...ok...small..on this particular trip...we were the entire passenger manifest. We met our guide upon arrival

Betsy, our co-pilot managed to snap this shot of the runway at the Municipal Airport in Belize City . During the rainy season it is partly in the ocean.

Our tour began with a van ride to the ruin site. In order to cross the Mopan river, we had to be taken across on this hand-operated ferry.

There are a number of excavated Maya ruin sites in the country of Belize . Here at Xunantunich, the premier feature is this structure called El Castillo. The reliefs on the side have been recreated after the originals were vandalized over the centuries.

This is the view from the top of El Castillo looking into the courtyard.

This is the view from the top of El Castillo looking over at the Guatemala border. On one side is Benque Viejo del Carmen in Belize and the other side is Ciudad Melchor de Mencos in Guatemala.

What goes up must come down and we were no exception. This is a shot of us making our way down El Castillo.

There is still a border dispute between Guatemala and Belize . There are also some not so desirable illegal Guatemalan immigrants that prey on tourists. Therefore, in border areas, the Belize National Guard and local police join forces to protect these area. These nice young men agreed to pose for us.

This building on the site was actually the residence of the local ruler. Where we are standing near the bottom, his three highest ranking wives would reside.

After touring the ruins, we were brought to a local restaurant for the traditional Belizean lunch of stew chicken, beans and rice and fried plantain.

After lunch it was back into the van with our tour guide, Ernesto. Ernesto still has to take us cave tubing this afternoon but that is the subject of another blog.