Explore Belize’s Maya Ruins Part 1: Lamanai

Belize is rich in history, and as much as tropical vacations go hand-in-hand with soaking up the sun on the beach, our Mayan ruins are truly something to see.

The Lamanai ruins are located in North Central Belize along the New River Lagoon. Although the spelling has changed over time, Lamanai means “submerged crocodile.” Spanning 950 acres, it is one of the largest Maya sites. It is also one of the oldest and longest occupied.

Lamanai dates back to 1500 BC and is thought to have been a populated city until 1680 AD. When you walk the grounds, you will be among thousands of years of human history! So what can you expect to see during your visit?

There are hundreds of structures at the site, including temples such as the Temple of the Mask and the Maya Sun God. There is an onsite museum holding artifacts that have been discovered on the site, as well as two 16th century Spanish churches and a colonial sugar mill from 1860.

While you get to see the Maya’s ancient history first hand, the churches also give insight into the surrounding civilizations of the time. The Spanish built the churches in an attempt to convert the Maya to Catholicism. This movement was not welcome, and the Maya burned the churches down. The history paired with the tropical jungle make visiting Lamanai an activity you don’t want to miss.

To book your Lamanai trip with Victoria House or to learn more about our tour, please visit our website.