Located near the town of San Ignacio and Guatemala’s border, Xunantunich is one of the most popular Maya sites in Belize. The name means “Stone Woman,” but unlike other ruin site names that have long-standing histories and meanings, Xunantunich’s original name was lost. It got its current name from the legend that the site is haunted by a woman’s ghost.
Xunantunich is known for El Castillo. The large temple happens to be the second-tallest building in Belize, so it is appropriate that it’s named “The Castle”! At 130 feet tall, it is an awe-inspiring archeological wonder decorated with stone carvings telling the Maya’s stories.
Xunantunich dates back between 600-300 BC and lasted as a civilization until about 1,000 years ago. The ruins were discovered in the late 1800’s with some areas still be excavated to this day. So what can you expect to see during your visit?
While El Castillo temple is the largest structure and sits in the middle of the city, there are a variety of other temples, palaces and structures to see. A museum also has artifacts and displays for visitors to enjoy.
This is a piece of Belizean history you’ll want to see for yourself. At Victoria House we have paired our Xunantunich tour with cave tubing through the nearby “underworld,” a system of caves that held great significance to the Maya. Please visit our website for full details or to book your tour today!