Mayflower Archaeological Reserve
Nestled deep in the jungle at the base of the Maya Mountains,
this Mayan reserve comprises three post classic ruins:
Mayflower (Mayflower Camp), Tau Witz (dwelling of a local
god of the hill) and Maintzunum (hummingbird). There are
two hiking trails leading through the rainforest to waterfalls.
The falls have several "dipping" pools, ideal for cooling off.
The area has myriad birds, orchids and wildlife. It's located
off the Southern Highway between Dangriga and the
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary.
"The Maiden of the Rock" is the name given to the site by
present- day Maya. Just three miles from San Ignacio, the site
is accessible by a short ferry ride across the Mopan River. El
Castillo is a 130-foot temple with elaborately carved friezes
showing monkeys, warrior masks, and the Mayan symbol for
spring. From the top of the temple, visitors can see the rangeland
and jungle of eastern Belize, the lowlands of Guatemala
to the west, and the impressive Maya Mountains to the south.
Cahal Pech, located in the Cayo District along the west bank
of the Macal River, consists of 34 structures in an area
covering about two acres. Cahal Pech was first developed
during the preclassic period (1000 B.C. to 200 A.D.) and
abandoned around 800 A.D. The site offers visitors a
panoramic view of San Ignacio and the Belize River Valley.
Archeologists believe Altun Ha was settled around 250 B.C.,
and continued into the 10th century. Some 10,000 Maya lived
in and around Altun Ha, which was a significant trading
center. Altun Ha, about an hour from Belize City, features two
central plazas surrounded by towering temples that enclose a
palm strewn area.
Located in the Orange Walk District of northern Belize,
Lamanai is best reached by air or a boat ride up the New
River. One of the longest occupied Mayan sites, Lamanai was
settled around 1500 B.C. and was still inhabited into the 19th
century. An incredible stone face etched into a temple here is
widely included in many guidebooks to Belize.