An Afternoon At Xunantunich


I was made fun of because I was wearing a Maple Leafs t-shirt. Lol

Xunantunich is my favourite Mayan ruin and it is not because it is one of the most popular archeological sites in Belize or because it is very near to my hometown of San Ignacio.

It is because it brings good memories: memories of lonely hikes on Sundays, memories of me taking friends there, memories of how peaceful it is to be on top of El Castillo during early mornings or late afternoons.

When I was in Belize in January it was an obligatory trip. It is free for Belizeans to visit on Sundays so of course I did the trip on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Xunantunich is located in San Jose Succotz, one of the villages that neighbours Guatemala and is a 15 minute drive from San Ignacio.

The site is not big and it took me a little over an hour to leisurely see it all. It can be done without a tour guide but it’s recommended to hire a guide if you want to hear in-dept facts about its fascinating history.

xunantunich ferry

A hand-cranked ferry takes you across to Xunantunich

xunantunich entrance

The entrance of Xunantunich. Here you can see the Visitor Center on the right

xunantunich temple

These kids were playing tag, and soon after they started playing soccer with a plastic bottle used as a ball


The view of El Castillo from a far end plaza

el castillo xunan

A large group of local Mennonites were visiting on that day


There were also a few regular tourists

steps to el castillo

The steps to El Castillo

xunantunich arches

Inside El Castillo – Mayan arches are so cool

xunantunich pillars

Reaching the top of El Castillo – The top has four pillars


Front view from on top of El Castillo

back view of el castillo

The view of the back from El Castillo

xunantunich views

El Castillo has a lot of cool views

Benque Viejo

Benque Viejo, the town that borders Guatemala can be seen from up top

xunantunich east frieze

Make sure to check out the East Frieze drawings – for protection its been covered with plaster mold

That’s it for a quick photo tour of Xunantunich. I hope you enjoyed it.




About Lorenzo Gonzalez

Lorenzo Gonzalez is the founder of, a resource for travel information on Belize. He enjoys traveling, social media and Paranda music. Contact him at lorenzo [at] Learn more...
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