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.
A hand-cranked ferry takes you across to Xunantunich
The entrance of Xunantunich. Here you can see the Visitor Center on the right
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
A large group of local Mennonites were visiting on that day
There were also a few regular tourists
The steps to El Castillo
Inside El Castillo – Mayan arches are so cool
Reaching the top of El Castillo – The top has four pillars
Front view from on top of El Castillo
The view of the back from El Castillo
El Castillo has a lot of cool views
Benque Viejo, the town that borders Guatemala can be seen from up top
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.