Surrounded by foliage on the banks of the New River in Orange Walk, are the remains of the pre-classic Maya site of Lamanai. It is one of most visited Mayan ruins of Belize. This archaeological site gets its name from the Maya term “submerged crocodile”, thanks to the many crocodiles that inhabit the region.
Although most of this ancient Maya city remains unexcavated; visitors can explore the High Temple, which offers a beautiful panoramic view from its summit, the Jaguar Temple, which features a Maya stucco frieze of a jaguar, and the Mask Temple, which fashions a 13-foot stone mask of a Maya king.
Apart from learning about the Maya and witnessing their fascinating architecture, one of the best highlights of visiting Lamanai is the scenic 26 mile boat ride prior to getting there. On this tour you can witness countless wildlife including crocodiles, river otters, spider monkeys, howler monkeys and a wide variety of exotic birds.