Lamanai Archaeological Reserve

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Lamanai's mask temple
Lamanai’s mask temple

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 the most visited Mayan ruins of Belize.

This archaeological reserve gets its name from the Maya term “submerged crocodile”, thanks to the many crocodiles that inhabit the region.

Visiting Lamanai

A Geoffroy's spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) on the New River in Orange Walk

Although most of Lamanai 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 the boat tour, you witness countless wildlife including crocodiles, river otters, spider monkeys, howler monkeys, and a wide variety of exotic birds.

Things to bring on tour

  • Hiking shoes
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Camera
  • Hat and sunglasses
  • Cash for Souvenirs

Entrance fee and what’s included

  • $5.00 USD entrance fee per person
  • Non-guided experience