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About J and R Guest House "Budget Accomodations First Class Adventure" Learn more about the Country of Belize Why the Cayo District should be your next adventure vacation destination Belize Cayo District Tours and Activities Discover Ancient Temples in the Forest - archaeological tours Explore our Rich Natural History Tours - rainforest, wildlife, eco-adventure scenic, breathtaking, awe inspiring views, bring plenty of film for these tours canoeing, caving, tubing - exciting adventure tours left menu button

J and R Guest House

Belize Maya Ruin Tours

BELIZE MAYA RUINS TOURS

You emerge from the jungle undergrowth and there in  front of you in the clearing is a massive, ancient temple rising hundreds of feet high to meet the sky. What are these ancient temples doing in the middle of the forest? Who built them and why? Why did the Maya at the height of their civilization suddenly collapse? These are just a few of the questions we explore in our Archaeological Discovery Tours. Now you can discover these ancient wonders and grow in appreciation of our (pre-Colombian) ancient history

 

POPULAR MAYAN SITES TOURS IN BELIZE 

Belize is a Mecca for those interested in or studying Maya archaeology. Their are hundreds of sites throughout Belize with some as yet undiscovered or un-excavated.  Below are are some of the more popular sites in Belize.

A view of El Castillo,  Xunantunich, Belize Cayo DistrictXUNANTUNICH (Stone Lady)

Xunantunich Maya Ruin Tour - Cayo District

This ancient Ceremonial Mayan City is one of Belize's largest and best known temples.  It is also one of the most popular attractions in Belize.  Shown here is structure A6 "El Castillo" which summits 130 feet high, providing a panoramic view of the surrounding area including neighbouring Guatemala.   It also bears a remarkable stucco frieze on the East and West sides of the pyramid representing the celestial bodies.  Access to the site is by a hand wenched ferry over the Mopan River.

 

"...crossing the Mopan river by ferry was an experience in itself...the view from on top of "El Castillo was awesome...Hey I can see Guatemala from up here...climbing to the top was a lot easier than climbing down...truly awesome...now have more respect for the Maya and what they accomplished...a must see for all.."

Features (hover your mouse over the icon for a description of the feature)
ancient temples some walking, hiking, and climbing required  scenic spots and photo opportunity bring plenty of film  possible wildlife sightings   sorrounding tropical broadleaf forest sight seeing   souvenir stand at site

Duration: half a day -  full day usually ... starts early am
Tip: Bring some drinks and snacks.
        Take the bus to the entrance of Xunantunich and then take an unguided tour or hire a guide for a guided tour.
       
Guided Tour?: This could be a guided or unguided tour.
Cost: cost are approximate to give you an idea of what you can expect to pay.

Additional Fees: A $10.00 BZE Park Fee is extra.
Lunch:  Recommend lunch at ??? in the village of Succotz, they sell local food like rice and beans , soup and vegetarian food available.
Souvenir Shopping: Stop by the Mayan craft center in front of the ferry and do some souvenir shop .
Special Notes: do a  trip to Xunantunich in the morning and stop at Cahal Pech on your way back.
What to bring: sun tan lotion, hats, sunglasses, towels, camera, binoculars
How can I include this in an Itinerary? see a suitable, recommended Itinerary for this tour.
  The Classic 7 Day Itinerary  or
 
The Maya Ruins Itinerary

see a related picture or video of this tour and see a related picture or video of this tour  of these tours related to Cayo Mayan ruins

 


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Cahal Pech A view of residential palacesCAHAL PECH (Place of the Ticks)

Cahal Pech Maya Ruin Tour - Cayo District

Overlooking San Ignacio, Cahal Pech is a medium size but major Mayan site. It consists of 34 structures covering over 2 acres. Cahal Pech was settled around 1200 BC and finally abandoned around 875 AD.  This ancient city represents classic period architecture.  The site is within a small but beautiful jungle environment , which includes a wide variety of tropical plants and attracts exotic birds.  With its silent atmosphere and where the past remains unchanged, Cahal Pech is a unique place to visit.

"...I was impressed immediately...Indiana Jones can't touch this...the temples are real, the jungle is real and the adventure is real...I was lost amid all the structures, fortunately my guide new his way around...don't miss this one..."

Features (hover your mouse over the icon for a description of the feature)
ancient temples some walking, hiking, and climbing required  scenic spots and photo opportunity bring plenty of film  possible wildlife sightings   sorrounding tropical broadleaf forest sight seeing   souvenir stand at site

Duration:  Full day
Tip:
We recommend that you do this tour after Xunantunich or to fill an arrival or departure day
Bring some drinks and snacks.

Guided Tour?: This could be a guided or unguided tour.
Cost: cost are approximate to give you an idea of what you can expect to pay.

Additional Fees: A $10.00 BZE Park Fee is extra.
Lunch:  Recommend lunch at ??? in the village of Succotz, they sell local food like rice and beans , soup and vegetarian food available.
souvenirsSouvenir Shopping: souvenir stand at site
Special Notes: do a  trip to Xunantunich in the morning and stop at Cahal Pech on your way back.
What to bring: sun tan lotion, hats, sunglasses, camera, binoculars

How can I include this in an Itinerary? see a suitable, recommended Itinerary for this tour.
  The Classic 7 Day Itinerary  or
  The Maya Ruins Itinerary

see a related picture or video of this tour and see a related picture or video of this tour  of these tours related to Cayo Mayan ruins

 

 

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Main temple at CaracolCARACOL (Snail)

Caracol Maya Ruin Tour - Cayo District

Located in the Cayo District, Caracol is famous for Belize's tallest man made structure, Canaa (sky Place) towering some 140 feet above the jungle canopy, was a supreme Maya city. It is one of the largest archaeological reserves in the region, and was of great significance because of its relationship to Tikal and Naranjo, in Guatemala.

 

 

"...what were they doing with mercury?...I bet their palaces were haunted since they were built on top of tombs...its a lot bigger than it looks in the picture...they studied the stars and created an accurate calendar...too bad they could not be more neighbourly...Caracol 1 Tikal 0...bring a flashlight..."

 

Features (hover your mouse over the icon for a description of the feature)
ancient temples some walking, hiking, and climbing required  scenic spots and photo opportunity bring plenty of film  possible wildlife sightings   sorrounding tropical broadleaf forest sight seeing   souvenir stand at site

Duration: Full day - Has to starts early am depart by 7:30 Am to Augustine Pine Ridge.  Ends around 5:00 PM
Driving Distance to Caracol: 69 miles up to 2 hours from San Ignacio.

Tip: Bring some drinks and snacks. We recommend  Clarissa Falls for lunch.
Guided Tours Cost: cost are approximate to give you an idea of what you can expect to pay.
2 persons minimum per tour
$65 USD per person includes transportation and lunch and Park fee and guided tour of the Caracol Mayan site.
This tour also includes (on your way back) the Rio Frio Cave and Rio On pools in the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve.
Additional Fees:  Park Fee is included in tour cost...
Special Notes:
What to bring: sun tan lotion, hats, sunglasses, camera, binoculars, swim suits, towels, and wading ## shoes, change of clothes.

Guided Tour?: This could be a guided or unguided tour. Note: Tour guides for hire are not available at the Caracol site.
Lunch:  Included in a Guided Tour otherwise pack your own lunch.
souvenirsSouvenir Shopping: A souvenir stand is not available at the Caracol site.  On the way back stop by the Garcia Sisters Mayan Craft center and souvenir shop.

How can I include this in an Itinerary? see a suitable, recommended Itinerary for this tour.
  The Classic 7 Day Itinerary  or
  The Maya Ruins Itinerary

see a related picture or video of this tour and see a related picture or video of this tour  of these tours related to Cayo Mayan ruins

 

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ALTUN HA (Rockstone Pond)

Altun Ha Maya Ruin Tour - Belize District

Located in the Belize District the Mayan centre is famous for the jade head (the largest jade object ever found in a Mayan site). The jade head represents the Maya sun god Kinich Ahua. This is a popular site for tourist staying in the eastern part of Belize and the Cayes.

Note: Altun Ha is in the Belize District and is only mentioned here in passing because it is a popular destination for cruise ship passengers.
Tour operators in the Cayo District usually don't do Altun Ha but it is available upon request.

"...close enough to the sea, yet far enough to avoid being washed away by hurricanes, exactly why the capital is where it is today..."
 

 

Features (hover your mouse over the icon for a description of the feature)
ancient temples some walking, hiking, and climbing required  scenic spots and photo opportunity bring plenty of film  possible wildlife sightings   sorrounding tropical broadleaf forest sight seeing   souvenir stand at site

Duration: half a day - usually starts early am
Tip: Bring some drinks and snacks. We recommend  Clarissa Falls for lunch.
Cost: cost are approximate to give you an idea of what you can expect to pay.
$100 USD includes transportation and guided tour.
Additional Fees: A $5.00 USD Park Fee is extra
Special Notes: Altun Ha is in the Belize District and is only mentioned here in passing because it is a popular destination for cruise ship passengers arriving in the East in Belize City.
Tour operators in the Cayo District usually don't do Altun Ha but it is available upon request.
What to bring: sun tan lotion, hats, sunglasses, camera, binoculars

 

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tikalTIKAL

Tikal Maya Ruin Tour - Peten District of Guatemala

One of the greatest wonders of the ancient Mayan civilization can be found at Tikal amidst Guatemala's Peten Tropical forest. This spectacular site is 95 miles from San Ignacio. The sacred ruins of Tikal were mysteriously abandoned around 1000AD. Tikal is a must see adventure you'll never forget.

Note: Tikal is in the country of Guatemala.  Here's an opportunity to visit another country.

 

 

"...impressive wish you were here...great job consolidating the temples...well worth the trip..."

 

Features (hover your mouse over the icon for a description of the feature)
ancient temples some walking, hiking, and climbing required  scenic spots and photo opportunity bring plenty of film  possible wildlife sightings   sorrounding tropical broadleaf forest sight seeing   souvenir stand at site

Duration: Full day - Has to starts early am depart by 7:30 Am.  Ends around 5:00 PM
Driving Distance to Tikal: 69 miles up to 2 hours from the border.
Tip: Bring your passport since Tikal is in the neighbouring country of Guatemala.
Guided Tours Cost: cost are approximate to give you an idea of what you can expect to pay.
2 persons minimum per tour
$65 USD per person includes transportation and lunch and guided tour of the Tikal Mayan site.

Additional Fees:  A $20 USD Park Fee is extra.  A $38 BZE Departure Fee.
Special Notes:
What to bring: sun tan lotion, hats, sunglasses, camera, binoculars.

Guided Tours at the Site: This could be a guided or unguided tour. Note: Tour guides for hire are available at the Tikal site.
Lunch:  Included in a Guided Tour otherwise pack your own lunch.
souvenirsSouvenir Shopping: A souvenir are available at the Tikal Mayan Site.

see a related picture or video of this tour and see a related picture or video of this tour  of these tours related to Cayo Mayan ruins

How can I include this in an Itinerary? see a suitable, recommended Itinerary for this tour.
  The Classic 7 Day Itinerary  or
  The Maya Ruins Itinerary

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an artist conception of El PilarEL PILAR(Pilar)

El Pillar Maya Ruin Tour - Cayo District

Located in the Cayo District near the village of Bullet Tree Falls, this is a large unexcavated classic period Maya site.  When it is excavated and consolidated it will rival the likes of Tikal.  In terms of restoration there is not much to see here to the the untrained eye.  We offer El Pilar as an example of an ancient Maya city as yet un-excavated.  The jungle claims a strong foothold on the ancient ruins, and evidence of various looters trenches exist here. Visitors will be impressed by the surrounding tropical jungles which host a wide variety of plants and animals.

"...a young acacia tree provided a lesson in eclogy, namely a symbiotic relationship between the acacia and the ants that live on it...it rained while we were there but after all it is a rainforest...come to thinkof it there were afternoon showers in most places...it was an adventure trying to reach Black's ranch..."

 

"...a rare glimpse of a spider monkey trashing through the canopy really made my day...we saw hoof prints made by a tapir...Marcel learnt he is no Tarzan when it comes to monkeying around with vines...the mosquitoes were starving but we were equally prepared..."
 

 

Features (hover your mouse over the icon for a description of the feature)
ancient temples some walking, hiking, and climbing required  scenic spots and photo opportunity bring plenty of film  possible wildlife sightings   sorrounding tropical broadleaf forest sight seeing  

Duration: half a day - usually starts early am
Tip: Bring some drinks and snacks.
Cost: cost are approximate to give you an idea of what you can expect to pay.
$100 USD includes transportation and guided tour.
Additional Fees: A $5.00 USD Park Fee is extra
Special Notes: Tour operators in the Cayo District usually don't do El Pillar but it is available upon request.
What to bring: sun tan lotion, hats, sunglasses, mosquito repellant, camera, binoculars

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See also the ATM Cave in the Belize Cayo Adventure tours. This serves alternatively as an archaeological tour.

 

The Maya(tbc)

THE MAYA  Find out more about the Maya including history, religion calendar etc. in the Maya Home Page.

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