From San Ignacio Town to Lamanai archaeological site is about 141.5 Miles (227.7 km) or about 3 hours away. Lamanai is one of two Maya ruins in Belize you access by boat. Travel by vehicle, then an amazing boat ride to the new river lagoon before reaching Lamanai archaeological site.
Your tour guide knows exactly what path to take. On this guided tour you will be introduced to river birds, howler monkeys and crocodiles. Then you finally arrive in a huge lagoon, where the top of High Temple peeks up over the jungle canopy.
After exploring the museum, your tour guide will show you the site itself. Lamanai archaeological reserve is well-kept grounds, located in a rain forest. There are three majestic temples, each built during a different period.
Which should you do? Xunantunich vs Lamanai. While Xunanuntich is easily accessed. Lamanai has a more adventurous feel for its boat trip and doesn’t disappoint with its Masks
The Mask Temple (Structure N9) made this archaeological site famous for its enormous carved stone facades. The Temple was built first and some 600 years later the Mask was added. The mask was skillfully carved from limestone, giving the ancient city is icon look.
The Jaguar Temple or Lamanai Structure N10 is a stepped pyramid structure, it’s about 12 feet shorter than the high Temple. You will see the angular Jaguar heads in front of the temple, your guide will explain.
The High Temple offers the most breathtaking view if you climb all the steps to the top. The High Temple’s highest exposed height of 33 metres (108 ft) can be climbed in the presence of our tour guide
A neat little Mayan site to visit for a couple hours or combine with another tour.
The very name Lamanai comes from the Yucatec Maya word “lam’an’ain”, meaning “submerged crocodile.” Once a great city—waxing in power, even as cities to the south like Tikal and Caracol were waning—its ruins lay buried until the 1970s when archaeologists started excavating the site. They eventually learned that Lamanai was one of the most continually inhabited cities in all of the Maya lowlands, with evidence of occupation dating back to the 16th century BC (!). An extensive museum displays dozens of artefacts, including many made of copper, found buried with elites.
How old is Lamanai?
According to Wikipedia: Lamanai was occupied as early as the 16th century BC. The site became a prominent centre in the Pre-Classic Period, from the 4th century BC through the 1st century CE. In 625 CE, “Stele 9” was erected there in the Yucatec language of the Maya. Lamanai continued to be occupied up to the 17th century AD.
What is the best Mayan ruin to visit in Belize?
Out of the nine (9), Mayan Ruins in Belize, Caracol Mayan Ruins is the best Mayan ruin to visit. Pacz Tours BIG THREE Mayan Ruins are Lamanai, Caracol and Tikal. Altun Ha or Xunantunich are Maya sites easiest to visit.
Altun Ha is for people who want to visit San Pedro, Caye Caulker and Belize City. Xunantunich is best when you are staying in Caya District.