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Xunantunich Mayan Ruins Tour


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Xunantunich Archaeological Site

Uncover the mysteries of Xunantunich – and yes, it’s pronounced “Shoo-nan-too-nitch” – a site whose name means “Stone Woman” or “Maiden of the Rock.” The legend tells of the Maiden of the Rock, believed to be the ghost wandering among the ancient archaeological ruins. Stepping into history, you’ll find Xunantunich was a significant ceremonial center during the Classic Period.

Choosing Pacz Tours for this adventure offers you more than just a journey through time. Our expertise is rooted in a long history of discovery. Alfred Maloney uncovered the site in 1881, initially naming it Mount Maloney. Dr. Thomas Gann explored the site in 1894, followed by Teobart Mahler, an explorer and photographer from the museum of Harvard University, who documented the site extensively in 1905. The commitment to understanding Xunantunich continued as Thomas Gann returned in 1924, launching excavation works.


As you embark on this expedition, you’ll find Xunantunich located approximately eight miles west of San Ignacio in the enchanting Cayo District, or 78 miles from bustling Belize City. Nestled along the river banks of the Mopan River near the charming village of San Jose Succotz on the Western Highway, Xunantunich invites you to step into a world where history comes to life. Book with Pacz Tours, and let us be your guide to the wonders of Xunantunich and the stories that reside within these ancient stones.

xunantunich el castillo

Just what can you do at Xunantunich?

Prepare for a remarkable adventure at Xunantunich! Our journey begins with a unique river crossing experience, where you can even give the hand crank ferry a try as we navigate across the Mopan River. A short but scenic ten-minute ride uphill takes us to the visitor’s center and site museum. Here, your dedicated tour guide will coordinate with the site ranger to ensure a smooth and engaging visit to the ceremonial center.

As we explore the most extensive excavations of this Mayan site, you’ll have the opportunity to climb a couple of temples, gaining a new perspective on the ancient world. Your tour guide will also point out the nearby settlements and the Guatemala Border, offering you a glimpse of just how close you are to another country.

The heart of Xunantunich encompasses approximately one square mile, revealing itself through a network of six plazas surrounded by over 26 temples and palaces. Archaeological findings suggest that Xunantunich was once a thriving center, only to be mysteriously abandoned between 890 to 900 AD.

At the pinnacle of your journey stands the main temple, structure A-6, aptly named ‘El Castillo.’ This imposing structure soars to a height of 40 meters (130 feet) above the plaza level and an impressive 180 meters (600 feet) above sea level. At the summit of El Castillo, a breathtaking panoramic view of the surrounding rainforest, the ball court, and other intriguing points of interest awaits. While ascending, you might even have the chance to spot howler monkeys and green iguanas, among other fascinating creatures. El Castillo is the second tallest man-made structure in Belize and boasts three distinct layers.

Xunantunich welcomes visitors from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, while the small hand-cranked ferry operates between 7:30 am and 4:00 pm. To ensure your journey is well-prepared, we kindly request a few hours in advance for booking your tour of this incredible Maya site. Unearth the wonders of Xunantunich with us, where history and nature harmoniously come to life.

Experience the ultimate adventure in Belize by booking a combination tour with Pacz Tours!

Our Xunantunich Mayan Ruins tour offers you a glimpse into the ancient world of the Maya civilization. You can combine this awe-inspiring archaeological journey with your choice of Cave Tubing, Cahal Pech Ruins, or a Barton Creek Cave Canoe adventure, creating a memorable day filled with history and natural wonders. Discover the secrets of the past, explore magnificent caves, or marvel at the Belize Mayan Ruins nestled amidst lush rainforests. Your unique experience awaits, where every moment is a prelude to a day of unforgettable exploration and discovery.

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  • Tour is confirmed when a payment is received.
  • Cancellation must be made 48hrs in advanced to received a refund, less 4.5%.
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Xunantunich Tour Review

"Blown Away!
My girlfriend and I came to San Ignacio for 3 days and booked tours all 3 days with Pacz, based on a recommendation from the company we booked our driver from the airport with. We started with Tikal on day 1, did the ATM cave on day 2 and Xunantunich and the Barton Creek Cave on day 3. I couldn't imagine experiencing these tours with any other company. These are true professionals."
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