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“Worth the trip to see”
Review of Xunantunich

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Full-Day Tour of Xunantunich and Cave Tubing from San Ignacio
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Horseback Ride to Xunantunich Maya Ruins Including Traditional Lunch
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Day Trip to Xunantunich and Cahal Pech
Ranked #2 of 73 things to do in Cayo
Certificate of Excellence
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Reviewed September 25, 2013

I strongly recommend going with a guide. There are certified guides at the ferry that you cross as well as at the site itself. The guides are about $15/each plus the $10 fee to get in. They can tell you so much you would never know otherwise. The ruins are only partially uncovered, but the biggest structure is uncovered all the way to the top. It's a little scary but worth going to see.

2  Thank Judi T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 22, 2013

These ruins were fantastic , although to explore at your own risk. There are steep stairs and ledges with large drop-offs with no railings or safety equipment. You are allowed to climb up to the very top of the pyramid and see it how it has been for centuries.

1  Thank JeffGarr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2013

We visited Xunantunich on our visit to Belize and it definitely was worth the trip. Our resort was on Ambergris Caye island so we had a long trip to Xunantunich. We took our boat shuttle at 6 am from the resort to San Pedro, then a small commuter plane to Belize City and then a 2 hour ride on a mini-van taxi to the ruins.

Our guide took us around the ruins, told us the history and spent time answering any questions we had. We spent about an hour and a 1/2 there but the site is nice and really worth seeing. Nice to be able to climb to the top and see the incredible views.

On the way back we did stop and do cave-tubing, which is also great fun as well. It helped to do both of these things for us on the same trip as it took us a while to get back home (boat, plane, boat, etc). We arrived back at our resort around 6ish so a full day of fun.

1  Thank Chuckie_16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2013

We drove 2 hours from Placencia to Xunantunich... it was worth the drive. I only wish we would have had a guide to point out and teach us about the history of this amazing place, but even without a guide you could still imagine how things went down thousands of years ago, you could actually still see their walking trails. From the very top of the large ruin you could see Guatemala, to sit at the top of the ruins and take in the amazing views was truly special, wish I would have taken a sandwich with me to have a picnic up there... something to consider. Park staff was very helpful and friendly. It is the only place in Belize where I saw heavily armed guards protecting the premises. I would go back for sure, next time with a sandwich.

1  Thank ARELYSC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2013

One of the special things about Xunantunich are the elaborate carvings on the side of El Castillo (the main pyramid). If I understood correctly, they are actually replicas of the originals which have been removed for preservation purposes but I won't have know the difference and you probably won't either. The carvings are huge and extend most of the width of the pryamind. They also seem to have more depth (relief) than the carvings we saw at other sites.
Another reason to visit Xunantunich is that you can climb to the top of the pyramid. The stairs are steep and narrow. The view is spectacular. You can see the rest of the site laid out before you and from above the trees on top of a pyramid on top of a hill the vast countryside of Belize and Guatemala is spread out before you. Its no coincidence that Mayan ruins have great views. The site is large and varied enough to be worth spending an hour or two exploring, but unlike Tikal it is easy to see it all in a short visit.
We walked to Xunantunich from the Nabitunich guesthouse where we were staying. It took about 20 minutes of walking a public trail along the river to get to the ferry and then it was about one mile of gently sloping uphill walking to the site entrance. Not a difficult walk if you are in shape but it was hot and we were glad to have brought extra water. The ferry is an attraction in itself as it is handcranked and the Mopan river was beautiful even though we saw it in a flooded muddy state. We were told that when it settles down in the dry season the water gets crystal clear. Across the street from the ferry is the small, friendly village of San Jose Succotz where we ate lunch at Bennie's Kitchen, which was a great place to try some local favorites. We just really love this part of the world.

Thank Melony C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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