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“MUST SEE”
Review of Xunantunich

Xunantunich
Book In Advance
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$100.00*
and up
Full-Day Tour of Xunantunich and Cave Tubing from San Ignacio
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$95.00*
and up
Horseback Ride to Xunantunich Maya Ruins Including Traditional Lunch
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$85.00*
and up
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 October 31, 2013

An incredible experience! If you are staying in San Ignacio and want to save money just take a $10 BZ taxi ride from downtown and check it out yourself. If you want a guide they are waiting at the front for a decent price too...

2  Thank Greg B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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749 - 753 of 1,081 reviews

Reviewed October 15, 2013

An amazing experience. We made it one part of a 3 part day trip. We did jungle zip lining and cave tubing followed by a visit to the Xunantunich Ruins and the view from the top (yes you are allowed to climb to the top) was incredible. If you visit Belize, don't miss this opportunity to explore this piece of Belizean history.

1  Thank splitcane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2013

Theo from Parrot Nest Lodge arranged our horseback riding adventure through Hanna Stables, 501-664-1536, hannastables@hotmail.com, and they were awesome! We had the pleasure of having Terrie and Everal as our guides for horse backing and Everal for the ruins. My fellow traveler had never been horseback riding before, and they helped ease his fears by helping us become familiar with our horses, Joshua and Jimmie (nicknames I believe). Both Terrie and Everal ensured we knew how to sit, ride, stop and turn the horses. I’d say within less than 30 minutes, we were comfortable with riding. The ride took us through beautiful countryside and next to the river. When it was time to cross the river, we rode the horses onto the floating bridge where the operator manually turned a crank to move the bridge from one side to the other. Thereafter, we rode up to the ruins. Once we reached the ruins, Terrie took control of the horses and Everal led us up for a very informative tour. I can still remember him telling us to “use your claws” (aka hands/fingers) when climbing to the top. He provided a wealth of knowledge, the views were phenomenal, and it was interesting to compare these ruins to others we had visited (Tikal, Cahal Pech, Lamanai) as each had its own uniqueness. I would definitely recommend this crew and company again.

2  Thank YO_LOOK_AT_ME
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2013

We visited Xunantunich on our last full day in the Cayo. From San Ignacio, I believe it was about a US$5 cab rite to the site. Though the site is not as large as as some nearby sites, nor is El Castillo as tall as the pyramids of Tikal and Caracol, its location on top of a hill makes it quite imposing. Well worth the visit!

If you are staying on one of Belize's beaches or are visiting with a cruise, this is one of the sites that you can easily do as part of a day trip (though, if you are staying in Belize, I highly recommend spending some time in the Cayo to experience some of the amazing sights and adventures it has to offer!). If you are not with a cruise, try to visit on a non-cruise day. We ended up being there at the same time as multiple cruise tours, and it was a little more crowded than we would have liked.

The friezes on the side of El Castillo are astounding (though, as you may have read, there are plaster molds in front of them to help preserve the originals)! The jungle has buried and damaged so many ruins, that it is incredible to see the detail in these large friezes so well preserved. The views from the top overlooking the jungles of Belize and Guatemala are breath-taking! Definitely make the climb up!

2  Thank Skidea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2013

Heard quite a bit about this site, and we signed up for it, including zip lining and cave tubing as part of the day tour. The tour operator - Ambergris del Mar, was the better priced one from among the few we explored.
The drive from Belize city downtown airport (just a paved strip beside the water) to Xunantunich was about 2 hours. Scenic enough, we went along the western highway (a 2 lane road) through the Belizean countryside. Passed through villages,....there's even an Amish community along the way. And the supermarkets/groceries are mostly run by Chinese businessmen. Also saw several research projects partnered with Taiwan, mostly agricultural.
We had to cross a 30 feet river with a hand cranked ferry, that's definitely a first !
The site itself was pretty well maintained, there was a guy with a grass trimmer working that morning. Situated in dense jungle, mosquitoes abound .....bring plenty of bug spray, and anit-itch cream. Tiger balm worked for us.
Our guide - Carlos was pretty knowledgeable, and explained a lot of the lesser known facts to us, which was great. We were fortunate there was no crowd yet, as it was only about 10 plus in the morning. Carlos explained that the cruise ship tour groups usually arrive late morning, so it was ideal for us then.
We climbed up to the highest point (~130 '), from where we could see Guatemala. There's dense jungle all around us, save a couple of villages and a road that leads into Guatemala. Almost a stone's throw away. The steps were steep - definitely not to be undertaken when the weather's wet. One could easily slip and fall....and there're no safety barricades / railings. One wonders how the Mayas were living and going about their business in these dwellings. Spotted an iguana that ducked into a crevice quickly. As we were starting our descent, we saw the first of the 'big' tour groups arriving.
Certainly worth a visit, if one has not been to any Mayan sites.

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

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