Belize is Worth the Visit for its Ancient Mayan Sites Alone

Altun Ha in Belize
Altun Ha in Belize. Photo by Alisa Matthews on Unsplash

Most people visiting Belize are there for the sun-kissed beaches scattered along its Caribbean Sea shorelines, but its rich historical heritage is just as impressive. This Central American country is home to many ancient Mayan sites, and here are some of the archeological reserves that you shouldn’t miss during your visit.


Xunantunich translates as “maiden on the rock” and consists of pyramid-shaped structures, offering amazing panoramic views from the top.


Located in the foothills of the Maya Mountains, this ancient Maya archaeological site covers an enormous area of approximately 200 square kilometers—a larger area than present-day Belize City.


Lamanai was one of the major cities of the Mayan civilization and this archaeological site remains on its grounds. In addition to temples and scenic vistas, it’s now home to a tiny museum and shop.

Altun Ha

Altun Ha is one of Belize’s most recently discovered major Mayan cities, and it’s home to several Mesoamerican pyramids, including the Temple of the Masonry Altars.

Actun Tunichil Muknal

Not all Mayan sites in Belize consist of ancient ruins. The underground archeological site Actun Tunichil Muknal is a case in point. It’s believed it was once used for ceremonial purposes, and skeletons, ceramics, and stoneware were discovered on its grounds.