La Milpa – uncovering rich layers of Maya history

Deep in the jungle of northwestern Belize lie the ruins of one of the largest cities of the ancient Maya. La Milpa, which covers over 30 square miles of area, was the third largest city in Belize, after Caracol to the south and nearby Lamanai. This site gained some recent attention following the discovery of a previously undisturbed tomb of a Maya king, believed to be named “Bird Jaguar,” or his successor, who lived around 450 AD. Although most of the effects buried with the king were relatively ordinary, the most exciting aspect of this discovery was the magnificent jade necklace which lay across the king’s chest. Continue reading “La Milpa – uncovering rich layers of Maya history” »

Altun Ha – An ancient Maya ceremonial center

As seasoned travellers know, a journey in itself is often as interesting as the destination. A trip to Altun Ha is just such a journey.

As you rumble along the Old Northern Highway, which is more pothole than pavement, you’ll see a few small hamlets with their inhabitants eager to smile and wave. Continue reading “Altun Ha – An ancient Maya ceremonial center” »

Caracol – A visit to Belize’s largest Maya ruin

Occupied as early as 1200 BC, Caracol has revealed an extensive and varied history. The true name of this ancient city, found in hieroglyphics throughout the site, has not yet been successfully deciphered. Its modern name is Spanish for “snail,” the derivation of which is not entirely clear. One translation of the emblem glyph, indicates it may have been named “Place of Three Hills,” but this is also uncertain. The comprehensive work done by archaeologists Diane and Arlen Chase, of the University of Central Florida, tells us that in 650 AD, a population exceeding 150,000 was occupying the epicenter of the site. Continue reading “Caracol – A visit to Belize’s largest Maya ruin” »

Programme for Belize – A visit to the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area

With its recent foray into the ecotourism industry, Programme for Belize (PfB) invites tourists to visit and view first-hand, the efforts of conservation and research in action. Committed naturalists won’t want to miss a visit to the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area (RBCMA), in the northern district of Orange Walk. Since 1988, PfB, a non-profit organization, has been operating as a center for environmental education and conservation, and research of sustainable agricultural projects. March 1998 marks the organization’s tenth anniversary. Continue reading “Programme for Belize – A visit to the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area” »

Belize top tourist attractions

Belize District

Altun Ha Maya Ruins:This ancient Maya ceremonial center is an easy, half-day trip from Belize City, and is home to numerous species of birds and wildlife.

Community Baboon Sanctuary:Just 30 miles northwest of Belize City you will find a unique conservation effort to protect the habitat and population of Belize’s Black Howler Monkey (locally named “baboon”).

Cayo District

Caracol: A timely visit to Belize’s largest Maya ruin: Updates on developments and improvements of the site and the access road, the opening of a new Visitor’s Center; with a stop for a cool-down at the Rio On pools on the return trip.

Cayo District, Paradise in Western Belize: An overview of the highlights that the Cayo District has to offer.

Chechem Hah Cave:An interesting day’s outing takes you to Chechem Hah Cave, where you will find room after room littered with Maya pottery estimated to date back as early as 200 B.C.

El Pilar:
Archaeological Reserve for Maya Flora and Fauna
This newly opened ancient Maya ruin makes a fine addition to the Cayo District collection of sites. Astride the Belize/Guatemala border, in dense jungle habitat, this site combines the mysteries of nature and the Maya.

San Ignacio, The Western Frontier: The capital of the Cayo district is a hub of activity for the region.

Xunantunich Maya Ruins:Ideally located near San Ignacio, this site is a must-see for all Cayo visitors. It is well presented and has an informative Visitor’s Center.

Carvings on Xunantunich pyrimid El Castillo

Orange Walk District

La Milpa Maya Ruins:This is one of the largest ancient Maya cities in Belize. Recent excavations led to the discovery of a royal tomb, with the remains of a king adorned with a fabulous jade necklace. It is located within the Rio Bravo Conservation & Management Area.

Stann Creek District

The Scarlet Macaws of Red Bank Village: It’s an awesome sight to see Scarlet Macaws by the dozens, during their seasonal visit to this Stann Creek District village. A “don’t miss” event for birders everywhere! A web exclusive.

Toledo District

Lubaantun Maya Ruins:No trip to Toledo would be complete without a visit to this unusual site, with its unique style of stonework and lush jungle setting.

Monkey River Magic Tour:The Monkey River in Toledo District offers an exciting excursion that combines coastal, river and jungle habitat in this remote region of Belize. It is easily accessible from the popular tourist destination of Placencia.

The Cayes

San Pedro, Ambergris Caye:This town started as a fishing village and has become the largest tourism destination in Belize. A beautiful caye with white coral beaches offers a full variety of tourism facilities, and easy access to the reef.

Shark-Ray Alley:Discovered by fishermen in 1995, this area has become a very popular diving and snorkelling site. Located south of Ambergris Caye…just a 20 minute boat ride away from San Pedro.

Chechem Hah – Maya pottery cave

Atop the Vaca Plateau in the Cayo District, rests a small subsistence farm belonging to the Moralez family, who only recently discovered a cave on their property while hunting with their dogs. You can imagine their amazement when, upon later exploring the cave, they found over sixty intact Maya jars and other pottery that have remained undisturbed since the cave was abandoned around 900 A.D. Continue reading “Chechem Hah – Maya pottery cave” »

Chechem Hah – Maya pottery cave

Atop the Vaca Plateau in the Cayo District, rests a small subsistence farm belonging to the Moralez family, who only recently discovered a cave on their property while hunting with their dogs. You can imagine their amazement when, upon later exploring the cave, they found over sixty intact Maya jars and other pottery that have remained undisturbed since the cave was abandoned around 900 A.D. Continue reading “Chechem Hah – Maya pottery cave” »