Day #3 San Ignacio Trip Xunantunich Ruins

Day #3 San Ignacio Trip Xunantunich Ruins

20160911_121909 Day 3   Xuanantunich  Ruins

  We are on the third day of this trip to the Cayo district.  We have climbed waterfalls, toured Botanical gardens, walked through the rainforest medicinal trail at Chaa Creek, toured the markets, shops and Mennonite farming area in Spanish Lookout. Such a beautiful area, and I’m so happy my son was able to explore this area of Belize.  However, my body is say…” Are you really going to try to climb to the top….are you forgetting.you are closer to 60 now and you do have a knee replacement.”  Again, the little voice of “What The Hell??”

Having visited this ruin site a couple times, I really wanted him to experience this unique area. It did cross my mind to sit at the bottom and watch him climb, but I tried, I made it and so glad I did!

This is one of the local attractions that is easily done on an independent tour if you want to out on your own.  There are numerous tour operators that offer packages to tour the site, however, if you are renting a car, it’s very easy to do the self guided option.  If taking a guided tour, another option is tour on horseback through the adjoining property. Hanna Stables offers guided tours of Xunantunich area, as well as small cabanas for overnight stays. http://www.hannastables.com

Horse riding tours
Horse riding tours

Just a short distance outside San Ignacio, you will arrive at the river entrance you will cross the small river on a cable drawn ferry, a short half mile drive and you are at entrance gate for parking, then proceed up the hill for the walking tour into the ruins.

Hand cranked ferry across Mopan River
Hand cranked ferry across Mopan River

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The ruins are breathtaking and several degrees of difficulty.  Smaller ones can easily be navigated by most people, but there are lots of narrow stairs if you attempt to scale  the larger site.  You’ll observe many people venture to the peak, others stay back and take photos.  It’s worth the work for the priceless view from the top.  On a clear day, the views into  the Guatemalan jungle are unbelievable.

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Recent news reports are stating, and the park ranger explained there were additional tombs uncovered 600 feet underground and are currently being excavated.  You are able to view the “work in progress” Here’s a great article with detailed info on the discovery..http://www.newhistorian.com/new-mayan-tomb-discovered-belize-largest-ever/6971/

Newly discovered tomb
Newly discovered tomb
Bats inside interior walls!
Bats inside interior walls!
Views into Guatemalan jungle

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When deciding to tour the country, there are tons of options on where to go, how to get there, is it safe, is it a good tour, is it worth the price??  If you are visiting the area for a week, as most people do.  Typically, you will want to explore the Placencia village, enjoy the great restaurants, beach bars and soak in the atmosphere of this wonderful community.
You may also want to enjoy a couple of the day trips that leave from the village and explore the inland areas.  What amazes most people is the vast difference from one region of this country to the next.  So, yes, enjoy the village, take a couple trips, whether its  guided fishing, river rafting, Maya ruins, snorkeling or touring the farms and jungles of the Cayo & Toledo district, this can all be done through tour operators while staying in Placencia.  There are several great operators who can customize the trips to fit your needs.
So, if you are here for a few more days and  really want to get a feel for all this country has to offer.  Take the extra time, rent a car and see where the road takes you!  You can go from beach to farm to rainforest and jungle in a short few hours.
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