What You Need to Know When Visiting Xunantunich
For all you history guru's or if you just love the thrill of discovering an ancient Mayan ruin then Xunantunich is the perfect place for you to visit! Xunantunich, means "Stone Woman" in the Maya language. It received it's name from the ancient legend about a man who ventured to the base of the castle and at the entrance of a tunnel he was confronted by a beautiful statue of a Maya maiden. Many others have stated that they have encountered this same maiden but none have been able to follow her in through the tunnel.
While there hasn't been any recent sightings of this mysterious stone woman you can experience something just as magical by climbing to the top taking in the view. At the top of Xunantunich (located only a few minutes away from the border of Guatemala) you can view a sea of green jungles stretching from Guatemala back to Belize. Belize is covered with many Mayan ruins but none of them have a view of two countries at once such as Xunantunich. Xunantunich is also one of very few Mayan ruins that allows visitors to physically climb its delicate steps. This archaeological sight also includes four other smaller ruins that you can also explore.
Location: San Jose Succotz, Belize in the Cayo district.
Directions:Drive 80 miles west from Belize City on the Western Highway headed towards Belmopan, then to San Ignacio. The drive is about 2 hours but if you are driving at night like we did it takes a bit longer to reach the border for there are a limited amount of streetlights as well as signs. But do not get frustrated the locals will be more than willing to help you with directions. Once you reach the Mopan River you've made it! There will be a sign that says Xunantunich from there you will have to catch a ferry across the river and that road will lead you directly to the park entrance.
River ferry - free
Park entry fee- $5 USD $10 BZD
This excursion is easy so you can do it by yourself, there is no need to spend $60 or more for a tour guide.
Time: 8am-4pm (I suggest getting there at exactly 8am so you will have the entire site to yourself to take great pictures without large groups of tourists in the background)
Note: Drones and tripods are not permitted