The Ancient Mayan Sites of Belize
Surfing in Belize
I’m heading out to Belize again ‘cos LA is getting a little boring and my feet are itching to get moving and I thought I’d head out to somewhere where I’d been before when I was traveling around Central America. Been reading about Belize and the ancient Mayan Sites. Got my surfboard packed to because I hear there’s some waves out at Glover’s Reef at Long Caye.
Long Caye is owned by Slickrock Adventures. You’ll find pretty darn near perfect waves out here. So I’m always up for the new and wonderful adventures and am gonna try it out, man.
As for the Mayan sites: Belize contains the most important sites of the Mayan civilization. Let’s say, I was really curious. Located on the Belizian part of Peten rainforest, near the border with Guatemala, the “Caracol” as the place is popularly referred to, was one of the largest kingdoms of the ancient civilization. The list of archeological ruins in the region is very long with some of the prominent ones being, Caracol, Uxbenca, San Estevan, Nim Li Punit, Altun Ha, El Pilar, Cahal Pech and Louisville, to mention only a few. I’m gonna try to see them all.
Perhaps the most famous of all the sites in western Belize is Caracol, which was the center of the ancient civilization with the ruins of thousands of structures from the classical period. The ancient city was spread over a radius of 10 kilometers and supported a population of over 140,000.
Cerros is another site that gives us an insight about the deep knowledge of agricultural systems during the times of the civilization. Cerros spans over 53 acres overlooking the picturesque Chetumal Bay. Part of the city is now underwater and contains among others a well planned canal system, two ball courts and five temples, one of which is 72 feet tall and provides a panoramic view of the area.
The next prominent site is Lamanai which is located in the Orange Walk District of Belize near New River. Meaning ‘submerged crocodile’ in the Mayan language, Lamanai can be accessed after a 26 mile ride through scenic jungles, the highlight of which are the vast savannahs. Hope I don’t meet up with any crocodiles. There are scores of ruins including, The High Temple, The Mask Temple and the impressive Jaguar Temple, which can be found in the area. The surrounding rainforest is home to some of the most exotic species of plants and animals. Lamanai offers visitors a heady mix of natural scenery and a peek into the ancient history of the Mayan civilization. Of course, I’m bringing the camera and surfboard.