During the classic period, from 250 AD to 900 AD, Mayan civilization was at its height in Belize. The archeological remains offer an excellent perspective on the Mayan culture due to various potteries, skeletons, steles, tall buildings, temples, and ceremonial centers that exist there. Thousands of Mayan ruins can be found throughout Belize. The few of these that have been discovered and excavated by archaeologists are open to the public.
The planned communities near these Mayan ruins, such as the seaside community, are intended to help the people there integrate the same communal mentality that existed in ancient Mayan culture.
Archaeological Sites in the Mayan World
Altun Ha was the Mayans’ most important ceremonial location. It served as a trade link between the Caribbean coast and the Mayan centers in the interior during the classic era. The Mayan god of the sun, “Kinich Ahau,” is depicted in a magnificent jade carving. Huge plazas with thirteen temples and residential buildings are present here.
This is a stunning Mayan structure built on top of a natural limestone ridge. Its magnificence is reflected in the six magnificent plazas, each with more than 25 temples and palaces. The pyramid known as “El Castillo” is the biggest at 130 feet above the plaza and has been converted into a castle. On the east and west sides of the castle, serene friezes are etched.
The Lamanai Maya Center is located on the New River Lagoon near Orange Walk, Belize. This Mayan site’s major attraction is a Mayan ruler emerging from a crocodile headdress mask. The magnificent temples, which rise into the sky, are set in a tropical rain forest and provide a beautiful view of their finely cut massive buildings. The archaeological reserve includes a museum with ancient Maya artifacts that provides a unique look at Mayan culture.
Caracol Mayan ruins are located in the Cayo district’s Chiquibul Forest Reserve, deep within the Maya Mountains.
The acoustics of this magnificent structure has been adapted to enable priests and saints with ordinary voices to be clearly heard by the people in the plaza. The Canaa temple, located west of Belmopan, is Belize’s tallest constructed building. The Caracol Mayan site is the best example of Mayan city planning.
The Cahal Pech Mayan ruins are located on the fertile banks of the Macal River in Cayo. From Cahal Pech, you may enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of San Ignacio and the Belize river valley. The main feature of the region is a magnificent temple, palace, and ball court.
The reason for this is that the Mayan site of Palenque was built in a location with an abundance of water. Water was plentiful around this Mayan site, as opposed to most other Mayan sites. During the classic period, El Pilar was three times the size of Xunantunich’s Mayan site. Dozens of huge pyramids and a wide range of structures have been discovered here. This place is ideal for bird watching.
The only Mayan site in Belize, which is located on the sea coast, is Cerros. The remains of Cerros have been discovered on a northern peninsula in Chetumal Bay, across the Corozal town. The canal system and raised-field agriculture are both extensive. Three large acropolises surrounded numerous plazas, with pyramids on each side. The structure here reaches a height of 72 feet above the plaza, offering a stunning view of Chetumal Bay, Corozal city, and the mouth of the New River.
The planned communities of Belize, such as the Progresso Heights community in Corozal district and the Waterside Community in Belize, offer a glimpse at the Mayan architecture and culture. The communal values that flourished during Mayan times are still observed in Belize’s villages.