Lamanai Ruins Belize New River Lagoon
Nestled along the sprawling New River Lagoon in northern Belize, Lamanai Ruins offer an incredible glimpse into a lost civilization of the ancient Maya. Built by the Maya between the 3rd century BC and the late 17th century, the ruins feature monumental structures, ornamental masks and hieroglyphic inscribed stele. Guests can explore myriad structures, from pyramids and temples to housing complexes.
Lamanai Ruins Belize New River Lagoon Summary
- Attraction Name: Lamanai Ruins
- Country: Belize
- Continent: North America
- Capital Name: Belmopan
- Language: English
- Currency: Belize Dollar
- Nationality: Belizean
Lamanai Ruins in Belize are a fascinating site to explore, offering visitors a chance to experience the grandeur of the Maya Civilization. The ruins, located in the dense jungle of northern Belize, represent one of the few Pre-Columbian Maya cities that are still inhabited today. Tourists can explore the intricately designed pyramids and temples, see beautiful stucco masks, and get a glimpse of the Mayan culture that still exits today. The site also offers many bird-watching opportunities and stunning views of the nearby New River Lagoon.
Tell Us About Lamanai Ruins Belize
Lamanai Ruins, located on the banks of Belize’s New River Lagoon, is one of the most important Maya archaeological sites in the country. The site contains impressive structures dating from 800 B.C. to early 17th century A.D. that speak to the importance of trade, commerce and religion in the late period Maya civilization. Visitors are able to explore and appreciate the large pyramid temples, ceremonial buildings, plazas and small oratories. The site features a hidden gem; the large Jaguar Temple, revealed only during the annual rise of the New River lagoon by several feet.
What are the Things to do in Lamanai Ruins Belize?
Lamanai Ruins Belize is an ancient Mayan city dating back to 500BC located some 75 miles north of Belize City. It is well known for its impressive ruins and its stunning setting in the Belizean jungle. There are many activities for visitors to enjoy during a trip to Lamanai Ruins.
- Explore the Ruins: Lamanai features three main temple complexes such as High temple, mask Temple and Jaguar Temple. Each one is impressively huge and comes with its own unique archaeological features. Visitors can explore the area and learn about ancient Mayan culture and the artifacts found in the ruins.
- Take a Jungle Cruise: An enjoyable and scenic way to reach Lamanai is to take a two-hour river cruise down the New River. The dense rainforest canopies provide beautiful wildlife viewings and opportunities to spot crocodiles and pink dolphins.
- Visit Tea Kettles Caves: These are two huge sinkholes filled with crystal clear water. Visitors can go swimming and snorkeling in the caves to see a diverse array of marine life.
- Swim with Manatees: Manatees are gentle giants that feed on sea grass. These creatures are quite shy and seeing them in their natural environment can be a powerful experience.
- Take a Hike: The jungle surrounding Lamanai is full of interesting wildlife including toucans, scarlet macacaws and howler monkeys. Nature lovers will be thrilled with the opportunities for exploration and bird watching.
- Learn about Mayan Culture: Visitors can take a guided tour of the ruins and learn about ancient Mayan customs and rituals from the site’s knowledgeable guides.
- Try Local Cuisine: Sample some of Lamanai’s delicious food, from traditional dishes such as salbutes and fry jacks, to the more adventurous Belizean ceviche and stew chicken.
- Experience Natural Beauty: Lamanai’s stunning rainforest surroundings provide a unique atmosphere for sight-seeing, bird-watching and taking photos. The lush vegetation and cool mountain air provide plenty of opportunities for contemplation and relaxation.
What are the Best Foods at Lamanai Ruins Belize?
The best foods at Lamanai Ruins Belize are:
- Freshly Caught Fish: Whether you purchase the freshly caught fish from a local fisherman or choose to enjoy some of the grilled choices at the nearby restaurant, having a freshly caught fish meal at the Lamanai Ruins is definitely one of the best foods you can enjoy.
- Local Fruits: There are plenty of fresh local fruits to be found throughout the surrounding area. Try the mangoes, papayas, coconut, and pineapples in particular.
- Grilled Agouti: This is a type of large rodent that is unique to Central America, and the taste of grilled agouti is something that should not be missed when visiting Lamanai Ruins.
- Homemade Tamales: These are usually filled with pork or chicken, and the homemade version that you get inside Lamanai Ruins is particularly good.
- Fresh Juices: Freshly squeezed juice made from local fruits is one of the best ways to quench your thirst while walking around the ruins.
As a summary, here are the best foods you must try:
- Chicken Fajitas
- Fish Tacos
- Fried Plantain
- Fried Brie
- Cracked Conch
- Bean Soup
- Grilled Lobster
- Refried Beans
What are the Best Hotels to Stay in Lamanai Ruins Belize?
There are five (5) best hotels to stay in Lamanai Ruins Belize include:
- Lamanai Outpost Lodge – Located near the ruins, this eco-friendly lodge offers comfortable rooms and suites, a restaurant and bar, an outdoor pool, and kayaking and guided tours.
- San Ignacio Resort Hotel – Located less than 15 miles from the ruins, this modern hotel features comfortable, air-conditioned rooms, on-site dining and a pool.
- Ka’ana Boutique Resort and Spa – This luxurious, adults-only getaway is situated close to the ruins and offers luxurious accommodation, a spa and a pool.
- Midas Resort & Spa – This beautiful resort offers comfortable air-conditioned rooms, an outdoor pool, a spa and a variety of activities.
- Blancaneaux Lodge – Featuring a tranquil setting and cozy suites, this boutique hotel is located in the Maya Mountains close to the ruins.
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