Xunantunich, the word might sound difficult to pronounce. One might pronounce it like ‘shoo-nahn-too-nitch’ or shah-nahn-tuhn-itch as per your accent with pronunciation. If you are finding it difficult to pronounce it, let’s say ‘X-Ruin’. The site has ancient temples to climb high with a stunning panoramic view. Visitors can also buy slate carving or different local crafts.

About Xunantunich

mayan ruins

Ancient Maya Archaeological Site Xunantunich

The word Xunantunich means ‘stone women’ or ‘maiden of rock’, the site is situated across the river in a small village called San Jose Succotz. It is a ceremonial centre from Classical Period. The site is spread across 300- square meters. The structure is an ancient Maya archaeological site which preserves the great historic heritage. Since it was used as a ceremonial centre there are various stories revolving around of ghost.

The location is inhabited from 600-300BC. The site then flourished from 700-1000AD, as ‘El Castillo’ as monumental structure. The site is known as impressive site and holds the title of the heritage site. The stone carving represent the Moon, Venus and other God like Sun and so.      


The City of Xunantunich occupies 2.6-km with six plazas and more than 26-temples and palaces. One of the known pyramids among all is ‘El Castillo’. The site is divided into four section Group A, B, C and D. Prior to the 7th century, the site was occupied by small houses, occasional villages.

mayan ruins

Ancient Maya Archaeological Site Xunantunich

El Castillo

El Castillo is the second tallest structure, about 130-feet tall located in Belize. It is the ‘axis Mundi’, the intersection of 2-cardinal lines. According to the evidence collected by the archaeologist, the temple was built in two-stages. The structure A-6-2nd which dated around 800AD and A-6-1st.

The A-6-2nd structure has 3-doorways, while A-6-1st has one door on the north and another on the south. The pyramid lies under the series of terraces. While, the friezes or fine stucco is located on the final stage. The friezes of south and north have eroded and were covered. But reconstruction over time have maintained, good condition of the structure. The friezes on the structure depicts the birth of god, Gods creation, stories of royal families also of the tree of life.

Belize mayan ruins

Ancient Maya Archaeological Site Xunantunich

Why to visit?

Belize will make you feel great with its crystal clear water, sandy beaches. It is also titled as one of the popular destinations and historic site depicting Mayan culture, its surviving monuments and structures portray ancient glory.

When to visit?

All year round! The Belize does not have climate drop or extreme change which makes the climate not so favourable to visit.