Benque Viejo del Carmen

Here you’ll find travel reports about Benque Viejo del Carmen. Discover travel destinations in Belize of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

10 travelers at this place:

  • Day219

    Maya Ruinen Xunantunich

    May 16 in Belize ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    Mit einer kleinen Autofähre fahren wir über den Belize River um zu der Mayastätte zu gelangen. Zunächst zahlen wir Eintritt und informieren uns etwas im Besucherzentrum über die Sehenswürdigkeiten. Wir laufen die einzelnen Exponate ab und staunen wieder einmal über die Fertigkeiten der über zweitausend Jahre alten Hochkultur der Maya.Read more

  • Day4


    January 22 in Belize ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    We woke up early -- we had a full day planned!

    We had breakfast at the New French Bakery in San Ignacio, a small and well reviewed spot with good pastries, and head to our first destination: the Maya site of Xunantunich.

    I haven't visited any other Maya sites and I'm aware Xunantunich may not be the most spectacular one, but I loved it. To get there we had to cross the Mopan river with yet another hand-cranked cable ferry. We actually asked our guide in Xunantunich why they wouldn't build a proper bridge. "Tourists like it," he laughed.

    Talking about our guide, we found him there, right before crossing the river. Guides wait there to offer their services to visitors. I feel we got very lucky, because our guide, Joseph Paul Panti, was extremely good. He was really friendly and spent three hours with us telling us all kinds of details about the site and the surroundings. He could answer questions and was also familiar with the fauna, so he was able to point us to the howler monkeys on the trees, which are supposed to be very loud, although not when we were there. On top of that, he spoke Spanish, something that not all guides would have been able to do.

    Most of the city hasn't even been excavated yet, but Xunantunich is truly impressive. One good thing about it is that is not as crowded as other places, and that you can actually walk all over the place and get to the top of the highest pyramid. From there, you'll see Guatemala.

    Our guide told us lots of facts and stories about the site, but there are a couple I particularly remember. One, that the Xunantunich site has actually had several names, including Mount Maloney, after Sir Alfred Maloney, who was the first to report of the site in 1881. The name Xunantunich, which means "stone maiden" in Maya, was given to the site by Thomas Gann in his 1925 book Mistery Cities. It refers to a legend that says that a stone maiden appeared to one of the villagers, who ran away.

    Another interesting fact is that the stucco frieze in the photo is not the real one. It's a replica that covers the original one, which was rapidly deteriorating. One of these decorations was added in 1996. Another, in 2001.

    The works to excavate the rest of the site are going slowly, because there aren't really many archeologists or resources in Belize. I thought that, were I an archeology student, I probably would love to come work here.
    Read more

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Benque Viejo del Carmen

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