Belize is known for its lush jungle, crystal clear Caribbean waters and pale sandy beaches. But now travelers are beginning to discover other delights of the country. Belize beckons with its rich cultural mix, caves, wildlife sanctuaries, spectacular Mayan relics and incredible historical sites. You just need to make an effort to get to these miracles.
Shunantunich is a monument of Mayan culture. It is located 130 km west of Belize City in the Cayo District in the west of modern Belize, near the Mopan River. The name of the archaeological site in Yucatec means “stone woman”, and is a modern name, since the ancient is unknown. The “Stone Woman” is a fantastic creature that, according to Belizeans’ beliefs, lives in these lands.
Shunantunich, located west of San Ignacio near the border with Guatemala, is Belize’s most popular destination for Mayan ruins. But getting there on your own is not so easy. You will need to leave the city, cross the river on the oldest ferry you have ever seen, and walk to the archaeological site. However, the view from the top of this well-preserved temple is well worth it.
Various structures of Shunantunich belong to the classical period, from the 3rd to the 10th centuries. n. NS. There is evidence that some structures were badly damaged by an earthquake during the years of the city’s existence, and after which some of the inhabitants left the city.
The central part of Shunantunich covers about 2.6 square kilometers and includes 6 squares, around which there are 25 palaces and temples. The main building is the 40 m high Palace, the second largest pre-Columbian structure in Belize after the temple in the city of Karakol. Lime facades with reliefs were found on some of the buildings.
The first studies of Shunantunich in our time were carried out by Thomas Gunn in 1894 and 1895. In the period from 1930 to 1990s. excavations have been carried out here several times.
You can simplify the task of exploring the ruins by joining an organized tour here https://1001guide.net/en/belize/san-ignacio. For the best possible photo opportunity, visit this location before sunset, once all tour groups have departed.