visit a belize maya ruin

Belize has a rich history that goes back centuries. The ancient Maya built several major cities in the region, and these cities are a testament to the engineering and building skills of that advanced civilization. No visit to Belize is complete without a trip to these historical sites.

Here are three you should visit while you’re in Placencia.

Nim Li Punit

If you head south from Placencia, you will find the small coastal town of Punta Gorda. This is home to the Maya ruins of Nim Li Punit. This was a great Maya city, and you can still see the ruins of palaces, temples, a ball court and a central plaza. Spend an enjoyable day walking and learning about history. Before you go, check in at the Visitor Center for a map of the area and a look at some impressive carvings found during excavations of the site.


One of the largest Maya sites in Belize, Lubaantun was a Maya city that lasted from 700 to 900 AD. Lubaantun is unusual because of its building materials. Alone among Maya cities in this region, it is built from black slate and without mortaring. It is in the rural Toledo District in the southern part of Belize. The shaded grounds make it easy to spend a day hiking and exploring.

Cahal Pech

Cahal Pech is a small but impressive site in San Ignacio, the capital of Belize’s Cayo District. It was a palatial estate that overlooked the river and the Maya Mountains, and it’s still wonderfully scenic. Although it’s a few hours from Placencia, the drive gives you a chance to see the scenic Cayo District and enjoy lunch in San Ignacio.


Visiting Xunantunich is an adventure that requires crossing the beautiful Mopan River in a hand-cranked ferry. Like many Maya ruins in Belize, Xunantunich is well maintained and easy to explore. It’s well known for its tall buildings, including the 130-foot El Castillo tower. Climb the tower to catch amazing views of Guatemala and the Belize jungle.

Stay in Placencia and Enjoy Belize

Experience Belize at its best by staying at the Mariposa Beach Resort in Placencia. This all-inclusive resort is just steps from the gorgeous beaches of Placencia. Enjoy wonderful accommodations and great guest amenities when you book at our Gold Star Certified hotel.