The largest Mayan ruin in Southern Belize, dated to 700-900 AD, includes...
We were in Placencia and took a day trip to LUBAANTUN. It was a 3.5 hour drive. Now we did take a few stops and our driver did drive slow to show us a few things. It was hard to get there - but note there are two entrances one is several miles down a dirt track, the other 1.2 miles down a dirt track. Thankfully our driver took us to the second shorter track. The ruins are worth a visit. But the site has not had many excavations - and mostly you have some simple ruins separated by large grassy areas surrounded by forrest. It is sad that the Belize government or some other international historic association does not help bring this site to its potential.
We drove from Placencia to see the Lubaantun ruins in the Toledo district of Belize. it is not easy to get to- off the Southern highway you must travel several miles on a one lane dirt road that is full of potholes, rocks, etc- but it is worth the drive ( best to have a 4wheel drive vehicle) . You will pass through a couple of Mayan villages on the way- quite fascinating. Once at the ruins, we had a wonderful and informative chat with Salvatore, one of the curators, who grew up and lives in the Maya village of San Pedro Colombia, one of the villages we passed through. He worked with the crews that excavated the site, and eventually became one of the curators, so has a tremendous wealth of knowledge about the site, as well as the local history of the area. He also is a potter, and makes the traditional Mayan whistles which are beautiful and fascinating in their own right. The hike from the road to the ruins is a steep down and up set of stairs that cross a little river, where you can often see Mayan women washing clothes in the river. The ruins, although not as spectacular as some of the more famous ones, are quite spectacular, and even more interesting because of the info provided by Salvatore. It is also a great spot for birding, and we saw many different types of butterflies as well.
We drove there form Punta Gorda, the drive is fun and as often in Belize on a dirty, non-paved road but thats makes it also special there. If you don't have a car there is a bus going via some of the villages but I don't know the schedule if there is one...The side is surrounded nicely from primary and secondary jungle and lot's of wildlife can be spotted. We have been there alone and I guess there are rarely many people, the ranger was helpful and had a small private selection of Maya artefacts that he es collated on the site (I guess not really legal...). In contrast to more northern sites it's less rebuild but this leads to a interesting atmosphere. Great site to visit
I was in the Punta Gorda area and I was told to go visit the ruins in that area, Lubaantun. The day was great for the tour and so heading there and got lost, my friends and I ask for direction along the way and ended up going thru the back side, up hills and across the bridge over a river and thru a dirt road. It was a fun trip and we stop and took a lots of picture of nature. Scenes and animal and a lots of natural beautiful areas. The Ruin area was awesome and a very educated trip as we were given the information of when and how this ruin was discover. I highly recommend stopping by when you are in this are. A must!
I enjoyed a nice visit to these restored Mayan ruins in Toledo district southern Belize. In addition to seeing several ruins and structures the caretaker was a wealth of information about the history and lives of Mayans. . He directed me to an organic cacao farm nearby where I took a tour with Eladio Pop a Mayan organic cacao farmer.
Nice day trip destination from somewhere like Placencia if the weather isn't giving you beach time. Not hard to find and a pretty good-sized ruin.
This was my 2nd visit to Lubaantún and my husband's 1st. As a package with the bus ride from Punta Gorda and the hike in, it's a culturally interesting and worth while trip. As before, the caretaker Santiago and his knowledge of the site, willingness to share new discoveries, and original works of pottery based on ancient motifs makes the visit. Recommended!
Beautiful site and not crowded at all! Its a little hard to get to as its not well marked and the road is not great but local people are friendly and helpful. Bring a cold drink it gets hot and theres not much around.Check out the Earthship (Chaos Oasis) on the way to the ruins
Visited the site with my family on a day trip from Placencia and was pleasantly surprised once we found our way in. The road from the highway was very poor so we went in from the San Antonio side through the village and it was a fun adventure. The site itself was breathtaking and well cared from what I could tell. The caretaker was very nice and knowledgeable and answered all our questions. We had the whole place to ourselves for the afternoon which felt amazing to not have to contend with other tourists. I think it's one of the top attractions in the area and highly recommend a visit.
It's one of the best places to visit within Toledo in regards to Mayan structure, Ball Courts, Birding, Figurines, Ocarinas, Story about the famous Crystal Skull and Anna Mitchell-Hedges.