Xunantunich
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
Duration: 2-3 hours
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  • JessicaInSeattleWA
    Seattle, Washington88 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Gorgeous Mayan Cultural experience
    Really incredible! We learned so much about the Mayan people and culture and I was amazing at how advanced their engineering systems must have been. It's a breathtaking place and really fun and educational for families. Recommend going early to beat the heat!
    Visited February 2023
    Written 2 March 2023
  • cjlthehappytraveler
    Santa Fe, New Mexico66 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Impressive, stunning
    Xunantunich is a really impressive set of ruins and the view from the top of the buildings is quite stunning. It is a bit easier to access than Caracol. I appreciated our guide's knowledge, context-setting, clarity about how this site relates to other Mayan sites in the region, however, a guide is strictly necessary for this site.
    Visited February 2023
    Written 15 March 2023
  • Paul F
    Arcade, New York6 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Educational and fun!
    This was a great experience. We enjoyed climbing on all the ruins and learning about the culture. We didn't use a tour guide as we watched Youtube videos and documentaries about the Myans in advance. and that was sufficient for us. I recommend going early to avoid the heat and the crowds. We were 2 out of about 10 people when we arrived at 9am and it was pretty crowded with tour groups when we left around 11:30. The visitor center was very informative.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 22 March 2023
  • Michelle
    9 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing!
    Going to Xunantunich was such an amazing experience! We went in the morning and took the “ferry” across the river around 8. We hiked the way up to the ticket booth. It took about 20-25 minutes, and we enjoyed watching the birds and iguanas on our way up. When we came to the ruins we were blown away! The fantastic view from the top of El Castillo was breathtaking! Being able to walk around and even climb some of the ruins was so fun. We even saw some monkey chilling around😄
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 2 April 2023
  • Linda
    Denver, Colorado3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Most informative guide
    We had a great guide named Rene who works at several archeological sites. We really enjoyed all the info and he engaged the youngest (8 years old) to the oldest (68). He also watched out for our well-being while climbing all over.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 8 April 2023
  • pjgrad
    Kent, Washington502 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Impressive
    We had a very interesting morning visiting Xunantunich. Upon arrival you get to journey across river on a hand crank ferry. We hired a guide and he jumped in for the ride up to the parking lot. We then walked up to the site all along receiving expert information about the Mayan culture. We spent about two hours exploring and learning. Very impressive.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 18 April 2023
  • Michelle O
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Stunning Mayan site with a fascinating history.
    This Mayan ruin site is extraordinary - the largest site in the area I believe. It is about one and a half hours from Belize city, but worth the trip. Our guide, Gabriel was very knowledgeable, kind, and professional. It was quite hot the day we went, but with a hat and plenty of water (which is provided) we were good. This site you get to actually climb to the top of the palace and get amazing views! Be prepared if you are afraid of heights - there are a couple of tricky spots, but for one of the tour goers, Gabriel helped her along and was so good that she was able to go all the up and done. We added on a stop on the way back to see the Jaguars, tapirs, monkeys, and other rescued native animals at the Belize zoo. The zoo is literally on the road back to airport/ Belize city, so I recommend adding this in.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 2 May 2023
  • Kawan S
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Ruins, spider monkeys, panoramic views
    I visited Xunantunich in May 2023 on a solo trip to Belize. I had an excellent tour guide (Norman) who was extremely knowledgeable about Xunantunich, Mayan culture, and really all things Belize. I arranged my trip through a travel agent, so Norman picked me up from my hotel and transported me to Cayo. We took a very short ferry ride (hand cranked) over the Mopan river and then drove up the entrance. There is a short walk to the ruins which is not bad at all. I got to see spider monkeys in the trees as we were walking up. So cool! The ruins were stunning and it was so nice to see the preserved carvings and inscriptions. Norman did a great job explaining the meaning of some. I was able to climb to the top and take panoramic pics of Belize and bordering Guatemala! On the way back, I hand cranked the ferry across the river. So dope! Definitely recommend.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 9 July 2023
  • Tom S
    1 contribution
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    High reward for the extra effort to climb the ruins!
    We (4 people) did this tour as part of a private inland day trip from San Pedro. Added in cave tubing and zip lining. We picked Chabil Maya Adventures and their expert guide, Captain Chino! We got there early, and avoided the crowds! The site is interesting and it is an adventure, but not for the faint of heart or older person! Captain Chino was the difference for us. His knowledge and ability to guide us along, provide the perfect trip and introductory adventure.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 10 July 2023
  • Langley4
    Langley, Canada517 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Impressive
    This is a very cool historical site. It starts with a hand-cranked ferry ride across the river and a 1-2 mile drive/walk uphill. Entrance fee is $5USD per person. Guides are available before you cross the river but we opted to walk on our own. We found the history of the site with descriptions online so we could guide ourselves. Once you enter the site, you can wander around checking out all the excavated ruins and some of the reconstruction. The main temple is the second tallest structure in Belize and you are permitted to climb to the top. Keep in mind the stone steps are uneven and steep, though easier to navigate than some others we have been to. We spent an hour at the site and that was plenty. Wear sunscreen and bug spray and bring water!
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 23 July 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles1,549 reviews
Excellent
1,221
Very good
315
Average
8
Poor
3
Terrible
2

Christine S
29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
This was the best ruin I think in terms of time invested. We saw it the same day/right after cahal pech. The tallest ruin (don’t know the names) was great to climb and the carvings were awesome. We did not have a guide do s]dud t get as much of the history but was fun to just explore. Hanging out at the top at around sunset was very cool.

Also, my husband liked the car ferry :).
Written 21 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RedG123
mailjen116 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Solo
Got there around 3pm from BZE Airport about 1 hour from closing time.
I went for a self-guided solo tour and allowed me to walk up to El Castillo (the tallest structure) and the other hill in front of it. There were other structures you can also check out. The museums and little houses contained some information you can also read around the traditions and practices.
Entrance is 10 BZD (or 5 USD) per person.
Your shuttle tour operator (if using one) can also use the Mopan ferry to cross and they will wait for you at the parking lot/car park. If you're using public bus transportation, then you have to walk uphill about a mile to the park entrance.
A great place to visit if you don't have time to do Tikal.
Written 18 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

-MyLifeOfTravel-
Steamboat Springs, CO77 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
We took the bus from the main square in town and they dropped us right at the hand crank ferry. Bus is really easy to use and only 5 BZD round trip! We walked up to the entrance - clean bathrooms and a visitors' center. We packed water, snacks and lunch and spent a few hours exploring the larger-than-expected site. You are free to climb and explore the site. Probably 3 hours round trip from San Ignacio. Got off at the gas station on the way back into town - cuts off half the hill up to Cahal Pech!
Written 14 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chekist
Arlington, VA37 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Solo
Xunantunich dates back to around 900 A.D. The site is easily accessible from the Price (Western) highway near the ancient Mayan village of Succotz. The border with Guatemala is just a few miles away. To get to the site one crosses the Mopan river on a small ferry and drives less than a mile to the parking lot. The main feature of the site is "El Castillo" which is a large structure that can be climbed to reveal incredible views of the countryside including over into Guatemala.
Written 9 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

adamdlasky
Snohomish, WA31 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
What a great day we had exploring Xunantunich. We decided to not get a guide and that was fine - no problem walking around and seeing everything. I'm sure we missed out on some history which would've been interesting but we had a great time. It was way bigger (in a good way) than we thought and we had a blast. The views are incredible and it's so cool you can climb the ruins.
The hand crank ferry is really unique!
Written 6 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sbr
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Couples
We drove to the river ferry crossing and were able to hire a guide right before crossing - Ramos was great! The ferry crossing itself was very cool - we've never experienced a hand crank ferry before. He spent two hours walking us around the ruins and answering all our questions. He was very knowledgeable and friendly. The ruins themselves were fascinating to see and a must do if you're in the San Ignacio area. We found having a guide really useful and it taught us a lot about Mayan history and culture that we otherwise wouldn't have known when exploring this archaeological site. We got there around 9am and it was great to beat the heat and not too crowded
Written 5 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

morasam
Seattle, WA7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Family
Went with King David Tours. Was $75 per person which included pick up in Belize City, lunch and admission. Good trip.
Written 17 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SN P
Dallas, TX152 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Family
Our family drove our rental car to Xunantunich. Straightforward directions on Google Map. It led us to the hand cranked ferry by Mopan river. A licensed guide greeted us when we waiting for the ferry. Basically driver in the car, all passengers exit car to walk on to the ferry (for safety reason). So much better in experience anyway! He asked if we needed a guide, quoted USD50 for 3 of us. I told him I just read a review that mentioned USD30 for a guide. He said it depended on number of people and we negotiated down to USD40. The hand cranked ferry was definitely a fascinating experience. We were advised to tip him on the way back, which we would anyway bc he worked very hard with a smile. After the ferry, we drove to the visitor center 2 minutes away (far if you have to walk bc it is uphill). Clean bathroom facilities and ample parking spaces. Entrance is USD5 per person. I agree with the reviews that it enhances your experience hiring a tour guide bc you learn about the Mayan history, types of iguanas, faunas etc. while walking through the ruins. Plus he knew all the spots to take great pictures for us. He pretty much started his tour from the ferry and all the way back. I gave him USD50 at the end of the trip bc he really gave his all. Plus imagine he has to hike up and down steep steps of Xunantunich for every tour (45min-1 hour). He speaks really good English, in fact most Belizians do bc English is their first language. It was so strange to see all the road/retail signages in English.
Written 8 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

worktotravel14
Trenton, NJ2,306 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2023 • Couples
One of the main reasons that traveler go to Xunantunich is its convenience, but my husband and I really found it to be among the most interesting ruins we were able to see. This Mayan site is about 20 minutes outside of San Ignacio near the village of San Jose. It is peaceful, sitting on the edges of Belize and Guatemala. To get to the site, you must take a small hand-cranked ferry across the Mopan River. It is an easy reminder to slow down as you go back more than 1000 years in time. I loved exploring these sacred sites that have primarily been excavated over the past twenty years. You can go with or without a guide, but you will learn more if you decide to hire a licensed guide. The fee is much smaller than at other Mayan sites and the depth of history is rich. Climb the El Castillo and see views in both Belize and Guatemala. Imagine how these living quarters once were a place for royalty. Take paths through the forest to see more of the site and mounds which reach as far as a 10 mile circumference outside the main site. There is also a museum that provides more insight about the area and other Mayan sites throughout the country and in Tikal.

Bathrooms, snacks, and other crafts and goods are are at the entrance. And there is one last stop for curious after you cross back over to the rest of the world. I definitely will return the next time I go to Belize.
Written 10 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rob R
Dallas, TX3 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Family
Visiting Xunantunich in Belize was like stepping into a time machine wrapped in nature's embrace. The ancient Maya site, crowned by the majestic El Castillo, wowed us with panoramic views that made the climb so worth it. Our guides, bursting with stories, added a personal touch, unraveling the mysteries of Maya culture through the intricate ruins.

Wandering through the site felt like decoding a historical treasure hunt. Surrounded by lush greenery, Xunantunich has this peaceful vibe that lets you soak in the past. For history buffs and nature enthusiasts, this place is a dream. It's not just a site; it's a chapter of Belize's cultural story etched into our travel memories.
Written 2 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Xunantunich, Cayo

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