memorable, comfortable, affordable ... Punta Gorda, Toledo, Belize

Lubaantun

Lubaantun (meaning Place of the Fallen Stones) is the largest ceremonial centre in the Toledo District, located near the village of San Pedro Columbia above a tributary to the Columbia River. Build in the Late Classic Period it consists of eleven major structures, grouped around five main plazas, and is noted for it's stoneworkr, and features "rounded corners" (if you'll forgive the oxymoron!).

You can read about the (in)famous Crystal Skull which was supposedly 'discovered' at the site, and talk to Mr Santiago Coc, the caretaker, who assisted with the 1970 Cambridge excavations of the site. He will happily show you the latest 'finds' as well as telling you some of the Kek'chi Maya legends. Lubaantun is also known for its many ceramic whistle figurines, and both Santiago and Katarino, who also works at the site, make excellent reproductions of the ocarinas they have found at the site.

Lubaantun is easily reached by public bus - take the San Miguel/Silver Creek bus which leaves PG at 11am, and ask the driver to drop you at the entrance road to Lubaantun, from where the site is a 15 - 20 minute walk. The entrance fee is US$10 per person. Why not visit PG market and sample an authentic Belizean breakfast, and then take the bus to Lubaantun? For guests staying on a Friday, you can meet Ian at Lubaantun who will then take you to visit the nearby Fallen Stones Butterfly Farm,. For guests visiting on other days, walk back to the road and take the afternoon San Miguel bus on its way back to PG.

Click here to view the Department of Archaeology's leaflet for more information on Lubaantun. Page 1, and page 2


Lubaantun hosts a traditional Maya dance each year as part of the CacaoFest events - CacaoFest 2013 will be held from 24th to 26th May


Nim Li Punit

Nim Li Punit is famed for the 26 stelae found at the site, including the longest stela in Belize which depicts a figure wearing a large headdress which gives the site its Kekchi name of "Big Hat". At some 30 feet, it is also one of the longest stela found in the Maya world.

The site is located on a hilltop in the village of Indian Creek,  with some lovely views of the coastal plain and the Caribbean sea beyond. The small visitors' centre houses many artefacts, as well as information posters on the history of the site and the Maya culture.

The site is composed of three main areas - the east, west, and south groups - and is characterised by the terracing and filling of the area's hilly landscape to create a series of plazas and platforms. Nim Li Punit has well-kept grounds with a number of large trees providing ample shade and a great habitat for birds.

Nim Li Punit is easily reached by public bus from Punta Gorda Town. James Bus offers several daily busses which stop at Indian Creek, from where you take the track leading uphill to the site. The entrance fee is US$10 per person*.

Click here to view the Department of Archaeology's leaflet for more information on Nim Li Punit. Page 1, and Page 2