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Belize Mayan Temple Vacations: Face-to-face With a Lost Civilization

Tucked just underneath Mexico’s legendary Yucatan Peninsula, the small nation of Belize is home to more ancient Maya temples, palaces, pyramids, and sacred caves than anywhere else in Central America.

These magnificent historical structures are the principal reason that many visitors book Belize vacations. Whether it’s a day trip from Belize City to tour iconic sites like Altun Ha or trips deep in the jungle to explore the enormous ancient metropolises of Xunantunich or Caracol, there are Maya sites sure to attract any traveler.

Families especially love incorporating a trip to ancient Maya sites into their Belize travel plans because it offers a chance for children of all ages to get some hands-on experience with one of the most advanced cultures to arise in the New World, one key reason why most Belize resorts offer guided tours to ancient Maya sites for their guests.

Both USA Today and Britain’s The Telegraph have recently featured ancient Maya sites in Belize as popular travel options for visitors wanting to marvel at the impressive architecture and advanced astronomical observatories that were built over 1,000 years ago. Archeologists now believe that Belize‘s population exceeded over one million people during the Classic Maya Period, and ancient Maya temples remain the tallest human-made structures in the country even today.

And unlike other ancient sites in many parts of the world, the Maya sites in Belize (as well as the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tikal, located just a few miles over the border in Guatemala) are openly accessible to the public. Whether it’s climbing to the giddy apex of El Castillo (“The Castle”) in Xunantunich or plumbing the inky depths of Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave, ancient Maya sites across Belize allow visitors to walk in the steps of a long-lost advanced culture.

The ancient Maya civilization originated in what is now Mexico approximately 4,000 years ago and stretched all the way to El Salvador at its peak. For reasons still hotly debated, the ancient Maya abandoned most of their majestic cities around the year 900 AD, reverting to sparsely populated villages by the time the Spanish arrived in the early 17th century.

If you’d like to tour some of Belize‘s amazing ancient sites, Adventures in Belize (AIB) regularly organizes Maya ruin vacations. Based in Belize and staffed by travel professionals with years of experience, AIB specializes in creating custom itineraries and booking visitors at Belize all-inclusive resorts as well as guided tours to all of the top destinations in the country.