Altun Ha

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Belize City, Belize

Altun Ha Belize City Reviews

geokid geokid
146 reviews
Altun Ha Maya Trading Center Feb 20, 2009
Altun Ha "rock stone pond" is 20 miles northwest Belize City. Head north to the small village of Lucky Strike, then turn west for about 2 miles. There is no fee to visit Altun Ha but there is a caretaker. He will want you to visit his small museum and sign a guest book. I offered a small donation to help him fund his museum. He was very pleased. Altun Ha, was first settled prior to 250 BC, monumental construction began prior to 100 AD and continuing to 950 AD. Max population was about 10,000. This was a trading center with access to both the coast and inland trading routes. The site covers about 25 square miles. This site has two central plazas surrounded by 13 pyramid/temples. Altun Ha has received the most professional attention of any Maya site in Belize. The ceremonial center of the site features two plazas with 13 adjoining stepped pyramid temples. The entrance to the site directs you to Plaza A, the larger of the two plazas. This plaza is enclosed by large temples on all four sides. A non-looted tomb was discovered beneath "The Temple of the Green Tomb" that dating from approximately 550 AD. There were more that 300 object buried with this individual that included jade, jewelry, stingray spines, obsidian blades, flint projectile points and the remains of a Maya Book. Plaza B is dominated by the largest structure at Altun Ha, The Temple of Masonry Altar. This temple is 60 feet above the level of the plaza and is the latest of at least three structure to be built on this spot. This temple features a single stairway that ends at an altar at the top. Several high ranking individual tomb have been excavated at the Temple of Masonry Altar. In one of these burials was found the largest carved jade to be found anywhere in the Mayan geographic area. It is believed to be the head of Kinich Ahau, the Maya sun god. This carving measures 6" by 5.5". just beyond the plaza group is a clay lined pond reservoir "Rockstone Pond". The remaining portion of this site has only received limited consolidation. There are several other interesting structures to be visited. A temple on the far eastern side of the site contained artifacts believed to be from Teotihuacan in the Valley of Mexico.
lockhart882000 says:
I appreciate your in depth descriptions. I am looking forward to visiting some of the places you have written about.
Posted on: May 06, 2011
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travelman727 travelma…
53 reviews
Home of Belikin Beer Logo Feb 03, 2005

Altun Ha, “Rockstone Pond”, is the most easily accessed Mayan center in Belize and a nice place to spend a couple of hours on a cruise shore excursion. It is also one of the most famous Mayan centers and the most extensively-excavated Maya site in Belize. Altun Ha has 13 structures clustered within two central plazas.

Plaza A is enclosed by large temples on all four sides. Here, a magnificent tomb was discovered beneath The Temple of the Green Tomb. Dating from 550 A.D., this find yielded a total of thee hundred pieces, including jade, jewelry, stingray spines, skin flints and the remains of a Maya Book.

The adjacent Plaza B is dominated by the sites largest temple, The Temple of Masonry Altar, which rises 60 feet above the plaza and was the last in a sequence of buildings raised on this spot. This temple was probably the main focus of religious ceremonies, with a single stairway running up the front to an altar at the top. Inside, several priestly tombs were discovered. One of these digs yielded a priceless carved jade head of Kinich Ahau, the Maya sun god. At 15 cm high, it is the largest carved jade piece to be found anywhere in the Maya world.

Belize is my favorite country in the Western Hemisphere. There are better places to soak in the flavor of this Central American paradise; however, a visit to Altun Ha is worthwhile destination for those who appreciate the Mayan culture :-D
Temple of Masonry Altars-54 ft high
Plaza A from top of Masonry Altars
Important trading/religious center
4 / 4 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
lockhart882000 says:
Nice commentary and descriptions Mark. Thanks for the presentation.
Posted on: May 06, 2011
venusgurl28 says:
I was planning to go to Belize for New Years Eve, but the tickets were so ridiculusly expensive!!! Now, I know I will go there someday in the near future! THNX!
Posted on: Dec 25, 2007
flammick says:
Well, I'll be sure to make it to here on my upcoming trip. I'm really looking forward to it now!
Posted on: Nov 26, 2007

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Altun Ha Map
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photo by: travelman727