Lamanai Travel Blog

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Lamanai I would rate this a 4 star recommended if the access was a drive to type. A 26 mile boat ride up the New River is the easiest way to get to Lamanai. The journey may be as interesting as the ruins of Lamanai itself for the "birder" or a nature lover in general. Lamanai "submerged crocodile," is Maya ruin south of Iglesia India on the west bank on the northern end of the Rio Nuevo Lagoon, surrounded by pristine rainforest. Lamanai is the third largest archeological site in Belize. River access is the best approach and can be arranged in Orange Walk. This is a large site with hundreds of structures. Lamanai is truly ancient, it was sizable by 1500 BC and continued to be occupied until 1650 AD.
Spanish conquistadors visited Lamanai on a regular bases. They built a Christian church near its center that the Maya destroyed. The Spanish built a larger church very near to the first one that the Maya destroyed and eventually drove the Spaniards out. There is a make-shift Maya stelae standing in front of what remains of one of the churches and it is widely thought as a renouncement of Christianity. Hundreds of non-excavated structure are scattered throughout the jungle. Three temples have been reconstructed; the Jaguar Temple, the Mask Temple with 13 feet tall mask and of what is believed to be a Maya ruler, and the High Temple. There is a growing population of howler monkeys at the site and the nearby marshlands and lagoon supports many species birds and crocodiles. There is a museum, restrooms and covered picnic area.
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photo by: delsol67