Xunantunich & Barton Creek
Barton Creek cave system  
Xunantunich  
Duration
Full day
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Xunantunich & Barton Creek

Belize, Cayo District

You will take a tour to the famous sites of Xunantunich - situated on the banks of the Mopan River. Xunantunich means "stone woman" in Mayan. Xunantunich was a thriving city near the end of the Classic Period (300-900 A.D.) with large plazas ringed with pyramids. The tallest is the 130 foot "El Castillo," which is large by Mayan standards and is only exceeded in Belize by the Caana pyramid at Caracol. The centre of the site is composed of six major plazas surrounded by more than 25 temples and palaces. The large pyramid, El Castillo, is well known for the frieze or band of stucco decoration which at one time extended around the entire temple.

After lunch you will transfer up towards the Mountain Pine ridge area and go off road to the Barton Creek Cave system. Along the way you'll pass through a very conservative Mennonite community. Barton Creek is a low intensity adventure trip which is great for couples and families offering something for everyone. Equipped with canoes and high powered lights you will gently paddle along the river into the cave system known as Xibalbá (she-bal-ba), Maya for underworld. Stalactites hang high overhead as you float past impressive calcite crystal formations. Knowledgeable guides discuss the relevance of the cave to the ancient Mayan people and the archaeological significance of this 7.5km limestone Cave system which was used for ceremonial purposes and as a burial site by the ancient Maya people.

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