Introduction to Altun Ha and Belize City
Altun Ha, an ancient Mayan city, is a breathtaking archaeological site located just 31 miles north of Belize City. This tour allows you to explore both the historical richness of Altun Ha and the vibrant culture of Belize City in a single, comprehensive experience.
Highlights of Altun Ha
The Temple of the Masonry Altars
At the heart of Altun Ha lies the Temple of the Masonry Altars. This iconic structure, standing at 54 feet tall, was used for ceremonial purposes and is the largest temple at the site. Visitors can climb to the top for a panoramic view of the surrounding ruins and lush jungle.
The Jade Head Discovery
One of the most significant artifacts discovered at Altun Ha is the Jade Head, named Kinich Ahau. This precious artifact, representing the Mayan Sun God, was unearthed in 1968 and is the largest jade carving found in the Mayan world. The Jade Head is now displayed at the Museum of Belize.
Plaza A and Plaza B
Plaza A and Plaza B are the two main plazas of Altun Ha, surrounded by numerous smaller temples and residential buildings. As you explore these plazas, you'll gain insight into the daily lives and religious practices of the ancient Maya civilization.
Exploring Belize City
After visiting Altun Ha, the tour continues to Belize City, a melting pot of diverse cultures and traditions. Here are some must-see attractions:
St. John's Cathedral
St. John's Cathedral is the oldest Anglican church in Central America, built in the early 1800s. The church's stunning architecture, featuring brickwork and wooden beams, offers a glimpse into Belize's colonial past.
The Swing Bridge
The iconic Swing Bridge is a testament to Belize City's history as a trading port. Built-in 1923, it is one of the few remaining manually operated swing bridges in the world. The bridge connects the north and south sides of Belize City and is a marvel of engineering.
The Museum of Belize
The Museum of Belize is housed in a former British colonial prison and showcases the rich history and cultural heritage of Belize. Exhibits include Mayan artifacts, colonial-era relics, and contemporary art, offering a comprehensive understanding of Belize's past and present.
Important Tour Information
- Duration: Approximately 4 hours
- Difficulty: Moderate (some walking and climbing involved)
- Best time to visit: November to April
- Clothing: Comfortable attire, sturdy walking shoes, and sun protection
- Restrictions: No touching or climbing on artifacts, no littering
Booking Your Private Altun Ha and Belize City Tour
To ensure the best possible experience, we recommend booking your private Altun Ha and Belize City tour with a reputable tour operator. These operators provide knowledgeable guides, and reliable transportation, and will tailor the tour to your preferences and needs.