A must-visit, even when on the shortest stays in our beautiful country. Xunantunich is a national treasure that fills its visitors with a sense of time travel. You’ll depart from your Hopkins where our guides will meet you before your drive to this temple. You’ll know you’re arriving when you spot the little falls of the Mopan River winding alongside the road through the village of San Jose Succotz. You’re hit with how green and lush everything is.
Some visitors will get to see a group of women doing laundry in the river while their children swim nearby. Local souvenirs, hammocks, and blankets are available from the many vendors waiting alongside the River where you board the hand-cranked ferry that has carried many thousands to and from the calm beauty of this Maya Temple. The climb/drive up to Xunantunich begins on the other bank of the river. Xunantunich is very well kept and offers many opportunities for amazing selfies and group photos.
The views from atop the castle are stupendous and go on for miles. Its wide-open spaces have provided a lovely backdrop for proposals and weddings and have served as a location for a few films and telenovelas. The temples are nestled in between lush rain forest whose trees may bloom vibrant red, yellow, orange, or pink in season.
After a couple of hours of exploring, you’ll head off to the Inland Blue Hole for a dip. Not to be confused with Belize’s iconic Blue Hole in the Caribbean Sea, this woodland natural pool offers a lovely and refreshing stop on the Hummingbird Highway. This is one of those rare spots that actually looks like the pictures you see on the internet. This sapphire oasis sits in a lushly forested entrance that narrows as explorers descend down the concrete steps.
Once at the bottom, the jungle opens up to the sky’s canvas revealing limestone rock walls and vegetation, forming an attractive 25-foot (8-m) deep swimming hole. The water in the Blue Hole is part of an underground cave system that flows into the Sibun River. Bring along a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, along with an open heart.