Altun Ha (1/2 day)
Assistant Staff: Sol
I joined Altun Ha tour! This Mayan archeological site is called Rock Stone Pond in English and it’s on the local beer logo, BELIKIN. It takes 1 hour and more from Belize City, but still it’s convenient to access. Altun Ha is a Mayan city that reached its height of glory because it was located at the center of the big trade area of Central America from Yucatan to Panama.
This Mayan ruin is famous for a carved jade head of the Sun God, Kinich Ahau. It has a height of 15cm and a weight of more than 4kg. The guide gave us the explanation about the structure of Altun Ha.
You will find a plaza near the entrance and building in all 4 directions. Mayan people place importance on 4 directions.
Mayan civilization is famous for brilliant astronomy and accurate calendar, but their irrigation facilities were also amazing. They had a system to drain water out of pyramids and residences and store it in the pond. You can see many holes on the walls and ruins of ponds.
This is the main pyramid called “Temple of Masonry Altars.” It has stairs with bars on the right side and the back side. In the box at the center in the upper part, the human remain with a carved jade head of the Sun God was found.
There is great ceiba tree on the back side of this palace. This tree has special significance for Mayan people. It means Mayan world view and cosmic view. They think that branches and leaves mean heavenly world for gods, trunk means our living world for humans, and roots mean underworld for gods of death. This tree is sometimes used for canoe.
There are souvenir shops near the exit (entrance). They have colorful textiles, wooden bowls and species. Also some people sell fresh fruits and coconut water.
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