Xunantunich and Cahal Pech
Assistant Staff: Sol
I joined Xunantunich and Cahal Pech Tour. Xunantunich is a Mayan word and it means stone lady. The main pyramid is El Castillo, which is 42m in height. Mayan people didn’t have wheel technique so they carried all rocks by themselves. It can be said that this pyramid is really ‘high’.
You can learn about Xunantunich and Mayan world view and culture. And also you will find stelas at another visitor center on a hill. It is said that stelas have names and information of key persons and historical happenings. Many of them are weathered so you can see many replicas.
El Castillo is the center and innermost one. You will be surprised when you go close it because of its height. It is a little bit hard to climb.
There are carvings of humans, jaguar, and monkey on the wall of left side. This pyramid is still on the way to be excavated, and some parts are covered with blue sheets on the back side.
Even Belize City, which is the most thriving area in Belize, doesn’t have tall buildings, so El Castillo is one of the tallest buildings in the country. You can see the great jungle on the top and feel like being a Mayan king. You will see the border with Guatemala on the east. Xunantunich is only 20min away by car from the border.
On the east side of El Castillo, there are the same carving replicas and Mayan arches. We could see a big iguana here!
Cahal Pech means Place of the ticks. It is located really near San Ignacio. This Mayan ruin opens early for bird watching. I could hear many voices of birds.
Cahal Pech also has great irrigation system. Roofs are slanted and walls have narrow grooving to drain.
This Mayan ruin is not so high so it’s not difficult to climb. I could see beautiful sunrise.