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Stew Gitlin | profile | all galleries >> Route of the Maya >> Belize tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Panama and the Panama Canal | Honduras | Guatemala | Belize | The Flora and Fauna of Central America | Market Places | Churches and Cathedrals of Central America | Miscellaneous Pictures

Belize

Belize was the final stop on the the 'Route of the Maya' trip, and the main objective there was to visit the Mayan ruins at Lamanai. To get there, we took a 25-mile high speed motor boat ride, stopping along the way for bird sightings.

Lamanai means "submerged crocodile" in the Maya language and it's also the name of the third largest, and possibly most interesting, archeological site in Belize. Located in the Orange Walk District, the Lamanai temple complex sits atop the western bluff of the New River Lagoon and is surrounded by pristine rainforest.

Lamanai was occupied continuously for over 3,000 years and it's remoteness contributed to it's continuous occupation, well beyond most other Maya sites, until at least 1,650 AD. Set in tropical forest and providing spectacular views from several of its large temples, Lamanai provides a unique experience into the culture of the Maya and the biological diversity of the tropical forest.

Lamanai features the second largest Pre-Classic structure in the Maya world and unlike other ruins, much of Lamanai was built in layers where successive populations built upon the temples of their ancestors, instead of destroying them.

Although hundreds of ruins are said to remain unexcavated in the nearby jungle, three of the most impressive temples have been renovated: the Jaguar Temple, named for its boxy jaguar decoration; the Mask Temple, adorned by a 13-foot stone mask of an ancient Maya king; and the High Temple, offering visitors a panoramic view from its summit
t3%2f28%2f417028%2f4%2f124703430.EFTi9NRx.jpg About 3,500 Mennonites Live in Belize
About 3,500 Mennonites Live in Belize
t3%2f28%2f417028%2f4%2f124703425.EvXXSxam.jpg t3%2f28%2f417028%2f4%2f124703427.WfTfL9x3.jpg
t3%2f28%2f417028%2f4%2f124703431.sYFEAwfE.jpg t3%2f28%2f417028%2f4%2f124703434.2wlORyja.jpg The Largest Palm Fronds in the World.  Fronds Can Reach up to 50' in Length.
The Largest Palm Fronds in the World. Fronds Can Reach up to 50' in Length.
t3%2f28%2f417028%2f4%2f124703444.sgepJW4d.jpg
t3%2f28%2f417028%2f4%2f124703438.PabP0KyL.jpg t3%2f28%2f417028%2f4%2f124703446.FM0G3Fb2.jpg The View of the Lagoon from the Top of the Main Temple.
The View of the Lagoon from the Top of the Main Temple.
That's Mexico About 30 Miles in the Background
That's Mexico About 30 Miles in the Background
t3%2f28%2f417028%2f4%2f124703449.BhBVT9bR.jpg A Fiberglass Replica Protecting the Mask Underneath.
A Fiberglass Replica Protecting the Mask Underneath.
The Original Mask, Scheduled to be Covered with a Fiberglass Replica 2 Days After We Were There.
The Original Mask, Scheduled to be Covered with a Fiberglass Replica 2 Days After We Were There.
t3%2f28%2f417028%2f4%2f124703458.QMaPNBWO.jpg
t3%2f28%2f417028%2f4%2f124703461.gRr9Bn0I.jpg t3%2f28%2f417028%2f4%2f124703464.Q0g55svF.jpg