Long before the great civilizations of Rome and Greece, the ancient Maya in Central America created their own unique writing system, developed complex calendars based on precise astronomical observations, and erected majestic cities all across their empire that stretched from what is now Mexico down to El Salvador. The modern-day country of Belize sat in the heartland of that empire, and the country is now home to more ancient Maya sites than anywhere else.
Without wheels, draught animals, or modern tools, the ancient Maya constructed enormous stone cities deep within the jungle, including gigantic pyramids and temples that are still the tallest and largest buildings in modern Belize. Ancient Maya artisans carved elaborate hieroglyphics and the stories of their gods on palaces, tombs, and royal residences. Today, explorers can wander through large ball courts, spacious plazas, and gargantuan causeway networks that helped the ancient Maya feed more than one million people.
For unknown reasons, the ancient Maya civilization suffered a catastrophic failure around the year 900 AD that led to the wide-scale abandonment of their cities. As the population faded into isolated bands in the jungle, the location and nature of the cities became swallowed up and forgotten, only to be rediscovered in the past few decades. Today, visitors can clamber around and explore these once-lost cities to marvel at the architectural and artistic prowess of an ancient people who once ruled the region. And it was only in the recent past that ancient Maya hieroglyphics have been deciphered, unlocking the once-lost history of this mighty civilization.
Other unique Maya sites included sacred caves. Believed by the ancients to serve as portals to the world of the gods, underground caves and cenotes were extremely important in the Maya religion. Today, visitors can explore these sacred caves, many of which were abandoned and untouched for centuries, home to historically important collections of ceramics, ritual objects, and even the remains of human sacrifices.
Laru Beya is a stunning resort located right on the beach in Placencia. With gorgeous seafront rooms, a gourmet restaurant, and a complete range of modern conveniences, Laru Beya is the ideal resort to enjoy a beach vacation at the nearby Belize Barrier Reef or explore some of the top destinations on the mainland, including ancient Maya ruins and sacred caves.
Laru Beya organizes tours to all of the best Maya sites in the country. For more information, click here.