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Belize Destinations - Altun Ha

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Climb the challenging giant-sized steps
at Altun Ha ....

Altun Ha is the most extensively-excavated site in Belize.

The core site includes thirteen structures clustered within two
Classic period plazas. 

Plaza A, is near the entrance to the site and is enclosed by large temples on all four sides. Here a magnificent tomb was discovered beneath The Temple of the Green Tomb.

Dating from 550 AD, this find yielded a total of thee hundred pieces, including jade, jewelry, stingray spines, skin flints and the remains of a Maya Book. 


Click to Enlarge

The Adjacent Plaza B is dominated by the sites largest temple, The Temple of Masonry Altar, which rises 60 feet above the plaza and was the last in a sequence of buildings raised on this spot. This temple was probably the main focus of religious ceremonies, with a single stairway running up the front to an altar at the top. 

Several priestly tombs have been uncovered within the main structure, however most of them had already been desecrated, possibly during political turmoil that preceded the abandonment of the site.


It was here that archeologist discovered a carved jade head of Kinich Ahau, the Maya sun god. At 15cm high, it is the largest carved jade piece to be found anywhere in the Maya world. 

Just outside these two main plazas, a short nature trail leads to Clay-lined Rockstone Pond, which was damned and used as a reservoir in Maya times,

Altun Ha was an important trading and religious ceremonial center. Evolution of the temples at Altun Ha continued until about 1,000 AD.


Getting To Altun Ha ....

From Ambergris Caye & Caye Caulker, guided tours travel up the North River through mangrove channels for 30 to 40 minutes before arriving at the small village of Bomba. A short stop is taken to admire some of the local carvings made of mahogany any seracota, then the short ride to the site.

After visiting Altun Ha, tours continue up the Belize River to the Community Baboon Sanctuary.
View monkeys, iguanas, birds and crocodiles up close and personal. 


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