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.
remains of two 16th century Catholic missions are
also nearby. Maya natives rebelled and burned the churches
to the ground as part of a regional uprising. A make-shift
Maya stelae standing in front of what remains of one church,
is widely interpreted as renouncing all allegiance to
The sites protected status provides
for an abundance of wildlife inside the park. There are
a growing number off howler monkeys that make Lamanai
their home and you will most likely see them
peering down through the branches as you wander the trails.
In addition, the marshlands around the lagoon supports
many species of water birds and wildlife, including crocodiles.
The on-site museum houses an amazing
collection of impressive artifacts depicting Maya gods
Facilities include restrooms and a covered
picnic area for visitors.
Getting To Lamanai ....
A scenic 26
mile boat ride
up the New River is the
easiest way to get to Lamanai and the journey is as interesting as Lamanai itself and for the aware "birder" it may be especially productive for spotting some rarest and most unusual sightings Belize has to offer. as you travel through miles of virgin river fauna, viewing majestic trees with overhanging air plants and colorful Orchids.
The up-river ride is a wonderful opportunity for wildlife spotting. Along the way see
crocodiles floating near the river's edge, turtles, camouflaged bats and the "Jesus
Christ Bird" walk on water. The excursion by boat
begins near toll booth entrance to Orange Walk Town.
Up arrival, Your boat will dock at the Lamanai Welcome Center where your exploration will begin with your guide. Well kept paths though ancient jungle will lead you to the monuments and Temples, Howler Monkeys relaxing on many of the huge Ceiba trees can be seen all over the site, Toucans are ever present as well as countless other bird species.
Arriving from Ambergris Caye or Cruise Ship - Once you reach the mainland, you journey North by road, to just before you reach Orange Walk Town, where boats are waiting to ferry passengers 22 miles, up-river to the site.