LUBAANTUN: Located in the Toledo District, Lubantuun overlooks the village of San Pedro Colombia, one of the larger Kekchi Maya communities. The ancient city of Lubaantun was settled, developed and abandoned during a relatively brief phase (AD 700-850) of the Late Classic period of Maya History. The location of the site allowed the inhabitants to grow important cash crops such as cacao, which they exported to their neighbors in the Maya highlands in exchange for obsidian, jade and other exotic items. Lubaantun is a relatively large regional center with numerous structures grouped around several courtyards. One of Lubaantun’s most astonishing features is that its buildings were primarily constructed without the aid of mortar: each stone used at the site was carefully measured and cut to fit exactly with the stones it adjoins. Lubaantun was first reported to the government in 1875. In 1903, Thomas Gann, a medical doctor, was commissioned by the Governor of the then colony to investigate the center.
NIM LI PUNIT: Located along the top of a ridge in the foothills of the Maya Mountains, in the southern part of Belize, Toledo District, Nim Li Punit is some 25 miles north of Punta Gorda Town. The ceremonial center consists of three major groups with monumental architecture. Archaeologists discovered more than 20 monuments at the site. The site treasures of a series of tombs and a number of carved stela. Nim Li Punit was first discovered by an oil company exploration team in 1976. Following its discovery, Norman Hammond, then director of the British Museum-Cambridge University Corozal Project, conducted the groundwork investigation. Archaeological investigations were later conducted in 1983,when Richard Leventhal surveyed the site as a part of a regional study of the southern part of Belize.
Lubaantun/Nim Li Punit is an all-day and over-night trip in the southern part of Belize. We depart from beautiful San Ignacio at 7:00 AM and make our way down south travelling on three important highways in Belize – George Price Highway (San Ignacio to Belmopan), Hummingbird Highway (Belmopan to Dangriga), and Southern Highway (Belmopan to Punta Gorda). We will take about five hours to drive down south to Lubaantun but we will enjoy the valley scenery as drive along. Upon arrival at Lubaantun, we immerse ourselves in the history of the site and learn about the archaeology. After our tour, we make our way to the village of Big Falls where we will spend the over-night. Bright and early the next morning, we get packed and ready to make our way back to San Ignacio. On our way up, we stop at the Nim Li Punit Archaeological Site. Here we learn of the ways of the Ancient Mayans and indulge in the information of site as our guide shares his knowledge with us.
Level of Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
What to wear: Comfortable clothing for hiking around sites. Proper foot wear is recommended.
What to bring: Extra clothes for over-night, bug repellent, sunscreen, cameras and hats/sunglasses.
What is included: Transportation, Lunch, guide, entrance fees, and accommodation.