Meaning "submerged crocodile" in Yucatan Mayan, Lamanai is perhaps the most fascinating of all of Mayan sites in Belize if only because it is not yet completely uncovered. See history in the making as you visiting the excavation site, and prepare yourself for amazement when you realize that the hill you're looking at is actually a temple, still buried underground.
The temples you do get see, however, are equally incredible. Rising all the way from the jungle floor to above the canopy, study the amazing carvings and other examples of Mayan architecture in these astounding structures.Â
If you're feeling daring, venture to the top of El Castillo, one of the larger temples, by way of a narrow set of steps and a rope. The view of the jungle from the top is one-of-a-kind, and after climbing the 100ft (30m) to the top, it will be well worth it.Â
The easiest and most popular way to reach Lamanai is by the New River from Orange Walk, which is about 25mi (40km) north of the site. It is possible to reach it by road, but the road is difficult to navigate and bumpy, so it is advisable to join a tour group out of Orange Walk. The trip down the river is, in itself, an incredible excursion into the jungle, and passes many small villages along the way.Â
If you are seeing Belize by cruise ship, a stop in Lamanai is usually offered, so consult your tour package.Â