Overlooking the beautiful Mopan River from a stunning hilltop, the ruins at Xunantunich are some of the most visited Mayan sites in the world. Located in the Cayo region, Xunantunich, which means "stone woman" in Mayan, dates back to the Classic Era, about 200-900 AD.
The complex is made up of 6 groups and about 25 different temples and palaces, and is dominated by the astonishing El Castillo, which stands 40m (130ft) tall, and from the top, provides an amazing view of the jungle canopy, the other ruins, and even past the Guatemalan border.
Learn about the incredible history of the Mayan inhabitants, the excavations, and the environment on the site, and stop into the visitors' center for more information.
Getting to Xunantunich can take a little bit of effort, and as the park closes at 4pm, you'll want to get a nice early start on your journey. The easiest way to get there is by bus going toward Benque Viejo del Carmen, letting the driver know where you're wanting to go. The bus will only make the stop upon request, so be sure to inform your driver. When you are dropped off, take a free ride on the hand-cranked ferry to cross the Mopan River, with a quick 1mi (1.6km) walk to the site.
If you're coming from San Ignacio, you can usually find a bus going to the ruins as well. Of course, most of the main cities have organized tours that provide transportation daily.