Xunantunich is located atop a ridge above the Mopan River, well within sight of the Guatemala border – which is a mere 1 kilometer (0.62 mi) to the west. It served as a Maya civic ceremonial center in the Late and Terminal Classic periods to the Belize Valley region.
Xunantunich’s name means "Stone Woman" in the Maya language (Mopan and Yucatec combination name), and, like many names given to Maya archaeological sites, is a modern name; the ancient name is currently unknown. The "Stone Woman" refers to the ghost of a woman claimed by several people to inhabit the site, beginning in 1892. She is dressed completely in white, and has fire-red glowing eyes. She generally appears in front of "El Castillo", ascends the stone stairs, and disappears into a stone wall.
The first modern explorations of the site were conducted by Thomas Gann in the mid-1890s. Gann’s successor, Sir J. Eric S. Thompson, implemented a more methodical approach, and was able to establish the region’s first ceramic chronology.
Carvings on the peak of the El Castillo pyramid (Structure A6) at Xunantunich, has an Artistic rendering of plaster frieze on the west side of the 13 story building. The frieze is more than 9 feet high and 30 feet long, which dates back between 800 and 900 AD. The frieze features a three dimensional image of a Maya ruler, ancestor gods, dancing figures and earth monsters.
This site has a well maintained park with easy walking pathways so wheelchairs, strollers and walkers can get around, you just will not able to climb the pyramids. The hand crank ferry is a wheel on off one.
The price was Bz$10. For the day, open 8am-4:00pm every day.
It was a very nice ruin to visit and I recommend it to all. I know my grand-kids would have love it.