Lamanai is an ancient Maya city located in the Belize District of Belize. It was a major ceremonial center and has a number of notable pyramids and other architectural structures. The name Lamanai is derived from the Maya language and means “submerged crocodile,” a reference to the many crocodiles that inhabit the nearby New River. The city was occupied from the Preclassic period (before AD 250) until the Postclassic period (after AD 900) and was an important center of trade and political power during this time.
Lamanai is located about 50 miles northwest of Belize City and can be accessed by boat from the town of Orange Walk. The journey to the ruins is a beautiful one, with a chance to see a variety of wildlife along the way. Once you arrive at Lamanai, you’ll be struck by the size and grandeur of the city. The main pyramid, known as the High Temple, stands at over 100 feet tall and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding jungle.
There are several other notable structures at Lamanai, including the Mask Temple, the Jaguar Temple, and the Ball Court. Each of these structures has its own unique history and architectural style, and they provide insight into the lives of the ancient Maya people who lived and worked in the city.
In addition to the pyramids and temples, Lamanai also has a number of smaller structures that were used for residential and ceremonial purposes. These structures are dotted throughout the city and give visitors a sense of what life was like in Lamanai during its heyday.
One of the most interesting things about Lamanai is that it was continuously occupied for over 2,300 years. This is unusual among Maya cities, which were often abandoned and reoccupied multiple times. It’s thought that the city’s location along the New River, which provided access to trade routes and a steady supply of water, may have contributed to its long-term success.
Today, Lamanai is a popular tourist destination and is known for its well-preserved ruins and beautiful setting. It’s a great place to learn about the Maya civilization and get a sense of what life was like in ancient times. If you’re planning a trip to Belize, be sure to add Lamanai to your itinerary. It’s a truly amazing place that you won’t want to miss.