The site is particularly important for the information it has provided on the earliest Maya settlements in the region, for its large number of Preclassic figurines, and for its complex residential architecture. Indeed, its maze of interconnected rooms provides an excellent example of Late Classic Maya palace architecture.
Cahal Pech is located on an imposing hill that overlooks the twin town of San Ignacio and Santa Elena. First setteled between 1200-1000 B.C., the site is one of the oldest settlements in the lowland Maya world. By Late Preclassic times (300 B.C.-250 A.D.), Cahal Pech had developed into one of the most imposing centers in the Belize River Valley. It's Preclassic inhabitants acquired exotic goods from the Caribbean coast and highland Guatemala, and chared the symbol systems of communities across Mesoamerica. The central presinct of the site consists of 36 structures that include tall temple pyramids, two ballcourts, and several range type buildings or palaces. The tallest temple in the central core is Structure A1 which stands at 77 feet high.