Lamanai (Submerged Crocodile)
A major attraction of Lamanai is the well-preserved mask of a Maya ruler emerging from a crocodile headdress.
Lamanai, one of Belize’s largest Maya sites, sits on the bank of the 30-mile long New River Lagoon in the Orange Walk District. Lamanai features monumental architecture of temples and palaces dating from the Classic and Pre-Classic Periods. Set in tropical forest and providing spectacular views from several of its large temples, Lamanai provides you a unique glimpse into the culture of the Maya and the biological diversity of the tropical rainforest.
Lamanai was occupied for more than 3,000 years, up until European contact. The Archaeological Reserve not only contains a museum with ancient Maya artifacts, but visitors can also see the remnants of two 16th century Spanish churches and a colonial sugar mill established in 1860.
When you go …
The most impressive way to approach the Lamanai Maya temples is by boat up the New River from Orange Walk. Snail kites, jacana, Morelet’s crocodile or iguanas are some examples of the wildlife commonly encountered on the trip.
Lamanai is also accessible by road and air with several guest houses and full-service jungle lodges in the vicinity.
Visit the official Maya 2012 website to learn more about Lamanai.