Chan Chich Lodge 21.12.12

Where will you be when the world begins the new era?

On December 21, 2012, come be a part of history as we celebrate the completion of the Mayan Long-Count Calendar, representing the ending of the great cycle of the 13th B’ak’tun, a period of almost 52 years.  This day has been anticipated by the native people of Belize for centuries.  Contrary to popular myth, it does not signify the end of time, but the new beginning of a new calendar.  Such a monumental event only comes around every 52 years, so don’t miss out!!


Spend the day with us exploring phenomenal Mayan sites throughout the region such as Xunantunich, Lamanai, ATM Cave, and Tikal.  You can also experience Mayan ruins in a whole new way by joining us for a horseback riding to the Punta de Cacao ruins on the Gallon Jug property or  Archeological walks of the Chan Chich Mayan ruins are also available .

In the evening, we will host a celebration in the upper plaza of our Mayan ruins, including traditional food and drinks.  A ceremony will be held to honor Mayan history in Belize as well as the history of Chan Chich.  Following the ceremony will be a festival and display.  Join us in the heart of the “La Selva Maya” to mark the end of the Mayan Long-Count Calendar and the beginning of the new era.


Explore the Mayan Ruins of Belize by signing up your tour at Chan Chich Lodge Front desk.



Lamanai Mayan Ruin:

Lamanai means “submerged crocodile” in the Maya language and it’s also the name of the third largest, and possibly the most interesting, archeological site in Belize. Located in the Orange Walk District, the Lamanai temple complex sits atop the western bluff of the New River Lagoon and is surrounded by pristine tropical forest. Set in tropical forest and providing amazing views from several of its large temples, Lamanai provides a unique experience into the culture of the Maya and the biological variety of the tropical forest. Although hundreds of ruins are said to remain unexcavated in the nearby jungle, three of the most impressive temples have been renovated: the Jaguar Temple, named for its boxy jaguar decoration; the Mask Temple, adorned by a 13-foot stone mask of an ancient Maya king; and the High Temple, offering visitors a panoramic view from its peak.

La Milpa Mayan Ruins:

La Milpa archaeological site is part of the Rio Bravo Conservation Area. The Rio Bravo Conservation Area has more than 250,000 acres of land preserved for research and sustainable use by the Programme for Belize. The Programme for Belize is a private, non-profit, Belize-based organization dedicated to the conservation and management of Belize’s natural resources.

More than sixty Mayan sites are currently documented, lie within the lands protected by Programme for Belize. Including in this group of documented sites is the third largest in Belize, La Milpa. La Milpa ranks below Caracol and Lamanai in size. Currently there are eighty-four identified structures at La Milpa. La Milpa is located between the Rio Azul and Lamanai. The name of this site La Milpa refers to the widespread practice of slash-and-burn farming, a method of agriculture still utilized by present-day Mayans. La Milpa actually means field.


Also known as the “Maiden of the Rock” this is the second tallest Mayan ruin in Belize. It stands 130 feet high to give a panoramic view of the Cayo District, nearby Guatemala and the Mopan River. The center of Xunantunich occupies an area less than a square mile. The center is composed of six major plazas surrounded by more than 25 temples and palaces. The large pyramid, El Castillo, is well known for the frieze or band of stucco decoration which at one time extended around the entire temple.


ATM Cave:

The Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave is one of Belize’s most popular Mayan caves, rated #1 by National Geographic for Central America.  This archeological site contains skeletal remains, ceramics, and stoneware left behind by the ancient Maya during their ceremonies.  The most famous artifact is the “Crystal Maiden,” the calcified skeletal remains of a teenage girl who might have been sacrificed.

Punta de Cacao Mayan Ruins:

Punta de Cacao is located approximately 5 km northeast of Gallon Jug. The site is located on both sides of an intermittent stream, with the major portion of the stream on the west and the JPL group on the east. Punta de Cacao is one of the largest sites in the region on approximately the same scale as Quam Hill. The main sector of the site includes two plazas, a ball court, a Stela and 10 courtyards.  In general terms the site is oriented along a north-south axis, with plaza B was being situated northeast of plaza A and the JPL group being northeast of plaza B.

Chan Chich Lodge Mayan Ruins:

Chan Chich is one of over a dozen medium- sized sites scattered across the landscape of an archeological area known as the Three Rivers region. Chan Chich was settled as early as 770BC and occupied continuously until its abandonment at the end of the classic period around AD 900. We do not know the name of the rulers who commissioned the larger buildings at the site, but we have excavated one of their tombs. The site probably began as a simple agricultural village, but around AD 150 someone calling himself a king was buried in the upper plaza, signaling Chan Chich’s rise as a ceremonial centre. The site reached its maximum site between AD 600 to 800, and most of the larger buildings were built during this period, which is known as the late classic.


Tikal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the largest and best understood ancient lowland Mayan cities.  It is located in the Petén Basin of Guatemala and contains numerous excavated temples and palace ruins.  Archeologists believe that some of the architecture dates back to the 4th century BC.  There is evidence that the city was conquered in the 4th century AD and later abandoned in the 10th century.  Tikal was rediscovered in 1848, but it was not until 1955 that the University of Pennsylvania began an archeological project to investigate the ruins and open them to tourists.  Today, Tikal is visited by thousands of people each year and continues to be the place of modern Mayan ceremonies.