Lubaantun is the largest Maya site of southern Belize, composed of 11 large structures, 5 main plazas and 3 ball courts. In the early 1900's Dr Thomas Gann, an amateur archaeologist, began minor excavations at the site and named it Lubaantun (Place of the Fallen Stones in modern Mayan dialect). In the 1970's, more professional excavation and restoration work was completed by The British Museum, Cambridge University and Harvard University. One of the most distinguishing features of Lubaantun is the large collection of miniature ceramic objects found on site (available to view at the entrance museum); they are thought to have been charmstones or accessories to rituals. Also of note is the somewhat unusual architecture at Lubaantun, as its black slate structures feature rounded corners. At this site it is known that boxing matches took place to the death, with contestants wearing conch shell knuckledusters!
The Rio Blanco River is a tributary of the Moho River that flows by Cotton Tree Lodge, and the park surrounds a spectacular waterfall. The nearby villages of Santa Elena and Santa Cruz organized the Rio Blanco Mayan Association in 1994 to protect this waterfall and 104 adjacent acres of sub-tropical forest. Jaguar, ocelot, margay, river otter, and many species of birds and fish live in the park. The RBMA hopes this area can become a viable ecotourism destination generating income for both villages.
After arriving at the visitors' center it's only a 20 minute walk on a gentle gravel trail to the falls. A small thatch hut with benches provides a spectacular view and picnicking spot. Thrill seekers can step out to the 20′ cliffs and jump into the swimming hole.Our guides can't resist, so you'll always have company. Limestone pools above and below the falls are perfect for wading and splashing, and the different levels of cliffs are connected by wooden and cement staircases.
A good trail network stretches along the same side of the river as the cliffs and picnic spot. Those who want to explore further can hike upstream, climb to an elevated platform, and cross a suspended cable bridge to the other side of the river.The trail network continues there as a hilly loop of dense foliage and small brooks.This trip is appropriate for anyone who is reasonably physically fit.You may not want to jump off the cliffs or cross the cable bridge, but there are trails, a picnic area, and shallow pools to enjoy.
For Room Only & Full Board
Children age 4 – 12, half price
4 people minimum