Lamanai Mayan Site

Lamanai, Mask Temple

Lamanai, Mask Temple

A former Mayan civilization lived here at Lamanai, one of many pre-Columbian archaeological sites in northern Belize.  Located on the New River, it’s name translates to “submerged crocodile,” for the crocodiles that occupied the area.


It is known as the longest continually-occupied site in Mesoamerica, where societies flourished before the Spanish colonization in the 15th and 16th centuries.   Mesoamerican inhabitants occupied this site for 3,500 years.


Lamanai, High Temple

Lamanai, High Temple

A significant amount of copper was found here during Mayan times, and the river was an important tool for its trade.  Many other human inhabitants occupied this area in the Belize jungle, to read more about the history of Lamanai, click here.


Lamanai, Mask Temple

Lamanai, Mask Temple




Our eight person birding group occupied this site for a day.  Filled with Mayan history and artistry, there were several temples to enjoy and explore.  But oh what incredible jungle birds thrived here too!  It was a delightful dilemma of where to look next.


Lamanai, Jaguar Mask Temple

Lamanai, Temple of the Jaguar Masks

Most of the archaeology excavations occurred in the 1970s and continued over the years.  The three major temples are truly awesome.  But I also liked the mounds of quiet grass, sites that remain unexcavated.



Lamanai, High Temple

Lamanai, High Temple

There was a sacredness to this beautiful place on earth, and I liked that some of the secrets still remain buried in the earth.


Photo credit:  Athena Alexander

Black-headed Trogon, Lamanai, Belize

Black-headed Trogon, Lamanai, Belize



Lamanai, Temple of the Jaguar Masks

Lamanai, Temple of Jaguar Masks


55 thoughts on “Lamanai Mayan Site

  1. Very informative, Post, Jet 🙂

    I liked your compact style while posting. Short paragraphs and fitting images to make you read it and invoke a kind of curiosity for further reading.

    Thanks a lot for sharing and have a beautiful day 🙂

  2. An Awe-inspiring archaeological Maya site with imposing ancient Temples displaying the grandeur of old civilisations and culture.Captivating post with astounding photos and interesting details.I particularly like the pyramid shape of the stepped temples and the colossal masks with the striking Bus-relief work!Who knows how many secrets are buried under the fertile,green land,dear Jet.They knew where to construct the temples,copper is an essential metallic element.The beautiful yellow-breasted bird might know more secrets than the archaeologists … It so pleasantly ended your brilliant work 🙂

    • I very much enjoyed your comment today, dear Doda. I know you are very familiar with some of the most ancient and profound civilizations that ever existed on earth, in your home of Greece, so I am pleased that you found the Mayan site inspiring. It was odd to walk a long, jungle trail, and then come to these temples. I am extremely appreciative of your kind words and thoughts today and every day. 😀 😀

      • Almost every single Greek corner is an archeological site,it’s part of our life.Sad though that lack of funds prevents further excavations.Once more,many thanks for this significant post,dear Jet 🙂 xxx

  3. Ancient ruins of the Americas always fascinates me, I wanted to be an explorer when I was just a child. I still get sigh when I see photos of old ruins like in your post. Thank you my friend for extending my dream! 🙂
    Sometimes I wish I was born rich instead of good looking!

  4. The Mayan history is so fascinating (I’ll need to read more following the link). And I think you had a good dilemma 🙂 Thanks for this great post with wonderful photos, Jet.

  5. Jet in the first photo how tall is the mask fellow? Like another of your readers I am wondering if he might fit on the back deck. Now that would be a conversation starter at a summer garden party.

  6. I really enjoyed reading this, Jet. Count yourself Blessed to be able to travel. This is one of my Dreams. I totally immersed myself in this post. You brought a part of the world to me I probably will not see. Thank YOU! Love, Amy ❤

    • Thanks so very much, dear Gill. There is nothing like birding to keep one grounded, and visiting ancient sites to lift you into the past. It was a fun day. Thank you for your lovely comment and visit. 😀

    • Oh, yes, an astounding place. Not only were there lots of tropical birds and the Mayan ruins, but there were howler monkeys in the trees above us! Glad you liked the post, RH~~

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