Getting There: The adventure begins at 8:00AM on a mere 10 – 15 minutes’ drive onto the village of San Jose Succotz. Here you will cross the Mopan River via an old-fashioned hand-cranked ferry and onto the site's parking lot.
At Xunantunich: Upon arrival at the site, you’ll be amazed at how impressive the Temple of El Castillo (the main temple) actually is at a remarkable 120 feet in height. Pay close attention to the history of this once royal center of ancient civilization as your guide walks you through the site. Feel free to climb to the top of El Castillo if you’re not afraid of heights. There you’ll have a jaw-dropping panoramic view of the surroundings which encompasses part of Guatemala, Benque Viejo Town, and San Jose Succotz among other areas.
Be careful coming down from the pyramid as you make your way over to the ancient ball court. Imagine the excitement happening in real time as your guide paints a vivid picture of how the popular Mayan game of Pokatok was played. On site you may get to see spider monkeys and, depending on the time of the year, even howler monkeys. An on-site museum will give you an overall idea of this ancient city’s actual size.
Big Rock Falls:
Starts: 1:00PM Ends: 5:00PM
Getting There: After Xunantunich, you'll make your way onto the Mountain Pine Ridge road en route to Big Rock Falls. The drive is about 45 minutes on a partially paved road, the farther section of which is dirt.
Along the way, you’ll pass the villages of Cristo Rey and San Antonio. These are small settlements of mostly farmers along the Macal River. Along the way, your guide would normally point out to local flora and fauna such as Toucans, Roadside Hawks, Iguanas, and Medicinal Plants and trees.
At the site: The parking lot approximately 5 to 8 minutes’ walk from the waterfall so you'll want to take everything you’ll need with you for an enjoyable time at the waterfall. From the parking lot you’ll be walking through a little trail which leads to quite a steep climb down to the river valley. Flip flops are not advisable for this part of the trek. Once you’ve made your way carefully down that cliff, the delightful view of water rushing over the huge 150-ft rock formations and plummeting into the deep rounded pool at its base provides a rush of excitement.
You won’t regret visiting this site for a nice cold swim amidst the scorching Belizean heat. You may choose to swim all the way up to the water fall but try to contain the temptation to climb up any of the wet rocks, or do so at your own risk, they tend to get very slippery. Your guide will allow you ample time to swim or bask at your own leisure until you're ready to head back to San Ignacio Town.