ALTUN HA BELIZE

ALTUN-HA 🇧🇿 BELIZE

Altun Ha 🇧🇿   BELIZE

 HISTORY

Altun Ha is a rich, major ceremonial center occupied during the Classic Mayan period.  The true name of the city is unknown.  The name "Altun Ha", literally means "rockstone water" is a rough translation of the name of a nearby village.

ALTUN HA It was an mayor link in the coastal trade routes, and had contact with  Teotihuacan at an early time in Maya history.

Mounds covered by trees and vines, the remains of what was once a great city, spread out over more than 25 square miles at Altun Ha.  Excavations have been concentrated in the central part of the city, with 275 structures in an area about of about one thousand yards square.

ALTUN HA - Belize

EARLY ALTUN HA

Altun Ha was  settled long before the Classic Mayan as many as 2,000 years ago.  For a Mayan City, the site is unusual.  The soil is thin which may indicate that it was a traiding center rather than anagricultural community

Altun Ha

 

Thirteen structures surround two main plazas at the site.  The two tallest temples, Temple of the Sun God (the structure depicted on Belikin beer bottles) and Temple of the Masonry ALtars, rise 60 feet above the grassy plaza floor.  Altun Ha covers an area of about 5 square miles and includes an extensive swamp north of the plazas.  It's believed that up to 10,000 people lived here during the Classic period of Maya civilizatin, as late as A.D. 1000.

ALTUN HA - Belize 7
Perhpas Altun Ha's most famous  Pendergast's discovery of a huge jade headed replica of Kinich Ahau, the Sun God, in 600 and was owned by an elderly priest.  At the time of its discovery, this priceless relic was the largest of its type ever recorded in the Maya world - almost 6 inches tall and weighing nearly 10 pounds.  On rare occasions this Kinich Ahau repllica is taken on exhibition tours.

Altun Ha jade head Kinich Ahau

LOCATION


LAMANAI 🇧🇿 BELIZE

Lamanai "submerged crocodile" in Yucatec May is a Mesoamerican archaeological site

Lamanai "submerged crocodile" in Yucatec May is a Mesoamerican archaeological site located in northern Belize,
It was  a major city of the Maya civilization. The site is pre-Columbian, recorded by early Spanish missionaries, and documented over a millennium earlier in Maya inscriptions as Lam'an'ain.

Lamanai "submerged crocodile" in Yucatec May is a Mesoamerican archaeological site located in northern Belize,
Lamanai is renowned for its exceptionally long occupation spanning three millennia, beginning in the Early Preclassic Maya period and continuing through the Spanish and British Colonial periods, into the 20th century.  Lamanai Jaguar Temple, Mask Temple and High Temple

Unlike most Classic-period sites in the southern Maya lowlands, Lamanai was not abandoned at the end of the 10th century

Lamanai was occupied as early as the 16th century BC. The site became a prominent centre in the Pre-Classic Period, from the 4th century BC through the 1st century CE. In 625 CE.

 

During the Spanish conquest of Yucatán Spanish friars established two Roman Catholic churches here, but a Maya revolt drove the Spanish out. Belize


Actun Tunichil Muknal 🇧🇿 BELIZE

Actun Tunichil Muknal 🇧🇿 BELIZE

Actun Tunichil Muknal (the Cave of the Crystal Sepulchre), known as "ATM"  is a cave in Belize, near San Ignacio and a Maya archaeological site that includes skeletons, ceramics, and stoneware.

The cave is located in the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve. The main cave system is about 3 mi   long and consists of a long river passage for approximately 2 mi   which ends at an upstream sump. A series of upper prehistoric passages continues another mile past the sump through massive breakdown boulders and giant rooms. The cave can be exited through a tight squeeze ending in a giant sink hole collapse in the jungle.

"The Crystal Maiden" a skeleton of a 17-year-old boy possibly a sacrifice victim, whose bones have been calcified to a sparkling, crystallized appearance.

The ceramics at the site are significant partly because they are marked with "kill holes" (holes created to release spirits lurking within),  which indicate that they were used for ceremonial purposes. Many of the Maya artifacts and remains are completely calcified to the cave floor. One artifact, named the "Monkey Pot", is one of just four of its type found in Central America.

Actun Tunichil Muknal wiki
The Maya also modified cave formations here, in some instances to create altars for the offerings, in others to create silhouettes of faces and animals or to project a shadow image into the cave. The cave is extensively decorated with cave formations in the upper passages.

cave formations ATM

Animal life in the cave includes a large population of bats, large freshwater crabs, crayfish, catfish and other tropical fish. Large invertebrates like amblypygi and various predatory spiders also inhabit the cave. Agouti and otters may also use the cave.

cave formations ATM
These and many other species are quite common in river caves of this size in Belize.

 

The Belize Tourism Board, in coordination with the Belize National Institute of Culture and History, Institute of Archaeology, has granted licenses to a small group of agents to conduct tours to this cave, in an attempt to balance its protection against tourist revenue.

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Revillagigedo Islands

REVILLAGIGEDO ISLANDS 🇲🇽 MEXICO PACIFIC

Revillagigedo Islands | SOCORRO ISLAND  🇲🇽 MEXICO PACIFIC

Archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, approximately 235 nm SSW of the tip of the Baja California peninsula and 300 nm WSW  of Cape Corrientes off Mexico's Pacific Coast.  The islands are administered by Colima state, Mexico. Covering an area of 320 square miles  the archipelago consists of numerous volcanic islands.

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Revilaggio Chart

 

The largest, Socorro, which rises to an elevation of 3,707 feet (1,130 m), is 24 miles (39 km) long and 9 miles (14 km) wide. San Benedicto, 40 miles (64 km) north of Socorro, and Clarión, 250 miles (400 km) west of Socorro, are the two other large islands; small islands include Roca Partida, 60 miles (100 km) west of Socorro, and Roca Oneal, just off the northwestern coast of Socorro.

 

Revillagigedo Islands

In 1957 an outpost was established on long-uninhabited Socorro, and trees were planted for timber and fruit. The expedition found about 8,000 sheep on the island, the residue of a temporary Australian settlement of the mid-1800s. The Revillagigedo Islands are rich in sulfur, fish, and guano.

REVILLAGIGEDO ISLANDS 🇲🇽 MEXICO PACIFIC

In July 2016, the Revillagigedo Archipelago was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in November 2017 they were declared to be a marine reserve and a national park of Mexico. Some of the volcanoes are active, with the last eruption of Volcán Bárcena in 1953, and Socorro in 1993. A small military airstrip exists on Socorro.
Revillagigedo Islands

No evidence of human habitation on any of the islands exists before their discovery by Spanish explorers. Hernando de Grijalva and his crew discovered an uninhabited island on 19 December 1533, and named it Santo Tomás (Socorro Island) and on 28 December they discovered Isla de los Inocentes (San Benedicto) which owed its name to having been found on the day of the Holy Innocents.

San benedicto island

In November 1542, Ruy López de Villalobos, while exploring new routes across the Pacific, rediscovered Inocentes and Santo Tomás and charted the latter as Anublada ("Cloudy"). Villalobos was the first to report sighting of Roca Partida Island giving it its present-day name. In 1608, Martín Yánez de Armida, in charge of another expedition, visited Anublada and changed its name to Socorro. In 1779 José Camacho was the first to report sighting of the island remaining, that he charted as Santa Rosa ("Saint Rose"). Santa Rosa was later renamed Clarion after the vessel commanded by Henry Gyzelaar at that time.

Humpback whales off the coast of Revillagigedo Islands near Mexico

They offer divers reliable encounters with giant manta rays, whale sharks, dolphins, humpback whales, tuna, pelagic fish and many other shark species.
They offer divers reliable encounters with giant manta rays, whale sharks, dolphins, humpback whales, tuna, pelagic fish and many other shark species.
The Revillagigedo Islands are home to many endemic plant and animal species, and are sometimes called Mexico's "little Hawaii". They are recognized as a distinct terrestrial ecoregion, part of the Neotropical realm. Socorro is the most diverse in flora, fauna, and topography. The Mexican Government established the islands as a Biosphere Reserve on June 4, 1994. Oceanographic Magazine stated in 2020 that, "Its remoteness, protection and peculiar oceanography makes it one of the most biodiverse and exciting marine destinations on earth."
The Revillagigedo Islands are home to many endemic plant and animal species, and are sometimes called Mexico's "little Hawaii". They are recognized as a distinct terrestrial ecoregion, part of the Neotropical realm. Socorro is the most diverse in flora, fauna, and topography. The Mexican Government established the islands as a Biosphere Reserve on June 4, 1994. Oceanographic Magazine stated in 2020 that, "Its remoteness, protection and peculiar oceanography makes it one of the most biodiverse and exciting marine destinations on earth."
Apart from the native birds, migrant shorebirds and others are often found on the islands. Bahia Azufre (Sulfur Bay) on Clarión seems to be a favorite stopover location, as it is one of the few longer stretches of beach in the islands; mostly, the shoreline is steep cliffs. The archipelago is also a part of wintering grounds for humpback whales in the North Pacific.

 

Apart from the native birds, migrant shorebirds and others are often found on the islands. Bahia Azufre (Sulfur Bay) on Clarión seems to be a favorite stopover location, as it is one of the few longer stretches of beach in the islands; mostly, the shoreline is steep cliffs. The archipelago is also a part of wintering grounds for humpback whales in the North Pacific.