Above: View of Xunantunich from the summit near El Castillo

Belcampo Belize stands near some intriguing and little-known Maya sites, including Nim Li Punit and Lubaantun. The latter earned its name, which means “Place of the Fallen Stones,” after amateur archaeologist and treasure hunter Thomas Gann dynamited the tops of several buildings in the early 20th century (the original Mayan name is lost to time). Despite his “excavations,” the site remains compelling, with reconstructed sections standing in contrast to the rubble. In the walls that escaped Gann’s depredations, the stonework shows impressive precision, with each block perfectly fit into place. Some walls even display traces of the original ocher paint that decorated the pyramids’ exteriors.

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