The river trip to Lamani
The Mayan ruins of Lamanai are located in a two square mile area at the edge of a lush forest reserve. Reaching the ruin is an excursion in itself; you will travel by boat up the New River. Blooming orchids and other flowers are abundant along the river bank, as are many birds and animals, including a growing population of howler monkeys.
Lamanai is believed to have been occupied from approximately 1500 BC through 1650 AD; it was still inhabited when the Spanish arrived in the 16th century. Archeologists believe that Lamanai's main temple was built in or around 100 BC.
Lamanai translates to "submerged crocodile;" records kept by Spanish missionaries indicate that Lamanai was probably the real name of the ancicient city. Many artifacts depicting crocodiles have been found at the site. Lamanai has one of the tallest buildings found anywhere in the Mayan world; the views from the top are breathtaking. Several hundred buildings have been uncovered; as well as royal ball courts. Lamanai is one of the most important Mayan sites in Belize.