high upon a hilltop overlooking the Maya village of Indian Creek
with the silhouette of the Seven Hills defining the distant horizon,
the Ancient Maya city of Nim Li Punit affords the adventurer one
of the all time best views from any of the known Maya archaeological
sites in El Mundo Maya.
It was discovered by outside oil company workers in 1976 who
informed the Archaeological Commissioner who in turn asked Norman
Hammond, then director of the British Museum-Cambridge University
Corozal Project to investigate the site. Excavations at Nim
Li Punit were active throughout the 1980's.
the Maya Q-ekchi language of the Ketchi people, Nim Li Punit
translates into English as "the big hat". The area
was so named for the carvings that reflect in part the tribal
headdress which was worn by a great Maya leader etched into
the longest of the twenty-six stelae discovered on site including
the largest in Belize, and one of the largest in the entire
Li Punit is located literally in the foothills of the southern
extension of the Maya Mountains in the Toledo District, the land
of the Maya. Countless rivers and tributaries that litter the
region along with numerous unexcavated archaeological sites lie
buried deep in the overgrowth of some of the thickest remaining
parcels of jungle in Central America. Inside
the Nim Li Punit compound, the site is comprised of three main
areas. They are referred to respectively as the west group, the
east group, and the south group where the 26 stealae were located.
will always remember from my visit seeing that big Ceiba tree
laying flat on it's side. For after having stood proudly for hundreds
of years, the Ceiba was fallen in less than ten seconds by the
sheer force of Hurricane Iris as she made her way ashore on October
Hours of Operation: As early as the site manager arrives in the
morning, the welcome centre opens. The manager will seemingly
tour you for free, but you should tip him the equivalent of the
entry fee, plus what ever your budget allows over and above. Remember,
sites are jewels; therefore people are needed to be paid to polish
and preserve their beauty.
for Local Food, Lodging & Trekking near the Site: For some
of the finest lodging in Southern Belize, check out The Lodge
at Big Falls, the Tranquility Lodge, or the Indian Creek Camp
of Belize Lodge & Excursions. All afford exceptional Belizean
cuisine, comfortable and well maintained housing, and a serving
staff that will assist in fulfilling your every wish.
For the truly budget minded, contact the Airport Hotel in Punta
Gorda. Also, Nature's Way Guest House in Punta Gorda coordinates
a local village ‘home stay program’. You can also
simply ‘wing it’ by getting off the southbound bus
from Belize City or northbound from PG, and introducing yourself
to the first person who throws a curious smile your way. Truly,
the people are the greatest asset of Belize; this is especially
true of southern Belize.