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  Exploring the nearby Mayan ruins at Lubaantun and Nim Li Punit is a high point of any visit to southern Belize; these sites evoke compelling evidence of the exceptional intellect and sophistication of this venerable Central American civilization. Nearby Lubaantun is one of the most unique archeological sites in the Meso-American region, and was possibly a Maya athletic training center or stadium. Our guests, with their knowledgeable guides, explore ruins of pyramids, numerous ball courts and learn about its mysterious Crystal Skull.

Nim Li Punit was a royal Mayan residence from 700-800 AD. Among the archeological highlights are the Plaza of the royal tombs and the Plaza of the Stelae, as well as an astronomical observatory that houses many stone monuments, featuring highly intricate carvings. The visitor center offers an illuminating display of hieroglyphics, archival photographs, and artwork depicting early Mayan village and artisanal life.

Uxbenka is an ancient Maya site that was inhabited during the Classic Period (AD 250-900). Since 2005 the Uxbenka Archeological Project has conducted annual digs. Machaca guests visiting from March through June, 2009, had the opportunity to volunteer and participate in the dig alongside working archeologists. Similar initiatives are planned for the future.

A Maya Cacao and Village Tour provides an insightful introduction to the life of the native Maya today. Guests are guided through villages and homes to learn about Maya traditions, farming techniques, chocolate and tortilla making and the diverse linguistic dialects.