Archeologists now believe that Belize was once the center of the Mayan world, densely populated by a civilization advanced in art, architecture, mathematics and astronomy. For thousands of years before Christ to a thousand after, the Maya dominated this area of the world.
The Maya population, in its heyday, was several times the population of Belize today. The Mayan people lived in thatch and plaster villages, with their elite living in palace-like residences. They worshiped in temples, in their caves and in their cities, and while new discoveries are being made everyday in Belize, Cayo appears to be the epicenter of the population with some of the country's most impressive sites including Caracol, in the Chiquibul area, Xunantunich, in Benque Vejo and Cahal Pech in San Ignacio. Also near is El Pilar and smaller sites both above and underground.
Many people ask, "What happened to the Maya?"
We know that the population were in crisis between the 8th and 9th centuries and eventually abandoned their temples and cities, but they are still here. The people have become The one colorful threads in the tapestry of Belizeans that live here today.
Hidden Valley Inn provides convenient access to the Mayan world. Discover past and present cultures by visiting ancient Mayan archaeological sites and modern day rural villages. Four of the main Mayan sites are accessible from Hidden Valley Inn and other Mayan tours include caves in the area, where artifacts including carvings, pottery and even ancient skeletal remains exist.