Available on these days: Mon, Tue, Wed, Sat
Fitness: Moderate | Kid Friendly: Yes

  • Departure: 9:00 am
  • Return: 1:00 pm
  • Duration: 4 hrs
  • Distance: 50 mls

From San Ignacio, Belize, you approach the site through Bullet Tree Falls and go seven miles (11 km) north to the ridge of the reserve. There is a nominal entrance fee and tickets can be purchased from the ranger’s station at the site or at the central ticketing museum at the Cahal Pech site in San Ignacio, Belize.

El Pilar Highlights

EL Pilar is a 100 acre Middle Pre-Classic and Late Classic Mayan site which is currently being excavated by the University of California. Continuing work at the site occurs between February and June. The site is situated 12 miles northwest of San Ignacio in the Cayo District. The rare abundance of natural water sources in this vicinity is possibly the origin of the name El Pilar (“pila” being Spanish for watering basin).

A particularly intriguing feature is a causeway that extends from the eastern part of the ruins across the country border into Guatemala. Thus far, 12 pyramids and 25 plazas have been found at El Pilar. This is triple the number found in nearby sites such as Xunantunich and Cahal Pech. The site was occupied between (500 BC) and (1000 AD) periods. A variety of residential structures were discovered during excavations, in addition to elite household compounds and ceremonial structures.

In contrast to other nearby sites, El Pilar remains virtually the same way today as when it was discovered. Most structures are in the early stages of excavation. Currently there are five trail systems at El Pilar, three archeological and two primarily nature trail intended to provide insight into the agro-forestry of the ancient Mayas.

This El Pilar Mayan Ruins tour departs from Cahal Pech Village Resort in the early morning and is inclusive of transportation, guide, park entrance fees and lunch.

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What's Included

  • Entrance Fee
  • Juice
  • Snacks
  • Water

What's to bring with you

  • Camera
  • Hat
  • Insect Repellent
  • Light Long Pants
  • Light Long Sleeved Shirt
  • Sturdy Shoes or Hiking Boots
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Water
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