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Lamanai, Belize

Travel & Tour
Pictures, Photos, Information, Reviews.
Page One

The Ruins
An Overview.

George & Eve DeLange

Google Map To Lamanai, Belize.
Top Center Of Map - Above "Water Bank."


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Structure N10-27. Lamanai, Belize. November 16, 2012.

Stella Nine. Lamanai, Belize. November 16, 2012.

Lamanai Ruins Boat Dock.
November 16, 2012.
Eve DeLange At Lamanai Entrance.
November 16, 2012.
Black Orchid. Prosthechea cochleata.
The National Flower Of Belize !
November 16, 2012.
Black Orchid. Prosthechea cochleata.
The National Flower Of Belize !
November 16, 2012.
Howler Monkeys, Alouatta monotypic.
We Hear Them All Over Lamanai !
November 16, 2012.
Howler Monkeys, Alouatta monotypic.
We Hear Them All Over Lamanai !
November 16, 2012.

As of today, Lamanai is the only known Mayan ruin still using part of tis original Mayan name.

Before the Spanish conquest, Lamanai was called; Laman'ayin. Laman'ayin means ("submerged crocodile").

During the time of the conquest the Franciscan monks corrupted the name from "Laman'ayin" to "Lamanai." The name "Lamanai" means submerged insect. Not ("submerged crocodile")!

Then, in 1978 archaeologists realized that the Franciscan monks had corrupted the name from "Lam'an/ayin" to "Lamanai." Therefore, the archaeologists corrected the name by adding the suffix of "ayin" to the Spanish mistake. Thus correcting the meaning of the name from "submerged insect" to "submerged crocodile."

This would also be a logical conclusion supported by the large number of crocodile representations found at Lamanai; such as pottery decorations, & figurines. Then also upon the headdresses of the 13 foot & 15 foot tall limestone masks, found upon the 6th century Temple Of The Masks platform.

With all of this being said, the name Lamanai, is what the ruins is called today.

It is interesting that the name "Laman'ayin, also contains the name of a Book Of Mormon Lamanite rular, King Laman, who according to Professor of Archaeology, Joseph L. Allen; this ruins could have been named after. (The names, locations, activities of the people, and time period fit.)

When we visited with Dr. David Pendergast, who spent several years investigating this site, we learned that only about 5% of the site has been investigated and much remains buried or covered by jungle and bush.

He told us that the city is located on about 950 ares and that the the site's core is about a 12 square miles in size. He also told us that the Lamanai contains about 100 structures, one ball court, and 12 major structures.

Among the major structures there are the Temple of the Jaguar Masks, the High Temple (so-called because of its height), and most notably the Temple of the Masks, thought to be either an Olmec God, or Kinich Ahau, the Maya Sun God.

We also learned that many structures were built on top of other structures, with the older structures frequently razed, or at least partially razed, before reconstruction. In doing so the builders would sometimes leave masks and other ornamental features from the older buildings in some rather odd positions in the newer buildings, such as in the stairwells.

We also learned that Lamanai was built differently than most of the other Maya sites in Belize.

Most of the other Maya sites in Belize are generally organized in plazas around a ceremonal structure.

But, at Lamanai, most of the ceremonial buildings were built along the west bank of the New River and the New River Lagoon. Then the residential structures were built to the north, west and south.

If you visit Lamanai, you will only be visiting the major part of the site as most of it is still undeveloped. But you should plan on staying on site for about 2 hours.

If you have more time; in addition to the Mayan buildings and artifacts, the Lamanai site also includes the remains of a 19th century sugar mill, a brick-lined reservoir and the charred remains of two 16th century Catholic churches.

The Maya burned each of the 16th century Catholic churches because of their anger over the Catholics building their churches upon the ancient Mayan Temples in an attempt to subject the mayans to Spanish Rule and to the Catholic Religion.

The ruins of Lamanai, one of Belize's largest ceremonial centers, are located on the banks of the 30 mile long New River Lagoon in North Central Belize. Lamanai features the second largest Pre-Classic structure in the Maya world and the view across the surrounding forest from the top of the temple is magnificent.

Lamanai has been continuously occupied for over 3000 years. Lamanai's remoteness contributed to it's continuous occupation beyond most other Maya sites, until at least 1,650 AD.

The Mayan ruins of Lamanai Belize brims with exotic birds and hydrophilic iguanas. There is evidence showing the Mayan life here that dates from about 1500 B.C. through the Postclassic Period (A.D. 950-1544), and Spanish colonial times (A.D. 1544-1700).

There is an abundance of wildlife inside the park surrounding Lamanai. There are at least seven families of howler monkeys that make Lamanai their home and you will most likely see a couple of them peering down through the branches as you wander the trails. In addition, the marshlands around the lagoon supports many species of water birds and wildlife, including crocodiles.

Lamanai is spread out along the west bank of the New River Lagoon at a point where the New River flows from the lagoon on its 80-mile journey, north to Chetumal Bay and the Caribbean.

The New River, known to the Maya as Dzuluinicob ("foreign men") was one of the arteries used by the conquering Spaniards and missionizing friars as they attempted to penetrate the forests of the Maya lowlands.

Page One will show the trip up The New River, past the sugar cane processing plant to the visitors center. It also will feature the "Temple Of The Masks", also known as Structure "N9-56"..

Page Two will feature the small museum at the site near the visitors center.

When on site we were fortunate enough to meet Dr. David Pendergast and he was kind enough to show us some of his work (he had just minutes earlier, made a discovery) and he let us observe his work on that discovery.

The small photos below were taken on May 19, 2003 at about 11:30 am. The photos were taken just two weeks before the rainy season had begun for 2003.

The larger photos were taken on November 16, 2012; when we visited the site on a tour by Dr. Joseph L. Allen, professor of archaeology, and his son Blake Allen.

It is possible to fly into Belize City and then to go directly to a hotel of your choice and then to take a tour of Lamanai.

The Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport (IATA: BZE, ICAO: MZBZ) is the airport that serves Belize's largest city, Belize City. The airport will be going through major expansions to handle more planes and for the airport to bring in flights from Europe. The expansions are planned to be completed in 2015.

Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport is about a 30 minutes drive from Belize City's center, in Ladyville.

The best way to get to and from the city center is via taxi. Although an airport bus service exists, it is very infrequent and unreliable.

If you fly in to Belize City at the Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport, you can be transported to wherever you need to go.

You can also arrange air transfer reservations or pre paid tickets from the mainland of Belize to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and then return back to the mainland of Belize.

Tropic Air and Maya Island Air fly to San Pedro, and Ambergris Caye.

Note: Lamanai is not the easiest place to reach if you're traveling without a guide. We strongly suggest a guide to get you there and to tour the site.

We have links to Priceline.Com on this page so you can arrange you flight and hotels. After confirming your hotel, I suggest contacting their Concierge Services ahead of your arrival, to arrange any tours of the area, all of this can be pre-arranged for you.

We do this all the time, when traveling in Belize. It is safe and it works!!! We have never experienced a problem doing it this way!

no one deals like we do! no one deals like we do!

The New River. Lamanai, Belize. Central America Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, & reviews.Water Plants, The New River. Lamanai, Belize. Central America Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, & reviews.
Traveling Along The New River.There Are many Beautiful
Water Plants.
Sugar Cane Processing Plant. Lamanai, Belize. Central America Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, & reviews.Sugar Cane Barges. Lamanai, Belize. Central America Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, & reviews.
We See The Sugar Cane
Processing Plant
At The Rivers Bank.
Cane Barges Used To Transport
Sugar Cane, For Processing.
The New River. Lamanai, Belize. Central America Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, & reviews.Mangrove Trees. Lamanai, Belize. Central America Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, & reviews.
The New River Narrows.With Mangrove Trees
Along The River.
Lamonai Visitor Center. Lamanai, Belize. Central America Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, & reviews.Lagoon. Lamanai, Belize. Central America Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, & reviews.
Lamonai Visitor Center
Seen In The Distance.
Along The Lagoon
Of The New River.
Temple Of The Masks. Lamanai, Belize. Central America Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, & reviews.Structure N9-56. Lamanai, Belize. Central America Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, & reviews.
Audrey DeLange
In Front Of
The Temple Of The Masks.
Temple Is On A Large Platform
That Is Seen In Prior Photo.
Temple Of The Masks. Lamanai, Belize. Central America Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, & reviews.Top View. Lamanai, Belize. Central America Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, & reviews.
Several Structures Are Placed
On The Temple Of The Masks.
View From The Top
The Temple Was Rebuilt
At Least Once.
Mask. Lamanai, Belize. Central America Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, & reviews.Lamanai Mask. Lamanai, Belize. Central America Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, & reviews.
George & Audrey
DeLange
By The Mask.
This Mask Gives The
Temple It's Name.
King's Mask. Lamanai, Belize. Central America Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, & reviews.Temple Steps. Lamanai, Belize. Central America Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, & reviews.
Mask Of The King,
Note Holes In Ear Rings,
So He Can Hear Better!
Note Steps Of Older
Part Of The
Temple, See Top
Right Of Photo
Shows Temple Was Rebuilt!
Jaguar Head. Lamanai, Belize. Central America Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, & reviews.Temple Of Lamanai. Lamanai, Belize. Central America Travel & Tour Pictures, Photos, Information, & reviews.
Jaguar Head At
"Temple Of The Jaguars"
The Temple Of Lamanai
Peaking Above The Tree Canopy
As Seen From
The New River Lagoon.

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Click On Any Of The Following Links By Amazon.Com
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no one deals like we do! no one deals like we do!

Temple Of The Masks.

Page Two, Lamanai Museum.

Page Three, "El Castillo."

Page Four, Plazas 2, 3, 4, Dr. Pendergast.

Page Five, Ball Court, Jaguar Temple.

Travel On The New River.

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