La Milpa

Northern Belize

In the northwestern corner of the RBCMA, La Milpa is the third-largest Maya site in Belize, believed to have had a population of 46,000 at its peak between AD 750 and AD 850. Its 5-acre Great Plaza, one of the biggest of all Maya plazas, is surrounded by four pyramids up to 80ft high. Now the structures are all covered with jungle and inhabited with howler monkeys, evoking the mystery and history of the ancient ruins.

Guides from the field station at La Milpa Lodge can accompany your hike to shed light on the function of the various structures, and to point out the stelae and other moss-covered artifacts that still remain in the area.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northern Belize attractions

1. Lamanai

26.83 MILES

Perhaps the most fascinating Maya site in Northern Belize, Lamanai lies 24 miles south of Orange Walk Town up the New River (or 36 miles by unpaved road)…

2. High Temple

26.83 MILES

North of the ball court, across a plaza shaded by trees, is Structure N10-43, the highest at Lamanai, which rises 125ft above the jungle canopy. Few large…

3. Ball Court

26.85 MILES

Not far west of Stela 9 is Lamanai's ball court, one of the smallest in the Maya world – but with the largest ball-court marker found yet! A ceremonial…

4. Jaguar Temple

26.85 MILES

This temple (Structure N10-9), fronting a 100yd-wide plaza, was built in the 6th century AD and modified several times up to at least the 15th century – a…

5. Spanish Churches

26.86 MILES

Some 400yd south of Jaguar Temple are the remains of the thick stone walls of two Spanish colonial churches, which were built by Maya forced labor from…

6. Lamanai Museum

26.86 MILES

In the main administrative building where you pay your entrance fee, this small museum features artifacts unearthed throughout the Lamanai complex,…

7. Mask Temple

26.9 MILES

The Mask Temple (Structure N9-56) was begun around 200 BC and modified several times up to AD 1300. It has two 13ft stylized masks of a man in a crocodile…

8. Stela 9

26.9 MILES

North of the elite residential complex, this temple was the original site of the intricately carved standing stone erected in AD 625 to commemorate the…