|Lamanai - Submerged Crocodile|
A major attraction of Lamanai is the well-preserved mask of a Maya ruler emerging from a crocodile headdress.
Lamanai, one of Belize's largest Maya centers, sits on the bank of the 30-mile long New River Lagoon in the Orange Walk District. Lamanai features monumental architecture of temples and palaces dating from the Classic and Pre-Classic Periods. Set in tropical forest and providing spectacular views from several of its large temples, Lamanai provides a unique glimpse into the culture of the Maya and the biological diversity of the tropical forest.
Lamanai was continuously occupied for over 3,000 years, up until European contact. The Archaeological Reserve not only contains a museum with ancient Maya artifacts, but visitors can also see the remnants of two 16th century Spanish churches and a colonial sugar mill established in 1860.
The most impressive way to approach the Lamanai archaeological temples is by boat up the New River from Orange Walk. Snail kites feeding, jacana lightly resting atop the lily pads and Morelet’s crocodile or iguana sunning on the riverbanks and are only a few of the wildlife that will be encountered.
Lamanai is also accessible by road and air with several guest houses and full service jungle lodges in the vicinity.