Santa Rita Archaeological Site

Santa Rita

In the northern part of Belize, there’s a special place called Santa Rita. It’s an ancient Maya ruin found in the border town of Corozal. This place has a really interesting history that goes all the way back to the time when Belize was a colony. Santa Rita is especially famous for its beautiful paintings on the front of its main building.

Santa Rita Archaeological Site Details

Exploring Santa Rita! Even though a lot of the old city is gone, there’s still a big building you can explore. Inside, you can find rooms, hallways, and special places where the Maya people used to look out over the coast. They did this to keep their important business safe. And don’t forget about the cool stuff that archaeologists found, like ancient things and things from burials. These helped them figure out that Santa Rita might have been the Old City of Chetumal, another famous Maya place.

Santa Rita might not have the gigantic buildings like some other Maya places, but it’s near Corozal Town, and you can see the beautiful Caribbean Sea from there. So, it’s a great place to learn about Maya history and architecture. Get ready for an adventure you won’t forget!

Santa Rita Archaeological Site


Here’s a bit more about Santa Rita’s history. A long time ago, during the Late Preclassic period, more and more people started living at Santa Rita. But there weren’t any big ceremonial buildings like the ones across the bay in Cerros. When the Early Classic period started, Cerros became less important, and Santa Rita became a leader in the region. They built huge and impressive buildings. Even though things slowed down a bit in the Late Classic period, Santa Rita is still an amazing place to visit.

In 1900, a guy named Thomas Gann explored Santa Rita for the first time. He found out that many of the original 40-50 mounds had been taken apart to use the stones for houses and roads. That’s really sad, but the reports Gann wrote are super important for understanding Santa Rita’s history. And guess what? He found colorful paintings on the outside walls of one of the buildings. Those paintings are like a treasure because they tell us a lot about Santa Rita’s past.

But here’s the sad part: many of the buildings at Santa Rita are gone now, and it’s hard to know how many there used to be or how big they were. Some of the buildings were taken apart because people used the stones to build modern houses. Others were stolen by people long ago. Still, Santa Rita was super important in the past because it was a key place for trading. Its location was perfect because it was close to two rivers, the New River and the Rio Hondo. These rivers were like highways for trading back then.

Guided tour of Santa Rita Site, Corozal Town

To fully immerse oneself in the enigmatic allure of Santa Rita, guided tours conducted by expert local guides are recommended. These guides, often hailing from Corozal town, breathe life into the ancient ruins, offering historical insights into Maya culture and its entwined relationship with the modern town. Day trips to Santa Rita, characterized by flexible departure times, accommodate diverse schedules.

Exploring Santa Rita necessitates a duration of approximately 1.5 hours, owing to its location within a residential enclave of the town. Transportation options vary, with most tours offered in air-conditioned vans or SUVs tailored to group size. Accessibility is further facilitated, as Santa Rita is just a cab ride away from the town center.

Planning your Trip

Weather considerations play a pivotal role in trip planning. Light clothing is advised during the dry season, while long pants are recommended during the wet season. Notably, Santa Rita’s location within a residential area, concealed behind a fence, may pose navigational challenges for independent exploration.

Belize Adventure

Despite its relatively modest size in comparison to other Maya sites, Santa Rita beckons as a captivating destination in Corozal. For travelers, Corozal itself serves as an ideal base, offering a plethora of accommodations and dining options to enhance the experience. Delve into the past and embark on an unforgettable journey of discovery at Santa Rita Mayan Ruins.

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Santa Rita Archaeological Site

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