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The abundance of natural water sources in this vicinity is possibly the origin of the name El Pilar. "Pila" being Spanish for watering basin ...

El Pilar - Maya Ruin in Belize

El Pilar BirdingA favorite spot for serious birders, EL Pilar is a 100 acre Middle Pre-Classic and Late Classic Mayan site. A number of buildings at El Pilar reach 50 to 70 feet in height, and the central plaza ruins consist of temples, palaces, and housing for the elite. Large water reservoirs and ball courts are located within the center of the complex.


One particularly interesting feature is a causeway that extends from the ruins across the country border into Guatemala. Thus far, 12 pyramids and 25 plazas have been found at El Pilar. This is three times the number found in nearby sites such as Xunantunich and Cahal Pech. The site was occupied between 500 BC and 1000 AD..


El PilarIn contrast to other nearby sites, El Pilar remains virtually the same way today as when it was discovered. There are no large-scale clearings, instead look for trails and selected exposures of sample architecture. Currently, El Pilar has a total of five trail systems, three archaeological and two primarily nature trails intended to provide insight into the agro-forestry of the ancient Maya.


El Pilar is excellent for birding. Birds such as toucans, mot-mots and large numbers of parrots frequent the area during the early mornings and late evenings.


Entrance Fee - US$ 5 per person



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