Nim Li Punit
Hats Off to Nim Li Punit Mayan Ruins
Belize’s Nim Li Punit is a little Mayan ruin with a big name that means “The Big Hat,” and it’s well worth the trip to see this bit of history for yourself. The ruin is large enough to impress at 121+ acres, and important enough to be called Belize’s stelae capitol thanks to 26 of these monuments, eight of which have been carved to pay tribute to gods and heroes. Why the name Big Hat? Because the longest stelae in the plaza depicts a figure wearing a hat, of course.
Nim Li Punit
Just because stelae is this ruin’s main attraction, that doesn’t mean you won’t find other wonders. In addition to the 26 monoliths, a huge sandstone structure rises around 40 feet into the air and beneath that, two other plazas and a ball court sprawl across the compound. Even the location is exotic: it sits high atop a Maya Mountain ridge in southern Belize, and was once an important ceremonial and ritual center as well as a village that was home to up to 7,000 Mayans at one time.
Why you should visit Nim Li Punit
Where in Belize is it located?
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Best way to experience Nim Li Punit
Take everything in when you get here! The Maya Mountains. The far-off Caribbean Sea. The visitors centers and the compound itself. Roam emerald moss and thick forest. Bring a picnic so you’re fortified to tour all three groups of ruins: south, east and west. The south group gives you a look at how Mayan royalty lived and died, and that stela plaza is close by. The ball court separates south and east complexes, giving visitors chances to imagine games once staged here. Experts believe that east group buildings served as an observatory from which celestial bodies were observed. Bring your imagination when you visit and you’ll be doubly rewarded!