Santa Rita Maya Ruin in Corozal
Santa Rita is a unique ancient Maya site because it survived the collapse of Maya society into the Late Post Classic Period and the early days of the Spanish incursion into the region. Today, it is believed that the ruins known as Santa Rita were once the ancient city of Chetumal. The modern day town of Corozal in Belize was built on the abandoned ruins of Santa Rita.
Why You Have to Visit Santa Rita
Chetumal Bay was an important body of water that connected the southern parts of the ancient Maya Empire to points further north. Due to geopolitical reasons, the Maya region that contained Santa Rita (and the Maya city of Chetumal) is largely across the border in Mexico. Although not much is left of the original Santa Rita, visitors can still explore one large building that has been left untouched.
Other points of interest to see in Santa Rita include rooms, passageways, vaults, and coastal lookouts that were used by the ancient Maya to defend their vital trade network. Archeologists have performed painstaking work to identify artifacts and grave goods to piece together the tentative identity of Santa Rita as the ancient city of Chetumal.
While Santa Rita lacks much of the enormous architecture that characterizes other ancient Maya sites in Belize, its proximity to Corozal Town and gorgeous views of the Caribbean make it an excellent introduction to the history and architecture of the ancient Maya.
Where in Belize Is Santa Rita Located?
The surviving ancient Maya buildings of Santa Rita lie on the outskirts of the modern day town of Corozal in northern Belize. Santa Rita lies directly on the shore of the Caribbean and continues westward towards the town of Corozal.
When Is the Best Time to Visit Santa Rita
Santa Rita is open all year-round but can be difficult to properly appreciate during heavy rains.
Best Way to Get to Santa Rita Belize
Multiple transportation options, including buses and domestic air flights all connect Corozal Town to the rest of the country. Once in Corozal Town, the ruins of Santa Rita are only a short distance away near the Coca-Cola factory.
Best Way to Experience Santa Rita
Whether you’re interested in exploring the remaining coastal architecture of an ancient Maya site or just want to explore Maya ruins when you’re in the vicinity of Corozal Town, Santa Rita is a beautiful site and excellent destination for a day trip.