Nim Li Punit is just one of the many archaeological sites of Belize.

If you’re going to Belize on vacation, to house sit or for business, it’s a must to visit at least one Mayan temple. We’re on a pretty tight budget these days so we chose to visit the Mayan ruins of Nim Li Punit. They are located closest to where we are staying, near the Monkey River Village, right now.

Scroll down to learn more about Nim Li Punit and see amazing photos from our trip to this Mayan site…

Southern Highway in Belize with the Mayan Mountains in the background

For an easy day trip excursion that will take you further into Southern Belize, Nim Li Punit is a great choice. This Mayan site is located just off the Southern Highway leading to Punta Gorda (P.G.).

Nim Li Punit sign in Southern Belize

Note: Punta Gorda is the most Southern town in Belize and has a port, gas station, chocolate factory and lots of foreign visitors that enjoy the little tourist shops and restaurants.

Nim Li Punit is reached by traveling on a small dirt road for about 1/2 mile that leads up to the visitors center.

Nim Li Punit - Mayan site in Southern Belize

At the Nim Li Punit visitors center you will be given a brochure that gives an introduction, explains the site layout and materials used. You will be granted access to this archaeological site for only $10 BZD ($5 US) per person.

There are two buildings that give a brief history of the excavation and also house two of the larger carved dynastic monuments.

Nim Li Punit Visitor Center

Nim Li Punit Visitor Center

Nim Li Punit Big Head Monument

‘Big Head’ Monument

Nim Li Punit Monument Maya Mountains

Large Monument

The foot trails start right behind the visitors center and are relatively easy to navigate.

Hand rails have been added to most of the stone stair areas you will have to climb. The steps are quite uneven so be sure to wear appropriate footwear.

Nim Li Punit Stelae Plaza Belize

Nim Li Punit’s Stelae Plaza

Stelae Plaza Mayan Site

Terrace at Nim Li Punit

Terrace at Nim Li Punit

Nick and Silke at Nim Li Punit

Nick and Silke enjoying the day

Huts have been erected over some of the exposed burial sites and monuments to prevent further erosion.

Mayan Plaza Nim Li Punit

Mayan Plaza Nim Li Punit

Mayan Tomb

Mayan Tomb

Mayan Tomb Nim Li Punit

This tomb contained the remains of at least five people

Mayan Ball Court at Nim Li Punit

“This Mayan ball court consists of two parallel structures, and the rectangular space that lies between them. At the center of this space there is a ball court marker. The Maya ball game is a ritual associated with the creation of the universe, the earth and all that lies within.

The game is played with a large round ball made of hard rubber. The rules of the game are not known, but it is clear that the movements of the ball represent cycles of the sun, moon and other celestial bodies.”

It was very tranquil and relaxing to walk among the Mayan ruins and gaze out over the Mayan mountains in the background.

On the day we visited Nim Li Punit there were only a few other tourists there and we had the place pretty much to ourselves. We saw a variety of different birds and even a small Tapir.

Overlooking the Mayan Mountains

Overlooking the Mayan Mountains

A little Tapir

A little Tapir

Yellow Bird at Nim Li Punit

Yellow Bird at Nim Li Punit

Nim Li Punit had everything we were looking for from a Mayan Temple site. Tranquility and beautiful views!

Silke envisioned a much larger temple ruin that you could climb on while Nick felt that we scored by not having to climb to the top of anything.

Most area resorts and hotels offer daily tours to this Mayan site with guides that will explain the history of the Mayan people. By the way, in kekchi Maya, “Punit” means “hat”, “Li” is the article and “Nim” means “big”; forming “The Big Hat” for “Nim Li Punit”.

Souvenir Stand

Souvenir Stand at Nim Li Punit

We had a fun filled day in Belize with our visit to Nim Li Punit and then making our way further South to Punta Gorda for lunch at a fish stand and more sight seeing. Punta Gorda is a small harbor and fishing town on the most Southern coast of Belize.

Have you been to one of the Mayan sites in Belize? Leave us a comment below. 


4 thoughts on “Nim Li Punit Mayan Site In Belize”
  1. Hi there Nick and Silke! This was just the kind of article at the right time. Thinking about a Caribbean- Yucatan area vacation next year. Belize sure is tempting! How are y’all doing these days? all the best my friends…..AP

    1. Belize is a fun destination for about a week. A good week and you’ll go home with a renewed feeling about how good things are back in the states. We’ll have been here for two months and already we can tell you that we’ve over stayed our visit.
      We’re arriving back in the states earlier than anticipated. Our house is still rented out until April 5th so we’ll have to do some more exploring from Miami to Charleston. I thought you would be the person to ask; Do you have any recommendations?

      1. Hey. I can sure understand about wanting to get back. There truly is no place like home. that’s funny you mention about a week, two weeks in a great place like Europe and I couldn’t wait to feel southern soil under my feet! As far as cool spots between Miami and Charleston…lets see…I’ve only flown into Miami and traveled as far as central Florida. If you’ve got the time Key West would be one place down there. On the way up St Augustine is a must see. Beautiful beaches, very historic with the oldest village in American history, lots of ghost stuff; but the best thing IMHO is the castle, or rather the Castillo san de Marcos. That fortress is awesome – don’t miss it! Georgia has some great sea isles and you and Silke probably already know all the SC spots. Have you explored Beaufort, SC? If not do so by all means. Let me know how things go my friends, glad to help a bit and thanks for asking!

        1. Hi Alastar, thank you for the great travel tips. We will keep it in mind for future trips. It looks like we have several weeks to span until we can get back into our own home now, so we’re actually thinking of going up North to visit family. Unless we can find another house sitting job in the NC/SC area that is. ;) – Silke

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