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“Great Little Ruin in the Bullet Tree Falls area”
Review of El Pilar

El Pilar
Ranked #13 of 39 things to do in San Ignacio
Certificate of Excellence
San Ignacio, Belize
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Great Little Ruin in the Bullet Tree Falls area”
Reviewed 8 April 2013

Set back a bit in the jungle, this was a nice way to spend a few hours amongst the Mayan ruins. There are a few vantage points where you can sit and enjoy the view, the birds and wildlife. BDF soldiers were also patrolling the area, making it very safe.

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
Thank Blondieinbelize
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anabel-2013, Director, El Pilar Archaeological Project at El Pilar, responded to this review, 31 August 2016
Ruins are transformed into monuments under the canopy at El Pilar.

And little! the monuments cover more than 50 hectares or 150 acres, they span form the mysterious Preclassic citadel in the east to the causeway that crosses the modern political boundary of Belize and Guatemala into the Late Classic complex called Poniente. It is about 1/3 the size of Tikal but more than 3 time the size of Xunantunich! If you had the time it would take more that a day to see all the public architecture let alone the ancient house sites we are presently mapping! Tzunu'un is now consolidated and you can see the human size of an ancient Maya house! The place is ever changing and deserves another visit!
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62 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
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  • Any
English first
Halifax, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Magic at sunset”
Reviewed 8 April 2013

I saw El Pilar during a sunset hike and the experience still gives me goosebumps when I recall the sites and sounds. I felt like an archeologist discovering the ruins for the first time. Do this tour with Kin Winik Jungle Tours. They were a lot of fun.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank MsBonitaAalders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anabel-2013, Director, El Pilar Archaeological Project at El Pilar, responded to this review, 31 August 2016
Sunset is the magic of the monuments... El Pilar where the culture and nature are entwined under the canopy.
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San Ignacio, Belize
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great site...terrible road.”
Reviewed 3 April 2013

The site is not overly excavated so imagination is a requirement but it's like a walk through a beautiful park. Very nice. But....the road in is terrible! Not sure if the site is worth the abuse that we put our truck through.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
Thank LivingLovingBelize
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anabel-2013, El Pilar Archaeological Project Director at El Pilar, responded to this review, 29 August 2016
The walk through the beautiful park to discover the ancient Maya in the Maya forest. Yet it is also a walk by many excavations that have revealed the prehistory of the place. These areas have been covered awaiting the time and funds to exhibit windows into the monumental while preserving the site as Archaeology Under the Canopy.
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budapest
Level 4 Contributor
46 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“useful to see a major site pretty-much unexcavated”
Reviewed 30 March 2013

I went to El Pilar on my own, and loved being in the expansive site where not much is uncovered. This gives a fantastic impression of what other sites were like when they were discovered, and then how much work it has taken to 'restore' even the smallest, insignificant structure at other sites. I enjoyed being alone at El Pilar, and loved running into a small troop of monkeys on the longish but flatish causeway trail. Highly recommended to those visiting Belize with the goal of taking in as many Maya sites as possible. Also...stunning countryside.

Visited March 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank rhettbudapest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anabel-2013, Director, El Pilar Archaeological Project at El Pilar, responded to this review, 31 August 2016
This is the privilege that a visitor can receive at El Pilar where the ancient monuments are shaded under the canopy of the Maya forest. This is the promise of your own discovery!
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Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“What Mayan ruins are like before excavation”
Reviewed 30 March 2013 via mobile

El Pilar is an extensive ruins site, but is almost totally unexcavated. There are large mounds here.
This site gives a good idea of what other Mayan ruins were like before their excavation and structure consolidation. There were only 2 other tourists there. I hired a park employee guide for US$10 for 1 hour, but he contributed little - mostly telling me to mind my step and head. Download and print a site map before coming, as they offer no paper maps, and there's a few trails winding among similar mounds. About 5% of the access road definitely requires 4x4 high clearance vehicle.

Helpful?
3 Thank Gregory S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anabel-2013, Director, El Pilar Archaeological Project at El Pilar, responded to this review, 31 August 2016
Excavated vs exposed! Excavation have revealed the important building chronology, the diversity of the site, the access-ways, stairs, corners, depths. Exposure is another matter, this is an experience of Archaeology Under the Canopy, a way for everyone to experience to rediscover the importance of the nature and culture of the Maya forest and the ancient monuments they shade.
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