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“Nice”
Review of El Pilar

El Pilar
Ranked #13 of 40 things to do in San Ignacio
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 July 2013

Road needs work but, that is part of the fun of it. Site was primitive. Bring bug spray, water and have fun!

Thank NcQueenLisa
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 reviewResponded 31 August 2016

Primitive! that is one way to think of it, and yet such a destination involves you in the site, draws you into the setting, and requires imagination!

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Reviews (63)
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54 - 58 of 63 reviews

Reviewed 5 May 2013

El Pilar is a little Mayan archaeological site around Bullet Tree Falls, and it's fun to hike around for a few hours. The road to get there is rough, really rough, so the 8 miles of off road driving takes quite a while because you don't get much speed on it.

Once there you have the choice of quite a few trails to hike, and you'll see quite a few birds, in fact, it's a popular spot for birders in the early morning when the birds are at their busiest. The unique thing about El Pilar is that it's unexcavated. There is one tunnel that they've restored to what it was like 1000's of years ago, and that is neat. Overall, it's an average site, but you can still climb all the mounds you come across. There's not a visitor's center at this site, just a little station you check in at.

From downtown San Ignacio, it's only around 12 miles, so if you have a rental car, and want to see what an unexcavated site looks like, this would be for you.

Thank DrFeelAwesome
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 reviewResponded 31 August 2016

Little, not! This is one of the largest of the Belize River Area more covering more than 50 hectares, that is 150 acres just in the public monuments. And there is a difference between excavation and exposure. The site has had over 10 years of excavations provided the important chronology of building a the sire that covers more that 2000 years form the c. 1000 BCE to 1000 CE. Some consolidation has provided windows into the architecture but this is costly to develop and maintain. Archaeology Under the Canopy gives each visitor their own chance to discover the monuments and to experience the magic of this place.

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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.

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 reviewResponded 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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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.

2  Thank MsBonitaAalders
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Anabel-2013, Director, El Pilar Archaeological Project at El Pilar, responded to this reviewResponded 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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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.

Thank LivingLovingBelize
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Anabel-2013, El Pilar Archaeological Project Director at El Pilar, responded to this reviewResponded 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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