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Driving back down the mountain and through the town of San Ignacio, we head to the village of San Jose Succotz, where we take a hand-cranked ferry over the Mopan River to the site of Xunantunich (Maiden of the Rock). Xunantunich flourished during the Classic-period and appearsto have survived the Maya ‘collapse’ to remain an important population centre until around AD 1000. The site has 5 main plazas, although only 3 plazas are evident to visitors today. Dominating the site is El Castillo, rising to over 120 feet. A steep, but short climb to the top is highly recommended. This vantage point provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the surrounding Mopan and Belize River valleys, as well as Guatemala to the west. You will also get a close look at the restored portion of two unique stucco friezes. The visitors centre and small museum are excellent and there are many small restaurants in the area serving authentic local food, or you may choose to bring along a picnic lunch and eat at the site.