What to Bring Along
- Comfortable clothes for the tour
- Comfortable shoes for walking around the site
- bug spray
- snacks & water
- Intensity: Easy
With a Spanish name that translates to “Maya Hill”, Cerro Maya is located on a peninsula across from the town of Corozal and in the Bay of Chetumal. Archaeological research at the site suggests that it functioned as an important coastal trading center during the Late Preclassic Period (c.a 350 B.C. to A.D. 250). Its tallest temple rises 21 meters above the plaza floor and overlooks the Caribbean Sea which has been steadily eroding numerous prehistoric buildings along the north coast of the site.
Cerros , was first settled during the latter part of the Middle Preclassic period (600-300 B.C.) The early inhabitants of the site practiced a mixed economy based on farming and hunting, and on the exploitation of a rich marine environment. Access to varied resources, their location on the coast, and proximity to the mouths of the New and Hondo Rivers, placed Cerros in very advantageous location and the site developed rapidly.
The site core of Cerros covers an area of approximately 37 hectares, and is bordered by a semi-circular canal that may have served defensive purposes.
Most of the monumental architecture at the site is located within this core area and includes at least four large temples, several palace buildings and two ballcourts. The most famous Cerros temple, Structure 5C-2nd, lies at the north end of the site, on a point that juts out into Chetumal Bay. Excavations on this structure uncovered two pairs of large painted stucco masks flanking the eastern and western sides of the central stairway.The lower eastern mask represented the rising sun. Its western counterpart was the setting sun.The upper eastern mask was Venus as the morning star and to the west, Venus as the evening star.