The Tourism Development Project at Lamanai

The Tourism Development Project at Lamanai is an ambitious endeavour that's aimed at raising the public's awareness and appreciation of the rich cultural heritage of Belize.  Equally important is the goal of generating much-needed revenue from the tourism industry for Belize.  Through a generous loan from the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB), the Tourism Development Project is actively consolidating a number of important, prominent ancient Maya sites throughout the country, including Lamanai, Altun Ha, and Caracol.

Tourist facilities, such as picnic areas, gift shops, and restrooms have been constructed at these sites along with a new dock at Lamanai and a new road to Caracol.  The first phase of the Tourism Development Project has largely been completed.  Working in cooperation with the Belize Institute of Archaeology, National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), the TDP has successfully consolidated sites that are of great importance to both the tourist industry and the cultural heritage of Belize.  Visit these sites - they are truly remarkable!

Below are several recent images of ancient site of Lamanai.  The images of structures and sculptures below were the focus of the Tourism Development Project, just recently completed after more than two years of sustained work by well over one hundred Belizeans.  These Belizeans included many workers from nearby Indian Church, San Carlos and other villages, along with Dr. Jaime Awe, Dr. Alan Moore, Dr. John Morris, Mr. Brian Woodeye and Mr. George Thompson of NICH, and countless other important individuals.  Their tremendously successful efforts culminated in the official opening of the site of Lamanai to the public on June 9, 2004.  Click here for images of the opening ceremony at Lamanai and the new Visitor's Centre.  For more information on the Tourism Development Project you may contact Dr. Jaime Awe, Director of both the Tourism Development Project and the Belize Institute of Archaeology, Belmopan, Belize.

The Mask on Structure N9-56

Louise Belanger & consolidation of the mask, Str. N9-56.  June 2001










Spraying a lime-water solution on the mask, July 2001


Consolidated mask with permanent roof, completed July 2002










Structure N10-43 (Lag or High Temple)

Structure N10-43, called Lag by Dr. David Pendergast & his associates, and High Temple by visitors to the Lamanai Archaeological Reserve.  Some consolidation work had been done on this massive (33 m tall) structure by Pendergast & his associates in the early 1980's, but only periodic maintenance work had been done since then prior to the beginning of the Tourism Development Project.  This photograph was taken in June 2000. 


South side of Structure N10-43 during exposure of Late Preclassic Masks flanking central stairs and reconstruction of Lamanai Building across those stairs.  Note incomplete exposure & reconstruction of middle and upper terraces and stairs.  June 2001

South side of Structure N10-43 one year later, June 2002.


South side of Structure N10-43 nine months later, March 2003.


Darby and Cam Simmons on South Side of Str. N10-43, July 2004

Structure N10-9 (Lip or Jaguar Temple)


Structure N10-9 prior to TDP consolidation & reconstruction work in June 2000.  Some consolidation of the structure had already been completed by Dr. David Pendergast and his associates in 1986.  Note large axial trench and jaguar masks on central stairside outsets.  View south

Structure N10-9 in July 2002.


Structure N10-9 in July 2004.


East side jaguar mask reconstructed by Louise Belanger, Structure N10-9.  July 2002

Structure N10-9 east jaguar mask, lower east side register detail.  July 2002