Cuello

Just four miles from Orange Walk Town on the Yo Creek Road lies the oldest Mayan Site in Belize. Named after the landowners, Cuello dates back to the early years of Mayan Civilization, the Pre-Classic Period (from 2500 BC to 1000 BC). Since the site is located on private land, visitors must first gain permission from the Cuello Family who runs the Cuello Rum Distillery near the entrance of the site. A short walk over flat savannah is required to access the site from the entrance. Once there, visitors will encounter two main plazas each with a small temple structure.

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Cuello mound

The earliest identified burial in the entire country was found on the Cuello site. The skeletal remains of a young Mayan woman was uncovered in a low limestone grave.
Some of the structures appear to have been destroyed by the activities of war. Showing evidence of three major wars, archaeologists believe that this small civilization was run by militaristic rulers.

Also on sight, are two underground compartments known as ‘chultuns’, which were believed to be used for storage. Visitors interested in obtaining the help of a guide can find one in Orange Walk Town.

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Side view of main structure

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