Hidden within the lush tropical forests of the Rio Bravo Conservation Area, is one of Belize’s largest Maya sites. La Milpa Archaeological Reserve is the third largest site in the country, after Caracol and Lamanai.
Even though the site has not been excavated, archaeologists have identified twenty-four plazas and about eighty-five major structures. Because of its location near the great Rio Hondo River, it is believed that the site was a major trading center, controlling the nearby cities. Walking through the site, it is obvious that some of the temples were looted in earlier days, as the evidence of broken entrances into the structures still exist. Trees and plants have taken over much of what is left, but huge mounds of sand and rock, together with tilted stelae tell a story of a civilization past.
Even though the site has not been excavated and restored, it is a very important site that is visited often by student groups. Programme for Belize has a comfortable Field Station at La Milpa, perfect for students and visitors. The vastness of the ancient city is unbelievable, and the uncovered mounds leave much for the imagination. When visiting the area, don’t miss a visit to this site.