Only a 5 minute walk from our hotel was the ancient Mayan site of Cahal Pech (meaning City of Ticks!). We had an excellent guide for our visit who brought the settlement to life as we walked amongst the ruins. Earliest evidence of Mayan settlement here dates from 1200BC, starting as a solitary forest farmstead, then growing from a hamlet to an imposing royal citadel. The site is one of the oldest recognizable Mayan cities in western Belize and was abandoned around 900AD for unknown reasons. The settlement is a collection of 34 structures, the tallest of which is a 25m high temple situated around a central acropolis. A fascinating visit.