Land of the Maya

Cerros is located in the north of Belize on a peninsula across from Corozal Town and in the Bay of Chetumal. During its heyday from 400 B.C. to 100 A.D., Cerros served as an important trading center for salt and honey, as well as Guatemalan Jade and Obsidian. From Cerros, these products went north into Yucatan as well as down the New River to the formidable Maya city of Lamanai.

Now partially underwater, Cerros covered fifty-three hillside acres beside the Bay of Chetumal and had a local population of some five to six hundred at its peak. The main temple rises sixty-four feet above the central plaza. The facade on this temple is of Kinich Ahau, the Maya Sun God. These masks had to be covered in plaster because the sea was causing serious erosion. Several tombs were excavated and the many artifacts recovered demonstrated the importance of the site. A canal system used for terraced farming encircles the site.

Cerros suffered in early decline sometime after 250 A.D.

Cerros is best accessed by boat via the New River. A pedestrian and auto ferry carries visitors across the river for free between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. every day. From the ferry, it is five and a half miles of normally very bad road to Progresso Village and Cerros.