There is an excellent museum in Chetumal that gives an overview of the origin and development of the Maya culture and architecture. It also shows their understanding of the calendar and their use of a number system that is based on 20 instead of our 10. They were the first to use zero and therefore were able to do arithmetic. This was presented in detail and shows just how advanced they were. Well worth the seeing.
We took a bus tour into Belize where we took a boat ride up the New River to the Maya ruins at Lamanai. The river has its name because when the Spaniards discovered it they called it the new river and that was what they continued to call it.
The river is home to many of the local people that use it for transportation and food. There is even a colony of Mennonites that farm along the river.
Lamanai means "submerged crocodile" in the Maya language. These ruins are best known for the large heads carved into one of the pyramids. The heads are about 14 feet high. Only one has been exposed. They are on the second layer of the pyramid which has been covered when the Maya built a new pyramid over it. The four heads were situated at two levels on each side of the central stairs leading to the top of the old pyramid.