Nim Li Punit “The Big Hat” (121.32 Acres)
The name Nim Li Punit is derived from a carving on one of the site’s twenty six stelae, which depicts a figure wearing a large headdress. In the Maya Kekchi language, Nim li Punit means “the big hat.” The monument on which this carving appears is the longest stela in Belize (Stela 14), originally located in an area called Plaza of the Stelae.
Nim Li Punit is a small site in the Toledo District. It is situated on a ridge in the foothills of the Maya Mountains just off the Southern Highway, 25 miles north of Punta Gorda. Nim Li Punit is regarded as a ceremonial center consisting of two plazas, one higher than the other. There are 25 stelae of which 8 are carved. The largest structure is 33-40 feet above the plaza level and is constructed of dry, sandstone typical of sites in southern Belize. There are 3 plaza areas and a ballcourt. The concentration of so many stelae makes this a unique site.
The site of Nim Li Punit first discovered in 1976 by oil prospectors in the area. Archaeological investigation began soon after by archaeologists including Dr. Jaime Awe, Dr. Norman Hammond, Barbra McLeod, Dr. Richard Leventhal and most recently, Dr. Geoffrey Braswell. Archaeological investigation at Nim Li Punit has discovered royal tombs, many stelae and in 2015 an impressively carved jade pectoral known as the wind jewel. More importantly, archaeological research has allowed us to understand how the people on Nim Li Punit lived and interacted with their environment and the surrounding cities.
From Belmopan, take the Hummingbird Highway for 45 miles until you reach the Southern Highway Exit. Turn right onto the Southern Highway and travel an additional 50 miles (1 ½ hours) until you reach Indian Creek Village. Exit to the right on the gravel road and continue for about 1/2 mile until you reach the reserve.
365 days in the year from 8 am – 5:00pm
Fees & reservations
Non-Belizeans: BZD $10.00
Belizeans enter FREE on Sundays and Public and Bank Holidays, take along some form of ID.
School and Government Groups need to contact the IA office for official Pass to visit this site.
Flora & Fauna