Altun Ha is located 31 miles north of Belize City on the Old Northern Highway where a two-mile dirt road connects the main road to the site. The area around Altum Ha is rich in wildlife including crocodiles that inhabit the Maya-made water reservoir at Altun Ha. It´s a major Maya culture ceremonial center and the discovery site of Belize’s famous Jade Head.
Altun Ha functioned as a central trading link between the Caribbean coast and Maya centers in the interior during the Maya Classic Period. A unique feature of this site is the absence of carved stelae, while its most notable artifact is a large jade carving of the Maya sun god “Kinich Ahau.” Weighing almost 10 pounds, this 6-inch carving is the largest carved jade object to be found in any Maya community in the region. Today the jade head is considered the crown jewel of Belize.
Altun Ha contains over 500 identified mounds containing two main complexes with smaller groups, mostly residential, located within the site. Group A comprised the early civic/ceremonial core of the site. The structures are arranged around a large plaza. The other large complex is known as Group B. This area of the site gained importance during the Late Classic and is where many elite burials were found containing vast amounts of jade objects.