Caracol Maya Ruins

This magnificent maya ruins was discovered by Rosa Mai in 1937 while looking for Mahogany Tree and is one of the largest and tallest maya site in Belize.

Caracol is one of the top five mayan ruins in the classic period and it helped Calakmul in the conquest of Tikal in 562 AD and became a front runner in Maya Affairs in the southern maya region. After conquering Tikal, Caracol became a super state and Calakmul became a Mega state. At its peak, Caracol controlled 5544 Sq Kilometers which allowed Caracol to become so powerful that every other site within the area had to give tributes. The king of Caracol became their overlord.

Caracol Maya Ruins Tips and Advisory

Caracol Maya Ruins History

Caracol Archaeological Site, the Snail, is an ancient Maya city with a detailed history. The area was settled around 900 B.C, being the most important regional political center of the Maya Lowlands during the classic period in 900 A.D. This city once covered about 75 square miles (larger than modern-day Belize City). Caracol sits on the Vaca Plateau at an elevation of 500 meters above sea level, in the foothills of the Maya Mountains. Official Investigations at Caracol started in 1950, after the first official visit by Linton Satterthwaite ( University of Pennsylvania).

Caracol was discovered in 1937 and is the largest Maya site in Belize, home to 150,000 Mayas. It contains enormous temples with “Caana” or “Sky Place” being the largest. The primary pyramid at this site houses 4 palaces and 3 temples and remains the tallest structure in modern Belize, with a height of approximately 141 feet, which rises over 140 ft. From the top, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding natural beauty of Belize. Over 70 formal tombs have been excavated and many hieroglyphic texts have been found on stelae, altars, and ball court markers, capstones, and wall facades.

Though located deep within the Chiquibul National Park it is definitely worth the long trip. The drive to the site allows you to have a glimpse of small villages and the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, where many wildlife creatures such as the jaguars and ocelots roam. On the way back, you have the opportunity to visit the Rio Frio cave and swim at Rio On Pools or Big Rock Falls.

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    KaWiil Tours
    Based on 49 reviews
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    Hannah Schilpp
    Hannah Schilpp
    02:55 15 Mar 24
    We did the cave tour with Luis and it was incredible! It... far surpasses our expectations. Luis knows his stuff and takes his time to share his knowledge. He’s also funny which made the trip more enjoyable! And his wife made a fabulous lunch!read more
    Niquita Eng
    Niquita Eng
    16:03 09 Mar 24
    So glad we got in with Luis! He took his time explaining... little details I think would have otherwise been missed. I really appreciate his professionalism and the high standards he holds tour guides to. Luis holds tour guides accountable for educating their tourists. He gave us factual information without dancing around things that may upset people because, history doesn't care too much about your beliefs. I learned alot on this tour and if you go in with an open mind, you will love it!read more
    Trey V
    Trey V
    14:15 08 Mar 24
    Luis was amazing. We took our 5 children (ages 7 to 17),... and Luis kept it fun and interesting for us all. Good pace, unbelievable depth of knowledge, and the best laugh we’ve heard. Our kids talk more about Luis than the cave. Can’t recommend him more
    Jeremy Himle
    Jeremy Himle
    02:49 21 Feb 24
    Just finished our tour of ATM cave today and had a blast... with Luis. While the other tour operators were rushing past us, Luis spoke about Mayan history and educated our group about historical events that shaped the cave history. He took his time and helped my girlfriend through difficult spots, and was observant to the needs of our small group. Many of the experiences we had were unique to other groups and I was so grateful for the memories he created. I’m sure that you might find a less expensive rush tour, but Luis has been guiding tours for over 20 years and it shows. I can’t recommend him enough. (Photo for attention purposes as no photos are allowed at ATM)read more
    Brian Chapman
    Brian Chapman
    02:23 17 Feb 24
    Our guide John was great! You could tell he really loves... his country and all the beauty it has to show us. Thanks for sharing with more
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