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 18 reviews
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    Zach Sarnoff
    Zach Sarnoff
    16:17 25 Nov 21
    I went with Luis to ATM caves and it was awesome!!
    Olivia Pulsipher
    Olivia Pulsipher
    02:07 11 Aug 21
    We did the ATM tour, Luis was exceptionally knowledgeable... about not only this tour but many other sites in the area. We spent several hours inside the cave learning about the history. Highlight of my more
    Christine Scheer
    Christine Scheer
    02:14 30 May 21
    Incredible experience! So very happy we chose KaWiil. We... really wanted to do the cave tubing, but I was nervous since we booked so late. To my surprise, KaWiil Tours actually called me back to say that John was available to be our guide. John was on time bright and early the next morning, he even found us wandering around outside our hotel before he swept us off to the Nohoch Che'en cave. As an experienced cave explorer, super friendly dude, a natural resource management professional, and native Belizean (naturally!) we were so impressed with the way he showed us the lizards, plants, trees, birds, insects, fish and flowering plants along the trail. He took us through the caves; it was like we had the place all to ourselves! John introduced us to the bats, the swallows, kingfishers, ancient Mayan traditions, cave formations and river flow... so awesome. I was blown away. Afterwards, he bought us lunch at a cool tiki bar and filled us in on Belize history; so super. We had the BEST time. Thank you, John! You really made our visit to San Ignacio special!read more
    Doss Ramsey
    Doss Ramsey
    22:21 25 Mar 21
    We had an excellent tour of the ATM cave with Luis who... managed to get two young fellas in their 20s and an old timer a few months short of 80 through without a hitch!I was pleasantly surprised by how informed Luis was regarding the cave and its history, as well as his knowledge of local plants and wildlife, other attractions, and the energy that he brought to the tour.This tour with Kawiil Tours was the highlight of our time in Belize and I'll be recommending it to anyone I know heading to San Ignacio! 10/10read more
    Emma Hignett
    Emma Hignett
    22:54 28 Oct 19
    What an incredible experience! A must if you are in Belize.... Luis, our tour guide was excellent. Very knowledgeable about the local area and the caves. Luis mainly has smaller groups, so whilst other groups had 8 people per tour guide, my partner and I were the only ones in our group. Highly more
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