Caracol Mayan Ruins Tour

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Tour Highlights

Caracol is located in the highlands south of San Ignacio in an area known as the Vaca Plateau. Caracol is the most magnificent Maya site in Belize and in fact one of the largest in the Maya world. It is not as extensively restored as other sites because it was completely lost in the rainforest for over 1000 years until its discovery in 1937. The first archaeologist who studied Caracol soon after its discovery named it “Snail” (“Caracol” in Spanish) because of the large numbers of snail shells found there, but the original Mayan name translated to “Three Hill Water”, making this one of the few Maya sites where the true name is known.

Habitation began approximately 600 BC and continued until 900 AD, or even as late as 1150 AD according to some sources. At its height, Caracol is thought to have been home to 150,000 people, with over 30.000 structures – a far greater density than at Tikal. It covered an area much larger than present-day Belize City (the largest metropolitan area in the country of Belize) and supported more than twice the modern city’s population. Water to the ancient city was supplied by man-made reservoirs as they had no reliable river access. One of the reservoirs is used by on-site archaeologists & other personnel to this day. There are seven ancient causeways or roads leading to the site. The tallest structure in Belize – ancient or modern – is Caracol’s El Caana (“Sky Place”) at a height of 140 feet. Over 100 tombs have been found at Caracol.

Caracol contains many hieroglyphic inscriptions, enabling scholars to piece together a virtually complete dynastic record of Caracol’s rulers from 599 AD to 859 AD. Especially significant are descriptions of ongoing conflicts with neighboring Tikal. So far only 10% of greater Caracol’s area has been mapped. What continues to puzzle archeologists is why the Maya built such a large city on a plateau with no permanent water source and how they managed to maintain it for so long.


Tour Guides


Tour Itinerary

  • What to Expect

    Depart from Belize City heading due west into the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve Area appx 2hrs. As you go along your guide will be interpreting the area and also will be talking about Belize’s history. When in the Mountain Pine Ridge your guide will be interpreting your tour until arrival at the Caracol checkpoint area, check-in then continues to Caracol Site. Upon arrival at the reserve you get a rest room break afterward you are gathered together to commence your walk in the reserve enjoying the local flora and fauna as well as climbing the structure in situ.

    After a tour of the site, we then go to the visitor center area where we have our PACK lunches and a visit to the museum. Shortly thereafter we depart at app. 1:30 pm from the reserve back for your connection back to your hotel.

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    Tour Includes:

    • Licensed Tour Guide
    • A/C Vehicle
    • Local Lunch Included
    • Water & Sodas
    • Entrance Fees
    • Guided Tour on site

    Things to bring:

    Insect repellant, light clothing, water, good hiking boots, cash/Credit Card, Medication if necessary

    Please note that we do have our Summer and Winter Rates, and depending on the size of your group, we can offer lower rates. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or queries concerning any of our tours.


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