Welcome to Caracol
Beyond Mountain Pine Ridge, to the southwest, are the ruins of Belize's largest and most important Maya site, Caracol. Once among the most powerful cities in the entire Maya world, this ancient city now lies enshrouded by thick jungle near the Guatemalan border, a 52-mile (much of this very rough) drive from San Ignacio that takes anywhere from three to four hours.Sitting high on the Vaca Plateau, 1650ft above sea... Read More
Top experiences in Caracol
Caracol Day Trip from San Ignacio
Caracol, the largest Mayan archaeological site in Belize, was also the largest metropolis in the Maya lowlands during the Classic Period. In 650 AD, the urban area of Caracol had a radius of approximately 6 miles (10 km) around the center of the site. Caracol maintained a population of more than 140,000 people through the creation of an immense agricultural system and elaborate city planning. After hotel pickup in San Ignacio, board your comfortable minivan or SUV for the approximate 2.5-hour drive to Caracol, located within the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. En route, stop for a swim at Rio On Pools or Big Rock Falls, located on the Mountain Pine Ridge.Upon arrival, follow your guide on foot along a forest trail, where you’ll learn about regional flora and fauna as you take in the stunning scenery. Observe how the trees of this lowland tropical broadleaf rainforest have taken over, guarding the ancient mysteries of Caracol. You'll see where the Maya once gazed at the stars, conducted their most sacred rituals and plotted battles, including the 562 AD defeat of Tikal.Begin your tour at the Visitor's Center, which exhibits a number of artifacts from the site, including a recovered ceremonial altar. Your guide will recount the prehistory of peasants and nobles who built and used the courtyards, residences and astronomical observatory within the complex. Around midday, you'll enjoy a packed lunch before continuing your tour.View three plaza groups surrounding a central acropolis and two ball courts, along with a number of smaller structures. Visit Caracol’s largest building, a pyramid called Caana, which rises more than 140 feet (43 meters) above the forest floor—so massive that three temples sit atop its base. Today, it remains the tallest human-made structure in Belize.Your guide will point out the many hieroglyphic texts carved on stelae, altars and wall facades. Learn about the discovery of an ornately carved ball-court-marker, interpreted by archeologists as a claim of military victory over Tikal. At the end of your tour, board your coach for the return trip to San Ignacio with drop-off at your hotel.
Private Caracol Tour from San Ignacio
Your full-day tour will start early in the morning. Get ready to explore this wonderful Maya site. This tour will take you through the Mountain Pine Ridge and gives you a glimpse of its exotic flora and fauna surrounding Caracol's major structures (e.g.Caana) and astronomical observatory. The tour includes your tour guide, lunch, entrance fees and transportation on a comfortable air conditioned vehicle. It also includes an optional stop (swimming spots) at Rio on Pools. Your day will start at 7am from San Ignacio Town and takes you through the Mountain Pine Ridge before entering the Chiquibul Forest Reserve en route to the largest Maya site of Caracol in Belize. Climb the tallest man made structure in Belize called Caana and explore the living quarters of some of the most powerful elite, rulers of Caracol and walk where they once did. This tour offers the opportunity to glimpse the exotic wildlife that the spectacular nature reserve has to offer. Please let me know if you have any special dietary requirement.
Rio On Pool, Rio Frio Cave and Caracol Maya Ruin Tour
During this 8-hour tour you will explore the Maya ruins in the ancient city of Caracol. This guided tour will explore jungle archaeological sites including pyramid temples, plazas and monuments. You will also travel to Mountain Pine Ridge with stops at Rio On pool and Rio Frio Cave for a refreshing swim in the crystal clear waters. You will be able to enjoy a homemade Belizean lunch before being dropped off back to your hotel in San Ignacio.
Caracol Maya Temples and Big Rock Falls From San I
Your adventure begins from 7:00 a.m with a 2-hour drive on a wildlife-rich road through the Mountain Pine Ridge. Many claim to have seenjaguars and tapirs on the way. The Road to Caracol is an adventure in its own!Upon arrival at the site, your guide explains its history as he walks you through historical pictures and findings at the on-site museum.Thereafter, it’s off to explore the ancient temples. Try to contain your excitement and listen to your guide while he explains the various structures’ purposes and the stories in the several stelae. Feel free to climb to the very top of Caana, the tallest temple. You will certainly be awestruck!When our exploration is done, you head to the park where lunch is served. Then head back into the Mountain Pine Ridge withthe option of stopping for a refreshing dip at the beautiful Big Rock Falls.On your way back from Caracol, you'll make an optional stop at Big Rock Falls. After an adventurous ride and a short hike down a steep path, you arrive at one of the most secluded and relaxing destinations with an amazing waterfall and natural pool for a refreshing dip.
Combo Tour: Exclusive Early Access to Chichen Itza and Tulum Ruins with Guide
Begin with hotel pickup at 5am to enjoy Chichen Itza in tranquility and personal attention. An expert will provide information on the archaeological surveys of the site and the Mayan civilization that inhabited this city. Get to know the culture in one of the most important sites of the Mayans. This archaeological site has earned the protection of UNESCO and today it’s considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. The three best known of these complexes, and among which are included in the visit, are the monuments of El Castillo, the Temple of Warriors and the Great Ball Court; other sites on this tour are the Caracol, Las Monjas, and Akab Dzib. Enjoy a light box lunch at your arrival in the site and return to your hotel around 2pm. This early morning access to Chichen Itza helps you avoid the crowds so you can enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your own leisure. The next morning start your day with 5am hotel pickup before heading to the Tulum ruins. Tulum is one of the most studied archaeological and ethnohistorical sites of Quintana Roo. On this morning visit, devote more time to taking a better look at the site and admire its architectural and natural beauty. Admire the emblematic building known as El Castillo, mainly used for religious rituals and as a beacon for Maya merchant ships sailing along the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. You will get to thoroughly know the Maya culture in two of the most important sites of this great culture.
Full-Day Exploration of the Caracol Maya Temple
An early departure from San Ignacio Town is required. You will be picked up at your hotel at approximately 7:30 am, and will travel for two hours south of San Ignacio Town through the scenic Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. FYI: all transportation, guide fees, park entrance fees and your lunch are included. During rainy season this site is only accessible in a 4W drive vehicle.This large ancient Maya archaeological site is located in the Cayo District of Belize, within the Chiquibul National Park. At Caracol, there are approximately 267 structures per square kilometer, 85% higher than Tikal. The site covers approximately 200 square kilometers and within this area, structures are generally situated equidistantly and are integrated with the terrace system. The town grew into one of the largest ancient Maya cities, covering some 177 km² with an estimated population of over 100,000 with settlement focused along the many radiating causeways (potentially peaking between 120,000 and up to 180,000).Caracol offers an adventure you will not soon forget. Hiking around this ancient site you will be captivated by its majestic pyramids and rich history. Throughout the site you are bound to come across exotic wildlife such as monkeys, toucans and other wild animals. In addition, after an adventurous tour of this magnificent site you will have the opportunity to make a stop at the Rio On Pools or Big Rock Falls for an optional swim in natural cascading swimming pools so don't forget to bring along swimwear. At the end of the day, you'll be brought back to your hotel.