Caracol Archaeological Site

Category
Attraction
Type of Attraction
Archaeological Site, Landmark
District/Region
Cayo
Description
Highlights
  • Largest Maya Site in Belize
  • History
  • Hiking
  • Forest Reserve
  • Bird Watching

About Location
Caracol is one of the largest site in the Maya world and is the largest known Mayan Ruins in Belize. Climb the magnificent temples that the ancient Maya built around 1200 BCE. Caracol is located in the Cayo District and is nested within lush Belizean forests.
 
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Available Listings
$
217
/ Person
Departs From:
Belize City
Royal Tombs, dwellings, and 2 ball courts are just a fraction of what is waiting to be explored at caracol or what the Mayan once called “oxwitza” . This all-day tour allows you to ... moreclimb Caana “Sky Place” the highest Mayan temple found in Belize which stands at 143 ft off the ground. Listen keenly as your guide illustrates the significance of each monument using evidence standing right before your eyes.
$
108
90
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Provider:
Caracol Mayan Temples was discovered in 1938 by loggers, located deep within the Chiquibul Forest Reserve now it is the most extensive Maya site in Belize and one of the biggest in ... morethe Maya World.

Caracol Mayan Temples is a Classic Period urban center that spread out over 55 square miles with an estimated population of 180,000 people. Caracol’s enormous central core area covered 15 square miles and was linked together by more than 20 miles of “sacbeobs” (causeways) that radiated outward from its epicenter. The temple “Caana” rises 42 meters above plaza level and to this day is the largest man-made structure in Belize.
$
230
-
$
320
/ Person
Departs From:
Hopkins
Situated at 1600 feet above sea level (one of the highest located sites of the southern uplands region) with no natural water body close by, it remains a mystery why such a huge population ... morecenter like Caracol evolved where it is. However, the close proximity to both extremely hard stone and copal, two commodities highly prized by the Mayas may help explain this enigma.

At the heart of the site lies the massive pyramid of Caana (Sky Palace) which is now almost fully restored and reaches a height of over 135 feet. From the top, you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views over the forest-clad mountains.

The drive to the site in the early morning occasionally allows guests to take a glimpse of tapirs, jaguars or ocelots, as they break their forest cover to cross the road. The sprawling site contains huge Ceiba, Mahogany and Sapodilla trees and is superb for birding (the rare Keel-billed Motmot is one of the many residents of the site). Wildlife such as Howler and Spider monkeys, the Oscellated Turkey, Coatimundi, Gibnut and Grey Fox are often sighted while quietly wandering along the site’s causeways or along trails connecting the plaza groups.
$
100
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Located deep within the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, in the Maya Mountains, Caracol is the largest known Maya site in Belize and one of the biggest in the Maya world. While traveling ... moreto this location, you will enjoy a stunning scenery of the flora and fauna that enhance the true beauty of this magnificent Maya City. Here, you will be given a lifetime experience as you trail along paths that were once threaded by nobles and peasants that lived in this mystic world. Archeological discoveries have revealed that Caracol had an urban area approximately 10 kilometers in a radius around the center of the city, in the year 650 AD. At its peak, Caracol's epicenter or town, housed about 15,000 people. Caracol. Caana (meaning sky palace), the main pyramid at Caracol, houses 4 palaces and 3 temples and remains the tallest building in modern Belize, with an impressive height of approximately 141 feet. Caracol is a world in which the gods demanded ceremonies and rituals.
$
419
/ Person
Day 1: AIRPORT/CRYSTAL PARADISE You will be met at the airport by your Belizean bird guide and transferred to your jungle lodge accommodations. Optional stop at the Zoo (entrance fee ... morenot included, US$15/pp). We check into our accommodations at Crystal Paradise after a short orientation.

Afternoon: MACAL RIVER CANOEING OR HORSEBACK RIDING

Morning Canoeing on the Macal River. While canoeing we have the chance to see Neotropic Cormorants, Mangrove Swallows, Kingfishers, Gray-necked Wood-rails and other wildlife that frequent the riverbanks such as iguanas sunning themselves on the rocks and trees.

OR

Enjoy the fresh air and the beauty of the Belizean country side, while on your way to one or more of the attractions. If the water level of the river is low enough, you will ride over some hilly but scenic terrains and through jungle trails leading to great swimming holes. O/N Crystal Paradise Resort. L/D

Day 2: CARACOL MAYA RUINS (FULL DAY)
After breakfast we drive to Caracol as we traverses through the Mountain Pine Ridge area. The road travels over a series of creeks, through lush tropical forest and pine forest, habitat for a variety of bird species. The highest canopy rainforest is home to several species of cats, as well as rare birds such as the Keel-Billed Mot Mot, Crested Guan, Great Curassow and the Occelated Turkey. A wide variety of orchids, vines and trees are also found in the area. This site is home to the tallest man-made structure in Belize, Canna (sky palace), standing some 143 ft above the plaza floor. The discovery of Alter 23, which shows bound captives, indicates that Caracol was an extremely fierce and war like center. This tour will be combined with a visit to the Rio Frio Caves and the Rio On Pools on the way back.
O/N Crystal Paradise Resort. B/L/D

Day 3: DEPARTURE
After breakfast you will be transfer to Belize City/Belize Airport. B/
$
1,459
/ Person
AIRPORT PICKUP/CRYSTAL PARADISE You will be met by your driver/ guide at the airport and transferred by van to Crystal Paradise. ... more
Dinner and overnight Crystal Paradise

Day 2: BARTON CREEK CAVES /BIG ROCK FALLS/BUTTERFLY FARM (FULL DAY)
After breakfast, we board SUV and drive over rolling hills through the Amish Community and across the river to the entrance of the cave. We arrive at the cave use facilities and canoe inside the cave for at least 2 km. Most people find the canoe tour by torchlight through this cave unforgettable. Its large river passage and pristine formations are just two of the reasons why this appeals to both local and foreign visitors. Besides its natural beauty, the site is made even more interesting by the presence of a wide range of archaeological remains that were left there by the ancient Maya visitors. Archaeologists believe that this cave was used for rituals. You have an optional stop at the Butterfly Farm, entrance fee for the farm not included in the package (US$15/pp. At the end of your day, you will stop at the Big Rock falls for a refreshing dip. Breakfast, packed lunches, Dinners and Overnight Crystal Paradise.

Day 3: CARACOL MAYA RUINS (FULL DAY)
After breakfast, we drive to Caracol as we traverse through the Mountain Pine Ridge area. The road travels over a series of creeks, through the lush tropical forest and pine forest, habitat for a variety of bird species. The highest canopy rainforest is home to several species of cats, as well as rare birds such as the Keel-Billed Mot Mot, Crested Guan, Great Curassow and Ocellated Turkey. A wide variety of orchids, vines, and trees are also found in the area. This site is home to the tallest man-made structure in Belize, Canna (sky palace), standing some 143 ft above the plaza floor. The discovery of Alter 23, which shows bound captives, indicates that Caracol was an extremely fierce and warlike center. This tour will be combined with a visit to the Rio Frio Caves and the Rio On Pools on the way back. Breakfast, packed lunches, Dinner and overnight Crystal Paradise Resort

Day 4: MACAL RIVER CANOEING (HALF DAY)
Leisurely canoe the Macal River as we view iguanas sunning themselves and an array of birds such as kingfishers, Wood-rails Mangrove Swallows and more. Stops at the Botanical Gardens and the medicine trail where we can learn about our local plants and their uses. Breakfast, Dinner and overnight Crystal Paradise Resort

Day 5: FREE MORNING/DRIVE TO PLACENCIA
Leisurely departure to Placencia as we drive on the scenic hummingbird highway over the Maya mountains and then on the coastal plains to the beach of Placencia. Breakfast and Overnight at Placencia Hotel

Day 6: SNORKELING TO OFFSHORE CAYE
After breakfast, we board a boat to offshore Cayes for snorkeling as we enjoy the hundreds of colorful fishes and much more. Overnight at Placencia Hotel

Day 7: FREE DAY
You can easily book fishing trip additional snorkeling/ Jaguar Reserve and or the Monkey River tour. Overnight at Placencia Hotel

Day 8: DEPARTURE
Land transfer to Placencia airstrip for a local fight to Belize Int’l airport to arrive 2 hrs prior to your int’l flight.
$
125
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Located deep in the Chiquibul forest reserve, Caracol is the largest known Mayan site in Belize and one of the biggest in the Maya world. Caracol was a classic period urban center ... morethat spread out over 55 sq miles with an estimated population of 150,000 inhabitant and causeways that radiated up to 5 miles from the center. The temple rises 41 meters above the plaza level with 100 meters of base area and to this day is still the largest man-made structure in the country of Belize. The drive to Caracol will take you through the scenic mountain Pine ridge forest reserve, home of Rio On Pools & Rio Frio Cave.
$
105
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
Provider:
CARACOL MAYA TOUR Caracol, a major and dominant site in Mayan history, is an expansive city covering nearly 6 square miles and rivaling the ancient metropolis of Tikal in size, power, ... moreand riches. This is a fantastic site to visit, set high on the Vaca Plateau, in the heart of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve (a subtropical forest south of San Ignacio near the Guatemalan border). Caracol is accessed through the Mountain Pine Ridge, a beautiful area with flowing rivers and hidden limestone caves.

After a 1.5 hour drive from San Ignacio up rough dirt roads, passing through small Mayan villages and scenic countryside we will arrive at the sprawling archaeological site of Caracol. Here you will learn about the anthropology, archaeology, and flora and fauna of the area, including rare and endangered wildlife such as Keel-billed Motmots, Tapirs, Jaguars, Oscillated Turkeys, Gibnut (the “Royal Rat”) and Coatimundis.

Caracol was a huge population center at its peak, with over 150,000 inhabitants and 30,000 structures, including an astronomical observatory. It was the largest metropolis in the Mayan Lowlands during the Classic Period, built with elaborate city planning and complex agricultural systems. This site was hidden for many centuries by the trees in the tropical broadleaf forest. Today you might catch a glimpse of howler monkeys in the mammoth trees towering over the ancient Mayan ball courts and plazas. 

Revel at the engineering and architectural sophistication of the Mayan people as you climb the temple pyramid structure of Caana (Sky Temple), the highest man-made building in Belize to this day. Once at the top, nearly 135 feet above the courtyards below, you will get impressive panoramic views of Belize and neighboring Guatemala.

The history of the inhabitants of Caracol is documented by scribes of the past in hieroglyphics and carvings on the monuments, stelae, wall facades and altars that are found throughout the site. Caracol has a very unique history, different from other major ancient cities in the region, and your guide will illuminate the rich and complicated past of this glorious civilization with a fully guided tour of the excavated portions of the Caracol site.

After touring the ruins, refresh yourself with drinks and a picnic lunch. We then continue back through the Pine Ridge area where we take a break at the Rio On Pools, a series of natural swimming holes, to cool down and relax in the clear water. We will also visit the Rio Frio Cave, which has the largest entrance of any cave in Belize.
$
100
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
We depart early to visit one of the most impressive archeologically excavated sites in Belize. See the temple named Canaa, the tallest man-made structure in the country. Caracol was ... morebuilt by the Maya commencing around 300 B.C. and was prosperous until the 800's A.D. It is located on the Vaca Plateau in the Maya Mountains. Right next to the Chiqibul Forest Reserve. On the way back we make a stop at the scenic Rio On Pools to take beautiful pictures or take a swim in the refreshing water.

The Caracol tour is a Combo and includes on the way a visit to the Rio Frio Cave. This cave has a huge entrance and beautiful formations with the Rio Frio passing through it. You get an opportunity to take pictures and explore the cave.
$
95
/ Person
Departs From:
San Ignacio Town
 (1)
Caracol Archaeological Mayan Site shuttle package (1 Day Tour) We provide guest/s a package deal of the Mayan Archaeological site, Rio Frio Cave, Rio On Pools, and Swim at Big Rock ... moreFalls. We leave promptly leave at 7:30 a.m.from San Ignacio Town and returns at 5:00 p.m. We are happy to pick you up at your hotel/ lodge. 

Ca'ana / Sky Palace at Caracol It is the largest Archaeological Site of entire Belize. En-route to Caracol, we tour other tourism sites: Rio On Pools, Rio Frio Cave. Then returning from the site we do a last stop at Big Rock falls for a refreshing swim.
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