The most extensive
Maya site known in Belize ....
Caracol, a Classic
Period complex, covers 30-square
miles of thick, high-canopy jungle, and includes
five plazas, an astronomic
observatory and over 35,000 buildings which have
The loftiest among
them, a massive pyramid (Caana) which is capped
by three temples and rises over 140 feet above the jungle floor.
core today, as seen by visitors, consists of
three plaza groups surrounding a central acropolis
and two ball courts, along with a number of smaller structures.
|Discovered in 1938 by Loggers excavations did not begin until 1950, with most of the work having taken place since 1985. Caracol can truly be described in superlatives: Largest archaeological site in Belize - One of the largest in the Maya world - Tallest man-made structure in Belize (Caana) - Most structures, largest area, largest population, most hieroglyphics etc ...
Hieroglyphic Texts have been found on stelae, altars, ball-court-markers, capstones and wall facades. The discovery of an elaborately carved ball-court-marker dating back to the end of the early Classic Period has been interpreted as Caracol claiming a military victory over Tikal, located more then 60 miles away in Guatemala.
Caracol was linked together by more than 20 miles of roadways that radiated outward from its epicenter like the spokes of a wheel and it is estimated that 200,000 or more Maya lived in the area when this important City-State reached it's peak around 700 A.D.
Evidence of Post-Classic occupation is lacking, thus presenting a similar situation to that found at other Classic sites in the region.
the Chiquibul Reserve, Caracol and the surrounding area offers a plethora of flora and fauna to enhance the experience of this magnificent Maya center. Some notable birds seen at Caracol include Oscellated Turkey, Crested Guan, and Great Curassow. While visiting the largest Maya site in Belize you may also see colorful toucans and trogons.
the return from Caracol, tours stop off at Rio
Frio Cave or Rio On Pools or Big
Rock Falls in the Mountain
Rio On Pools,
are a continuous series of pools formed
by large granite boulders.
Many of the pools
are connected by small waterfalls. The smooth
surface of the boulders make natural water slides
and a great place for a swim or a hike.
Frio Cave and
it's 65-foot arched entry ways leave
you in awe. Openings at both ends
unnecessary for viewing the cave's
formations during daylight hours.
Everything is big in this cave! Huge stalactites hang from the massive
cathedral-like vault, which is part of a cave system
the Maya used to bury their dead. Room size
boulders are strewn throughout the cave and a
stream flows through, forming pools complete with cascading
is a beach area with a foot bridge for crossing the
stream and getting to the other side. From there its a quarter mile through
the exit, another equally impressive opening.
Big Rock Falls is an impressive 60-foot waterfall boasting two large, deep pools. The footpath to the falls is a 15-minute hike and involves some difficult climbing down; however once you reach the bottom, you can walk right up to the foot of the waterfall and swim in the cascading pools below.