Caracol is the single largest archeological site in Belize, and one of the biggest Mayan structures in the world. Discovered in 1938 by loggers, the Classic Period complex covers over 30mi (48km) squared of land, including over 35,000 structures, five plazas, and some of the most beautiful jungle in Central America.
Occupied as early as 1200 BC, dozens of hieroglyphic texts have been discovered in the ancient city, carved into altars, walls, facades, capstones, and ball-court-markers. Rich in tropical wildlife, learn about the Mayan civilization in one of the most astonishing cities known to modern man.
Visiting Caracol is an exercise in discovery: as you walk through the amazing Caana pyramid, the largest in the complex, rising 140ft (420m) above ground, experience the magnificence of the Mayan architectural prowess and ability. From the central acropolis to the ball courts to the astronomic observatory, you are sure to be amazed.
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Located in the Cayo District of Belize, Caracol is about 25mi (40km) south of both Xunantunich and San Ignacio Cayo. While it is accessible by car and 4WD, it is located deep in the heart of the Belize jungle, and can be very confusing considering the surrounding backcountry roads. The easiest way to access Caracol is by special tour or organized visit.
While there is no admission fee, per se, you will need a visitor's permit to visit Caracol. This permit can be obtained either at Caracol or in Augustine, which is on the way to the ruins.
The best piece of advice for seeing the ruins is to wear comfortable walking shoes in order to fully enjoy your time on the site.