Caracol (which means snail) is located south of San Ignacio in the Cayo district. It is the largest Mayan city in Belize and was discovered in 1936. The excavations of caracol have only started in 1950 and are still in full swing. Around 1,200 v.c. the city of Caracol was already inhabited and it is estimated that here during the peak of civilization around 700 n.c. more than 200,000 Mayans lived. This makes it one of the largest Maya cities ever. Many hi & roglyphs have been found and they have made it clear that Caracol in Belize was a very powerful city that even dominated Tikal in Guatemala. The center of the city of Caracol has around 20 plazas and the largest pyramid, called Canaa or heavenly place, is about 42 meters high and is the tallest man-made structure in Belize. The basis of the enormous structure is the same size as the pyramids in Tikal. A total of 35,000 buildings have been identified.
How to get there: if you take the Mountain Pine Ridge Road south of Santa Elena or Georgeville (both on the Western Highway in the Cayo District) the route to Caracol is immediately indicated. The Caracol site in Belize is open daily from 8 am to 4 pm.
Pictures Maya ruins in Belize and Guatemala
Below are the pictures of the Maya ruins Altun Ha is a 1-hour drive away from Belize City. From San Ignacio are the following Maya ruins within reach: Cahal Pech located in San Ignacio itself, Caracol with its main pyramid Caana on a 2 hour drive through the jungle and Xunantunich with its famous temple El Castillo a 30-minute drive away. From Flores in Guatemala Tikal takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes.