Caracol – Snail

Located on the western edge of the Maya Mountains within the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, Caracol lies on a high plateau of 500m above sea level that drops into a deep valley to the northwest and rises into hilly terrain to the southwest. The site was discovered in 1938 by Rosa Mai, a logger looking for mahogany. That same year the Archaeological Commissioner, A.H. Anderson, visited the site and named it ‘Caracol’ (Spanish for ‘snail’). This site is also where Caana; Caana in Maya means “sky place.” It is made up of palaces and temples.

The name Caracol is Spanish for “snail shell” and was given because of the inordinate number of snail shells found there.

Caracol remains one of the more difficult ruins in Belize to access, however, a significant portion of the road leading to Caracol has been paved, and getting there gives visitors the chance to travel on one of the more scenic roads in Belize.

At the peak of its existence, the Mayan city of Caracol covered some sixty-five square miles and was home to more than 100,000 people. It is a Classic period urban center, comprising a central ceremonial area converged on by causeways leading to the outlying structures. The site’s special features include the buildings surrounding the A court, which functioned during the Early Classic period as an astronomical observatory. Following a now familiar pattern, many of the site’s pyramids were constructed in the Early Classic period and later covered over by ever more impressive structures.

Since its rediscovery in the 1920s, archaeologists have found the earliest dated carved stelae in Belize, dating back to 400 A.D., and unearthed the massive structure called Canaa or “Sky Place”, believed to have been completed around 800 A.D. This pyramid is the tallest and largest man-made structure in Belize.

General Tour Information

Lightweight, comfortable clothing, and shoes with a good grip. Long trousers are more suitable than shorts as they give more protection from insects and weather. Hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, and drinking water are advisable.

Price: US$500.00

Combination Tours
+ Rio Frio Caves = US$409.00
+ Rio On Pools = US$409.00
NOTE: Tour price includes roundtrip from Ambergris Caye to Belize City by flight (15 minutes). You can also choose your roundtrip from Ambergris Caye to Belize City by boat. Please contact us for more information