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Caracol
Caracol

Caracol

star-5
108 Reviews
Free admission
65 km south of San Ignacio

The Basics

Occupied as early as 1200 BC, Caracol holds ancient treasures, including dozens of hieroglyphic texts that were carved into altars, walls, and facades. Located in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve and surrounded by wildlife, Caracol provides great examples of Maya architecture. The Caana pyramid, or "Sky Palace, is the largest in the complex, rising 140 feet (420 meters) above ground. All-day tours leave from San Ignacio, which is about 2.5 hours’ drive.

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Recent reviews from experiences in Belize City

star-5
Spectacular
Jim_D, Apr 2021
Caracol Maya Ruins Tour Including Rio On Pools, Rio Frio Cave and a Picnic Lunch
Ancelmo, gave us the best possible tour of Caracol. His knowledge of the history of this site and the Mayan culture was remarkable. We had the whole place to ourselves for the first hour. The site is spectacular and and we had an unforgettable tour!
star-5
Ruins, caves, birds, swimming
Ab-Wh, Jun 2021
Caracol Maya Ruins Tour Including Rio On Pools, Rio Frio Cave and a Picnic Lunch
Our guide, Oscar, was a wonderful person to show us the region. We all had a great time chatting on the drive and walking through the ruins. Oscar set a path for us through the park that saved the highlight for the end, building anticipation. Plus for birders, he someone managed to spot a group of macaws that I could barely see. This is an excellent day trip from San Ignacio.
star-5
Full Day with Caracol, Nature Walk, Pools on Rio, Rio Frio Cave, and Big Rock Falls
Michael_G, Aug 2021
Caracol Day Trip & Mountain Pine Ridge from San Ignacio
Good full day trip here. Included stops at the Rio Frio Cave, Pools on Rio with option to swim, Big Rocks Falls (waterfall), nature walk around Caracol, and plenty of time to explore Caracol. Journey to the site from San Ignacio is paved half the way with the last half along a dirt-clay road. Really enjoyed the trip, a mixture of sites that I would not have seen doing separate bookings. Guide was really fun and you could tell he enjoyed his work which made it more fun and interesting for the group.
star-5
Excellent Tour Guides
Bart_T, Feb 2020
Caracol Maya Ruins Tour Including Rio On Pools, Rio Frio Cave and a Picnic Lunch
Our tour guides Julio and Oscar were very knowledgeable about the history of Caracol, as well as Belize in general. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to see Rio Frio Cave due to the road being too muddy to cross.

Things to Know Before You Go

  • Visitors need a military escort to access Caracol.

  • Wear comfortable walking shoes with good grip to explore the ruins.

  • Roads to Caracol may get muddy and can be tricky to traverse during the rainy season.

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How to Get There

From San Ignacio, head toward Chiquibul Road and follow it south; a 4WD vehicle is recommended for exploring Belize. The drive from San Ignacio is about 2.5 hours. Many tours offer round-trip transportation and include stops at other sights along the way.

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When to Get There

Because of its proximity to Guatemala, Caracol is only accessible with a military escort. Visitors meet at a military checkpoint outside the site at 9am and join a convoy traveling to the ruins. Once at the site, you can explore freely. Late November to mid-April is Belize’s dry season and arguably the best time to visit, whereas it’s rainy between June and November.

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Rio On Pools

Located in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, en route to Caracol from San Ignacio, the Rio On Pools are a popular tour stop on the way back from the archaeological site. This natural attraction features scenic waterfalls and fresh-water pools with granite rocks and ledges. Bring your swimsuit to get the most from this picturesque setting.

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