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Caracol Ruins is located on the western edge of the Maya Mountains within the Chiquibul Forest Reserve and 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 'shell').

Although Caracol is one of the most challenging Belize ruins to reach, the trip to Caracol is also one of the most scenic drives. It is the largest known Maya center within the country and holds "Canaa" (Sky Place), the largest pyramid or man made structure in Belize at 140 feet tall. A large part of Caracol is largely being discovered, but numerous carved monuments populate the area, and the main reservoir is an engineering masterpiece.


From Belize City go on the Western Highway to San Ignacio Town. Caracol is a 2-½ hour drive from San Ignacio town on the Cristo Rey Road, driving towards Mountain Pine Ridge. When you reach Douglas D'Silva Forest Station you must drive another 45 minutes until you reach the Caracol Archaeological Reserve. The trip is WORTH it!


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