Belize: Caracol

Caracol, Belize

On our third day in Belize, Caracol was the destination. Caracol is a very large (and very out of the way) Mayan site up in the foothills of the mountains in the Cayo district (west-central Belize). It's seriously remote--bring lots of water, and make sure there's lots of gas in your truck! It took us about two hours of driving on some very, very bad roads to get there.

Obviously the trip was worth it. We got there around 9 or 10 am, before the tour groups arrived, and before the sun got too oppressive. There was a nice mix of excavated ruins in the sun, and unexcavated or partially-excavated ruins beneath the jungle canopy.

Caracol, Belize

Caracol is home to Belize's tallest Mayan pyramid, called Caana (sky palace). It rises 140 feet into the sky...Caracol, Belize

... and sports a pretty awesome view from the top. Never mind the dude with the machine gun.

Caracol, Belize

A lot of the structures have cool rooms you can go inside.

Caracol, Belize

As part of the ongoing excavation effort at Caracol, huts have been built for archaeologists to work and live in.Caracol, Belize Caracol, Belize

It's so cool to see something partially excavated, like this:Caracol, Belize

... and know that it will someday be completely dug out, like this.Caracol, Belize

Caracol, Belize

Caracol, Belize

Caracol, Belize

Monuments at ball courts depict Caracol's victory in war with Tikal, another Mayan settlement almost 60 miles away in Guatemala.Caracol, Belize

After a hot, sweaty morning climbing ruins, we stopped by this little waterfall for a swim. Caracol, Belize

Back at our cabin in the Cahal Pech Village Resort, we relaxed by the pool in the shade of banana trees... Banana heart

And watched the sun set behind this super cool pterodactyl fountain.Pterodactyl at Cahal Pech Village Resort


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