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Caracol
Caracol

Caracol

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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Caracol Maya Ruins Tour Including Rio On Pools, Rio Frio Cave and a Picnic Lunch
Caracol Maya Ruins Tour Including Rio On Pools, Rio Frio Cave and a Picnic Lunch
$125.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Ruins, caves, birds, swimming
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.
Ab-Wh, Jun 2021

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
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.
star-5
The ride to Caracol wasn't too bad...
Devaka Y, Aug 2017
Caracol Day Trip & Mountain Pine Ridge from San Ignacio
The ride to Caracol wasn't too bad. The ruins are amazing and swimming in the waterfall after was also great.
star-5
Our tour guide, Peter, was very...
Jennifer P, Feb 2017
Private Caracol Tour from San Ignacio
Our tour guide, Peter, was very knowledgeable. This tour included a home cooked lunch which was amazing and really helped to make the day wonderful! The road is bumpy and long but the car was comfortable and air conditioned.
star-5
The tour was awesome. Carla was our...
Samantha F, May 2017
Private Caracol Tour from San Ignacio
The tour was awesome. Carla was our guide and she was great! She was very knowledgeable and made us feel like she had known us for years. She also gave us great advice on another outing we were taking on our own the next day.
star-5
Carla with St Leonard's Tours is...
Amber H, Dec 2016
Private Caracol Tour from San Ignacio
Carla with St Leonard's Tours is fantastic! Be ready for an adventure! The drive is long and rocky, so be prepared for a long day. Caracol site is worth the trip. On the way back, the gorgeous water falls stole my heart! Carla was professional and very accommodating! Worth every penny!
star-5
Caracol visit
Companion29742150290, Dec 2018
Caracol Maya Ruins Tour Including Rio On Pools, Rio Frio Cave and a Picnic Lunch
It was a fascinating adventure. We took a 3 hour drive along dirt roads to reach the site but it was well worth the journey. Had a great guide and it was not completely filled with tourists. Other sites have much more traffic. I would definitely recommend this trip to my friends... I look forward to seeing more of Belize.
star-5
Excellent tour. The guide was part...
Harrison H, Jan 2017
Caracol Day Trip & Mountain Pine Ridge from San Ignacio
Excellent tour. The guide was part of the excavation project in the '90's and had lots of excellent insight into the archaeology and history of the area. On the return trip, he was flexible on our visit to a local cave and the Rio on Pools swimming site. The driver provided the opportunity for a stop en-route, which was appreciated. The vehicle was clean and in good shape considering its arduous daily journey. The driver took his time with potholes, making for a very pleasant ride given the rough circumstances.
star-5
The drive to Caracol is not...
jfritzaz51, Mar 2018
Private Caracol Tour from San Ignacio
The drive to Caracol is not easy........there is only one road filled with lots of holes. Be prepared for a long day. Our guide from St Leonards Tours, Carla was fantastic! She was aware that the tour time was very early so picked up breakfast at a local restaurant in San Ignacio. Best flour tortillas we have ever had! Carla is most knowledgeable about the history of the Mayas and eager to share the information. Had a wonderful picnic lunch experiencing some of the local flavors. Most impressed by the concerns locals have about their environment.
star-5
Very good tour company and tour. I felt...
Clayton K, Oct 2017
Private Caracol Tour from San Ignacio
Very good tour company and tour. I felt like guide's friend.
star-5
We had a really fabulous time on...
Gina, Mar 2017
Caracol Day Trip & Mountain Pine Ridge from San Ignacio
We had a really fabulous time on this tour. Our guide, Selwin, is of Mayan decent and is very knowledgeable and provided all kinds of great information. It takes over two hours to get to Caracol and the road is very bumpy but once out there, it's quiet and feels like a very authentic, rather than touristy, archaeological site. We were a little rushed at the end and did feel like we didn't have enough time at the largest buildings. The site closes at 2:00 and it's hard to fit everything in with the time allotted. The tour included a visit to a cave and swimming at a waterfall. Be sure to bring your swimming suit and and a towel. Pack bug spray and sunscreen as well.

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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