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“Mayan ruins that rival Tikal”

Caracol Mayan Ruins
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Private Caracol Tour from San Ignacio
Ranked #3 of 70 things to do in Cayo
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: This 30-acre complex is the largest Mayan ruin in Belize.
Charlotte, NC
Level Contributor
26 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Mayan ruins that rival Tikal”
Reviewed November 30, 2013

I went to Tikal last year when I was in Guatemala so visiting Mayan ruins was not a new experience for me. These are pretty similar so are probably not as exciting for someone who has already seen Tikal but definitely cool for someone who has never seen them. Having seen both, I would say that this was an equally interesting experience for me. These ruins are not as fully excavated and you are mostly walking through the grass/woods to get to the ruins, whereas Tikal is catered more to tourists with the paths. For me, having it closer to its natural state is what made this a great experience. There weren't as many people as at Tikal so you could visit without having hoards of other people diminishing the experience for you or cluttering your pictures. I went with Luis from Belize Nature Travel, and he was very good, attentive and very knowledgeable but you could definitely drive yourself and check it out and appreciate it without a tour guide. Of course, with a tour guide, you get a much more in-depth history of the ruins so I guess it depends on whether you truly enjoy history or if you just think it would be cool to see and photograph (or you're on a strict budget).

It was fun climbing the pyramids and some of the carvings here were very interesting. There were a ton of butterflies in the park but not much else in terms of wildlife--there was a lot more at Tikal. Getting to Caracol was an adventure in and of itself because the roads were quite terrible but having a guide who is experienced at navigating the roads helps a lot.If you are interested at all in Mayan culture or have never seen Mayan pyramids, this is definitely a must-see if you are in Belize.

Visited November 2013
1 Thank Anu M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Amazing large Maya City”
Reviewed November 17, 2013

We visited Caracol out of Blancaneaux Lodge and they took care of everything. It was a 45 min ride from the lodge if I remember correctly and the roads from the lodge to Caracol are much better than the road into the lodge. I think you could drive there on your own but there is so much to learn from a good guide that I think it would be a mistake not to get one. There is a display of carved alters for instance - and a good guild can explain everything about them and read the symbols. The place is amazing and a very large Mayan city. The main temple is very high and
remember to TAKE WATER along and pace yourself. It can be very hot and the steps up are HUGE.
You don't want to be so exhausted when climbing it. There are so many pyramids there also - so chose which ones you want to climb or you may be too tired to climb the bigger ones!

Visited May 2013
Thank Chuckil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“amazing ruins and worth the drive”
Reviewed November 8, 2013

A long and bumpy road but worth it when you get there. Quieter than the other ruins closer to town or the bigger ones like Tikal but the upside is you are more likely to have it all to yourself and can clamber over everything to your heart's content without hoards of other visitors! We booked through David's Adventure Tours based in San Ignacio and Everal was our guide. He was friendly and his style of guiding allowed us to appreciate it in our own time without being too overbearing. We liked David's Adventure Tours so booked with them to visit ATM caves the next day with Carlos. Definitely recommend both attractions and David's.

Visited November 2013
Thank mcspazzo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yakima, WA
Level Contributor
29 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“A Mayan Ruin worth the time and effort to get to its remote location”
Reviewed October 12, 2013

The Caracol Mayan Ruins is one of the best sites we have visited. We had the added benefit of being the only people at the site, saw a family of howler monkeys, laid in the grass & had a wild horse come nudge my face with his nose. We were self guided and had full access to the whole site (That concerned us in regards to people respecting and protecting the site - Different than sites like Chichen Itza that has many restricted areas but also has great guide tours). We stayed at Francis Coppola's resort: Blancaneaux - OUTSTANDING property! All of this is a bit remote but worth the time and costs.

Visited November 2012
1 Thank maa3737
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
181 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“The best of the Belizean Mayan Ruins!”
Reviewed October 11, 2013

These ruins are worth the long and bumpy ride! Amazing history at this site! I preferred to it Tikal! Be sure to have a driver who regularly drives the route, and a guide with an archaeological background! We had an excellent driver/guide, who gave us all the details we needed - and made a connection to all the other southern Maya sites. (In comparison, guides from 2 different Pine Ridge resorts were giving their guests very little information, and their tours ended an hour before ours did.) As at all sites, good walking shoes, sunscreen, bug spray and rain jackets are a must. No food or water available at the site - so be sure to bring your own!

Visited October 2013
2 Thank bearhug68jr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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