Driving to Caracol on your own (self drive)
Driving to Caracol was one of our highlights in the two weeks we spent in Belize. The road to Caracol was incredibly scenic and the isolated ruins were unique and worth the trek (as many reviews indicate). We had a fantastic guide to Tikal who gave us extensive information on Tikal, but also referred to Caracol among other Mayan Ruins so we did not hire a guide, although there were some available (unsure of the fee) at the entrance to the ruins. We spent much of our time alone or with less than 5 people as we explored the ruins. There was a full family of howler monkeys barking In a tree on the main trail as we entered. A flock of oro pendula birds and their fascinating nests among other birds, butterflies, and lizards are within the grounds. Make sure to pack your lunch and plenty of water as the supplies are basically nonexistent at Caracol.
Both roads (below) were incredibly bumpy in areas (it was primarily a red dirt road; until closer to the ruins where it was paved for a few kilometres). During our visit in March we did not need to use the 4WD - but it would be necessary in wetter months. High clearance is recommended on these roads.
Caracol via Cristo Rey
We drove to Caracol via Santa Elena - Cristo Rey - San Antonio. This road was a longer distance and clearly had less maintenance. The bumps in the road were very deep. We later discovered that tour guides exclusively use the other road through Georgeville (which we have left details for below). There is a gas station in San Antonio Village. It took us nearly 2hrs to get to the military convoy checkpoint going this way - but would be faster taking the Georgeville route.
Caracol via Georgeville
We returned via Georgeville, which had been maintained to a greater degree. Thereu were long stretches of rough washboard, but fewer deep bumps. Other vehicles travel quite quickly on this road (50kmh or so) and can kick up quite a bit of dust in he dry season. Keep your eyes open for wildlife (we saw a grey fox bounding down the road).
Directions to the Convoy via Georgeville (leaving 9:30am, returning 2pm)
16 kilometres from Georgeville to the Mountain Pine Ridge Park Entrance (there is a checkpoint and gate)
23 kilometres from the checkpoint at the Mountain Pine Ridge Park Entrance to Douglas Da Silva Station (where the military convoy starts). There were only 6 vehicles escorted by 1 army jeep when we went. There is also a washroom.
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