Lost and with little tourism, just one of the most important sites in the Mayan world, Caracol, a city with more than 35,000 hidden buildings in the jungle of Belize, some over 40m high. Today it has been calculated that Caracol occupies an area of about 142 square kilometers, being a clear example of the Mayan route where a country like Belize, almost hidden from tourism inside, hides authentic jewels as one of the most important cities of the past Mayan culture
The archaeological complex of Caracol
Discovered in 1937, they did not begin to be excavated until after 20 years. Already in the 21st century Caracol remains one of the many Mayan ruins in which it has barely detached itself from the force of nature and concrete from the undergrowth and the jungle. When you enter this place you can perceive a city in which it had its moment, a past of greatness, since there lived more than 15 thousand people in an era where an amount like this meant power and wealth, along with othersgreat Mayan cities like Tikal, El Mirador or Copan in Honduras. Caracol is unknown, since it does not appear in the usual destinations, that is why when you approach it your thoughts and the way of walking through its streets they make you feel a true discoverer of a fascinating world that we left behind many years ago.
The road that accesses Caracol is the prelude to the adventure or the discovery of this incredible place. The almost 4 hours from Santa Elena or San Ignacio could be long if it were not for the road to stop at one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Belize, the Seven Sister Falls or Rio on pools.
Seven Sister Falls, surely Ana will ask, where is Javier?
On the way to Caracol, like any adventure trip and from which great moments are extracted, halfway we had to be escorted for him army from Belize, for security according to them or out of curiosity, since they had been idle for several days since a small British detachment in practices in the area had left.
The escort, safer impossible !!
Once in Caracol one thinks that a city just excavated would be packed with archaeologists or correspondents of theNational Geographic, error, there is so much to do, there is so much to dig, that it looks like they are taking it with time, surely for budget and for lack of aid, in total, Belize is not a country that we call politically "clean".
Once inside the complex the visit is relatively easy. Although the complex is very large, in the part that can be visited, outside the remains where the jungle has logically ravaged, you walk along grassy paths that give access to places like the astronomical Observatory, a camp and a multitude of Mayan structures and temples.
It is curious to walk along its paths and listen to the birds and even the multitude of hauling monkeys that they approach by curiosity, screaming incessantly, making it clear that this space belongs to the jungle and that each visit is a challenge both for our senses and for the animals that live around this place.
Surely year after year Caracol is changing, since every kilometer earned in the jungle will discover countless ruins and treasures of a world that still fascinates us today. We had to leave this place reluctantly and leave for the Caribbean, but this is another trip and it's another story.
The adventurous and the escort, of course!
And do not forget to travel for free!
When to go?
Caracol is visited all year.Open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the visit to Caracol is usually with a guide armed for security, but everything depends on the problems that occurred in the area.
How to get?
Belize is always reached from Cancun or Guatemala City by stopping, as there are few flights and few direct from Europe.
Facing local transport, getting to Caracol can be an adventure. There are no buses or local means of transport to access it. If you go by car, for example, you have to take the detour on the Western Highway in st. Helen Southbound, on the left if you come from Belize City, towardsAugustine. Once in Augustine ask and go in the direction ofSeven Sister Falls down a dirt road until you reach a army control. From there they will escort you to Caracol. From Santa Elena to Caracol there are some 3 long hours, which should get up early since there is only one place to sleep, a luxury hotel with its own landing strip, so calculate how much the night can be if you do not arrive in time to return to Santa Elena ...
Another option is to go from Guatemala, since the Yaxha ruins are not too far, the bad, the border crossing, which is always a headache.
Finally, facing the car, a 4 × 4 is not necessary, since the road, although partly dirt, is in good condition. Anyway ask in the rainy season.
What to wear
If you stop at Seven Sister Falls, wear a swimsuit, it is a good place to stop for a rest and take a bath. Apart, carry water and food, since from Santa Elena there is nowhere to stock up.
Where to sleep?
On the route from Santa Elena there is a luxury hotel of about $ 300 a night. If we search cheap hotels You have to go to Santa Elena, San Ignacio and even Belmopan.