Feel free to leave your comments
below. If you want to share your knowledge, additional information
or experience in a particular place your input is more than
Caracol Archaeological Site
or El Caracol (Spanish for snail) Archaeological Site is located 25 miles from a
Xunantunich in the Cayo District in Belize.Sitting high
above sea level on the Vaca Plateau at 503 meters (1500 ft) this
beautiful city was one of the largest Mayan cities and the largest in
Location: 40 km South of Xunantunich, Cayo District
Description of Caracol Archaeological Site
Caracol Archaeological Site was known to the Mayans as Oxhuitza, the site was occupied as early as
1200 BC and had its greatest period during Maya Classic period between
485 AD and 889 AD then over 40 monuments were constructed. It covered
65 square miles (168 km2) and had a population of 120,000 to 180,000.
Amazingly it has no natural water sources to feed the city. Instead
its citizens build large reservoirs to store rain water and use it for
drinking and irrigation of crops. Competition with other Mayan city-
states held back the development of the city, but in 562 AD Caracol’s armies under
the leadership of Yajaw Te' K'inich II (Lord Water)
defeated Tikal’s army, a powerful neighbouring city in modern
Tikal’s chief Double Bird was captured and sacrificed to the gods. From
this point of Caracol experienced rapid growth in area and population,
Tikal’s power on the other hand decreased and dwindled.
Caracol was rediscovered in 1938. However the first
expedition was sent in the early fifties. Digs still go on and many
structures of the city are still hidden in the jungle.
Drive toward the city of Caracol is quiet long and
confusing. Taking a map and directions if you chose to travel there
in a rented car is preferable.
The best place to start would me people in your hotel. They probably
would to like you to come back in one piece thus their directions
would most detailed. The road to the city is moderate, but taking a 4
wheel drive vehicle is preferable.
Known rulers of
(Note that this list
is not continuous, as the archaeological record is incomplete)
The Caracol archaeological
site was discovered in 1938.
More extensive explorations and documentation of the site was
undertaken by the University of Pennsylvania in 1951 and 1953. A project of
archaeological excavations and restorations of the ancient structures
at Caracol started in 1985
and is ongoing. The project is currently directed by Drs. Arlen and
Diane Chase of the University of Central Florida in Orlando.