The Caracol Mayan Ruins is situated deep within the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. It is the largest known Maya site in Belize and the largest in the Mundo Maya. It is said that Caracol was one of the most important regional political centers in the classic period. Caracol covered an area much bigger than modern day Belize City.
Caracol is home to “Caana”, meaning “sky palace”. It is Belize’s highest structure with a height of approximately 141 feet. Aerial laser mapping done over Caracol has shown that there are vast areas uncovered. Some of these areas feature paved causeways and agricultural terraces that once fed the Maya population.
In conjunction with Caana, structures at caracol incorporate 24 known stelae, 24 alters, a ball court, stores, causeways, 5 squares, an astronomic observatory, central acropolis, two ball courts, over 35,000 known buildings and more than 100 tombs.
It was believed that Caracol was originally a client state of Tikal, however grew more important and thus creating a rift and finally a war in which it defeated Tikal and Naranjo Mayan cities. Additionally, there is evidence indicating that Caracol survived the initial collapse of the Maya civilization.