Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Mayan Ruins of Caracol

I can't put my finger on it, but there's something about traipsing through ancient ruins that makes me feel very small. I guess it just puts everything in perspective making me realize how many thousands of years humans have been around before me and how the species will do just fine continuing to exist long after I'm gone. It makes me feel small but part of something bigger at the same time. 

Visiting the Mayan ruins of Caracol in western Belize has been one of my favourite experiences so far in Central America. Our day started at 7am in San Ignacio in front of the PACZ tour office on Burns Avenue. My sister arrived the afternoon before and it was so nice to see her smiling face again. Everyone meet my little sister Rachelle!

Back to the ruins -- 14 of us piled into a van with our knowledgeable guide Bruce to begin our bumpy two and a half hour journey into the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. "It's going to get worse before it gets better!" Bruce warned. "Only the last 10 km before Caracol is paved road." He was an excellent driver though and navigated our van through muddy terrain that others weren't able to pass through. "Good thing we didn't rent a car," I muttered to Rachelle since that was our original plan. 

I'm not going to bore you with the details of Caracol's historical significance since you'd probably just skim it anyway, but there were two main points that I took away. 

One, Caracol is the largest Mayan site in all of Belize and its peak defeated its rival Tikal (currently in Guatemala). Two, the site is theorized to have been abandoned due to over farming of the land. The Mayans cleared out and exploited the forest to the point where it could no longer support their massive population of 150, 000 people.

Here are some photos from our day...

caracol belize mayan ruins

caracol belize

caracol belize view

temple caracol belize

caracol belize

king face caracol belize


caracol belize temples

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  1. Replies
    1. haha why thanks Candice! Would you believe that's after wearing SPF 30 every day??

  2. I visited some ruins in Mexico a few years ago . . . All I can really remember is how dang hot it was. Good for you for being able to take something more than that away from the experience! Even though I'm sure it was just as hot for you! Haha :)

    1. Omg I had a little sweat towel in my bag that I used the entire day. Those steps were exhausting!! You can see the sheen on sweat in one of the pictures towards the end when i'm sitting down.

    2. But lucky for you, it looks like you have a model-esque glow rather than a sweat sheen. Haha you look so pretty in all of these pics! :)

  3. Looks magnificent, great photos. I totally understand what you mean about feeling so little!

  4. Amazing photos! Totally understand what you mean about feeling small. I am really tall and always feel small when I travel :)

  5. Nice photos! I understand what you mean, being next to something so massive and historic can make you feel small. But at the same time it can be liberating -- experiencing something so old is a treasure. Sheesh, what sunscreen do you use? I don't see any sign of sweating, just a modelesque glow. :)

  6. Beautiful photos! I know what you mean about feeling so small next to something so big and historic. It must have been such an amazing experience.
    Can I just say your tan is amazing and I agree with Donald...I don't see any signs of sweating. Nice!

    xo, jackie


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