Lost civilisations in Central America
These are Belize's most famous Mayan ruins. Not quite up to scale with their sister ruins in Caracol (or Mexico and Guatemala for that matter), but what the site lacks in size, it certainly wins in serenity. The tallest of the pyramids takes you 16 metres up and allows a nice overview of the compact settings with the two manicured plazas. It has become an icon of Belize since featuring on the country's beer bottle labels. We,re sure that the Mayans would have been proud.
This must be the hidden jewel of Belize. Tucked away in the lush borderland to Guatemala are these astonishing Mayan ruins. The main pyramid, Caana, is towering the dense jungle and apparently is, with its height of 43 metres, still the tallest building in Belize. There are amazing stone carvings along with ball courts and tombs. The ruins are so difficult to get to that hardly anyone knows them, even less visits them. The only way is by a horrendous dirt road which luckily has a couple of great side trips (like "Rio on Pools" and "Big Rock Falls"), so half the adventure is getting here. So go now before the road gets sealed and puts Caracol on the tourist map.
Note: Locals recommend you join the armed escort from the military camp (located 35 km before the ruins) for the last leg of the journey, since random robberies have occurred in the past.
Peeking over the canopy of the jungle are these outstanding Maya temples. Their constructions are steeper and taller than any other Maya sites making them a truly impressive sight. As if that was not enough, their location deep in the jungle offers surprisingly good chances to see some fairly exotic wildlife, like toucans, monkeys or just curious Coatis. Temples are still being excavated while more lie hidden under the jungle carpet as small hills just waiting to tell another story from the lost Mayan world. Without the towering temples (up to 61 meters) as landmarks it would be easy to get seriously lost in the maze of jungle trails, but a trip to the top will give a little perspective. These Maya ruins are more than a been-there-done-that sight, they will for sure knock your flip-flops of.
One of the greatest and most powerful Mayan kingdom through times has left some grand temple complexes close to the Guatemalan border. It located among soft hills and big shady trees. The temples are constructed in a low fashion with many remarkable ornamental details. The main thing here are the hundreds of hieroglyphs and sculptures which is unique to Copan. Furthermore the archaeologists have cleverly excavated one of the temples from the inside to uncover the fact that temples were often built over previous existing temples. If you are a bit ruin-out and need a break, you can have a chat with the squawky macaws in the treetops at the entrance.