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Caracol Jungle Ruins
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Caracol Mayan Jungle Ruins Site/ Rainforest Reserve, Belize 

Mayan Ruins Site of Caracol/Rainforest Reserve: Caracol is the most extensive Maya site known in Belize, covering 30 square miles of thick, high canopy forest and comprises a Classic-period complex that includes a number of pyramids, five plazas, and an astronomical observatory. It's estimated that 180,000 or more people lived in this area at the city-state's peak around 700A.D. Over 35,000 buildings have been identified with the loftiest pyramid reaching 139 feet, Belize's tallest building. A logger first discovered the site in 1938. Excavations did not begin until 1950 and most of work has only taken place since 1985. The central core today, as seen by visitors, consists of three plaza groups, surrounding a central acropolis, two ball courts, along with a number of smaller structures 

Situated within the Chiquibul Forest, the site and surrounding area are rich in tropical flora and fauna. Sightings of exotic birds, howler monkeys and other wildlife in the reserve as well as in route are common. Caracol is now a Maya city in the process of being recovered from the jungle. Excavation and reconstruction of the site are ongoing during the dry season. A new Visitor's Centre exhibits a number of photographs and diagrams of the site, along with artifacts and a recovered ceremonial altar. The group will spend a better part of day 4 doing a long guided jungle hike where your students will have a chance to see many different and wonderful plants and trees like the strangler figs. You might also see walking palms. These trees have roots that begin about chest high and lean as their roots grow, giving the impression that these trees are walking on stilts. Students will also have the chance to observe and learn first hand the four actual layers of leaves within a rainforest:                                                           

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