Discovered in 1938 and later explored in the 1950’s, Caracol was thought to be little more than a Maya ceremonial center. It was not until more extensive excavation efforts began in 1985 that the importance and expanse of Caracol became known. In 1986, a round, elaborately carved altar stone was uncovered which described a victory by Caracol over Tikal, once considered to be the most powerful Maya metropolis. This discovery filled an important missing piece of Maya history, covering approximately 140 years in the Middle Classic period, and positioned Caracol as the “Supreme” Maya city. The largest pyramid at Caracol, the Canaa, (Maya for “sky place”) rises 140 feet and is the tallest man made structure in all of Belize. Caracol is located 2 hours south of San Ignacio, in the Maya Mountains.