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One monument here records a military victory over the army of Tikal — a larger Mayan city across the border in Guatemala — in 562CE, where Caracol’s Lord Water is shown to have captured and sacrificed Tikal’s Double Bird.
Part of the excitement was having AK-47 toting members of the Belize Defence Forces escort us from the Mountain Pine Ridge ranger station to the ruins. Apparently, about two years ago, a group of Guatemalan bandits (angry about the aforementioned defeat of Tikal, I’m sure…) crossed the border and held up a couple of tour buses. While the bandits were caught long ago (and presumably taken out back and shot) the Belizean authorities aren’t taking any chances with their tourist revenue.
The ruins themselves were just amazing, and we were two of 30 people in the park that day, so had the place largely to ourselves. Simply amazing.