The Maya ruins of Belize include a number of well-known and historically important pre-Columbian Maya archaeological sites. Belize is considered part of the southern Maya lowlands of the Mesoamerican culture area, and the sites found there were occupied from the Preclassic (2000 BCE–200 CE) until and after the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century.
Many sites are in danger due to destruction by construction companies, which frequently source road fill from the ancient ruins.
Historically the most important site, Caracol ('the snail' in Spanish), is located in western Belize, near the border with Guatemala and within the Belizean part of the Peten rainforest. Caracol was the center of one of the largest Maya kingdoms and today contains the extant remains of thousands of structures. The city was an important player in the Classic period political struggles of the southern Maya lowlands, and is known for defeating and subjugating Tikal (while allied with Calakmul, located in Campeche, Mexico).
The site of Cerros, located on Corozal Bay in northern Belize, is notable as one of the earliest Maya sites, reaching its apogee during the Late Preclassic on Corozal Bay, and for the presence of an E-Group, a unique structural complex found in Maya architecture.