The use of airborne LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) in western Belize, Central America, has revolutionized our understanding of the spatial dynamics of the ancient Maya. This technology has enabled researchers to successfully demonstrate the large-scale human modifications made to the ancient tropical landscape, providing insight on broader regional settlement. Before the advent of this laser-based technology, heavily forested cover prevented full coverage and documentation of Maya sites. Mayanists could not fully recover or document the extent of ancient occupation and could never be sure how representative their mapped and excavated samples were relative to ancient settlement. Employing LiDAR in tropical and subtropical environments, like that of the Maya, effectively provides ground, as well as forest cover information, leading to a much fuller documentation of the complexities involved in the ancient human-nature interface. Airborne LiDAR was first flown over a 200 km2 area of the archaeological site of Caracol, Belize, in April 2009. In April and May 2013 an additional 1,057 km2 were flown with LiDAR, permitting the contextualization of the city of Caracol within its broader region and polity. The use of this technology has transformed our understanding of regional archaeology in the Maya area.