San Ignacio Belize
Known locally as "Cayo", San Ignacio is located along the Western Highway about 70 miles west and 90 minutes drive from Belize City and 9 miles east of the Guatemalan border. From exploring Maya archeological sites to canoeing down the Macal River San Ignacio Belize is a nature lovers dream come true.
There is a multitude of things to do in San Ignacio. The town is filled with archaeologists, peace corps workers, North American retirees and thrill seekers all here to experience the many interesting and unique adventures that San Ignacio has to offer. Tourists love the frontier-like wooden shops on narrow streets where they can shop to their hearts content or eat some wonderful local cuisine.
Mayan Culture and History
Belize is recognized as the center of the ancient Maya world and it was here in the "central lowlands" of western Belize and the Guatemalan Petén that the ancient Maya flourished during the Classic Period from 300 to 900 AD. Archaeologists now estimate that 2,000,000 Mayans once lived in what is now Belize.
Visitors can experience first hand the interesting world of the Mayans through the exploration the Mayan ruins of Caracol, Xunantunich, El Pilar and Cahal Pech in Cayo District, and Tikal and Yaxh´ in nearby Guatemala.
You can also expand your journey back through time by entering the amazing realm of Belize's cave systems, with a chance to learn more about a mysterious ancient Maya civilization and geological processes that shaped the region. Caves open for exploration include: Actun Tunichil Muknal (Cayo's newest jungle cave attraction, discovered in 1989), Caves Branch, Black Hole Drop and Barton Creek Cave.
Mountain Pine Ridge Ecosystem
If at all possible, anyone and everyone that comes to San Ignacio Belize should try to get to Mountain Pine Ridge. It's an amazing place filled with pine trees for one, but also amazing views, caves, pools, waterfalls and rocks you can jump off. Some theorize this out-of-place ecosystem is the remnant of a volcanic island that long ago collided with the mainland.
Some of the sites to see at Mountain Pine ridge include 1000 foot falls, which is really more like 1500 or 1600 feet, and it is thought to be the tallest waterfall in Central America. Also, on the list of things to do here is Rio Frio Cave. Rio Frio Cave isn't so much of a cave as it is a naturally formed tunnel and inside it is a quarter mile to the other side, so you are still going to need a flashlight.
Everything is big in this cave! The two 65-foot arched entry ways leave you in awe. Huge stalactites hang from the massive cathedral-like vault, which is part of a cave system the Maya used to bury their dead. Room size boulders are strewn throughout the cave and a stream flows through, forming pools with cascading falls.
The Green Iguana Project at San Ignacio Resort Hotel
Over the past few years, we at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel have been at the forefront of conservation for the threatened Green Iguana. A highly interpretive and educational exhibit has been designed within the Resort's property in order to create a closer look at this amazing reptile, and to learn how vital they could be to the ecological balance of the river habitat.
This unique encounter with the descendants of the dinosaurs takes an hour to complete and may be combined with a complete guided Medicinal Jungle Trail tour, hiking along the Macal River, bird watching, swimming, and even lunch at the resort.
Other Family Friendly Fun in San Ignacio
San Ignacio has an array of exciting and adventurous things to do, but for a more relaxing, low key time there are many nice parks in the area that have picnic tables, soccer fields, basketball courts and more. After playing in one of the many well-kept parks try an ice cream at the local Cayo Twist Ice Cream Shop located in the Cahal Pech area.
Contact us to learn more about San Ignacio Cayo