There’s a reason Belize’s Cayo District is called “the breadbasket of the Caribbean.” It's home to thriving citrus, beans, corn, plantain, banana, veggie, and papaya farms plus tilapia, and dairy industries. Cayo not only helps feed Belize but exports contribute mightily to the economy.
In addition to all of this bounty, an abundance of beauty distinguishes this district from others. Visitors find verdant parks, pristine rivers, animal sanctuaries, and spectacular waterfalls all within Cayo’s boundaries, so make it a point to undertake all of these experiences during your stay so you enjoy "the full Cayo experience"!
1. Visit Maya ruins and caves. Belize has more of them than elsewhere in the world and the most noteworthy are in Cayo: ATM Cave, Barton Creek Cave, Che Chem Ha Cave, Caracol, Cahal Pech, and Xunantunich.
2. Get to know the people of Cayo whose heritages and ethnicities are especially diverse within this English-speaking nation. Among them are Mayas, Mestizos, Chinese, Creoles, Lebanese and German-speaking Mennonites.
3. Roam San Ignacio, a popular town known for its colorful, impressive open-air market that sprawls along the riverfront and defies visitors to leave without having purchased food, art or both!
4. Discover why Cayo is often called “Belize’s wild west.” This is the acknowledged “eco-tourism heartland” of the nation and a delightful experience for anyone eager to know what Eden looked like once upon a time.
5. Take photos of yourself riding at least one hand-cranked ferry to show friends and family how rivers are forded in a nation that prioritizes nostalgia over powerboats that can disrupt the natural environment.
6. Visit the British-built Hawksworth Bridge that connects San Ignacio to the town of Santa Elena. This is the longest suspension bridge in Belize but it’s the perfect scenic walk to see San Ignacio’s twin town.
7. Take in as many majestic waterfalls as time allows. Cayo’s bounty of cascades includes Thousand Foot Falls, a spectacular place proclaimed Centra America’s largest and most impressive waterfall.
8. Cayo District is home to the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, a 300-square mile wonderland filled with hundreds of bird species, exotic trees, and endangered animals like jaguars and Morelet’s crocodiles.
9. Float down the Macal River after learning a little more about this waterway that was one of the major trade and transportation conduits for the Maya people. It remains as lush and picturesque as it did back then. Or go on the Pontoon Tour of the Vaca Lake. The Vaca Lake is a large body of pristine water surrounded by a verdant jungle and is home to some of the most stunning waterfalls in the country.
10. Meet some of the ex-pats who have fallen in love with Cayo and made the decision to move to Belize based on the area’s mix of beauty, low cost-of-living, and remarkable attractions.
11. Choose the San Ignacio Resort Hotel for its ambiance, elegance, and impeccable service when you come to Cayo. This family-owned boutique property, situated on a 17-acre estate, is just 5 minutes away from San Ignacio Town and staff can make arrangements to get you to all of the sites on this list.
12. Emulate other visitors to the San Ignacio Resort Hotel by checking out real estate during your visit. Whether you’re just curious or actively shopping for a retirement investment or vacation home, the hotel’s concierge can introduce you to a Cayo property specialist.
13. Obtain information about Belize's fabulous Retirement Program while you learn about Cayo’s real estate market, where steady home value increases, affordable pricing, help with financing, and a legal system based on British law can get you into the place you dream about more easily than you imagine.