As you prepare for your 2023 Belize vacation, you’re wise to put the following 9 must-see places on your itinerary. A wiser move would be to stay at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel so you can immerse yourself during an authentic Belize getaway. All these experiences can be arranged by your resort host, so your itinerary is only limited by the amount of time you can spend at “the only jungle in town”!
1. Visit the San Ignacio Market. It’s the place to see and be seen on Saturday mornings between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. This is a mecca for shoppers. Vendors fill their stalls with pastries, drinks, snacks, crafts, clothing, and household items, but the heart of the market is its social scene, so come for more than the fruit.
2. Meet the iguanas at the Iguana Conservation Project. Located on the grounds of the San Ignacio Resort Hotel, this ecological installation is more than an opportunity to learn about the role these critters play in the nation’s ecological balance as you find out about the incubation, hatching, rearing, and releasing process. One visit and you’ll understand why this is consistently rated Belize’s #1 attraction.
3. Visit the Maya Ruins at Xunantunich and Cahal Pech. If your time in Belize isn’t long enough to check out all 900+ ruins, you’ll get a good handle on these ancient sites by visiting two of the most prominent during a tour that caters to curious people of all ages. Wander vast temple grounds that were once the center of thriving societies that elevated art, science, and innovation to remarkable heights.
4. Explore the ATM Cave. The moment you enter Actun Tunichil Muknal cave, you’ll be enchanted by the endless array of primitive formations, stalactites, and stalagmites filling every inch of this 3-mile-long cave. Named for skeletal remains of a calcite-encrusted woman found by archaeologists, this tour never disappoints.
5. Go Zip Lining. Do you dream of how it would feel to speed over a jungle canopy tethered to a sturdy rig that delivers the thrill of a lifetime? This is your opportunity to tailor your desire for thrills and chills with an assortment of choices that allow you to choose the length of your experience as well as the amount of drama you prefer. Expect to be gobsmacked by the time you’re untethered.
6. Discover majestic waterfalls in Mountain Pine Ridge; Rio on Pools and Big Rock. Visitors saying yes to a tour of these locations tend to use the word “breathtaking” when describing every aspect of their journey through this forest reserve. This 300-square-mile haven of forest, valleys, caves, and waterfalls is life-affirming. Pick the tour that offers you the chance to splash in a waterfall pool.
7. Go Bird watching. There’s a reason travelers interested in bird watching proclaim Belize the birding capital of the Western Hemisphere, but you can be a neophyte and still find yourself spellbound by the sheer beauty and variety of the 119 bird species that have been spotted throughout the nation. Binoculars are mandatory if you don’t want to miss a single detail of these magnificent, winged creatures.
8. Canoe the Macal River. Travelers who want their water-born experiences to be easy on the eye and body flock to the Macal River for a soothing canoeing experience set within a rain forest amid the Maya Mountains. There’s lots to see along the banks including creatures that inhabit the water and the banks, so in addition to a relaxing outing, you’ll learn lots about the area’s flora and fauna.
9. Take a Jungle Pontoon tour. If jumping into the water is the last thing you care to do during your Belize getaway, a jungle pontoon ride is the ideal way to explore Belize’s jungles without having to trek through them. You’ll be treated to dramatic waterfalls and encounter exotic birds and primates along the banks, so you stay dry but don’t miss any of the sites that make San Ignacio unique and compelling.