San Ignacio, set amidst the breathtaking scenery of Belize’s Cayo District, is a paradise for those seeking adventure. During your stay in this vibrant city, you can get a taste of Belizean culture and explore some of the country’s most renowned attractions: from ancient Mayan ruins to cascading waterfalls and mysterious caves – all within easy reach!
Why visit San Ignacio, Belize?
San Ignacio is a beautiful town that is worth visiting. You can spend 3 to 5 days there. It is a good place to visit after or before going to the beaches of Belize.
San Ignacio boasts plenty of nightlife venues and eco-friendly accommodation options, making it an unforgettable travel experience. Plus, due to the town’s proximity to Guatemala, Tikal archaeological site is just within reach – making it even more accessible for exploration.
Things to do in San Iganacio
Now let’s go over some of the incredible things to do in this Belizian city! There are plenty of adrenaline-fueled adventures to enjoy in San Ignacio.
ATM Cave Tour (Actun Tunichil Muknal)
The ATM Cave Tour takes visitors through ancient Mayan ruins and breathtaking rock formations that date all the way back to 1000 BC. Explorers will also have the chance to appreciate several breathtaking cenotes inside the cave.
The tour is one-of-a-kind, as it combines hiking and swimming to explore the unique natural pools scattered along the course of the river. After a few hours in the cave, visitors come face to face with some of Belize’s oldest artifacts – pottery, jade jewelry and even human skeletal remains.
Ancient Mayan Ruins
If you’re an avid fan of history and archaeology like me, don’t miss the lasting remains of Caracol—the remarkable Maya ruins in San Ignacio. Due to its remote location and lack of visitors, Caracol offers a secluded experience where you won’t need to worry about overcrowding.
Xunantunich Ancient Ruins
If you can’t make it to Caracol, don’t be discouraged! There are many other awe-inspiring Maya sites for you to explore. One of the best is Xunantunich Ruins – not only easy to access but also incredibly impressive in its own right.
Cahal Pech Archaeological Reserve
The site is high up on a hill overlooking where the Macal and Mopan Rivers meet. There are 34 structures, with the tallest temple about 25 meters tall. The buildings are situated around a central area called an acropolis. Although not as big as some other ancient ruins, this site is intricate with its buildings, tunnels, and passages that all twist and turn like a complicated maze.
Go Cave Tubing
Get ready to unwind and have fun – floating down the Cave Branch River in an inner tube is one of San Ignacio’s most exciting activities! The winding river weaves its way through a complex network of caves.
Go Horseback Riding
Embark on a breathtaking equestrian adventure, where you will have the opportunity to explore vibrant organic farms, tour magnificent ancient ruins, witness the magnificence of a picturesque sunset ride and unearth mysterious jungle cities within the depths of the rainforest.
Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve
Incredibly, it is home to pine forests – an uncommon yet captivating sight amidst a tropical climate! While the trees are certainly a marvel, the true beauty of this forest lies in its otherworldly waterfalls, calming natural pools, mysterious caves, and winding rivers. The reserve is truly an explorer’s paradise!
Explore the Barton Creek Cave
A must-see journey from San Ignacio is a trip to the awe-inspiring Barton Creek Cave in Cayo District. Long ago, it was an essential ceremonial ground of the Mayans, and now visitors can marvel at its exotic rock formations as they hike through the vibrant jungle.
Embark on an adventure through the waters in these majestic cathedral-like chambers, paddling a canoe or inner tube to your destination. Whether you opt for a leisurely paddle or daring swim, there is simply no better way to explore!
Observe the Local Butterfly Species
Green Hills Butterfly Ranch is the best place to see butterflies in Belize. The butterflies are so numerous that you can even walk among them! You can also see pretty flowers like passion flowers, heliconias, and orchids.
Eat at The Guava Limb Restaurant & Café
At first glance, this place may not look like much, but as soon as you enter this cafe, the stunning botanical garden-like atmosphere will take your breath away. The extraordinary flavors of its fresh ingredients and micro greens in every dish make it a heavenly experience!
Visit the Local Market
If you’re lucky enough to be in town either Saturday or Tuesday morning, visit the bustling market along the riverbank! These two days attract many farmers across the district selling fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy goods. At the market, you will also find artisans who are selling their crafted pieces. There will also be herbalists there selling medicinal herbs.