You’re doing a happy dance because travel restrictions are easing, you feel comfortable getting on a plane and you’ve heard that Cahal Pech Village Resort in Belize has re-opened under updated health and safety protocols. Now, what will you see when you come down? Maximize your time at Cahal Pech by putting these 10 bucket-worthy sites on your itinerary.
1. Visit Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave
This destination was named by National Geographic as the world’s #1 sacred site and you’ll agree the moment you spot the stalactites and stalagmites hanging down and popping up from the cave’s environs like ancient weapons safeguarding treasures left behind by the Maya. Spot artifacts and bathe in the wonder of this remarkable cave.
2. Explore Tikal ruins in Guatemala
Just across the border from Belize, step back in time for a different perspective on Maya ruins. You needn’t know a thing about architecture to be awed by this magnificent site, made more dramatic by the fact that you traverse dense jungle to reach the place that was once home to a sophisticated and vibrant society.
3. Go Cave Tubing
Board a fat inner tube to glide down the Caves Branch River and enter another cave filled with passageways and treasures abandoned by Maya priests. The tour begins when you climb onboard and, accompanied by a guide, drift effortlessly along as you spot wonders and surprises at every bend in the river. An ideal choice for folks eager to see Maya ritual caves from a more comfortable perch.
4. Tour San Ignacio Market
The colors will excite you. The merchants? They love tourists and everyone speaks English. The market is located along a Macal River bank. Browse stalls featuring everything from herbal medicines to handmade art, jewelry and clothing. If you leave without snacking on panades or a sapodilla fruit dessert, your visit won’t be complete.
5. Visit Barton Creek Cave
Interior formations are so dramatic, you'll compare the cave to a cathedral environs. These vaulted chambers are that breathtaking. Discovered 50 years ago, this cave is also filled with Maya artifacts so as you paddle along (the guide does the paddling!) keep your eyes peeled for these ancient treasures.
Climb over granite boulders to reach the site of waterfalls spilling from 150-feet aloft to fill the perfectly round pool below with water. Visitors have called this site a near-religious experience. If you agree, jump in for a swim and consider yourself among the baptized.
7. Check out Caracol Maya Ruins
Caracol is the largest Maya city excavated in Belize, so prepare yourself for grandeur on a huge scale. Encounter majestic temples and Sky Palace, a pyramid that is the nation’s tallest man-made structure. Once home to 100,000+ people, even jaded tourists find this ruin to be a jewel worthy of admiration.
8. Climb El Castillo at Xunantunich
Staying fit during your holiday is easy if you commit to climbing El Castillo, the world-famous heart of the ruins at Xunantunich. The second tallest building in Belize, this once-prosperous city was abandoned nearly 1,000 years ago. Make time to see the onsite museum when you visit to learn more about the history of this magnificent ruin.
9. Canoe the Macal River
Your knowledgeable guide will share fascinating details about the river and its environs. It’s the perfect balance of relaxation and exercise as you process down the river, spotting giant iguana, turtles and other local wildlife on the banks. Paddle past rock canyons and catch glimpses of lush vegetation along this tranquil waterway.
10. Watch birds
Discover why birdwatchers call Belize the bird capital of the world. Spot rare year-round visitors as well as migratory flocks hanging out as they rest along flyways. Easy on the eyes and satisfying for the soul, bird watching in Belize will delight and relax you -- particularly if you let your Cahal Pech Resort host handle every detail associated with your long-awaited visit!