The Cayo District is one of the most naturally stunning stretches of land in all of Central America. From traditional farmland to ancient ruins to tracts of jungle, there's plenty to explore within the Cayo District. Let these 20 amazing facts serve as the inspiration for your next vacation.
1. It Hosts the Largest Mennonite Population in the Country
With a population of just over 2,000 Mennonite residents, Spanish Lookout is like a glimpse into the past. But the traditional culture of this population is starting to give way to new values, and this community offers a fascinating look into how the past and present converge.
2. Hand-Cranked Ferries Are Still a Reasonable Means of Transport
Speaking of old traditions, many in the Cayo District still use hand-cranked ferries to ford rivers. These low tech boats are one of the principle means for traveling to Maya sites and Mennonite community centers.
3. It Has the Highest Density of Maya Ceremonial Caves in Mesoamerica
While Actun Tunichil Muknal is the most famous of the caves in the Cayo District, there are plenty of caverns open to the adventurous traveler.
4. It's Belize's Largest District
The Cayo District stretches across 2,061 square miles. With a population of under 100,000 people, that makes it a great place to enjoy the outdoors without worrying about crowds.
5. The Cayo District's Largest Resort Has Over 50 Rooms
Cahal Pech Village Resort is located in San Ignacio Town and features a wide variety of accommodations like palm thatched cabanas, three swimming pool, a restaurant and bar and is in close proximity to the top attractions in the area.
6. It Includes Belize's Capital
The city of Belmopan has the smallest population of any capital in the Americas and is only the third largest city in Belize, but it's the seat of the central government.
7. Its Cultural Variety is Impressively Vast
In addition to Mennonites, the Cayo District is home to Mayan, Lebanese, Creole, Chinese, and Latin populations. Both English and Spanish are spoken abundantly throughout the area.
8. It Contains Two of the Largest Maya Temple Sites in the Country
9. Visitors Can Make Chocolate in San Ignacio Town
The Maya Cacao Center hosts regular chocolate making seminars using the same process that the Mayas used thousands of years ago.
10. San Ignacio Town is the Official Capital of Cayo District
The town is known for its eco-tourism activities thanks to the plethora of things to see and do in the area. Maya cities, bird watching, jungle rivers, sacred caves, lush jungles and rainforests are just a few of the attractions that can be found in the Cayo District and thus it has been dubbed the eco tourism capital of Belize and Cayo.
11. It's Great For Hiking and Horseback Riding
The abundance of hills, valleys, rivers, and creeks, makes this an ideal place to visit for those who like exploring the great outdoors on foot or on horseback.
12. It's a Major Agricultural Hub
Dairy, meat, and crops are all produced in Cayo. These include traditional foods like bananas, maize, and citrus as well as new products like mozzarella and pastrami.
13. It Features the Largest Suspension Bridge in Belize
Hawksworth Bridge was imported from the UK and spans the Macal River to connect Santa Elena and San Ignacio.
14. It Has the Largest Market Day in the Country
San Ignacio's Market Area springs to life on Saturdays, offering a way to experience the local color firsthand in a fragrant and lively open market.
15. Mountain Pine Ridge is a Must See
A lot of environmental diversity is packed into this forest reserve's 300 square miles. Situated in the Maya Mountains, it contains its own unique ecosystem.
16. Riverside Resorts Offer Easy Accessibility to the Macal River
Constituting nearly 200 miles of winding waters, the Macal River offers the perfect opportunity to get out on a canoe and explore the natural diversity of the Cayo District.
17. It Features the Tallest Waterfall in Central America
Despite its name, the Thousand Foot Talls actually stands at a towering 1600 feet in height.
18. You Can See Iguanas Up Close and Personal
And you don't even need to leave the city to do so. The Iguana Conservation Project is conveniently located in San Ignacio Hotel.
19. San Ignacio is Rich With Diversity
This charming town situated on the Macal River offers a unique blend of restaurants and shops that draw together the diverse cultures of the area.
20. Barton Creek Ceremonial Cave is Awe-Inspiring
This network of caves, once a major spiritual site for the Mayan people, can be explored via canoe.
Cahal Pech Village Resort
When exploring the many wonders of western Belize and Cayo District, stay at the Cahal Pech Village Resort. With a gourmet restaurant serving local delicacies and beautiful views of the whole Belize River Valley, Cahal Pech offers comfortable accommodations with full modern amenities.