Situated in western Belize, San Ignacio is a popular vacation destination that offers visitors much to explore and enjoy. From its pristine rivers, cascading waterfalls and incredible exotic wildlife to its ancient Mayan ruins and ceremonial caves, you will find that there is something for everyone to enjoy in this area.
One of the most significant draws that entice visitors to spend at least a portion of their vacation here is the ancient Mayan ruins. These include everything from temples to plazas and dwellings, and some have been instrumental in helping archaeologists uncover important information about history and past civilizations.
When you are planning a trip to San Ignacio Belize, below are the top ruins that you will definitely want to include time to visit and explore.
This is widely known as the most prestigious Mayan ruin in Belize, and is conveniently located just west of Cahal Pech. Its notable main temple is known as El Castillo and rises 39 meters over the plaza. From the top of the temple, you can enjoy panoramic views of the jungle and the Guatemalan town of Melchor.
Cahal Pech is the name of one of the finest Mayan ruins in San Ignacio Town. It is located within close proximity to Xunantunich, which makes it easy to explore both ruins within the same day of your trip. This ruin is dated to 1,500 B.C., making it one of the oldest ruins in Belize. It has a stunning selection of temples, plazas and other areas for you to explore.
If you want to see one of the most extensive Mayan ruins in Belize, a visit to El Pilar is in order. This ruin spans across more than 100 acres, and it has 25 separate plazas that each have their own features. It was named for the Spanish word that means watering basin because it was believed to be a central hydration point for Mayans many centuries ago.
Caracol is a beautifully preserved Mayan ruin with a gorgeous temple that rises up above the top of the jungle. You can climb to the top of the temple, and you can spend time enjoying touring the the museum that boasts archaeological displays here.
If you are interested in seeing part of Guatemala on your trip, you may be intrigued to learn that one of the top ruins in the region is located only a two-hour drive from Cahal Pech Village Resort across the border. This is a huge ruin that features a plaza as well as a temple and other features, and it boasts well-preserved statues and other artwork for you to view.
The Complete Maya Vacation Package
Named after the Mayan ruins of Cahal Pech, Cahal Pech Village Resort is the perfect place to stay if you plan to visit these Mayan ruins in San Ignacio Town. The resort offers a complete Maya Vacation Package which includes a trip to see Maya ruins and a special traditional dinner with a local Maya family.