San Ignacio isn't the biggest destination in Belize, but it's become one of the most popular destinations for tourists, locals, and expats. Why is that? It's largely because of the diversity of things to do here. Along with its sister town of Santa Elena, San Ignacio is the heart and soul of the Cayo District. That makes it an ideal launching point for adventures out in the wilds of Belize, but it's also a town rich with culture and with all the accommodations to keep you comfortable between your journeys out into the wild. You could easily spend months in and around San Ignacio, which is why it's important to understand what all the options available to you are. If you're going to only be here for a week, here are some of the top suggestions for what you should try.
Tikal Maya Ruins
The transportation in and around San Ignacio is great and built with the needs of tourists in mind, so much so that a journey to the famous Tikal Maya Ruins in Guatemala can be contained in a comfortable day trip. It's a great way to see one of Belize's most prominent neighbors and immerse yourself in what the lives of the ancient Mayas were like.
Cahal Pech and Xunantunich
But if you're looking to stay within the country's borders, Belize is home to plenty of ancient cities of their own. Xunantunich and Cahal Pech are both located in the Cayo District, and they're both surprisingly intact ruins that can really put the history of this beautiful nation in perspective.
Canoeing in Barton Creek Cave
Barton Creek Cave is an important archaeological site, but it's also a natural formation that's simply astounding in its natural beauty. And there's no better way to explore it than in the seat of a canoe. Expeditions from San Ignacio allow you to venture through the underwater river network that cuts through one of Belize's most famous caves.
Swimming at Big Rock Falls
The climate in Belize is generally temperate, but it's always nice to cool off in some nice calm waters. Located in Mountain Pine Ridge, Big Rock Falls is one of the great hidden gems of Belize, and there are plenty of opportunities whether you're looking to go free diving off a cliffside or merely luxuriate in a calm, cool pool. The nearby Rio on Pools offers a similarly great opportunity to soak up the natural beauty and cool off.
Zip Lining at Calico Jack's
Calico Jack's is one of the most prominent resorts around San Ignacio, but you don't need to book a room there to enjoy one of their most thrilling diversions. The resort is home to an expansive network of zip line courses, and you could hypothetically keep yourself occupied there for a good long time. Five different zip line tours are available for reasonable prices.
Touring San Ignacio Market
There's no better way to get to know the locals than a visit to San Ignacio Market. Located directly on the river, is a hectic and chaotic mass of people, stalls, and commerce. You'll find everything from freshly brewed coffee to local produce to handmade good. Bring a camera and some extra spending cash, and just take the time to soak up the local color.
Kicking Back and Relaxing
There are plenty of adventures to be had in and around San Ignacio, but that doesn't mean you have to spend all your time here on the go. People in Belize take things a little slower, and if you really want to live like a local, you'll want to spend some time just luxuriating. Cahal Pech Village Resort offers beautiful views of the Belize River Valley and some of the most hospitable staff in the country.
If you're coming to San Ignacio, there's no better resort to stay at than Cahal Pech Village Resort. It's a perfect base camp for excursions in the town and in the greater Cayo District. Book your room today, and take the opportunity to experience Belize the way it was meant to be experienced.