Some people simply know Belize as a tropical getaway with hundreds of islands dotted off of its coast and the world's second largest barrier reef just a few miles away. But those people are missing out on a whole world of adventures in Belize. Belize's interior is rife with jungles, caves, and rivers — and there's a whole world of hidden beauty if you're simply willing to venture.
In terms of natural beauty, no region in Belize offers quite what you'd find in the Cayo District, and there's no better gateway into the Cayo District than the town of San Ignacio. As a hub of ecotourism, San Ignacio is rich with culture, food, and amenities, but you'll find the really special opportunities by venturing further in. Here are some of the best things to see and do in San Ignacio.
The Ancient Maya Empire
When Caracol was at the height of its power, the city had a larger population than the population now in modern day capitol Belize City. Today the city is hidden amidst jungles and mountains, but that almost makes the scale of the ruins even more impressive. And Caracol isn't the only extant Maya ruins either. There are a ton in Belize's borders, but a particular standout in Cayo District is the imposing temple pyramid of Xunantunich.
A Cave That Leads to Hell
Speaking of sites that were treated as sacred during the height of the Maya Empire, Actun Tunichil Muknal was once believed to be a site of human sacrifice. ATM Cave was picked for such gruesome practices because it was thought to offer a direct path to the underworld. And while human sacrifice is a thing of the past, ATM Cave is still a thrilling experience.
A Lazy River
The Macal River cuts directly through San Ignacio, but it doesn't feel that way when you're out on a canoe. The waters are never too strenuous, making this the perfect lazy trip for just drifting down the currents and soaking up the beautiful wildlife around you. And if you do decide you like it, there are plenty of more challenging river opportunities throughout. In fact, the Macal River is one of the most well-regarded places in the country for birdwatching.
A Town Brimming With Life
San Ignacio Town is often used as a base camp for eco-tourism, but there's plenty to do in the town proper as well. The town is home to a variety of bars, restaurants, and attractions to keep you occupied. And there's no better way to get to know the locals than at the San Ignacio Market.
If you do decide to stay in San Ignacio, you should definitely pick Cahal Pech Village Resort as your hotel. Located next door to the ancient site of Cahal Pech, Cahal Pech Village Resort is ready to provide travelers with the experience they've always dreamed of. And the staff is willing to work with you to work out your dream Belize vacation.