Many people head to Belize over the Christmas and New Year's holidays simply to escape cold weather, ice, and snow back home. But there are many fun and exciting things to do and see in Belize beyond the fabulous weather.
If you're in Belize with your family, don't be surprised to see your kids put down their phones and actually begin to enjoy themselves as they clamber up ancient Maya pyramids, marvel at monkeys, and feast on some of the tastiest foods in the world. Couples on their honeymoon or enjoying a romantic vacation can work on their tan at one of Belize's world-class beaches or tropical islands, get a professional massage, or partake in thrilling adventures like cave tubing and zip lining. And everyone will enjoy experiencing Christmas in Belize, a country where old-fashioned cheer is in ready abundance.
Known as Belize's eco-tourism capital, the western district of Cayo and its capital San Ignacio is a great place to enjoy the holidays. Spend the night in a thatched-roof cabana, canoe down a pristine river, ride through the jungle on horseback, or explore the grand ruins at Cahal Pech, a site built for rich Maya elites more than 1,000 years ago.
Here are some fun traditions and activities you can enjoy in San Ignacio at Christmas and New Year's:
Visit Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave
For hundreds of years, Maya priests would enter the labyrinth of passageways in the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave in order to arrive at what they believed was the doorway to the world of the gods. Deep inside, the priests would conduct their most sacred ceremonies, including sacrificing children. Today, visitors can see this sacred site, an opportunity to glimpse the inner sanctum of a culture that vanished more than 1,000 years ago.
Check Out the San Ignacio Market
Far more than a simple collection of stalls, the San Ignacio market is a bustling hub of color, gossip, and local farmers and artists showcasing their wares. There are plenty of delicious, organic goodies on sale as well as artwork, souvenirs, handicrafts, and even traditional medicinal remedies.
Relax in the Pool
The swimming pool at the Cahal Pech Village Resort is a good place to cool off with a refreshing dip, enjoy a few laps, or sip on a cocktail made from organic, local ingredients, served up fresh from the bar.
Let Someone Else Do the Cooking
The restaurant at the Cahal Pech Village Resort serves up three courses daily of mouthwatering Belizean and international fare. Belizean food is a rich mix of Mexican, British, African, and Caribbean influences with something to please even the pickiest palates.
See the Rest of Belize While You're Here
After you've explored all of the fun and exciting things to do in and around San Ignacio, why not head out to popular sites like Caye Caulker, Placencia Peninsula, or Ambergris Caye? Cahal Pech has a number of vacation packages and can arrange for the perfect combination beach and jungle trip.