San Ignacio, also known as ‘Cayo’ is a cute little town on the boarder of Guatemala. It’s a perfect base from which to explore the Maya ruins and cave system of Belize, also close to the ATM caves and you can also take tours to explore Tikal from here. On the main street you’ll find a variety of tourist companies happy to take you exploring. You’ll also find restaurants, small shops and a lot of places to hang out and drink beer.
There’s no shortage of places to eat here, it’s possible to both eat cheap and spend more money on dining if that’s what you want. If you go the cheap rout 14 BZD will get you a long way, and for beer look at around 2 BZD.
When it comes to accommodation, Hostel dorm rooms range between 25-30 BZD and a double room in a hotel costs between 100-120 BZD.
Transportation is really cheap as well. Taking a bus from Belize city to San Ignacio will cost you around 6 BZD, might be a bit more expencive if you go with a shuttle service. The trip takes between 2 and 3 hours, once in San Ignacio taxis are cheap but it’s a bery walk firendly place!
Things to do
Actun Tunichil Muknal
The ATM caves are not to be missed! A tour will cost you around $75 USD and is well worth it. After a quick hike through the jungle, across some rivers and after a quick snack and water break you’ll enter the cave. A head light will be lent to you, as well as shoes, and make sure to wear clothes that can get wet, ‘cuz you will get wet! First of all, you will swim into the cave, and then come face to face with skeletons of those who have been sacrificed to the Mayan Gods. It’s an adventure to say the least, and I loved that it felt very authentic. It haven’t been adapted to tourist or changed with easy paths and tourist friendly routs. It’s climbing, swimming and more climbing in a cave, it’s an experience not to be missed!
It’s the most visited tourist attraction in San Ignacio and this small set of Mayan ruins contains temples, restored plazas and a visitors’ centre. It’s quite a climp up the hill to Cahal Pech but worth it as you’ll get an amazig view over the city. Once there, keep going up past the entrance and you’ll find a hotel, from there you’ll really get the best view of the city!
Green Iguana Exhibit
The San Ignacio Resort Hotel runs a conservation program for the Green Iguanas. The aim is to create awareness and educate visitors about the iguanas. Visitors can see the process of egg incubation, hatching, rearing and sometimes even release young iguanas into the wild.
Medicinal Jungle Trail
Just facing the Green Igusna Exhibit you’ll find the entrance to the medicinal jungle trail. It’s not a very difficult trail and only takes 45 minutes to walk. But on the trail you’ll see anteaters, iguanas and a wide variety of birds.
Canoeing the Macal Rivers is a great experience, the further up the river you canoe the better swimming opportunities you’ll find and you’ll pass through lush jungle vegetation and might even see amazing birds and wildlife. Stopping off at some other attractions is also a possiblity, check out the Botanical Gardens at Duplooys or the butterfly farm
Green Hills Butterfly Rand
This is the largest butterfly display in Belize and a fantastic place to get up close with butterlfies, they’re even tame enought to land on yor hand! Don’t forget your camera as you’ll find amazing colors and beautiful butterflies.