San Ignacio, often referred to as Cayo, is a laid back town in the western foothills of the Mayan Mountains. Located right along the Western Highway, San Ignacio is popular among travelers as it provides modern tourist amenities while retaining its authenticity. The town sits directly on the meandering Macal River and is surrounded by green rolling hills where adventure awaits.
San Ignacio Best Things to Do
This 6-hour tour takes you two of Belize’s most interesting inland nature attractions – St. Herman’s Cave and the Inland Blue Hole. In addition to sightseeing, you’ll also get in some hiking through the forest and a swim in one of Belize’s prettiest swimming holes.To reach these spots, you’ll make your way through a lively jungle, where you’ll have the chance to see a huge variety of birds. Keep in mind that this hike is on the more challenging side, so make sure you’re ready for an active day.
6 hrsFrom $108
This full-day tour to Tikal National Park introduces you to the greatest city the Maya ever built. It dates back to 200 BC, and remained a flourishing capital until 900 AD. At its height, it is believed to have supported a population of around 90,000.
8 hrsFrom $202
Considered the adventure capital of Belize, there is no shortage of activities for the outdoor enthusiast. Whether it be canoeing up the Macal River, tubing through one of the area’s deep and dark caves, zip lining above the jungle, or exploring the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve in search of elusive birds, tours are easily arranged by visiting one of the tour shops that line Burns Avenue, a pedestrian-only street that runs through the center of town.
San Ignacio is also an excellent base for those looking to learn about the history of the Mayan Culture. Just a few minutes from town are Cahal Pech and Xunantunich, two impressive Mayan ruin sites that date back to 1200 B.C. For those willing to venture further, San Ignacio is the departure point for full day tours to Caracol Archeological Reserve which is located far down a dirt road deep in the jungle. This is one of the largest Mayan sites in the country and is home to the tallest pyramid in Belize at 136 feet (41 m).
There are a wide variety of accommodations in and around San Ignacio ranging from budget hostels to luxury eco-lodges. Restaurants serving local and international fare are abundant, and the main streets through town are lined with fruit vendors and street food. The vibrant weekly farmers market on the edge of town runs every Saturday from the early morning through the mid-afternoon and is a lively place to experience the local way of life.
Located a mere 8 miles (13 km) from the Guatemalan border, San Ignacio is also a good jumping off point for travelers looking to explore other parts of Central America, including the ancient Mayan city of Tikal.
Feedback From Travelers
Ruins were incredible, nothing too special about the city
Hard to say it was touristy as we were there on the "off" season, but compared to San Pedro-San Ignacio was much less "touristy"
Belize is amazing. We were there during the low season and enjoyed the activities and restaurants without the crowds!
- San Ignacio Things To Do
San Ignacio Things To Do