Traveler’s Guide to San Ignacio, Belize
Are you planning a trip to the beautiful country of Belize? If so, one of your stops if not your primary destination should be San Ignacio. This town along with Santa Elena comprise the largest city area in Belize. San Ignacio and Santa Elena are connected with a breathtaking suspension bridge constructed in 1949 called Hawksworth Bridge. The two towns combined have a small population of only 20,000 however the ethnic diversity is remarkable. Residents include Creole, Maya, Spanish-Maya, Lebanese and even Mennonite. Then there are the tourists from all around the world who decided to make San Ignacio their home and also lend a unique flair to the city.
San Ignacio is called Cayo by the locals who live here. About 90 minutes driving time from Belize City, you’ll find San Ignacio to have an American Wild West feel combined with the unique characteristics of local living. Many of the visitors who come here are archaeological explorers, tourists seeking excitement and people ready to retire in a picturesque, relaxed location. There is much to see and do in San Ignacio, and a good place to begin your exploration is Burns Street, the San Ignacio version of Main Street.
One of the most popular things to do while in San Ignacio is visit ancient Mayan ruins such as Cahal Pech, which can be reached on foot or by taxi. At these ruins you can view pieces of how this amazing ancient civilization lived and the remarkable structures they built. If you’re looking for an activity a bit more thrilling, consider a canoe trip down Macal River. You’re sure to love the stopovers on this type of water bound adventure such as a visit to a Blue Morpho butterfly nursery and the Belize Botanic Gardens, a location where you could spend hours exploring the plants, flowers and wildlife who call the gardens home.
There are also traditional vacation activities to be enjoyed at San Ignacio. Take a romantic horseback ride at sunset, or a guided tour through one of the many locations of note. Go bird watching and spot some of the most exotic and beautiful avian species anywhere, or spend time on the water in a kayak or canoe. Dining and shopping are also two activities not to be missed when visiting the city. You have to eat, and San Ignacio gives you all kinds of appealing choices from local to international cuisine. There are casual cafes, fancy restaurants and everything in between.
The prime time to do your shopping when in San Ignacio, Belize is on Saturday. Local vendors line the streets and sell fresh produce, much of it tropical like coconuts, pineapples and papaya to name just three. While you’re shopping, don’t forget to pick up a T-shirt, handmade craft or other trinket to remind you of your time in this tropical paradise. Speaking of memories, you also don’t want to forget your camera, because around every turn you might find something you want to capture on film.