Generally, there are two types of people in the world. Those who’ve never heard of Belize, except
for maybe that one time in Breaking Bad. Then there are those who know all too well about
Belize, and are either booked for a trip here, or permanently booking return trips.
Whichever you may be, it’s always handy to have a back pocket list of Things to to do in Belize,
and we’re here to refresh that list, because as you know – no one ever sees the same thing, the
same way, twice.
Read on for the Coolest San Ignacio Attractions to fill out your next trip!
At the top of almost everyone’s list of things to do in Belize, whether it’s trip 1 or 100 for you is
visit an ancient Mayan site. Belize lies in what was once the heartland of the now renowned
“Mundo Maya” and was once home to millions of Mayan people compared to the 360,000+
inhabitants of today. Many Mayan sites lie yet un-excavated – and some, like Cahal Pech are
found nestled right within town limits.
Cahal Pech is a site from the early-middle preclassic era of the Mayan civilization, which means
it tates back to about 1200 BCE, about 3,217 years ago and was inhabited right up until around
the 9th century CE. What’s interesting to note about many large mayan cities is that when
they’re abandoned it’s usually without much trace or apparent reason, as is the case with Cahal
Pech as well.
Much of this site has been excavated, however a great deal of the greenery and canopy has
been left intact, stepping through the forest into this temple you will forget there are even
houses and a town a few hundred feet away. This serene spot can sometimes be enjoyed alone
if not travelling with a group and the quiet rush of jungle air through a millenia old structure is an
experience no traveler should ignore.
Sound interesting? Drop us a line, Let’s Go!
#friday #fridayvibes #weekend #weekendvibes #weekendlover #greeniguana #conservation
#project #instatravel #wildlife #wildlifephotography #wanderlust #getlost
While Iguanas are considered an invasive species in some regions like north america and parts
of the caribbean, locally in the San Ignacio area there was somewhat of a dilemma with them.
Green iguanas, as with all native wildlife each play an important role in the stability of the
ecosystem in which they live.
For a while Iguanas were thought of as a delicacy, and hunted heavily in the are by residents of
the twin towns and surrounding villages. In 1996 the team at San Ignacio Hotel decided it was
high time for someone to raise awareness of the issue and bring a spotlight to these remarkable
Today, in collaboration with schools, NGOs, tour companies are individuals The Green Iguana
Conservation project has flourished and allows everyone to meet the little would be dinosaurs.
Not into reptiles you say? They’re Scary? Surely you haven’t met these photogenic beauties.
This half day activity is the perfect addition to round out your day exploring Cahal Pech and the
town a little more before retiring to your resort for a little R&R
3. Artsy Local Watering Holes
San Ignacio isn’t much of a party town, though that’s not to say locals don’t throw it down and
there’s nothing to do at night! In town you’ll find a more much pub crawl friendly atmosphere in
place of an all out neon lights and disco music all night long type of feel. Many of the favored
watering holes around San Ignacio/Santa Elena are vastly different from one another in terms of
ambience and feel.
You’ll probably never tire of poolside cocktails under the balmy caribbean sun, but if you’re
travelling we definitely recommend experiencing it all.
Locales such as “Soul Project” provide an aptly name art bar motif. You’ll find both local and
travelling musicians jamming out there for the mere fun of it and everything happens so
organically that it’s impossible to replicate perfectly and your experience is slated to be one of a
kind. Other establishments such as CK Sports bar, and The Dugout at Guava Limb offer their
own flavours of belizean fun, each vastly unique but yet all inherently Belizean. We couldn’t
mention all, of course, those three are just teasers – it’s up to you to get out and explore!
4. Murals & Signs
Adelheid T (@a.tirschy) on
It’s difficult for us to say if there was a single mastermind behind the execution of these murals –
many of them are vastly different and came about at entirely different times – but we like
chalking it up to an eventuality of the organism that is the “Twin Towns”. While there aren’t any
official ‘mural tours’ – perhaps we may just start offering one – a high point of exploring san
Ignacio is definitely happening upon one of these colorful and sometimes very intricate pieces of
They depict everything from historical mayan art and figures, to our national symbols, abstract
artistry – in some cases rebellious artistry – and many times, positive feel good messaging.
Subliminal affirmations have the deepest effect on one’s psyche, and with all this art on public
display it’s no wonder San Ignacio and Santa Elena are so upbeat.
Location searching San Ignacio in Instagram invariably leads to you a peek at one of our cool
wall pieces, and almost always they make it into “top” posts for our geographical location, go out
and catch em, maybe even all and we’re sure your profile will get a smooth little bump up in
By a show of hands, how many people like chocolate? Most of you. By hands, how many of you
know where chocolate was invented? Many of you again – WELL for those of you who weren’t
sure, the answer is Here! Not San Ignacio or Belize in particular but in the region where the
Mayans and earlier the Olmecs made their homes.
Xocolatl, as it was originally called – pronounced ‘Sho-coh-latl’ in case you’re wondering – is a
bitter, spicy drink made by grinding the seeds used to make chocolate into a paste then mixing it
with spices and hot water then tossed from one crucible to the next ot develop a thick foam
head. The drink was a drink for aristocrats and warriors. Many higher ranked individuals even
had intricately adorned mugs specifically for their favorite drink.
There are recipes online that will detail you how to make it, albeit with processed ingredients.
While in you’re with us around San Ignacio take a stop at a place that still makes it the absolute
purist way. Ajaw Chocolate factory makes chocolate for production but also offers tours that
teach you the history and significance of chocolate to our ancient ancestors and how to make it
by hand much in the same way as it was done thousands of years ago.
Don’t you think that deserves to be in a list of Things to do in Belize? We do!
6. Hawksworth Bridge
The Hawksworth bridge in San Ignacio is a rarity for Belize. It’s the only suspension bridge in
existence in the country and it was actually built as a gift to Queen Elizabeth the 2nd for one of
her visits to Belize and our then humble little town.
Hawksworth has been repaired, renovated and kept in perfect drivable condition all these years
even in the face of our newest aquifer crossing further north of it. It holds a special place in the
hearts of the townspeople as it’s located beside the original town square in what was once the
heart of it all. Most of us grew up seeing it or moved here and were met by it and is the literal
bridge between the Twin towns as we so know them.
In an amusing utrn of events, people have begun hanging padlocks on the pedestrian rail much
like another famous bridge somewhere else. Thing to do in Belize #6, place a lock on
7. Hillside Views
San Ignacio has perched itself on the side of the rising north face of the Maya Mountain Range.
As such, we traverse some of the most uneven terrain on a daily simply going about our lives.
Sounds a bit tiresome doesn’t it? We must say, however, that the trade off from flat land is more
than made up for by the vistas one’s eyes can behold from the higher reaches of town.
Hillside night views are a favorite of ours, as you get to witness the kindlings of what may
someday become a bustling metropolis of human activity. Add to the fact that Belizeans live in
such small pocket communities that from some places you can identify the different groups of
lights as the different villages that surround our home. We don’t imagine this is something that
will last forever so we’re definitely going to enjoy it, and encourage you to do so as well!
It probably goes by unbeknownst to most locals since we live amongst it, but being able to see
so far and wide isn’t something many people get to do. That said – we’re always willing to share
our most awe-inspiring views with all of you.
8. Diverse Restaurants
Surely you’ve heard of all the awesome Belizean food by now, no? Yes – you have. We’re going
to confirm that all of the praise is true!
San Ignacio/Santa Elena has become somewhat of a food Mecca in Belize. We have the most
famous market, and for some reason the best produce and by that stretch probably the best
food around Belize. We absolutely don’t seek to detract fame from anywhere – Orange walk,
your tacos are the absolute best and we see you Garifuna food in Stann Creek! Contained
within our little town, literally, is a wide and somewhat unexpected variety of culinary morsels.
There’s your traditional Belizean, theres Indian food, a Sri Lankan food restaurant, arab food,
mestizo food, some American food with a local twist and recently Arab food to name a few!
Many restaurants cater vegetarian meals, most Hotels and Resort restaurants cater for vegans
as well ensuring that your palette and preferences will want not.
You might want to know why we mentioned “the best market in Belize” and left it at that without
adding much else – that’s because we will have much more on that in our next segment of
Things to do in Belize so stay tuned!
Did you have an awesome San Ignacio experience that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the
comments! Your entry might make it into our next blog!