Blogs from San Ignacio, Cayo District, Belize, Central America Caribbean


Note: Our original blog from Belize (below), which had formatting problems and in which we couldn't download photos, has now been updated and republished below (Previous Entry). The 90 minute trip from Ambergris Caye back to the mainland in the water-taxi occurred under threatening skies but fortunately the thunderstorms held off. We had arranged a rental car for the remainder of our trip, but somehow retrieving our luggage from the ferry and signing up for the car lost us another 90 minutes. So we decided to take in a good lunch and then make our way directly to San Ignacio (a 90 minute trip) instead of stopping off at the Belize Zoo midway as originally planned. ... read more
The Access Ferry to Xunantunich
Cahal Pech Main Structure
Temple 1 and the Grand Plaza at Tikal

Sunday morning, 7 am, and we can hear African drumming drifting along the beach, Garifuna drumming to be precise. We are in Hopkins, a village set up by slaves who had escaped from the sugar plantations. Hopkins is now a centre for Garifuna drumming, a tradition that the slaves brought with them from Africa. Our little guest house is on the beach and in the heat of the day we are able to stay cool beneath the coconut palms. Small boats set out from the beach every day to fish on the reef, 20 miles out to sea. The fishermen stay away for two or three nights, camping on the reef's sandbar islands. The beach bars all sell fresh fish dishes – red snapper is the only fish we actually recognise! Also fishing here are brown ... read more
Fisherman gutting fish on the beach
Climb up antelope falls
Keeled billed toucan

We got up early again today for another beautiful sunrise. We had breakfast at our hotel before heading northwest to the ruins of Xunantunich near San Ignacio. It is right near the border with Guatamala. It was about a 3 hour drive with lots of road construction on the Western Highway. Once there we had to ride the hand cranked ferry across the river. Pete stayed in the truck to drive it on and off the ferry, but passengers were required to be out of the vehicle. Once on the other side it was a 1 mile drive to the Xunantunich Archaeological Reserve. We paid our entry fee and then headed in to look at the information center and then to the ruins. This one was larger than the ones yesterday with more intact structures. We ... read more
Sriracha and Lori at Xunantunich
Loading the Ferry to Xunantunich
Thursday Sunrise

Mon 12-Tues 13 November - Day 17 to 18 - San Ignacio After a light breakfast at the hotel we left the hotel at 10.00am to catch a fast ferry back to the mainland. This only took 35 minutes. Taxis then took us to the bus station to catch the local bus – no air conditioning but plenty of breeze. The locals hopped on and off the bus as we stayed on for 3 hours. We continue on to San Ignacio referred to as "Cayo" by the locals, this agricultural centre is also known to be the 'adventure' and 'nature' capital of Belize. The surrounding jungle, wildlife, waterfalls, rivers and caves, have created the ideal location for the numerous optional excursions that are available, from canoeing downriver and tubing through caves, to visiting the famous caves ... read more
Actul Tunichil Muknal Caves San Ignacio Belize (4)
Cave Tubing near San Ignacio Belize (8)
Cave Tubing near San Ignacio Belize (5)

So sang Kermit the frog, but in Belize it turns out it ain’t easy being a Green Iguana. The problem is the local people think eating Iguana eggs is good for fertility (I’m not sure if this is for males or females) which had caused Iguanas to become critically endangered in Belize, even though as a species they are not threatened To address this issue some enterprising folk have set up the Iguana Project in St Ignacio, housed in the garden of the St Ignacio Resort hotel. This is unquestionably the best hotel in town, so is not where we are staying, but was used by the Queen on her last royal visit to Belize in 1994. The hotel is only 5 minutes walk from the centre of St Ignacio but it’s uphill and even though ... read more

San Ignacio: Our First Belizean Destination On the 7th of January of 2018 we (Cheryl, Chuck, and Leila) flew from Minneapolis to Belize City with a stop in Chicago and plane change in Houston. We flew with Southwest for $500 per person. This as well as the last time we flew to Belize the flights departed Minneapolis at 6 in the morning, which means you need to be to the airport at a lovely 4 am, making for a long day of travel. Remember to focus on the warm weather to come! We arrive to Belize City at 4:40 pm, go through immigration, get checked baggage, go through customs, and head to the car rental company. Happily, this all went quite quickly. Get the rental and go like a bat out of hell to get to ... read more
Midas Tropical Resort
San Ignacio, Belize
Ballcourt at Cahal Pech

Weather, new friends, and a change of plans all coincided to make an unforgettable morning at my 2nd Maya site of the trip. I had purchased a tour of Xunantunich before I left the US, because I thought that would be the main reason to stay in San Ignacio - the ruins are a 10-15 minute taxi ride from the center of the city. But as you know, when I got to town on Saturday evening, my plans changed. I was under the impression that my tour had been switched to Caracol and that I wasn't doing Xunantunich with them anymore. Operating on that assumption, I arranged with TJ just to get a taxi in town and get us to Xunatunich the morning after my Caracol trip. Pretty simple. We both wanted to see it, and ... read more
The river we crossed to get to Xunantunich
Awaiting our connection on the other side of the river for Xunantunich
We were lucky enough to have a group offer the back of their pickup truck for the long hike up to Xunantunich

My first journey outside of Trump's America has gone very well so far. The day has been another long one, and it's not ever very late at the moment. I'm in my bed, writing this blog post for you fine people, and the large dogs are barking outside my windows. Welcome to Belize! First off, I would not recommend flying into Belize Airport on Saturday. At all. There are planes arriving every 30-45 minutes, which means that they never get through getting one group through immigration control before another group is already here. We found this out the hard way. From the time we deplaned - on the tarmac, mind you - to the time I picked up my bag after immigration control and then went through customs was about 75 minutes. And they had 8 ... read more
Deplaning at Belize City Airport
This is about 1/3 of the line for immigration control
Actually, this is exactly why I've come to Belize

San Ignacio is a small town tucked away near the Guatemalan border. It's famous as a base to go and explore the areas caves and waterfalls. On our first day here we met a local who offered to take us to a nearby waterfall in the jungle. This is a very serene waterfall off the beaten track, so we were the only people there to enjoy it. Day 2 we booked a tour to go to the ATM cave. I had heard this is a must do, but I was not expecting anything quite so amazing. After an hours drive, made longer by the minibus having a flat tire and a flat spare, we arrived at a car park in the jungle. We got kitted up with helmets and buoyancy aids before starting our trip to ... read more
Grinding cocoa bean the traditional way
Our. Chocolate paste

After the four of us catch an early taxi to the Roatan airport, we head through security for a brief wait, before walking outside and boarding our 12-person puddle jumper to Belize City. We've never been on such a small plane, but sitting directly behind the pilot and looking at all the instrumentation and watching the co-pilot nod off for an hour was a bit unnerving. Luckily the skies were blue and the ride was smooth, it was almost like being on a tour as the plane flies quite low, although you certainly feel every bit of turbulence in every cloud as you fly through. We land in Belize City, meet up with the 2nd half of our crew, Steve, Anya, and Mel's brother Trevor. Make it through customs, pick up our minivan rental car, and ... read more
Too close for comfort
Zoo pit stop
Santa Elena Mansion

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