Leave the crowds and the tourist trail far behind as you explore the jungles, caves, and legendary Maya ruins of San Ignacio, a welcoming community and transportation hub in the Cayo District of inland Belize. Perched on the western banks of the Macal River, this small cluster of restaurants, marketplaces, and outdoor adventurers has lured immigrants from all over the world with its infectious local spirit. Our wonderful San Ignacio vacation homes will help you adopt this charming city as your own - for a few days at the very least!
Nestled among the ecological and archaeological wonders of the Cayo District, San Ignacio is located in the heart of what was once the Belizean Maya world. Along with its twin city of Santa Elena just across the Macal River, San Ignacio is nine miles east of Melchor de Mencos on the Guatemalan border and 26 miles west of the capital city of Belmopan. The town, which is easily reached by car and by bus, is also only 71 miles southwest of historic Belize City on the shores of the Caribbean Sea.
You'll find caves, trails, and access points to the Macal and Mopan Rivers in and around this town of 20,000 people, and you can explore them all with a car, a pair of hiking boots, or a local tour agency. But the primary allure of San Ignacio is its authentic local atmosphere and proximity to spectacular Maya ruins.
Drive your car, hop on a bus, or join a group excursion to reach Xunantunich, a one-time ceremonial center for the ancient Maya. Perched on a ridge above the Mopan River, Xunantunich is also the home of El Castillo - a 130-foot pyramid that is one of the tallest (and most recognizable) structures in Belize.
Just 17 miles east of San Ignacio is the cave of Actun Tunichil Muknal, where visitors can take a subterranean walk through history. Admire centuries-old stoneware and ceramics, examine preserved Maya skeletons, and swim and climb through the cave's many chambers. Back in town, you can explore the remnants of Cahal Pech, a hilltop estate that is one of the oldest Maya sites in western Belize.
Thanks to their convenient position along the Western Highway that traverses Belize, our San Ignacio vacation rentals are ideal for adventurers, history lovers, and day-trippers in search of jungle scenery.
Head 52 miles south through the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve to reach Caracol, the nation's largest Maya ruin in the foothills of the Maya Mountains. As one of the most significant political sites of the Maya world, Caracol once covered an astounding 77 square miles and is still home to approximately 35,000 buildings, many of them unexcavated. Chief among them is Ca'ana, the 140-foot "sky palace" pyramid that overlooks beautiful courtyards and a water reservoir.
Come and uncover centuries of Central American history - our San Ignacio vacation homes will treat you to the Belizean adventure you've been waiting for.
Photo Credit: Andy Blackledge via Flickr