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San Ignacio Travel Guide


Overview

Known locally as "Cayo," San Ignacio is the capital of the Cayo District in Belize. San Ignacio is the official name of this community, and is located approximately 18 kilometers from the border of Guatemala. A town of about 15,000 inhabitants including Creole, Spanish-Maya, a strong presence of Lebanese population (those Musa, the surname of the current Prime Minister of Belize, are a big family in the Cayo), and of course a strong Chinese population from the City of Canton who came in a strong wave of immigrants in the sixties. So there are many Chinese restaurants and Chinese shops in San Ignacio.

You can perform activities such as rafting, swimming, hiking, exploring caves and ancient Mayan ruins. On the outskirts of the city is the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve.

Mountain Pine Ridge occupies an area of 800 km2. It has a unique ecosystem throughout Central America: a forest of towering pine trees with a cool and pleasant air. It has the highest waterfalls in the region, with a drop of 300 meters. Here you can explore the Medicinal Path of the Rainforest and climb up the Cascades of Hidden Valley.

Xunantunich (Stone Maiden) was a city of great importance at the end of the Maya Classic Period between 700 and 900, has 6 seats surrounded by more than 20 temples and palaces.

Aside it you can visit another site called Cahal Pech on the shores of San Ignacio, and a little distant the Mayan ruins called Caracol and the Rio Frio Cave. The town is interesting to walk, and Belize's only suspension bridge, the one-lane Hawksworth Bridge that allows to continue to Belize City was built in 1949. It is one of the oldest bridges in Belize.

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