Things to do in Belize – Check out the top tours to do in San Ignacio Cayo

Things to do in Belize – Check out the top tours to do in San Ignacio Cayo

 Belize offers something for everyone! Maya temple cities, white sandy beaches, best snorkeling in the region, spectacular scuba diving in the second largest barrier reef in the world, horseback riding through jungle trails, kayaking on pristine rivers, jungle hiking, adventurous zip lining, and unique caving exploration are just a few of a plethora of tours that you can do in Belize.

If you are vacationing in the San Ignacio, Cayo District area, here are 10 popular tours that you might want to consider:

 Xunantunich Maya Temples

Xunatunich Maya Temples San Ignacio Belize

Xunantunich is one of the many Belize Maya Ruin Tours offered at Cahal Pech Village Resort.

Xunantunich was the first Maya ruin to be opened for visitors in 1950, because of its proximity to San Ignacio. Extensive archeological work has been carried out at the site providing a wealth of historical information about the Mayas.

It was known to be a major ceremonial center during the Maya Classical period (600 to 900 AD). El Castillo (The Castle) is the most prominent temple and stands at 130 feet high. The East and West sides are pretty well decorated with friezes depicting art of this enigmatic civilization.

Known as the “maiden of the rock” or “stone lady”, the site is a classic period ceremonial center and the core covers only 300 square meters but the periphery covers several square kilometers. The structure “El Castillo” is the second tallest structure in Belize and reaches a height of 130 feet above plaza level. The lower temple is famous its large stucco frieze, on both east and west end. It flourished in the terminal period 700 to 900 A.D. about the time of the Maya collapse.

It is located on the Western Highway across the village of San Jose Succotz and can be reached by a hand cranked ferry daily between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. The site is one mile away from the river and the top of the temple provides an amazing view of the entire Belize River Valley.

This tour can be combined with Cahal Pech Maya Ruin. It departs at 9:00 am and is inclusive of transportation, guide, entrance fees and lunch.

 Cahal Pech

Cahal Pech Maya Ruins is just 5-minute walk from The Cahal Pech Village Resort. Cahal Pech means “place of ticks” in modern-day Maya, and refers to the fact that the surrounding area was once used as pasture land. However, this was the royal acropolis-palace of an elite Maya ruling family who lived here during the Classic period. Cahal Pech was settled around 1000 BC and abandoned by 800 AD.Cahal Pech Maya Ruins San Ignacio Town Belize

The site consists of seven plazas and over 30 structures including temples, residential buildings, ballcourts, an altar, and a sweathouse, all situated on just 2 acres. A royal burial chamber was found in one of the structures. Inside the tomb a ruler had been laid to rest with the accouterments necessary for the afterlife. Included in the find were shell & bone ornaments, pottery vessels, obsidian blades, and jade objects, the most impressive being a jade & shell mosaic mask. One of the temples in this small complex commands the best view of the surrounding Belize River Valley. The visitor center and museum has a model of the site, excellent paintings showing Cahal Pech in its heyday, and an interpretive film.

This Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins tour is usually combine with Xunantunich, River Canoeing, Horseback Riding, Butterfly Farm and other half day tour.

 Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave

The Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Tour can best be described as an “Indiana Jones” type experience because it promises a thrilling experience with impressive stalactites and stalagmites rock formations coupled with Maya pottery that have been undisturbed for hundreds of years. On your journey from San Ignacio Town we will reveal ancient passageways, stories of Maya Gods and evidence of a Maya princess burial scene. This adventure is a history lesson of a lifetime!

ATM Cave Tour Highlights

ATM Cave (Actun Tunichil Muknal) “Cave of the Stone Sepulcher” is one of the most impressive caves in the Maya Lowland. Located in the heart of the Belizean Rainforest, this cave was a sacred place to the Maya of Belize, who first began to use the entrance during the early classic period (300-600AD). It was not until the late terminal classic period (700-900AD) that the Mayas traveled deeper into the Cave to conduct their spiritual ceremonies.

Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave Belize

The ATM Cave system consists of a series of chambers, ending in a 300 by 50 meter Cathedral where sacrificial ceremonies once took place. Here you will be exposed to the individuals sacrificed to the gods of the underworld. This ATM Cave Tour offer visitors the opportunity to travel into the Maya past and witness a living museum where human sacrifices and artifacts can be viewed in their original context.

This Actun Tunichil Muknal tour departs from Cahal Pech Village Resort in the early morning and is inclusive of transportation, guide, park entrance fees and lunch.

Read more: http://www.cahalpech.com/blog/

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