San Ignacio Sports & Activities

San Ignacio is the center for touring in western Belize. Just walk along busy Burns Avenue and you'll see signs for all kinds of tours and find the offices of several tour operators. Individual tour guides, who by law must be Belizean citizens and be licensed by the government, may work for tour operators, for a lodge or hotel, or they may freelance on their own. Some hang out at restaurants in town, especially those on Burns Avenue, and post notices at bulletin boards in downtown hotels and restaurants. PACZ Tours, Mayan Heart World, and others have offices downtown. You can compare prices and sign up for the next day's tours. Obviously, the more layers of costs involved, the higher the price for you, but on the other hand larger operators and hotel tour companies have more resources, and they have their long-term reputations to protect, so they may be more reliable. Tours from lodges usually are more costly than if booked with an independent tour operator. Also, some lodges try to sell packages of tours rather than individual ones.

Most jungle lodges offer a full range of day trips, using either their own guides or working with independent guides and tour companies. The largest lodge-affiliated tour operation is Chaa Creek Expeditions, but Black Rock Lodge, Crystal Paradise, duPlooy's, Cahal Pech Village, San Ignacio Resort Hotel, and other hotels and lodges also do many tours and trips.

If you have a rental car, you can visit all of the Mayan sites in the Cayo on your own, along with other attractions such as the butterfly farms, the Belize Botanic Gardens, Medicinal Plants Trail, and many of the attractions in the Mountain Pine Ridge. However, for most caving tours, notably Actun Tunichil Muknal, you'll need a guide, and for canoe and kayak trips, you'll need drop-off and pickup. Local guides also are critical for nature hikes and birding trips, as many of these guides have remarkable local knowledge and ability to spot things you probably wouldn't see otherwise.


The area around San Ignacio is good for birding because it contains such a variety of habitats—river valleys, foothills, lagoons, agricultural...

Canoeing and Kayaking

The Cayo's rivers, especially the Mopan and Macal, make it an excellent place for canoeing and kayaking. Most of the larger resorts, like Chaa...


Over the millennia, as dozens of swift-flowing rivers bored through the soft limestone, the Maya Mountains became pitted with miles of caves...


Most of the lodges have hiking trails. Black Rock River Lodge, Chaa Creek, Table Rock, and duPlooy's all have especially good areas for...

Horseback Riding

The Lodge at Chaa Creek. With its stable of well-cared-for riding horses, the Lodge at Chaa creek offers two- to three-hour guided horseback...


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