If you are thinking about traveling to Belize – DO IT! Also, if you are able to, I highly recommend visiting both San Ignacio/inland AND the islands! Keep reading to see my suggestions and tips of what to do in both San Ignacio, Belize and Ambergris Caye, Belize as well as my packing tips!
San Ignacio, Belize
What to Do:
- Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave Tour – This was my FAVORITE thing we did in San Ignacio. Book reservations for this ahead of time – it sells out quickly and there are a limited amount of tour guides! This cave is one of the most popular Mayan burial sites in all of Belize. (**If you do this, book Patrick as your tour guide – he was unbelizeableee )
- Hiking – I recommend the Masewal Forest Garden Medicinal Trail or Belize Botanical Gardens.
- Ancient Mayan Ruins Xunantunich – Plan on spending 2-3 hours at these beautiful Mayan Ruins. If you aren’t able to make a day trip out to Tikal National Park – I definitely recommend going to Xunantunich!
- San Ignacio Market – This market is near the center of San Ignacio and you will find an amazing section of fruits, vegetables and souvenirs. There were also a ton of street vendors set up selling breakfast!
- Chaa Creek National History Museum – A great way to learn about the Belize culture and heritage!
- Ziplining – You will find a ton of different companies that offer zip lining throughout Belize. You can find a jungle canopy and zip lining tour near San Ignacio here.
- Take a day trip: Tikal National Park, Guatemala. – This would be my number one recommendation if you are wanting to take a day trip anywhere. Tikal National Park is home to ancient mayan ruins located in the rainforests of Guatemala. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking. I thought visiting a national park in July would be really crowded – but it wasn’t at all and it seemed like we had the whole place to ourselves which was amazing!
Ambergris Caye/ Caye Caulker
What to do:
- Hol Chan Marine Reserve – This reserve is in close proximity to Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker. This is a great place to go snorkeling and/or diving! The wildlife and coral reef is absolutely stunning. We saw turtles, sting rays, sharks, eels, and even a lionfish to name a few!
- Shark Ray Alley – Shark Ray Alley is such a neat experience, and no the sharks are not scary! (As long as you follow the rules and listen to your tour guide!) I was expecting to see maybe 3 0r 4 sharks but there were dozens. Very cool! You can visit Shark Ray Alley combined with going diving in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve – or you can just do one of the other. I recommend both! 😉
- Sunset Cruise – Reggae music, complimentary Rum punch, and a watching a beautiful sunset while sailing on the Caribbean sea? Nuff said.
- “Secret” Beach – While in Belize we met a local who gave us directions to find this “secret beach.” (Which is apparently not so secret anymore.) Check here for suggestions for the top 5 swimming spots in Ambergris Caye.
- Kayaking – I have always loved kayaking, but kayaking in Belize with crystal clear water and beautiful scenery is a whole new experience! Many hotels and resorts will offer kayaking free of charge during your stay.
- Blue Hole – If you are into diving – you can not miss out on going to the Blue Hole! The Blue Hole has made it on variations of “7 Wonders of the World,” lists.
- Your passport!
- Bug spray
- Closed toe shoes/Hiking Shoes
- Water shoes
- Swim Shirt – (WEAR one while snorkeling or you will be burnt as a lobster like me)
- Electronics/Chargers/Memory Cards: Stores/gift shops or resorts may have some of these items available for purchase – but in my experience many places overpriced these items so I would recommend double checking bringing these things!
- Mask, Fins, and Snorkel (if you don’t want to pay to rent)
- Money: $1.00 U.S dollar = $2.00 Belize dollars (Pro tip: Everywhere we went accepted the U.S. dollar – but change is provided in Belize dollars) ***In addition, for those of you who decide to take a day trip to Tikal National Park, the exchange is 1 Us Dollar = about 7.5 Guatemalan dollars)
I hope you enjoyed this travel guide! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions! 🙂
Katie Gibbons // The Kalon Blog