Yesterday we visited Caracol, which was excellent and I will tell you all about once I have photos to share too. But on to today…
Today was our last day in San Ignacio. I hadn’t booked us any tours so we had a day just to explore the town. If I was to do it again I would schedule a day in town on a Saturday to take advantage of the local market but even on a Sunday we had plenty to do.
We started our day with breakfast tacos from the roadside vendor and some fresh fruit. We ate our breakfast in the shade by the town fountains because even at 9 am it was starting to heat up.
First on our to-do list was a trip to the Mayan ruins just outside of the town. The ruins are within walking distance of the town centre so we headed out of foot. From the main square you walk towards the police station and then take the first road in the right heading up the hill. The road goes up a steep hill, passing by the San Ignacio Resort Hotel, and the flattens out. After about 15 minutes you turn left onto the road just passed the stadium (signed for Cahal Pech) and then turn right to head up another steep dirt road towards the Cahal Pech Resort. The site is on the left and you have to pay a $10 Belizian (about $5 US) entry fee before entering the forested trail to the ruins. We were sweating like crazy from our walk so it was nice to be in the shade of the trees for a bit.
The site itself isn’t big but has ruins similar to those of other sites, just smaller. There is a map that explains the different parts of the site and lots of info in the museum but we mostly just enjoyed wandering around.
We spent a little over an hour on the site, walking through the ruins and climbing up on the buildings. The site was pretty quiet, just two other groups of people there, so it mostly felt like we were alone.
From Cahal Pech we headed down the hill towards the bridge that connects San Ignacio to the town of Santa Elana. After searching a few grocery store for a particular type of chips we’ve come to enjoy we stopped at a tiny roadside hut for some BBQ chicken and tortillas. San Ignacio doesn’t seem to have any BBQ vendors so this was a nice change. $10 BLZ got us each a giant piece of chicken with BBQ salsa and large flour tortillas.
After lunch it was time for a nap so we headed back to our hostel to sleep until the temperatures cooled down. We got ready and headed out around 2:30 PM for the quick walk to the San Ignacio Resort Hotel to tour the iguana sanctuary. The hotel offers tours to see the iguanas every hour until 4 PM for $12 BLZ a person. They have about 80 iguanas at the site and you can hold some of the friendlier ones. Jon reluctantly held a small one but I let our guide put a few of them on me.
After about an hour with the iguanas it was back to our hotel for a shower and then back to the resort for drinks on their fabulous deck. Being a resort the prices weren’t cheap but it was worth the price to sit on a breezy deck overlooking the jungle just a quick walk from our hotel. We were also lucky enough to see several toucans as we sipped our drinks. We enjoyed the atmosphere enough to stay for dinner and shared a delicious platter of hummus, olives, breads and grilled chicken.