What to do and Where to stay in
Mayan Jungle

Located in western Belize, on the border with Guatemala, the Cayo District is an area of lush jungle, peppered with rivers, waterfalls and Maya ruins. Spread over nearly a million acres, this is the largest of the country’s six districts and its wealth of natural attractions and fascinating cultural sites make it a must-visit destination for travellers to Belize.

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Experiences in Mayan Jungle

The twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena are a good place to base yourself for exploring the Cayo District’s jungles, rivers and ruins, which range from small, forested hills to vast, impressive temples. There are even dramatic caves you can explore, crammed with ancient Maya artefacts. A highlight of the Maya ruins is Caracol, the largest Maya site in Belize. Others to tick off your list include Cahal Pech, Xunantunich and El Pilar, whose name translates as “watering basin”, reflecting the abundance of streams surrounding it.

Adventure-seekers will be well catered for here, too. How about ziplining over the jungle canopy or exploring the Maya Mountains on horseback? These are just some of the activities offered by tour companies. The Belize Botanic Gardens, where 45 acres of native and exotic plants are located on the banks of the Macal River, is also worth visiting.

For an extra thrill, you could try tubing through river caves. Take out your binoculars and marvel at the array of wildlife that call this area home, including some of the country’s most rare and endangered bird species. Or you could spend your days hiking to some of the areas spectacular waterfalls, such as Butterfly Falls, which is tucked away in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve.

Feeling peckish? The Cayo District is a great place to sample traditional traditional Belizean dishes, such as “garnaches” – fried corn tortillas topped with refried beans, shredded cabbage and cheese. San Ignacio is home to the country’s largest farmer’s market, held every Saturday. Embrace local life as you wander past stalls selling fresh fruit and veg or tuck into a breakfast burrito, made in front of your eyes.

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