San Ignacio (Belize)
San Ignacio is in Belize.
San Ignacio is easily reachable by car. The Western Highway is the best road in the country and is fully paved and free of pot-holes. There are several gas stations along the route so you have no worries there. Once you reach the sister-city of San Ignacio - Santa Elena- be aware that there are two bridges and each is a one way bridge. You will need to make a right turn, if you are heading west, and run downhill to cross the bridge into San Ignacio. Locals apparently know tourists will miss this turn and are quite aware to signal you that you have made a mistake if you try and go the wrong way.
2nd Class buses (no air conditioning or "trunk" for suitcases) run frequently from Belize City; the trip is usually less then 2 and 1/2 hours, in spite of numerous stops.
There is a Shell gas station at the intersection nearest the Hawksworth Bridge. The roads in town are quite passable and traffic is light.
There is really no reason to drive. The town is foot-scaled so walking is your best bet for getting about and really experiencing the town.
Cahal Pech is the main attraction in the town. The name means literally "Place of the ticks" and Cahal Pech is a smallish set of Mayan ruins that were abandoned around 800-900 AD. There is an indoor museum displaying artifacts, a site plan, and putting the ruins in a regional context. The site is open 7 days a week during daylight hours. Admission is USD $2.50 but may change. There are, allegedly, guided tours but these are most unneeded as the site is easy to traverse. The entire site should take 1-2 hours at most for a thorough exploration. Once at the ruins the site is fairly flat, but Cahal Pech is at the top of the hill overlooking San Ignacio. The walk up hill to it from the main town is quite exhausting and is difficult even from the San Ignacio Resort Hotel on the hill. If you have any disability or are in poor physical condition you will want to drive.
Many companies in San Ignacio run tours to a wide variety of interesting sights/sites, including:
Most of these are day trips, leaving early in the morning and returning the same afternoon. NOTE: Not all tours are available on any given day. Most tour companies require a certain minimum number of registrations before they'll make the run. Checking in the evening which tours are available is often the best option.
There is a large Saturday market.
San Ignacio is one of the more tourist-friendly towns in Belize, with a variety of restaurants keeping longer hours than in many other towns in Belize. Many of the restaurants have both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, including:
In the JNC mall, behind on the bottom floor, it is that easy to find. Open from Tuesday-sunday(2p.m.-12a.m. All local liquors(5BZ)imported range from $6-$15BZ
PITPAN TAVERN(located behind the JNC mall): This is a small pub, full of fun! Service is great, and drinks are cheap. If you are the relaxed kind of person and want to have a drink and chat,or simply relax, this is the place in The Afternoon. The night party at Pitpan gets even better. Welcome to Belize!!!
Since San Ignacio is the biggest town close to Guatemala, from where many tourists enter and exit Belize, the city therefore has quite a few accommodations relative to its size and attractions. Travelers are sure to find a wide range of hotels, lodges, and resorts to stay at.
By car, you leave San Ignacio across the Hawksworth Bridge which is the only suspension bridge in Belize. This is also a one-way bridge.
2nd class buses can reach Dangriga on the coast in about 3 hours. In the other direction, buses run to the Guatemalan border quite close by, with connections to Flores and Tikal.