When you travel to Belize you should take a minute to visit the small town of San Ignacio. Also named Cayo, the town is ideal located along the Macal River and you can use it as your home base if you want to explore the neighborhoods. Even so, there are plenty of things to see and do in the city as the area is rich in ruins and caves.
If you want to embark on a tour from San Ignacio you should check with one of the tour companies in the area. On these tours you can enjoy a wide variety of jungle trails and visit the caves and ruins scattered all over the place. Make sure to get up early, as most tours start in the morning.
Among the many tourist attractions that you can visit in San Ignacio is the Actun Tunichil Muknal, a burial site dating back to the Mayan era. Access to the relics is only through a very difficult route that includes climbing rocks and swimming through the water. The place still exhibits many Mayan artifacts such as ceramics and even human remains (as this used to be a sacrificial site). An amazing view is offered by the Crystal Maiden, an old skeleton that is now covered by limestone crystals. It takes a short drive from San Ignacio to reach the caves, but the trip is certainly worth your while.
Another short drive is necessary to reach the caves at Barton Creek. The archeological reserve is very popular among tourists and it attracts many visitors since the place has gained international recognition.
You do not always have to drive out of town to check out tourist attractions, as there are plenty inside San Ignacio too. Cahal Pech is a Mayan complex made of ruins dating from the last centuries of the first millennium. Here you will find a museum filled with Mayan artifacts. The entrance fee is quite cheap and it is recommended to take the guided tour for the complete experience. Be aware that there will be some real climbing involved and that you will to be in the proper physical condition if you want to be part of this experience. People that do not do well with physical exertion are strongly advised to use a car to ascend to the top.
Outdoor activities are very popular in the area. For instance, you can go hiking along the many trails surrounding the town or go canoeing or kayaking on the Macal River.
If you want to visit the great sites at Xunantunich you will have to take the bus. You will have to walk for hours around the Mayan ruins in order to explore them thoroughly so make sure you bring wear good shoes. If you want to reach the site easier, you can climb into one of the free water taxis that leave from Succutz and cross the Mopan River. It will take you under one hour to arrive at the site but the trip will be worth it.