Cahal Pech, Xunantunich, & San Ignacio Farmers Market
Easy to Moderate
Min # of Ppl
Full day tour with lunch at restaurant in town
Situated on the hills above San Ignacio, Cahal Pech (“Place of the Ticks”) was once the home of a royal Maya family. The site is spread over two acres with 34 structures and two separate ball courts displaying fine examples of Maya craftsmanship. Cahal Pech was occupied around 1200 BC and abandoned roughly 2000 years later. Its complex structures, winding tunnels, and unique architecture make it a very interesting and informative site for a guided visit.
Xunantunich (“Stone Woman”) was a major ceremonial center in the Mayan village of San Jose Succotz. A hand-cranked ferry takes you across the Mopan River, followed by a mile drive up to the archaeological site. El Castillo, a pyramid standing at 130 feet above the main plaza floor, offers a spectacular view of the jungle landscape for miles around over the Mopan River Valley and into Guatemala. Sometimes howler monkeys entertain visitors who climb to the top.
After lunch at a local restaurant, visit The San Ignacio Market which is open every day for fresh produce sold by local vendors. On Saturdays the site becomes a festival with Maya craft vendors from all over Belize arriving to offer their handicrafts; everything from clothing to toys to food. Among the cultural highlights are the Mennonites in traditional clothing who travel to the market by horse and buggy to sell cheese and other farm products.