what to do in cayo belize
The ruins of Xunantunich are situated on a natural limestone ridge just across the green crystalline waters of the Mopan
River, approximately eight miles west of San Ignacio Town at Succotz village in the Cayo District. This site, the largest ceremonial center in the Belize River Valley, consists of three ceremonial plazas enclosed by house mounds, pyramids and palaces, the largest decorated with friezes and masks of the Classic period. Xunantunich is believed to have been the longest established Mayan archaeological site in Belize.
The site consists of seven plazas and over 30 structures including temples, residential buildings, ball courts, an altar, and a sweat-house, all situated on just 2 acres. A royal burial chamber was found in one of the structures. Inside the tomb a ruler had been laid to rest with the accouterments necessary for the afterlife. Included in the find were shell & bone ornaments, pottery vessels, obsidian blades, and jade objects, the most impressive being a jade & shell mosaic mask.
One of the temples in this small complex commands the best view of the surrounding Belize River Valley. The visitor center and museum has a model of the site, excellent paintings showing Cahal Pech in its heyday, and an interpretive film.
One of Belize’s best ancient Maya temples, Caracol is deep in the heart of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve of the Maya Mountains in the Cayo District.
Covering an area of nearly 25,000 acres, this site is impressive not only for its size, but also for its immense agricultural field system and elaborate city planning. Caracol is one of the most pristine and well-kept Maya sites in Belize. If you want to see an amazing piece of our history, head to Caracol.
Numerous carved monuments establish that Caracol was a major player in the geopolitics of the Classic period Maya world. It was an ally of Calakmul in Campeche, Mexico and engaged in several wars with neighboring polities, such as Tikal, Naranjo and Ucanal in Guatemala. This tour can be combined with Rio on Pools, Big Rock Falls and Frio Cave at no extra cost.
Actun Tunichil Muknal Caves
The ATM Caves will be one of the most enlightening, epic, and unique experiences of your life. Leave the world of the living behind as you venture into the heart of the underworld with your licensed guide. Recently deemed the #1 Sacred Cave destination in the world by National Geographic, the ATM cave is not only beautiful geologically, with its crystalline stalactites and stalagmites, but also historically, as is a natural museum of ancient Mayan artifacts, as well as a sacred burial place. This is the final resting place of the “Crystal Maiden”, as well as the remains of 13 other sacrificed men, women, and children. You will hike through the jungle for approximately 45 minutes to the
mouth of the cave and will then have to swim across a small spring- fed pool wade into the dark underworld of the cave that allows us access to the extensive underground maze of tunnels, passageways and chambers, climaxing in the ceremonial chamber housing stoneware, ceramics and the famed crystallized skeleton of the “Crystal Maiden”. You will spend approximately 3 hours in the cave.
Rio Frio Cave
One of the most popular natural attractions in Belize is the Rio Frio Caves area. Offering a welcome respite on hot days, the Rio Frio Cave is found inside the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, a park located in Belize's western Cayo District. The most common way to get to the Rio Frio Cave is from the entrance to the park in the town of Georgeville just off of the Western Highway.
The cave is a completely natural attraction but looks as though it were made for visitors to enjoy. Walking up the well-maintained steps, visitors get to experience the enormous front entry cavern that measures more than 70 feet high, a beguiling beginning to what promises to be an enchanting caving adventure.
BIG ROCK FALLS
Tucked into the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve this waterfall literally prompts your jaw to drop once you lay eyes upon it. Magnificent, monumental and massive, Big Rock stands tall with a small pool at the bottom of it, flowing into a bigger cenote that rushes over large rocks (hence, the name.)
After numerous wooden stairways plunging into the forest, you will arrive at the bottom where the 150-foot waterfall stands. After all those steps, launching yourself off a rocky cliff into the pool is just what you need. If you’d rather a more relaxing entrance, simply wade amongst the rocks before dipping into the big cenote at the foot of the falls. Lying on your back and staring at the cloudless sky as you float is the recommended way to experience Big Rock Falls. For a free, natural massage place yourself near the rocky walls and let the cascades pummel your back while also refreshing your face.
TIKAL IN GUATEMALA
Whether you're backpacking through Central America or just have a short trip to Guatemala, visiting the ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal will surely be a highlight of your travels.
In a region where ancient ruins are seemingly everywhere, Tikal stands out as one of the best.
These ruins are smack dab in the middle of a protected jungle wilderness that is home to monkeys, toucans and macaws (just to name a few of the creatures you might spot!). As you walk amongst ruins that emerge from grassy mounds and are surrounded by trees and vines, you'll feel like you've been cast in a remake of Indiana Jones. It's utterly magical. BORDERS ARE NOW OPEN!
CAVE TUBING IN BELIZE
This is where it all started! Ian Anderson’s first and still Belize’s longest and most spectacular “River of Caves” cave tubing float…over 7 miles underground. Enter the exciting world of rivers disappearing into the underworld as you float on inner tubes with only your headlamp to light your way.
Floating past side windows that filter the jungle light through the mist as you swirl around stalagmites jutting from the river and stalactites looming from above. Float past underground waterfalls then into the crystal cathedral, a spiritual center to the ancient Maya.
San Ignacio Farmers Market
The San Ignacio Farmers Market is where you want to be on a Saturday morning if you wish to witness the harmonious intermingling of Belize’s multiple cultures demonstrating why Belize is knows as a “melting pot of cultures”.
Many of the locals gather here to sell their produce, others come to stock up on the fresh catch for the week or simply enjoy some local food right on the spot. The ambiance is one of blissful, laid-back, socializing between locals who seem to all know one another as a consequence of the town’s smallness.
THE ORANGE GALLERY
The Orange Gallery is a family run business located at Mile 60 George Price highway, Floral Park, Cayo District, Belize. We’ve been making and selling wooden products and jewelry since 1979. Over the years our product line has grown and now we're offering the world our products by way of the internet.
Orange Gallery products are one of a kind. They are hand crafted and made of the finest materials available, and as such, are not mass produced. While it may be a limitation, making unique products has given us a competitive edge in the market place. This is why we strive to create a line of products you won’t find anywhere else. We are the original creators of the clam chair, our full mahogany clam chairs are unlike any other.
THE ART BOX
Art Box is an arts and crafts center located in the hidden jewel of the Caribbean, Belize. This lush tropical country has provided the inspiration for the Caribbean art and Belize art that we take pride in offering to the country and its visitors. Here at Art Box we have been designing and producing, beautiful, and elegant, high quality products inspired by the rich Belize and Caribbean culture since 1996 when we first opened our doors.
We place the utmost importance on sharing authentic Belizean and Caribbean art with our customers, and in turn introducing the world to the culture of our magnificent country, Belize. The authenticity of our products is evident in the fact that a large percentage of our merchandise is made by local Belizean artists and craftsmen. This allows us to provide a revenue and support for our local artists and in turn share their work and Belize culture with you. Through Art Box we have been able to come closer to our goal of bringing more affordable and functional luxuries into everyone's lives. We insist on product quality, customer service, product evaluation and improvement.