All of our tours in the San Ignacio area originated from Belize CIty. Prior to going to Belize I contacted pacztours and scheduled a trip to ATM for me and my family. Pacztours picked us up in Belize City and drove us back and forth to ATM. It was an incredibly wonderful tour, full of history and fun. We had such a great time with Danny our tour guide that we scheduled another full day for Mayan Ruins. The next day we visited Xunantunich and Cahal Pech. Our guide was very knowledgable and always flexible with our special requests. On the ATM tour a bag lunch was provided. When we did the Mayan sites, a lunch in downtown San Ignacio was provided.
I would recommend highly recommend anyone looking for tours in the San Ignacio area to contact Jamal at http://www.pacztours.net/index.html
Canoeing the Macal River either with or without a guide is a great way to spend the day. You will pass by some lush jungle vegetation and steep cliffs in addition to a multitude of birds and possibly iguanas.
Stops along the Macal River include an interpretive Medicine Trail, the blue morpho butterfly farm at Cha Creek and the Botanical Gardens at DuPlooys. Inquire at Eva's about arranging for a guide or just a canoe. You can also be dropped off upstream and just canoe back into town (much easier!).
The Macal River also offers a great swimming opportunity, the further upstream you are from San Ignacio, the better. We swam here at DuPlooys.
Cahal Pech, ½ day
• 20 minutes of walk out of town; taxi $2.5 each way (well worth it on a hot day)
• entrance fee $5
• a small, well preserved, interesting Maya site
Xunantunich, ½ day
• short bus ride towards border, $0.75, stop “by the ferry”
• cross the ferry; ferry stop around 4:30 pm after park close
• 20 minutes long uphill walk; taxi available by the ferry
• guide available by the ferry, and by the ferry only!
• entrance fee $5
Caracol, 1 day
• Eva’s 3 person minimum, $55 per person; MayaWalk 2 person minimum, $75; Snooty Fox (avoid Tut), $55; bring lunch
• 2-3 hours dirt road, through Mountain Pine Ridge
• entrance fee $5, 2-hour guided tour by park ranger
• on way back, stop at Rio On Pool in Mountain Pine Ridge for swimming
Tikal, Guatemala, 1 day
• a popular tour offered by everyone
• local (Guatemalan) guide after crossing the border, 4-5 hours on site
• $75, plus Belize exit fee $20
• check visa requirement for Guatemala
Barton Creek Caving, ½ day
• many guides and agents (Eva’s, MayaWalk) offer this half day tour (AM, PM)
• canoeing and tubing in caves (Snooty Fox does not offer tubing), Maya pottery
Horseback riding, ½ day, 1 day
• Charlie Collins at Easy Rider (next to Eva’s)
• half day Cahal Pech tour, $25, 9 am to 1 pm
• full day jungle tour, $40, 9 am to 5 pm
• two person minimum; reserve 1 day before; no tour on Sunday
Mountain Pine Ridge, 1 day
• many guides and agents offer this full day mountain trip, cost $25-30
• various (usually 5) stops, from Rio On Pools (waterfall, swimming), Big Rock Waterfall (swimming), natural trail (1-2 hours jungle hiking and plant identification), Rio Frio Cave (open tunnel), caves (different guides have their own caves; Max offers 1-hour caving in Twin Caves), Five Sisters Lodge (valley view)….
Tony’s River Tour, 1 day, 2 days, or more?
• 1 day $40, 2-day overnight $75, 2 person minimum, everything included
• contact and book tour at Eva’s
• canoeing down Belize River, wildlife watching
• highly recommended!
• not easily available
Eva's is a restaurant in San Ignacio, but since I didn't actually eat there, I didn't want to put it in my restaurant tips. The thing about Eva's is, the people who run the place give great information about where to stay and what to do. When we stopped at a hotel that was full, the owner told us to go to Eva's to find a place. Just tell them what you want to spend and they'll steer you in the right direction.
Eva's also provides day trips to Barton Creek Cave, Tikal and other spots nearby. We took the Cave trip ($25 USD per person) and had a great time!
Go see David at David's Tours. Very cool guy. Extremely knowledgeable. Take his canoe/cave tour! Excellent.
Note: After our tour was over and we were chilling at the swimming hole, Dave fired up a major dube. He kept to himself, away from all of us on his tour, and didn't make a big show out of it. He is a rasta. We were a tad concerned as we had our 8 yr old son w/ us and Davide was doing all the driving.