San Ignacio is the largest town West of Belize City. It is a twin town with Santa Elena to the East of the Macal RIver which wades through the downtown section of San Ignacio. There a few villages that border San Ignacio too, such as Bullet Tree Falls, , Santa Familia, Cristo Rey, San Antonio, and further West the village of San Jose Succotz and the larger border town of Benque Viejo Del Carmen.
In December through May, San Ignacio is a buzz of activity with tourism. San Ignacio is the Capital of the Mecca of inland tourism and there is always something happening. Most things have a price attached but here are a few that don’t. Here are a few that will bring you some joy!
1. Come rock out at the Soul Project. Its a place weber cultures come together and celebrate the written, the oral and the musical arts. You can come and feel the vibes and actually play the vibes. Its a place of peace and friends who you never met until now!
2. Grab your binoculars and camera and prepare for a short 20 minute walk North of San Ignacio to “Branch Mouth” where both the Mopan and the Macal rivers meet. Nice scenes, wildlife and birds galore on the riverine 3 miles to the branch mouth. Its great exercise and if you have the time a refreshing swim wouldn’t hurt at all. Please take a picture of yourself on the hammock bridge for proof of your visit!
3. Give your time and energy to Mary Open Doors (Go here: http://www.maryopendoors.org/Volunteer.php), a home for the justice and empowerment of women and also to the cornerstone foundation an organisation what works toward humanitarian principles directed to the needs and the empowerment of people and groups (Go here: http://www.cornerstonefoundationbelize.org/volunteering/programs.html). These places will be absolutely elated for your service to their clients and you have no idea what your service to these wonderful institutions will do for your lives.
4. When you are away from home and you are on your physical and spiritual adventures, every so often, we need a voice – a familiar voice from home. Grab you iPads, or iPhones, or tablets or Macs or any of your devices and go to Hode’s Place. Find a comfortable corner under a tree and connect for free (If you cannot connect, don’t be shy to ask a waiter and they will hook you up!). Get some FaceTime with your loved ones; send that email you realise that you must send; speak to someone and give them some love or tell them about us! :) (There may even be a chance you can stay there as they have 4 comfortable rooms – check with them!
5. Take a walk to the National Institute of Culture and History office at the Town hall in downtown San Ignacio. There is always something important on display there. Historical, and cultural information are always available there. Its an hour you will spend well learning about San Ignacio and the country of Belize.
6. Go to the market! Everyone must go to the market! People, people, people. Business, business, business. Veggies, arts and crafts, food, food, food. laughs; sounds; sights; scents; culture – everywhere! Its definite “to do” thing for free in San Ignacio. Market day is truly Saturdays starting from 5AM but it goes to approximately 4PM so you have time to get there! Take your camera its going to be awesome enriching!
7. Go swimming to the Macal River. It won’t only be refreshing, it will be a wonderful place to meet Belizeans taking their refreshing dips in the downtown of the town. The Macal, is the border between the town of Santa Elena and San Ignacio. This river is rich with grand history and as you can imagine with the picture below, JOY!