After finishing our cave tubing tour, exhausted, we checked into our hotel, the Midas Resort. The room was a standalone building, which was a little worn, but for $70 a night, it was not bad. San Ignacio was a 10 minute walk away, and felt completely safe at night. At this point, we had only been in Belize for 2 days, but so much more was left to be seen!
Once we arrived in San Ignacio, we were given the rundown by our guide Onil. Onil lives in San Ignacio, so he know whats up. Here are the places he recommended:
Ko-Ox Han Nah – touristy, but good, authentic Belizean food
Ervas – less touristy, also good Belizean food
Pops – good for breakfast
Guava Limb Cafe – good for breakfast or dinner, fresh ingredients
The Crave – a restaurant owned by Onil’s friend, a little more upscale, food prepared in front of you
We chose to eat at Ko-Ox Han Nah for dinner with the intention of eating at another place afterwards to get a taste of multiple places. While inland, it is advised to eat land meat, obviously, and while on the islands, eat the seafood. I got the coconut rice, stew beans and chicken and my boyfriend got the same with pork. There are different variations of the rice + beans, as some are mixed and some are not. If you are in San Ignacio, go with the coconut rice – which is simmered in coconut milk. Each plate was about $10 but extremely filling! We ended up going back to our hotel and hanging out at the hotel bar to use the wifi and relax instead of gorging ourselves with more food.
The next morning we had breakfast at Pops. I suggest trying their Flat Jacks – they are delicious doughy bread.
I originally planned on exploring San Ignacio and Xunantunich on our own, as the tour was an extra $80 a person. However, after learning so much from Onil the day before, we added on the tour to Xunantunich. You can get there easily on your own by taking a taxi or a local bus. It’s about a five-ten minute drive away. The entry point is a ferry across the river, and from there you can pay the entrance fee to Xunantunich and walk around.
Xunantunich is one of the largest Mayan sites remaining in tact within Belize. Like the cave tubing tour, I was amazed at how open everything was here. There were artifacts with no glass protection – yet none of it was grafittied, stolen, or ruined by humans. This site has gained recently popularity due to a discovery of a buried royal warrior, with much of the tomb still in tact. Apparently he had died pretty young, and was tall for the time period. That specific site was being excavated, so we couldn’t see more, but there was plenty more to learn. Going with a guide was a great idea at the end of the day because there was little to no signage at the site to explain the structures. However, there is a museum at the entrance that does give some educational background.
After Xunantunich, Onil took us to a Mayan lunch spot nearby (Benny’s Kitchen). I ordered the chicken, rice and beans again, because it was just too delicious. There were many Mayan dishes with other meats, but as I only eat chicken and fish, I couldn’t taste them. The restaurant was extremely busy, but they accommodated us quickly. Onil then took us to Maya Flats, the San Ignacio airport for our next flight to San Pedro. It turns out we were the only ones on the flight – so we got our own private jet flight across Belize. It was an amazing experience!