Take a short drive across the only drivable suspension bridge in Belize, Hacksaw Bridge, over the Macal River, where a fun town filled with restaurants, bars, shops and a true Belize cultural experience waiting for you. Welcome to San Ignacio!
San Ignacio is the beating heart of western Belize. It was founded in 1904 and since then it has become a cultural hub, melting the history of the surrounding local Maya ruins with new influences. It's definitely one of the most popular tourism destinations in Belize – not just because of its strategic location near Maya sites like Xunantunich and Cahal Pech, caves like Barton Creek and Actun Tunichil Muknal, and the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve which is home to the spectacular waterfalls like 1,000 Foot Fall and Big Rock Waterfalls. San Ignacio is also the hub of western Belize's food scene – with great local restaurants, new farm-to-table fares, and of course, how can you miss the Saturday market!
The first first stop of your day trip should be the San Ignacio Market where you will find a unique opportunity to experience true culture and life of Belize. There are farmers, traders and vendors all selling their goods. You'll also hear a blend of German, English, Spanish, Creole and Maya languages. Don't forget to pick up some delicious local fruits, veggies, and maybe even local medicinal herbs for muscles sore from too many hiking adventures. Every Saturday, the San Ignacio Market comes alive with tourists and expats browsing the local vendors. You can buy arts and crafts, clothing, and household goods. Take note that some of the vendors show up on other days as well, but Saturday has by far the largest market and the best chance to swoop something truly unique as a token of your stay in Belize!
After the market, your next stop is a true Caribbean dining experience at Ko-Ox Han-nah's where you can feast on some local specialities. The name pretty much says everything you need to know: It means "Let's go eat" in Mayan.
If you're feeling too full from the market, and want something lighter and healthier you can also check out the #1 rated restaurant in San Ignacio, the Guava Limb. It's only a short walk from the downtown city center and there you will find farm-to-table fresh ingredients, coffees, pastries, or even salads to go. Personally, we will be ordering the fresh pasta with Caribbean shrimp and a fresh organic smoothie for dessert!
All of this eating and walking makes us thirsty, so it's time for a drink! Burns Avenue which runs North–South, is San Ignacio's main street, where you can find some more local restaurants and bars to post up at for a drink. Be sure to order a Belikin Beer – the national beer of Belize.
It's time to mix and mingle a bit with the locals. Stroll up and down Burns Avenue where you can find some great nightlife, or sit down somewhere with your friends to watch the wandering expats from North America who call San Ignacio home.
San Ignacio truly has a unique and vibrant vibe and it's easy to see why the city is popular with visitors and locals alike for it's open market, restaurants, and rich blend of different cultures.
Come experience San Ignacio when you book your stay with us at Ka'ana!