LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
San Ignacio, Belize
Savory bites and neon lights.
Belize, formerly British Honduras, gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1981 and boasts a small population of approximately 350,000. Visiting Belize is easier than ever now, with more airlines from Los Angeles, Denver, Atlanta, Houston and Newark, offering direct flights to Belize City. As you drive west from Belize City airport you will see cattle ranches, orange orchards lining the roads, fields of sugarcane and papaya and avocado trees. The capital city, Belmopan is about one hour from Belize City airport but many travelers continue straight to San Ignacio.
The San Ignacio Resort Hotel is a premier destination to experience all of Belize’s activities on your family bucket list and just steps away from San Ignacio Town. The property is centrally located for adventure tours to nearby archaeological parks, caves and nature reserves. The hotel boasts views of the rain forest and wildlife from each of its 26 rooms. The Regal Rooms, Family Room and Royal Suite offer enough space for a family of three to six and kids under 11 are always free.
Family established and owned, San Ignacio Resort Hotel goes the extra mile for its guests and provides a hassle-free vacation for families by organizing an array of activities for children of all ages. Kids love the large swimming pool and the whole family can enjoy the Medicinal Trails and its award-winning Green Iguana Conservation Project. Located on-site, the Green Iguana Conservation Project, is an interactive exhibit that educates guests on the life of Green Iguanas and allows for an up close and personal experience with the reptile. We met Oscar and Stargazer, along with other iguanas, some as large as six feet and got to see the way Nigel has taken care of them in the sanctuary. This self-sustained project, which began in 1996, allows guests to participate in their “Adopt an Iguana Program” and the “Iguana Kids Club”, two programs aimed at fostering relationships between the species and visitors.
Guests looking to learn more about Belize’s foliage and how it plays a role in the ecosystem, can do so on the tour of medicinal plants and herbs found within the resort’s 17-acre private estate. The guided tour took us on hiking trails through the lush tropical rain forest for a hands-on educational
tour of natural remedies that were used by the Mayan community to heal numerous illnesses. We learned how oregano can cure an earache and the plants and tree bark that you can use in your tea to prevent nausea and menstrual cramps or improve male impotency.
On site bird watching was another one of our favorite amenities offered by San Ignacio Resort Hotel. It included an experienced guided walk that took us through the jungle in the early morning to enjoy the sights and sounds of San Ignacio’s feathery friends. But watch out for toucans and other exotic birds that soar through the jungle spreading their colorful wings. Some got close enough to snap a photo while other would just join you on a nearby branch as you sit and enjoy your morning coffee on the patio overlooking the jungle.
Lunch at Benny’s with specialties such as Cow Foot Soup and Pibil (pork meat cooked underground served with vegetable sauce and corn tortillas).
Running W Steakhouse & Restaurant inside the San Ignacio Resort Hotel includes great cuts such as the black Angus rib eye or the 21-day aged NY strip. You can also try the Lebanese sample platter of lamb kebab, vegetables, pita bread and the families own hummus recipe. If you are lucky enough to be there on a Wednesday when Trey is hosting Steak Your Claim Night, he will grill everything right on the deck in front of you using his own sauces and techniques.
At Ko-ox Han-nah the lamb chops with coconut rice and the curries are highlights! Make sure to finish with ice cream from Molly’s Ice Cream Shoppe next door to Crave.
Live music can be enjoyed on the patio of Running W Steak House. Local singers and bands will serenade you as you enjoy a rain forest cocktail (secret recipe) or purple parrot (Blue Curacao, vodka, pineapple and grenadine) poured by Keith at the bar.
Hike up to Xunantinich Mayan Ruins imagining what life was like in Mayan Times or listen to San Ignacio Resort Hotel’s expert tour guide Cruz as he educates you on Mayan cultures and traditions. From the top of the tallest ruin you can see all the way to Guatemala. On a hot day remember to wear a hat and bring water, this is a steep one.
The name Xunantunich derives from the Yucatec Maya language and means “Stone Woman.”
Xunantunich was first explored in the 1800’s by Dr. Thomas Gann a British medical officer. The first recorded photograph of the site was taken in 1904 and displayed in the Peabody Museum of Archaeology, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for many years.
Head over to Hanna Stables for a horseback ride with Santiago and his team along the Mopan River Valley. Explore the jungle on horseback passing through cattle farms and wide open trails along the river. You may