Hanna Stables offers horseback riding, adventure tourism and educational organic eco-farm stay for travelers of all ages and abilities in the San Ignacio, Belize area. One of the country's oldest horseback riding establishments, Hanna Stables has been family-owned for generations and is currently operated by Santiago Juan. Horseback riding tours are available for riders of all experience levels, and popular destinations include the Mayan ruins of Xunantunich, unexcavated Mayan ruins of Actun Kan, and the surrounding San Lorenzo Farm. Located not far from Hanna Stables is Nabitunich The Stone Cottages which has 20 rooms available for accommodations for travelers. All-inclusive vacation packages are available. The stables and farm are only an hour and half ride away from Belize City, and a 10-minute drive away from the Guatemala border.
mayan ruins exploration
Many of the Maya ruins listed below can be visited in person. Unlike most ruins, many of those in Belize can still be climbed and explored by foot.
Altun Ha Northern Belize - Two large central plazas and mid-size pyramids are exposed. This is the most easily-accessible site from Belize City.
Lamanai Northern Belize - Three large pyramids and stelae, residential areas, plazas, a unique ball court.
Xunantunich Western Belize - Very well-excavated carving stelae and an impressive main pyramid. Can drive right up to this site. Access it by crossing the Mopan River aboard a tiny hand-cranked car-ferry in the village of San José Succotz only about 10 minutes west of San Ignacio on the Western Highway.
El Pilar Western Belize - 100-acre site with 25+ plazas, on the Belize-Guatemala border.
Caracol Western Belize - Largest known Maya site in Belize, but not as well-excavated as others. Main pyramid Caana, or "Sky Palace" is the tallest Maya structure in Belize.
Actun Tunichil Muknal ATM Cave Western Belize - This is not a Maya structure, but a cave that contains Maya skeletons, ceramics, and stoneware.
Tikal Guatemala - Most grand of the surviving Maya cities, and most extensively excavated. Numerous pyramids, stelae, and temples; grand plaza and main acropolis are often seen in photographs. Toucans, parrots, howler monkeys, and spider monkeys are often seen throughout the park.
Xunantunich, Caracol, and ATM Cave are all very easily accessible from San Ignacio, either self-drive or on a guided tour. San Ignacio is also a launching point for visiting Tikal. Most hotels in San Ignacio will arrange tours of the nearby sites and Tikal for guests. You can also arrange tours through any of the tour companies whose offices can be found in the central part of San Ignacio on or around the pedestrian stretch of Burns Avenue.
Tours to the ruins can also be arranged for visitors staying in the Cayes. On Caye Caulker and in San Pedro, you will find tour companies that can arrange tours of some of the Maya sites.
The Cayo district is characterized by limestone hills underlain by a network of underground rivers, caves and sinkholes. The caves are magnificent, with huge caverns and tight passages, underground waterfalls and dazzling arrays of mineral-encrusted stalactites and stalagmites. This underground world was sacred to the ancient Maya and many artifacts from decorated pots to human remains are still intact in the caves. It is dangerous and illegal to enter the caves without a licensed guide. Most guides are trained in both the geology and mythology of the caves as well as in modern first aid and cave rescue techniques.
Belize's greatest attraction Actun Tunichil Muknal, these spectacular caves combine adventure caving with amazing history. Traverse the cave system and river with a guide to see the calcified Mayan sacrifice remains at the end. Don't be afraid of getting wet.
Soar over Belize's rain forest by taking a Zip-line tour. These tours usually begin with a short hike up to the first base where a tutorial is given on how to safely use your equipment.
Costs range from $95USD to $100USD and tours are run by two companies, Jaguar Paw, and Back-A-Bush tours.
Also world-class is the snorkeling and scuba diving. There are many exceptional dive sites to be found in Belize. One of the best ways to explore Belize waters is by chartering a sailboat or catamaran \to make the most of your available dive time.\For those with a smaller budget, snorkeling and driving excursions can be found along the beaches of Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. The most common excursions will take you to both Hol Chan marine reserve and Shark Ray Alley. These trips usually cost about $35USD and includes snorkel gear. Be mindful of an additional $10BZ charged to Foreigners as a park tax. This money goes toward the upkeep, and protection of the reef. /Diving excursions are also offered to the Blue Hole, but expect to pay a lot more for the privilege.
Old Belize is a landmark attraction, offering a total Belize experience for locals and tourists. At its heart is the Old Belize Exhibit, a stirring cultural and historical display that takes visitors back in time to various defining segments of Belize’s past. The display contains many authentic relics from key periods, a haunting introductory teaser to the Mayan legacy in Belize, an eerie depiction of the Belize City of Colonial days, and an intimate glimpse into 18th century logging camps, and more.
Old Belize also features Cucumber Beach the only beach in Belize City, the Old Belize Marina, a full service restaurant, plus conference facilities and banquet hall. Old Belize is located at Mile 5 on the Western Highway, a $10 US cab ride from the Tourist Village, Brown Sugar Terminal, downtown Belize City, and most central locations in Belize City.